Warriors beat Spurs to tie Bulls’ record
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The Golden State Warriors got a momentous victory in the one place they hadn’t won in nearly two decades.
Now, they’re one win away from pushing Michael Jordan and the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls off a major record.
Stephen Curry had 37 points and the Warriors beat the San Antonio Spurs 92-86 Sunday night for their 72nd win, tying Jordan’s Bulls for the season record.
“We can get to 73,” forward Draymond Green said. “That’s the significance for me of 72.”
The defending champions finish their regular season at home against the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night.
“Obviously, we’re in the moment, enjoying the ride,” Curry said. “The goal is to win a championship. That’s the goal. But we put ourselves in a great position to end the season with a win and do something no team has done in the history. That’s an amazing accomplishment.”
The Warriors got No. 72 by doing what nobody else had this season — beating the Spurs in San Antonio.
The Spurs had won 48 consecutive regular-season games at home, including an NBA-record 39 straight to begin 2015-16. Golden State also ended a 33-game skid in San Antonio that dated to 1997.
“Definitely sweet because we broke the streak,” Warriors guard Klay Thompson said. “That’s all the media would talk about for the last few years. It’s tough to win here. It definitely was huge for us.”
San Antonio sat Tim Duncan for rest and was without an injured Boris Diaw. It had not lost at home since March 2015. The Spurs also fell to Golden State on Thursday night 112-101.
The Warriors dominated the fourth quarter in taking the season series against the Spurs 3-1. Curry controlled the action with a series of layups when San Antonio’s defense attempted to run him off the 3-point line.
“They just exploded,” Spurs forward David West said. “Steph just took over the game. We weren’t able to get to him, keep bodies in front of him.”
Curry had 20 points in the second half while Golden State erupted after a sluggish start.
In their lone victory over Golden State this season, San Antonio managed to slow the game down. The Spurs tried to match the Warriors’ pace Sunday, though, leading to a tense and at times sloppy game.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 24 points to lead the Spurs, who have lost three straight for the first time this season. Kawhi Leonard added 20 points but shot 7 for 22 from the field while continually being harried by Draymond Green.
Green got a technical for charging directly toward Monty McCutcheon at the scorer’s table after the official ruled he fouled Leonard in the first half. With Andrew Bogut screaming from the Warriors’ bench for teammates to grab Green, the Warriors’ energetic forward followed McCutcheon across the court to continue his argument. A second technical was not issued.
Green finished with 11 points and Thompson added 14 for Golden State.
Warriors: Golden State’s previous victory in San Antonio was Feb. 14, 1997. Latrell Sprewell had 32 points in leading the Warriors to a 108-94 victory. The Spurs were without injured David Robinson and were months away from drafting Duncan. … Curry made a 3-pointer in his 151st straight regular-season game, extending his own NBA record. Curry was 4 for 9 on 3-pointers and also banked in a shot from the opposite 3-point line to close the third quarter, but the attempt came after the buzzer.
Spurs: Duncan has missed 20 games this season, including 10 for rest. San Antonio is 16-4 without Duncan, who turns 40 on April 25. … Duncan averaged 2.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 13.5 minutes in two games against Golden State this season. He missed the team’s initial meeting with a sore right knee. … San Antonio trailed for only 11:13 in 468 minutes played in the fourth quarter entering Sunday’s game.
Even though San Antonio dropped three of four to Golden State this season, there isn’t much concern from the Spurs.
“It’s a whole new ballgame in the playoffs,” West said. “Hopefully it will be another two months, month and a half before we see them again. Our job is just to keep improving and prepare ourselves now for a tough first-round matchup against whoever.”
AS VITAS WOULD SAY
Kerr claimed he forgot the Warriors had lost 33 straight in San Antonio until a reporter reminded him during his postgame interview. Either way, he had a funny remark ready.
“With apologies to (Vitas Gerulaitis), I’ll use his line,” Kerr said, paraphrasing the late tennis great. “Nobody, and I mean nobody, beats the Golden State Warriors 34 straight times. Nobody, you got that?”
Gerulaitis famously uttered a similar quote after snapping a 16-match skid to Jimmy Connors in 1980.
Aldridge dislocated his right pinkie finger Thursday at Golden State and was bothered by it at times Sunday. The injury occurred when Aldridge jammed the finger into the bottom of the backboard while attempting a layup against Bogut.
The finger was put back into place immediately after the injury, but Aldridge said “as you get a hit, it’s like doing it all over again.
“It was painful at times, but it wasn’t too much for me to handle,” Aldridge said. “I think I actually figured it out towards the end.
Aldridge finished 11 for 18 and made both his free throws in 33 minutes.
Warriors: Host Memphis on Wednesday night.
Spurs: At Oklahoma City on Tuesday night.