Apr 3, 2016 11:33 PM
Warriors rebound from rare home loss to beat Blazers 136-111
The Associated Press
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) The pain of a rare home loss disappeared quickly for Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors. Just like the other seven defeats this season, it was followed with yet another win.
Curry scored 39 points and the Warriors bounced back from their first regular-season home loss in more than 14 months by beating the Portland Trail Blazers 136-111 on Sunday night to tie the mark for the second-most wins in a season.
"That negative energy of overanalyzing situations or even mild panic is not necessary right now," Curry said. "We've got a pretty good focus as a unit of how we can bounce back from losses and just stay true to who we are."
Draymond Green added 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his 13th triple-double, and Klay Thompson scored 21 for the Warriors, who matched the 1996-97 Chicago Bulls and 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers with 69 wins. Golden State needs to win four of its final five games to break the record of 72 victories set by Chicago in 1995-96.
That chase was dealt a setback Friday when Boston snapped Golden State's record 54-game regular-season home winning streak. But after falling behind by 11 points early, the Warriors found their groove and improved to 8-0 following losses this season, outscoring the opposition by 15 points a contest. No team has ever gone an entire season without losing back-to-back games.
"I really liked the focus and just how sharp we were compared to the other night," coach Steve Kerr said. "Good response to the loss."
Damian Lillard scored 38 points to lead the Blazers, who had their four-game winning streak snapped. Portland remained a half-game behind fifth-place Memphis in the Western Conference standings.
The game featured an old-fashioned duel between two of the league's best scorers in Curry and Lillard. During one stretch of 2:17 in the third quarter, Curry scored on five straight trips down the floor, making four of his nine 3-pointers in the span. Not to be outdone, Lillard also scored five baskets during the run, including a pair of 3-pointers.
"He's not going to back down and I'm for sure not going to back down," Lillard said. "It turned into what it was, but I don't think it was a me-against-you type of thing. He made a play for his team and I came down and did the same."
But then Lillard went to the bench for a rest and Leandro Barbosa hitting two late shots to help Golden State take a 101-89 lead after three.
"He was gassed and it was a long game," coach Terry Stotts said. "The fact that he came out and in two minutes things fell apart, that wasn't good. It was time to take him out. He was carrying the load for us."
The Blazers hit 14 of their first 19 shots to build an 11-point lead in the first quarter before the Warriors battled back. Curry hit a 3-pointer late in the second quarter to make the Golden State with 1,000 made 3s in a season. The Warriors led 63-56 at the break.
"We knew they couldn't keep this up the rest of the game," Green said. "Just stay the course and it will turn for us."
Trail Blazers: After the hot shooting start, the Blazers went 6 for 27 (22 percent) for the rest of the first half.
Warriors: Curry has a record 378 3-pointers this season and is on pace to top 400 if he plays the final five games. ... F Andre Iguodala (left ankle) played 3-on-3 Saturday and is getting close to returning.
Warriors C Festus Ezeli returned after missing 31 games with a left knee injury. He got the start with Andrew Bogut out with a rib injury and scored his only basket in nine minutes on an early lob pass from Green. Kerr said before the game that it's important for Ezeli to get some playing time before the playoffs.
"I thought Festus looked pretty good considering he's been out for this long," Kerr said. "But he looked active and mobile and did a nice job."
Scottie Pippen recently said his 1995-96 Bulls would sweep a best-of-seven series against these Warriors. Kerr, who played on that Chicago team with Pippen, wasn't bothered by the comment and says he has a hard time even discussing the hypothetical matchup because he doesn't know which side he'd be on.
"If the two teams played each other, there's no question we could beat us and they could beat them," Kerr said.
Trail Blazers: Visit Sacramento on Tuesday.
Warriors: Host Minnesota on Tuesday.