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Golden State Warriors, Stephen Curry get 44th straight home win

By Dave Del Grande, The Sports Xchange   |   March 4, 2016 at 7:20 AM
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OAKLAND, Calif. -- While the Golden State Warriors chase the all-time record for wins in an NBA season, they caught up with the legendary Chicago Bulls in another area.

Stephen Curry turned an offensive rebound into a three-point play to highlight a 10-point, fourth-quarter spurt as the Warriors outlasted the Oklahoma City Thunder 121-106 Thursday night to tie the Bulls' record for consecutive home wins.

The Warriors' second win over the Thunder in six days was their 44th in a row at Oracle Arena, allowing them to match the perfection achieved by the Bulls from March 30, 1995, to April 4, 1996.

Golden State, which is 26-0 at home this season, will attempt to break the tie when it hosts the Orlando Magic on Monday night.

"We take great pride in protecting our home floor," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of his team, which hasn't lost at home in the regular season since Jan. 31, 2015. "Incredible streak.

"There were probably a couple of games in there that we should have lost, so it does take luck. But it does mean a lot to dominate the home floor like we have the last two years."

The win also capped a three-game, season-series sweep for the Warriors (55-5) over the Thunder (42-20). Those games included a 121-118 Golden State win in overtime at Oklahoma City on Saturday.

"They have a good team," said Warriors veteran Shaun Livingston, who scored 11 points, one of two Golden State reserves to finish in double figures. "But I think we have a deeper team."

As was the case last week, the Thunder held a fourth-quarter lead before the Warriors rallied.

After trailing by as many as nine in the third quarter and down 83-82 entering the final period, Golden State took the lead for good on Livingston's two free throws in the first minute of the final quarter.

The advantage grew to eight, but it was just 99-97 before Draymond Green scored from the interior with 5:47 left, triggering the game-breaking, 10-0 run.

Curry's key play came after backcourt mate Klay Thompson had misfired on a 3-point attempt.

The NBA's reigning Most Valuable Player grabbed the rebound, then circled back to the top of the key before changing directions and using an Andrew Bogut screen to get to the rim for a layup on which he was fouled by the Thunder's Andre Roberson.

His successful free throw completed the three-point play, pushing the Golden State lead to 106-97 and setting the stage for a runaway finish.

"I was pretty rusty, but obviously confidence stays," said Curry, who missed the Warriors' overtime win over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday with a strained left ankle. "The teammates I was talking to on the bench told me to keep shooting, knock the cobwebs off from the injury and just keep firing away, and thankfully I made a couple down the stretch."

Going over 30 points for a fifth consecutive game, Curry finished with a game-high 33 for the Warriors, who have won seven in a row and now own the best record in NBA history through 60 games. Almost half of his points came on five 3-pointers, although it took him 15 attempts to get them.

Thompson added 21 points on 10-for-19 shooting, and Green contributed 14 points, eight rebounds and seven assists to Golden State's fifth consecutive home win over the Thunder.

Harrison Barnes (14 points) and backup center Marreese Speights (10) made it six players in double figures for the Warriors, who shot 54 percent from the field.

Livingston also recorded season highs in assists (eight) and steals (three) in 21 minutes.

"That's the motto that we set since I've been here. It's, 'Protect your home court,'" Livingston said. "We want home-court advantage in the playoffs. That's one of the goals. I think we've done a good job so far."

Kevin Durant had 32 points and Russell Westbrook 22 for the Thunder, but each had more than his usual fair share of problems.

Durant came within one assist of a triple-double, complementing his team-high scoring total with 10 rebounds and nine assists. However, his triple-double almost included turnovers; he had nine of those as well.

"I'm not happy about how we're playing," Durant said. "This is when you see what you're made of. I'm looking forward to the rest of the journey."

Westbrook, meanwhile, hit only eight of his 24 shots, including one of eight from 3-point range. The Thunder made only four of its 20 3-point attempts and were outscored 33-12 from beyond the arc.

"The thing we talk about is becoming more and more consistent," Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. "I felt like we were more consistent tonight than we were (Wednesday against the Los Angeles Clippers). We just have to get it to a point where it is for 48 minutes."

Serge Ibaka added 20 points for the Thunder, which was playing its second game in two nights.

The loss was the sixth in its past eight games for Oklahoma City, which blew a 22-point lead Wednesday against the Clippers.

The Warriors trailed 80-71 with 4:53 remaining in the third quarter before beginning a comeback by holding the Thunder to three points the rest of the period to get within 83-82.

In fact, Oklahoma City scored only 26 points in the final 16:53 of the game, missing 18 of its final 27 shots.

NOTES: The Warriors' season-series sweep of Oklahoma City was their first in franchise history, dating back to 1967, when the Thunder was known as the Seattle SuperSonics. ... Warriors PG Stephen Curry on Thursday was selected the NBA Western Conference Player of the Month. He averaged 36.7 points in February while leading Golden State to nine wins in 10 games. The monthly award was the fifth of Curry's career. ... The last Warrior to average at least 36 points a game for a full calendar month was SF Rick Barry (39.7) in February 1967. ... Asked before the game to assess the amount of pressure his team was facing in its effort to extend its home-court winning streak, Warriors coach Steve Kerr blurted, "Zero. And I mean that." ... The Thunder fell to 0-5 against last season's NBA finalists -- Golden State and Cleveland -- including 0-4 since Feb. 6.

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