Warriors near Bulls' mark with 50 straight home wins

Stephen Curry (centre) goes up for a shot against Evan Fournier (left) and C.J. Watson, on March 7, 2016.
Stephen Curry (centre) goes up for a shot against Evan Fournier (left) and C.J. Watson, on March 7, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

SAN FRANCISCO • Stephen Curry scored 34 points to power the Golden State Warriors to a record 50th consecutive home victory in the National Basketball Association league on Wednesday, while the Cleveland Cavaliers showed they could win without LeBron James.

Curry hit 12 of 20 from the floor, including 8 of 13 from beyond the three-point arc, as the Warriors beat the New York Knicks 121-85, improving to 32-0 at home this season with a 50-game overall home win streak.

At an NBA-best 61-6, the Warriors have a solid chance of beating the season-best mark of 72-10 set by the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls.

Curry opened the game 6 of 8 from the floor and 4 of 6 in three-pointers as the Warriors took a 31-19 lead on the way to a rout.

Meanwhile, Kyrie Irving scored 33 points and came up with a key steal in the final seconds to preserve hosts Cleveland's 99-98 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.

The Cavaliers were without four-time NBA Most Valuable Player James, who was given the night off to rest, but the team improved to 4-12 over the past two seasons when playing without James.

Irving threw the ball away when the Mavericks double-teamed him with 16 seconds remaining as the Cavaliers clung to a 97-95 lead.

"I was really (mad) at the turnover. It was stuck in my head but I tried not to show it," he said.

He regained possession when he hooked Dirk Nowitzki and wiggled in front of him for a steal. Nowitzki was forced to foul, and Irving converted both free throws.

"Dirk was trying to post up," Irving said. "I kind of knew he wanted it on that left shoulder and I just tried to force him that way."

Nowitzki said: "Kyrie magically appeared with the ball. That's really all that happened."

Dallas' Deron Williams banked in a three-pointer at the buzzer, but that only trimmed the final Cleveland victory margin.

Kevin Love had 23 points and 18 rebounds for the Cavaliers and Channing Frye scored 14 points off the bench to give the team (48-19) their first victory this season without James, having been twice before blown out without him.

"We know we have to pick up the slack when 'Bron is out," Love said. "It's a learning experience for us. It's a chance for us to grow.

"I think that teams look at when 'Bron is out and think, 'This is a game we can grab' or 'We hit them in the head and they'll lay down.' Tonight we didn't do that. We came out aggressive and knew that we could take advantage of some mismatches."

Nowitzki scored 20 points for Dallas, who never led as the Mavericks (34-34) lost for the sixth time in seven games.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 18, 2016, with the headline 'Warriors near Bulls' mark with 50 straight home wins'. Print Edition | Subscribe