Warriors show character in blazing past rivals

OAKLAND (California) • The Golden State Warriors play so well after they lose, it makes one wonder why they do not do it more often.

Actually, that is exactly why they do not lose more often.

The Warriors remained unbeaten in National Basketball Association (NBA) games following defeats, riding on Stephen Curry's game-high 39 points to a 136-111 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday.

Playing for the first time since having their 54-game, home- court winning streak ended by the Boston Celtics last Friday, the Warriors (69-8) kept their record perfect in games following losses with an eighth straight win.

Sunday's 25-point triumph increased the average winning margin in those eight victories to 15 points.

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    The Warriors need four more victories to break the NBA regular-season win-loss record of 72-10 set by the Chicago Bulls in 1995-96.

"It's really a true test of this team's character," Draymond Green said of his team's ability to bounce back from defeat.

"We take a loss, kind of get frustrated, mad, and then we'll lock back in, which you have to do now and then."

No team have ever finished a season without at least one set of consecutive losses.

"We take pride in not having lost two in a row," Curry said.

"It hurt to lose the last game and see that streak end, so we wanted to come back and take advantage of the opportunity we had tonight."

The win shrank the Warriors' magic number for clinching the top seed in the Western Conference play-offs to two. They moved 41/2 games ahead of the idle San Antonio Spurs (64-12).

Curry connected on nine of the Warriors' 18 three-pointers as the team ran their season total to 1,013. Golden State became the first NBA team to go over 1,000 in a single season.

Curry, who made 13 of 21 shots in all, nine of 13 three-point attempts and found time for six rebounds and seven assists, had his hands full in an entertaining point guard showdown with Portland's Damian Lillard, who poured in 38 points.

"It was quite a show," said Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who could afford to enjoy it because his team led for the final 26 minutes of the game. "Both guys had it going."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 05, 2016, with the headline 'Warriors show character in blazing past rivals'. Print Edition | Subscribe