OAKLAND, Calif. — Stephen Curry scored 39 points and the Golden State Warriors bounced back from their first regular-season home loss in more than 14 months by beating the Portland Trail Blazers 136-111 on Sunday night to tie the mark for the second-most wins in a season.
Draymond Green added 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his 13th triple-double, and Klay Thompson scored 21 for the Warriors, who matched the 1996-97 Chicago Bulls and 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers with 69 wins. Golden State needs to win four of its final five games to break the record of 72 victories set by Chicago in 1995-96.
That chase was dealt a setback Friday when Boston snapped Golden State’s record 54-game regular-season home winning streak. But after falling behind by 11 points early, the Warriors found their groove and improved to 8-0 following losses this season. No team has ever gone an entire season without losing back-to-back games.
Damian Lillard scored 38 points to lead the Trail Blazers, who had their four-game winning streak snapped. Portland remained a half-game behind fifth-place Memphis in the Western Conference standings.
The game featured an old-fashioned duel between two of the league’s best scorers in Curry and Lillard. During one stretch of 2:17 in the third quarter, Curry scored on five straight trips down the floor, making four of his nine 3-pointers in the span. Not to be outdone, Lillard also scored five baskets during the run, including a pair of 3-pointers.
But Curry had much more help from his teammates with Green scoring 11 points in the quarter and Leandro Barbosa hitting two late shots to give Golden State a 101-89 lead after three. Portland never threatened in the fourth.
The Blazers hit 14 of their first 19 shots to build an 11-point lead in the first quarter before the Warriors battled back. Curry hit a 3-pointer late in the second quarter to make the Golden State with 1,000 made 3s in a season. The Warriors led 63-56 at the break.
Trail Blazers: After the hot shooting start, the Blazers went 6 for 27 (22 percent) for the rest of the first half.
Warriors: Curry has a record 378 3-pointers this season and is on pace to top 400 if he plays the final five games. ... F Andre Iguodala (left ankle) played three-on-three Saturday and is getting close to returning.
Warriors C Festus Ezeli returned after missing 31 games with a left knee injury. He got the start with Andrew Bogut out with a rib injury and scored his only basket on an early lob pass from Green. Coach Steve Kerr said before the game that it’s important for Ezeli to get some playing time before the playoffs.
“I’ve always felt that it’s tougher for big guys to come back from injury than little guys.” Kerr said. “The speed of the game just tends to be a little bit too much the first few games back for the big guys.”
Scottie Pippen recently said his 1995-96 Bulls would sweep a best-of-seven series against these Warriors. Kerr, who played on that Chicago team with Pippen, wasn’t bothered by the comment and says he has a hard time even discussing the hypothetical matchup because he doesn’t know which side he’d be on.
“If the two teams played each other, there’s no question we could beat us and they could beat them,” Kerr said.
Trail Blazers: Visit Sacramento on Tuesday.
Warriors: Host Minnesota on Tuesday.