NEW YORK (AP) Stephen Curry scored 16 of his 28 points in the third quarter and the Golden State Warriors ran their NBA-record start to 22-0 by beating the Brooklyn Nets 114-98 on Sunday night.
Draymond Green added 22 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Klay Thompson scored 21 for the Warriors, who won their 26th in a row overall in the regular season, one behind the 2012-13 Miami Heat for the second-longest streak in NBA history.
Coming off consecutive 40-point games, Curry was having a relatively quiet and even puzzling night – he missed his first three free throws – before helping the Warriors regain control against a team that nearly beat them this season and looked capable of finishing the job this time.
But the NBA MVP put together one of his electrifying flurries to end that notion, and Golden State put it away in a hurry with a blistering start to the fourth.
The Warriors equaled another NBA record, tying the 1969-70 New York Knicks for the best road start at 12-0. They visit Indiana on Tuesday.
Lopez missed from point-blank range at the regulation buzzer on Nov. 14 and the Warriors beat the Nets in overtime at home. Coach Luke Walton said the Warriors let the Nets have too good a start in that one, when Brooklyn scored 36 points in the first quarter.
This time, Golden State bolted to a 9-0 lead and the only reason its 30-16 advantage after one wasn’t bigger was because the Warriors were just 5 for 14 at the free throw line – with Curry missing all three.
But with a season-best 38 points on 78 percent shooting in the second period, the Nets trimmed it to 57-54 at halftime, then opened a five-point lead late in the third.
Curry answered with 11 points and a lob for Festus Ezeli‘s slam in the final 2:10 of the period. Golden State led 87-80 before pouring it on in the fourth.
Warriors: C Andrew Bogut was back in the starting lineup after missing Saturday’s victory at Toronto with back spasms. … Walton said starting forward Harrison Barnes is improving from a sprained left ankle. “They said he looks better, he’s slowly getting better, and we’ll look forward to getting him back out there to help us win,” Walton said.
Nets: The team opened a six-game homestand, its longest since moving to Brooklyn in 2012. The Nets’ last longer one was seven games in February and March 2011. … Nets rookie Rondae Hollis-Jefferson missed the game with a sprained right ankle. Bojan Bogdanovic started in his place.
FROM THE CRIB TO THE COURT
Nets coach Lionel Hollins said he has known Luke Walton since he was a baby. Hollins was a former teammate of Bill Walton, Luke’s father, in Portland. “I love Lionel. He was the best,” Luke Walton said. “Him and his family used to come down and stay at my dad’s San Diego house and we’d hang out with his kids, and now it’s kind of fun to be coaching against him on the other side.”
Warriors: At Indiana on Tuesday.
Nets: Host Houston on Tuesday.