LOS ANGELES: Stephen Curry scored 28 points as the unbeaten Golden State Warriors defeat the Memphis Grizzlies 100-84, equaling a 55-year-old franchise record for the best start to a season in history.
The Warriors victory took the reigning NBA Champions to 9-0, emulating the feat of the 1960-1961 side featuring the legendary Wilt Chamberlain when the franchise was based in Philadelphia.
It was another chastening night for the Grizzlies, who were run ragged by the Warriors last week during a 119-69 defeat.
Curry, who had been averaging more than 32 points per game prior to Wednesday’s clash, added to his season haul with another sparkling contribution, taking the game away from Memphis with a 17-point blitz in the third quarter.
The 27-year-old talisman said afterwards that the Warriors increasing maturity had allowed them to negate spoiling tactics used by Memphis throughout.
“I think we’ve grown up a lot in that area — it doesn’t matter if it’s an ugly game, an up-tempo game, high-scoring game or low-scoring,” Curry said.
“We always find a way to compose ourselves. We knew they were going to try and dirty up the game and make it a pain game and be physical. But we were able to overcome that.”
The Warriors now stand alone as the only unbeaten team in the NBA this year.
However they remain several wins away from the all-time record for the best start of 15-0, shared by the 1948-49 Washington Capitols and the 1993-94 Houston Rockets.
Interim head coach Luke Walton meanwhile played down talk of the Warriors possibly matching the all-time record for season victories of 72, set by Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in the 1995-1996 campaign.
“The season’s too long to be talking about 72 wins,” Walton said.
Andre Iguodala, the hero of last season’s NBA Finals victory, finished with 20 points off the bench for Golden State, while forward Harrison Barnes contributed 19 points.
Curry meanwhile had five rebounds, five assists and five steals in addition to his 28-point haul.
Elsewhere Wednesday, New York Knicks’s in-form forward Kristaps Porzingis was denied what would have been a dramatic winning three-pointer on the buzzer in a pulsating contest with the Charlotte Hornets.
Porzingis’s shot was initially ruled good before match officials reversed the call after determining that the clock had expired a fraction before the Latvian rookie released.
The decision meant the Hornets were able to hang on for a 95-93 victory, improving their record to 4-4 after a dismal 0-3 start to the season.
“That’s the way it goes in this league,” Knicks coach Derek Fisher said.
“One night the ball bounces your way and you get a favorable call, and the next night it goes the other way.”
The Dallas Mavericks meanwhile won their grudge match against the Los Angeles Clippers in DeAndre Jordan’s first match in Dallas since reneging on a summer free agent deal which would have seen him leave the Clippers for Texas.
Jordan, who was loudly booed and jeered all night, was restricted to just nine points in a 118-108 victory for the Mavericks.
German legend Dirk Nowitzki stole the show for the home side, pouring on 31 points.
The power forward made 11-of-14 shots from the field, including a banked three-pointer with 1:05 left to play which gave the Mavericks a 113-108 lead.
“We showed some character coming out here tonight and just fighting, fighting for this crowd,” Nowitzki said.
“Obviously, there was a lot of hype in the air, but we tried to stay cool and play our game,” Nowitzki added, referring to the Jordan saga.
“When we keep moving the ball, we’re tough to guard.”