LOS ANGELES: Klay Thompson rattled in a clutch three pointer with 1:40 left as the Golden State Warriors won their ninth straight with a 116-108 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
The Thunder made Golden State work for the victory as the Warriors led by 20 points at one stage then had to come-from-behind to erase a nine-point Oklahoma City lead.
Golden State improved to 46-4 and tie the 1966-67 Philadelphia 76ers for the best 50-game start in league history.
“This was a playoff-like atmosphere,” said Warriors Stephen Curry, who scored a team-high 26 points.
“The intensity, the adrenaline down the stretch that is what you expect in a playoff game.”
The mighty Warriors are off to a historic start which has not only basketball fans, but also football fans in the San Francisco area buzzing this weekend.
The only other hotter ticket in town than one of the 19,600 seats at Oracle arena is one for Sunday’s Super Bowl between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers.
“It is nice to play a great team like that in an atmosphere like this,” Curry said.
Guard Curry had a rare off night from beyond the arc, missing seven-of-eight three-pointers. He made 10-of-25 shots overall, dished out 10 assists and scored or assisted on his team’s final 11 points.
“He struggled but he still found a way, like all MVPs do, to take over at the end of the game and make sure we took care of business,” said assistant coach Luke Walton.
Thompson finished with 18 points on eight-of-15 shooting but was just one-of-six on three-pointers.
His lone three pointer was key however as it gave Golden State a 110-104 lead and it came just 19 seconds after Thunder star Kevin Durant missed a potential game-tying three pointer.
Durant led the Thunder with 40 points and point guard Russell Westbrook added 27. Westbrook also had 12 assists.
Before Thompson’s clutch three-pointer, Oklahoma City’s Enes Kanter tied the game at 104-104 with 3:25 but the Warriors finished with a 12-4 surge to earn their 41st straight home victory.
Forward Harrison Barnes added 19 points for Golden State while reserves Marreese Speights added 15 and Shaun Livingston had 10.
Spurs still unbeaten at home
Guard Tony Parker drained a pair of clutch baskets down the stretch and San Antonio turned up its defense in the last four minutes as the Spurs outlasted the Los Angeles Lakers 106-102 to remain unbeaten at home.
The Spurs survived a superb performance by Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, who is retiring after 20 seasons in the NBA.
Bryant scored 16 of his 25 points in the third period to allow the Lakers to claw their way back into the contest.
Bryant got off to another slow start, scoring just four points on two-of-10 shooting in the first 15 minutes.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 26 points for the Spurs, who improved to 28-0 at the AT&T Center this season, extending their record for the best home start ever by a Western Conference team.