LOS ANGELES: Stephen Curry endured his worst shooting night of the young season, but his Golden State Warriors still notched their eighth straight win on Monday (Tuesday in Manila —109-95 over the Detroit Pistons.
The reigning NBA champions are the league’s only remaining unbeaten team, their 8-0 record just one shy of the club’s best start—a 9-0 run to open the 1960-61 campaign when the Warriors were based in Philadelphia.
Curry connected on just seven of 18 shots finishing with 22 points—12 short of his season average.
The Warriors held a slim 80-76 lead when reserve forward Andre Iguodala sparked a Golden State spurt with a dunk.
Backup guard Leandro Barbosa and forward Harrison Barnes combined for 12 points in the 18-6 scoring run that saw the Warriors pull away.
The Warriors were buoyed by the return of Australian big man Andrew Bogut, playing his first game since suffering a concussion in the season opener on October 27.
Bogut scored eight points and pulled down 11 rebounds, combining with center Festus Ezeli to harry and hinder Pistons center Andre Drummond all night.
“You have to give up stats for yourself,” Bogut said of sharing the task of defending Drummond, who was held to 14 points and 15 rebounds a night after scoring 29 with 27 rebounds against Portland.
The Warriors will try to improve to 9-0 on Wednesday when they visit the Memphis Grizzlies, who were edged 94-92 by the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday.
Forward Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 24 points and 12 rebounds. J.J. Redick had 16 points as Los Angeles held on in a frantic finish to end a two-game skid.
Point guard Chris Paul returned after missing Saturday’s loss to the Houston Rockets with a sore right groin, and he scored 14 points.
A three-pointer by former Clippers forward Matt Barnes and a follow of a Barnes miss by Memphis point guard Mike Conley gave the Grizzlies a brief 81-80 lead with 4:11 left to play.
It was the first of a string of lead changes, with Griffin’s basket lifting the Clippers to a one-point lead less than a minute later.
Memphis had gone up by two when Redick’s three-pointer put the Clippers up again 87-86 with 55 seconds left.
Conley missed a three-pointer and Redick was fouled on a three-point attempt—making all three free throws to stretch the Los Angeles lead to 90-86.
Paul fouled Barnes on a three-pointer on the next possession and Barnes made all three free throws to again pull Memphis within a point with eight seconds left.
That was as close as the Grizzlies would get as the teams traded fouls and free-throws until the buzzer.
Emmanuel Mudiay, Denver’s 19-year-old rookie from the Democratic Republic of Congo, scored a season-high 18 points and produced two key blocks in the final minutes to help the Nuggets hang on for a 108-104 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.
“Emmanuel Mudiay, I think he grew up tonight,” Denver coach Michael Malone said of Mudiay, who opted to hone his skills in China rather than a US college before entering the NBA this season. “It hasn’t been easy for him. I’ve been on him, but tonight I thought his growth in the fourth quarter of a close game, making the big plays that he made, having two big blocks (was impressive).”
Wiggins helps Wolves hang on
Canadian guard Andrew Wiggins scored 33 points, including eight in finishing stretch, as the Minnesota Timberwolves turned back an Atlanta rally for a 117-107 victory over the Hawks.
The Timberwolves were on the ropes after squandering a 34-point lead.
Atlanta took a 107-106 lead on a basket by forward Paul Millsap but Wiggins—last season’s rookie of the year—converted a three-point play with three minutes remaining and Minnesota pulled away from there.