Warriors thrash Lakers to clinch record start to NBA season
Stephen Curry scored 24 points as the Golden State Warriors set a new record for the longest unbeaten start to an NBA season with a 111-77 rout of the Los Angeles Lakers here Tuesday.
Reigning MVP Curry turned on the style as the Warriors extended their perfect start to 16 games, surpassing the previous best of 15-0 they had shared with the 1993-94 Houston Rockets and 1948-49 Washington Capitols.
A sell-out crowd at the Oracle Arena had come to see the NBA champions make history and the outcome never looked in doubt from the outset against a Lakers side who slumped to 2-12 with the loss.
“To start the season 16-0 and do something that’s never been done before in NBA history, it’s pretty cool,” Curry said. “We want to keep it going.”
“There’s a lot of season left but we’re on the right track. It’s special. There’s a lot of great players in this league and a lot of great teams — nobody’s accomplished what this team has tonight.
“We’re proud of this moment. We’ll celebrate a little bit and then look ahead to Friday night.”
At times the game resembled a training exercise for the Warriors as they sprinted into a 30-11 first quarter lead against their outclassed opponents, effectively scoring at will.
Draymond Green scored 12 points in the opening quarter, with Curry and Harrison Barnes chipping in with eight points each. Green eventually finished with 18 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two blocked shots.
The healthy cushion built over the first period never looked like being overhauled by the Lakers, who trailed by 16 points at the half, 54-38.
– Warriors cut loose -It got worse for the Lakers after the interval as the Warriors cut loose, outscoring their opponents by 35-17 to extend their lead to 89-55 heading into the final quarter.
By midway through the final quarter the Warriors led by more than 40 points with the Lakers barely managing token resistance.
It was a miserable night for veteran Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who was restricted to four points with one-for-14 shooting. It was the Lakers icon’s lowest score of the season having reached double digits in each of his previous 10 appearances.
The Warriors’ blistering start to the season however remains well short of the longest winning streak in history, which continues to be the 33-game run set by the Lakers in the 1971-72 season.
Golden State could threaten the Chicago Bulls’ all-time season record however, when a side led by Michael Jordan finished the 1995-96 campaign with a 72-10 record.
Elsewhere Tuesday, Chicago’s defense helped them grind out a 93-88 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers in Oregon.
The Bulls led from start to finish and managed to hold on for the win despite a misfiring offense, with guard Jimmy Butler leading the scoring on 22 points while fellow guard Derrick Rose added 17 points. Pau Gasol scored 12 points and 14 rebounds.
“We got stops when we need them the most, and that’s what you have to do when your offense isn’t clicking,” Chicago coach Fred Hoiberg said.