The Golden State Warriors survived a mid-game scare and extended their record start to 22-0 with a 114-98 road win over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday.
The Warriors jumped out to a 17-point first-quarter lead but stepped off the gas in the middle two periods, allowing the Nets to go on a 12-0 run to end the half and eventually take a 62-61 lead midway through the third.
Then came The Stephen Curry Show.
The reigning MVP scored nine points in the final two minutes of the third quarter to give the Warriors a seven-point cushion heading into the fourth. Curry had 16 points in the third quarter alone and finished with 28 points, five rebounds and two assists.
The Warriors humorously highlighted Curry’s impressive swing, which positioned the Warriors for the victory:
Klay Thompson had 21 points and three rebounds, Draymond Green scored 22 points and was a rebound away from a double-double and Andrew Bogut (back) finished with zero points after missing Saturday’s game against the Toronto Raptors.
Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News indicated that even the Warriors bench players, who accounted for 40 points, were making an impact in Sunday’s win:
The Nets pushed the Warriors to overtime in November before Golden State ran away with 10 unanswered points in the extra period for a 107-99 win.
Michael Wilbon of ESPN took note of Brooklyn’s impressive performances against the defending champs:
Thaddeus Young led the Nets with 25 points and 14 rebounds, while Brook Lopez finished with 18 points and eight boards, and Jarrett Jack tallied 11 points and five assists. Shane Larkin scored 13 with six assists in 28 minutes off the bench.
Golden State leads the league with an average margin of victory of 14.9 points and is 75-0 in games in which the team has led by at least 15 points, per ESPN Stats & Info.
Darren Rovell of ESPN observed how remarkable the Warriors' season has been by comparing them to another dominant team, albeit one that doesn’t play in the NBA:
The Warriors entered Sunday’s game with two of their three most recent wins having come by just three points apiece, and the team has showed signs of vulnerability—particularly in light of its mid-game skid. But Golden State once again showed it will take a full 48 minutes, possibly more, for an opponent to take it down.
The Warriors will take their winning streak on the road for three more games against the Indiana Pacers, Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks before returning home Dec. 16 for a tilt against the Phoenix Suns.
By that point, given how they continue to find ways to win, a 25-0 record isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
Nets coach Lionel Hollins didn’t hold back in his conviction that his team should’ve won Sunday. He added that the prospect of knocking off an unbeaten certainly weighed on his mind, per Howard Megdal of USA Today.
"Yeah, I do think about it, because I thought we should have beaten them out there," Hollins said. "Of course you want to be a part of history, and upsetting somebody, and just shocking the world. That's what this business is all about. Going out there and making big noise."
But Andre Iguodala declared it would take much more to down the Warriors, who remain perfect more than a quarter of the way through the NBA season, per Ethan Strauss of ESPN.com:
Curry has been no stranger to posting eye-popping stats, but SportsCenter shared one he could set by season’s end that would transmogrify the NBA record book:
CBS Sports’ Ananth Pandian showed Curry celebrating on the sideline late in the game:
The Warriors will take their current streak on the road for three more games against the Indiana Pacers, Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks before returning home next Wednesday.
By that point, given how they continue to find ways to win, 25-0 isn’t out of the realm of possibility.