Sweet 16 beckons stellar warriors

Stephen Curry (No. 30) of Golden State shoots against Denver’s Emmanuel Mudiay on Sunday. The winning streak, said Curry, is “a real conversation” for his team.
Stephen Curry (No. 30) of Golden State shoots against Denver’s Emmanuel Mudiay on Sunday. The winning streak, said Curry, is “a real conversation” for his team.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Gary Harris (foreground) of the Denver Nuggets drives against Klay Thompson of Golden State. The Warriors won 118-105 to extend their streak to 15.
Gary Harris (foreground) of the Denver Nuggets drives against Klay Thompson of Golden State. The Warriors won 118-105 to extend their streak to 15.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Lakers the last remaining hurdle as Golden State need just one win to seal longest NBA victory streak

DENVER (United States) • The Golden State Warriors have embraced their run at history. Now they have a chance to stand alone in the National Basketball Association record books.

Guard Klay Thompson scored 21 points, guard Stephen Curry had 19 points and seven assists, and Golden State won their 15th straight game to match the best start in league history with a 118-105 win over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday.

"It's a huge accomplishment coming off a championship and taking care of business 15 straight times to start the season," Curry said. "You couldn't ask for a better start, obviously."

The Warriors are the third NBA team to start the season 15-0 and the first defending champions to do so.

The 1948-49 Washington Capitals and the 1993-94 Houston Rockets also began with 15 straight wins. The Rockets went on to win their first of two consecutive NBA titles that season.

The Warriors' wins have run the gamut - from a 119-69 blowout of the Memphis Grizzlies on Nov 2 to a rally from a 23-point first-half deficit to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 124-117 on Thursday.

Sunday's win was their 10th double-digit victory of the season, despite the fact that Curry, who came into the contest averaging 33.6 points per game, delivered fewer than 20 points for the first time this season.

Curry - who took a season-low 16 shots - finished with 19 points - 10 of them in a decisive third quarter in which the Warriors stretched their lead to 91-79. They led by as many as 21 in the fourth.

The Warriors have not avoided talking about their record-setting start, choosing to acknowledge it often as the wins piled up.

"Maybe two games ago it became a real conversation in the locker room," Curry said. "Now that we're at 15 let's get 16."

Golden State will go for the record at home today against the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Warriors are on the cusp of history without head coach Steve Kerr, who is recovering from two off-season back surgeries. Interim coach Luke Walton has kept in constant communication with Kerr and credits Kerr's system for the success, as do the players.

"All we're doing is following his leadership," Walton said. "I'm just glad to not be letting my boss Steve down."

Forward Darrell Arthur, who started because forward Kenneth Faried was out with a sprained left ankle, led Denver with a season-high 21 points.

Forward Danilo Gallinari and guard Will Barton had 19 points each and guard Emmanuel Mudiay had 17 points and eight assists for the Nuggets (6-8).

"Darrell was terrific," Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. "He comes out 9-of-12, 21 points, eight rebounds. Darrell stepped up and had a heck of a game."

The Nuggets wanted to be the team to stop the streak but could not keep up with the reigning champions.

"Personally, I cared a lot," Mudiay said. "I wanted to stop the streak just because I hate records being set on me or any of my team-mates."

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 24, 2015, with the headline 'Sweet 16 beckons stellar warriors'. Print Edition | Subscribe