As the Golden State Warriors continue to pile up wins, they’re beginning to lose healthy bodies.
It’s uncertain whether Klay Thompson will play as the unbeaten Warriors attempt to reach another milestone Friday night against the Boston Celtics.
Golden State (23-0) matched the 2012-13 Miami Heat for the second-longest streak in NBA history with a 27th consecutive regular-season victory on Tuesday. Its 131-123 win at Indiana may have come with a cost, however, after Thompson rolled his right ankle in the latter stages.
The injury isn’t believed to be serious, but the Warriors could still hold Thompson out with the team playing consecutive nights. Golden State concludes a seven-game trip Saturday in Milwaukee.
Golden State has already withstood Harrison Barnes‘ six-game absence due to an ankle injury that will sideline him at least another week.
“One of the great things about this team is our guys are confident all the way down the line,” interim coach Luke Walton said. “We’ve seen that consistently with Brandon (Rush) and Ian (Clark) filling in for Harrison.”
Thompson would be tougher to replace, however, especially with the 2015 All-Star coming off a season-high 39 points on Tuesday. He’s shot 51.9 percent on 3-pointers, highlighted by a 10-for-16 effort against the Pacers, while averaging 25.4 points over his last five games.
“It was one of those nights where I got a lot of great looks,” Thompson said. “Going in I felt great. ‘I felt like I was due for a game like that.”
Backup guard Leandro Barbosa also is questionable with an illness that kept him out against Indiana, potentially leaving the Warriors further short-handed against a Celtics team that’s won four of five and may be able to match the defending NBA champs’ offensive prowess.
Boston (13-9) has averaged 108.0 points during the five-game surge and had eight players finish in double figures in Wednesday’s 105-100 win over Chicago. Among them was former Warrior David Lee, who tallied 12 points and six rebounds in 18 minutes after missing the previous two games with a bruised right heel.
Lee, traded by Golden State to the Celtics in July to clear salary cap space, averaged 16.7 points and 9.3 rebounds in five seasons with the Warriors.
Isaiah Thomas scored all 20 of his points in the second half in Boston’s fourth straight home win. The explosive point guard is one of four Celtics, along with Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder and Kelly Olynyk, averaging at least 14.8 points and shooting over 43 percent from 3-point range over the past four.
“Just knowing any given night you don’t know who’s going to be that guy, that’s the strength of this team,” Thomas said. “You can’t just focus in on one guy because we’ve got so many other guys who can put the ball in the basket and make plays.”
That depth has the Celtics believing they can match up with Golden State, which can extend the best road start in NBA history with a 14th consecutive win.
“They’re in the same league as us,” said center Jared Sullinger, who’s grabbed 36 rebounds during Boston’s two-game win streak. “They get paid on the first and 15th just like us.”
Golden State has won four straight in the series, with Thompson finishing with 31 points in a 114-111 home victory Jan. 25 and Stephen Curry scoring 37 in a 106-101 win at Boston on March 1.