WASHINGTON: The Golden State Warriors stretched their sensational season-opening NBA winning streak to 24 games on Friday (Saturday in Manila) with a hard-fought 124-119 double-overtime victory over the Celtics in Boston.
NBA scoring leader Stephen Curry drained two free throws with 13.4 seconds left in the second overtime, and Warriors swingman Andre Iguodala added two more foul shots with 5.4 seconds remaining as Golden State held off the tenacious Celtics.
The reigning champion Warriors notched their 28th straight win in a streak stretching back to last season.
Their 27th straight win had already tied for the second-longest streak ever, and now they trail only the 33 in a row won by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers.
But it was a close-run thing for a Warriors team missing injured starters Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes.
They trailed by five points with 2:07 left in regulation and Boston had two chances to wrap it up in the waning seconds of regular time.
It was tied 103-103 with 2.9 seconds remaining when Warriors guard Shaun Livingston blocked a shot by Boston’s Isaiah Thomas.
After Golden State’s attempt to score on an inbounds play failed, the Celtics had the ball with 0.7 seconds to play, but Kelly Olynyk’s jumper wouldn’t fall.
“It hurts. We were there the whole time,” said Olynyk, who came off the bench to score a season-high 28 points.
In a contest that was close throughout, the Warriors appeared to be taking control when they stretched their lead to 11 points in the third quarter.
But it didn’t last long, as Curry struggled through his worst-shooting night of the season.
Curry, who went into the contest leading the league with an average of 32.2 points per game, made just nine of 27 shots from the floor.
Fiercely defended by the Celtics, he made eight turnovers and his two free throws were his only points of the second overtime.
“Nothing was pretty about this game,” said Curry, who did make six of 13 three-point attempts and all 14 of his foul shots en route to 38 points.
“But we got stops, everybody contributed . . . considering all the injuries we had and this being the end of the road trip—huge win for us.”
Draymond Green contributed 24 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists and a season-high five blocks for the Warriors.
Iguodala scored nine of his 13 points in the two overtimes.
“We continue to fight,” Green said. “We believe in ourselves. We believe in each other and we trust each other. So, nothing new. The same old same old, which has made us who we are.”
The Warriors close out a seven-game road trip at the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday. They are trying to become the first NBA team to go 7-0 on a single road swing.
The drama in Boston dominated a day that also saw venerable veterans Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan clash in San Antonio, where Duncan’s Spurs defeated Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers 109-87.
Pacers bounce back
The Indiana Pacers, hammered by the Warriors on Tuesday, bounced back with a 96-83 victory over the Miami Heat.
Pacers guard Monta Ellis scored 24 points with six assists and six steals and forward Paul George added 23 points — surpassing the 5,000-point mark for his career.
Heat star Dwyane Wade scored 20 points and passed Gail Goodrich for 48th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
There was a milestone for Minnesota veteran Kevin Garnett as well. He pulled down four defensive rebounds in the Timberwolves’ 111-108 loss at Denver, passing Hall of Famer Karl Malone for the most in league history with 11,409.