OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Klay Thompson scored 40 points in consecutive games for the first time in his career, Draymond Green posted his franchise-best 12th triple-double and the Golden State Warriors beat the Philadelphia 76ers 117-105 on Sunday night.
Stephen Curry had 20 points and eight assists and Green contributed 13 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists as Golden State (66-7) stayed a game ahead of the pace set by the 1995-96 Bulls’ during their record 72-win season. Chicago was 65-8 through 73 games.
Backup big man Marreese Speights added 17 points and seven rebounds in the Warriors’ 53rd straight regular-season victory at Oracle Arena and 35th consecutive at home this season.
Carl Landry scored 22 points for the lowly Sixers, who lost their ninth in a row and 22nd in 23 while playing a back-to-back.
When coach Steve Kerr took the Golden State job before last season, he challenged Speights to extend his range by a foot. It was a slow process that didn’t happen during the championship run, but the 6-foot-10 center has done it this season all right.
The Splash Brothers set the example for a guy they’re considering giving “Splash Cousin” status.
Curry (350) and Thompson (253) have 603 combined 3s, the most by a pair of teammates in a season. Reigning NBA MVP Curry, already the first player in NBA history with 300 3s in a season, has nine games left to chase 400.
Thompson shot 15 for 27 and had his fourth 40-point game this season and eighth of his career, all coming at home. Speights hit his first six field-goal tries, including a pair of 3-pointers, and finished 7 for 10.
Ish Smith added 20 points on 9-for-14 shooting and 10 assists for the 76ers, who rallied from 24 points down and 19 in the fourth quarter before losing 108-105 to Golden State in the first meeting Jan. 30 on Harrison Barnes‘ game-winning 3 with .2 seconds left.
On Sunday, Curry started 1 for 6 and missed his initial four 3-point tries before connecting 4 minutes before halftime – running his NBA record to 143 straight games with at least one 3.
With 20 games remaining, Kerr challenged the Warriors to clean up the turnovers and take it up a notch defensively. The first task has been far better down the stretch, but Golden State’s coach is still calling for more on the defensive end.
After Friday’s win against Dallas, he called the defense “horrific.”
“We have been paying close attention to our defensive numbers the last 10 games,” Kerr said. “What we are really trying to reinforce with our players is the idea that come playoff time that we better be sharp and we have to start building those habits now in order to be sharp in the postseason.”
76ers: Coach Brett Brown is unsure whether F Richaun Holmes will return from a right Achilles tendon strain before season’s end after he re-injured it Saturday at Portland. “I worry. You don’t want to mess around with Achilles injuries,” Brown said. “You go overboard with your conservative approach.” Brown is not as concerned with F/C Nerlens Noel‘s status as he nurses a bone bruise on his right knee. He missed his third straight game. … The Sixers called up F Christian Wood from the Delaware 87ers and signed him to a 10-day contract. … Philadelphia hasn’t beaten Golden State since a 104-97 win on March 2, 2013.
Warriors: Speights hit his 20th and 21st 3s this season in the second, topping the 19 total he had his first seven seasons. … Shaun Livingston got a night off to rest. … If C Festus Ezeli does fine scrimmaging 2-on-2 and 3-on-3 in the coming days, he could return from left knee surgery later next week – but not in Tuesday’s or Wednesday’s games, Kerr said. G Andre Iguodala (sprained left ankle) is further behind. … Golden State swept the season series 2-0 for the third straight year. … The Warriors are 8-7 on Easter Sunday, including 5-1 at home. They hosted on Easter for the first time since 2004.