PHOENIX (AP) — The Golden State Warriors rained 3s in the desert and pushed their NBA-record start to 17-0.
Stephen Curry scored 41 points in three quarters and the Warriors made a franchise-record 22 3-pointers (in 38 attempts) during their highest-scoring game of the season, a 135-116 rout of the Phoenix Suns on Friday night.
Golden State fell one shy of the NBA record for 3s set by Orlando on March 9, 2009, and matched by Houston, against the Warriors, on Feb. 5, 2013. The offensive deluge came three days after Golden State set the league record at 16-0 by beating the Los Angeles Lakers.
“We have an edge,” Curry said. “We love the feeling of winning and our confidence is high right now. That’s the only thing that motivates us.”
The 3-point record could well have fallen had Curry not sat out the fourth quarter. The reigning NBA MVP made a season-high nine of his 16 tries from long range in his 14th career 40-point game, five this season.
Draymond Green had 14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in his third career triple-double, two this season.
The Warriors set another NBA mark by making 15 3-pointers (in 20 attempts) in the first half. Leandro Barbosa added 21 points on 8-of-9 shooting, including 5 for 5 on 3s.
“Yeah, they’re a tough team to guard,” Phoenix’s Markieff Morris said. “They shoot 3s like layups.”
T.J. Warren scored a career-high 28 points for the Suns in their third straight loss and fourth in five games.
“I know we shoot a lot of 3s,” Golden State interim coach Luke Walton said. “They start blending together after a while. But that’s the type of game it turned into. We would like to still get the ball inside and move it side to side.”
Golden State jumped out to a 20-point lead in the first quarter and the Suns never got it to single digits again. Phoenix coach Jeff Hornacek lamented a lack of defense.
“A team like that, who is undefeated world champs, you’ve got to make things tough for them,” Hornacek said. “We didn’t do that. Their shots were pretty much wide open.”
Hornacek admired the ball movement of the Warriors.
“You see several times when there is a missed shot,” he said, “they get an offensive rebound, that ball is not in the offensive rebounder’s hands more than a half a second and then they find Curry somewhere.”
In the first half, Curry went 7 of 9 on 3s and scored 27 points. Golden State had a 75-57 lead at the break after matching its highest-scoring half in a so-far perfect season.
Curry and the rest of the Warriors came out firing, scoring the game’s first eight points, capped by the first of Curry’s flurry of 3s. The Warriors kept hitting from long range and the last of Curry’s five first-quarter 3s put Golden State up 39-19. The Warriors led 44-27 after their highest-scoring first quarter since March 25, 2011.
Seven players made at least one 3-pointer for the Warriors. In the first half, Golden State shot 66 percent overall but was even better from 3-point range at 75 percent. The Warriors made 15 of 20 3s in the first half.
The Suns lost starting center Tyson Chandler, Phoenix’s major offseason signee, with a strained right hamstring in the first quarter. Golden State starting forward Harrison Barnes left in the third quarter with a sprained left ankle. X-rays were negative, Walton said, but it wasn’t known how long Barnes might be out.