DENVER (AP) — Klay Thompson scored 21 points and the Golden State Warriors tied the best start in NBA history, beating the Denver Nuggets 118-105 on Sunday night to move to 15-0.
Golden State matches the start of the 1948-49 Washington Capitols and the `93-94 Houston Rockets. The Warriors can break the record Tuesday at home against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Here’s more history: The Warriors surpassed the `57-58 Boston Celtics for the best start by a defending champion.
Thompson hit a 3-pointer with 2:08 remaining in the second quarter and Golden State never trailed again. The reserves built up a sizeable lead and allowed Stephen Curry to rest the entire fourth quarter. He had 19 points, the first time this season Curry didn’t reach 20.
Harrison Barnes scored seven of his 17 points in the third quarter to allow the Warriors to gain some separation. This was the way things went for the Warriors in the third: Festus Ezeli missed a wide-open dunk and it clanged straight to Curry, who drained a 3-pointer.
When the Warriors played in Denver last March, they rested Curry & Co. That didn’t sit well with fans who were expecting to see the sharp-shooting guard.
Resting wasn’t an option this time. Not so close to an NBA record.
“Whether or not we get it, it really doesn’t affect our ultimate goal of trying to win a championship,” said interim coach Luke Walton, who picked up a technical in the third quarter. “It would be something nice to get along the way.”
Warriors: Walton said head coach Steve Kerr (back surgery) is “doing better.” Said Walton: “He gets really sick of being asked that question. So I’ve stopped asking it.” … The Warriors were 15 of 29 from 3-point range.
Nuggets: Before the game, coach Michael Malone equated the Nuggets to being the “Washington Generals” – the usual opponent for the Harlem Globetrotters – because the television audience wants to see the Warriors and “nobody is here to see us. We’re OK with that. We’re playing against a great team.” … Joffrey Lauvergne (back) and Jusuf Nurkic (knee) didn’t play. … Nikola Jokic had 11 points and 11 rebounds.