OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Steve Kerr and his do-everything superstar, Stephen Curry, expected Golden State to build on its championship run of last season.
This record, though? No way.
And 60 games over .500 at this stage? Yeah, right.
Curry knocked down six more 3-pointers to increase his record total on the way to 26 points, and Warriors beat the Washington Wizards 102-94 on Tuesday night to stay on track for the all-time wins record.
Klay Thompson followed back-to-back 40-point games with 16 as Golden State (67-7) stayed a game ahead of the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls’ pace during their 72-10 season. The Warriors matched their win total of last season and must go 6-2 over the final eight games to have the record all to themselves.
Kerr thought “maybe our record would get a little worse” as defending champs.
“I was under the same impression that our record might not be indicative of the progress we might have made over the course of the season. And not to get discouraged if we couldn’t match what we did last year knowing that the ultimate goal is to win a championship,” Curry said.
“As you go through the season and kind of get lost in the journey, we should be able to accomplish both: be a better team and better our record, which we’re on our way to doing. For us to be playing at such a high level for two straight years and have our eyes set on the ultimate goal, it’s fun.”
Draymond Green had 15 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists to just miss back-to-back triple-doubles in the Warriors’ 54th straight regular-season home win and 36th consecutive this season.
Bradley Beal scored 17 for the Wizards, who lost their fourth straight to Golden State.
Curry, who scored 51 points with a career-high and franchise record-tying 11 3s in the first meeting Feb. 3, shot 9 for 20 overall and 6 of 8 from long range. He added seven rebounds, seven assists and five steals.
Curry (356) and Thompson (255) already had the most combined 3-pointers by a pair of teammates in a season. Reigning MVP Curry, the first player in NBA history with 300 3s in a season, has eight games left to chase 400. Thompson is aiming to top Curry’s previous record of 286 3s.
Washington was content to keep pace on both ends with the Warriors and took advantage of Golden State’s sloppy execution on the offensive end. Curry missed an open layup after going around Marcin Gortat and Thompson was called for traveling driving to the basket soon after with his team down by nine.
But the Warriors finished the first half on a 12-0 run for a 49-46 lead at the break.
“Against a team like this that’s fighting for history, 12-0 at the end of a half when you’re up nine hurts,” Wizards coach Randy Wittman said.
Craig Sager worked the game for Turner Sports, his outlook as bright as his attire even after announcing last week his leukemia is no longer in remission.
“I think my demise has been prematurely reported,” Sager said. “I think I’m going to kick this and make medical history and I really believe that.”
The 64-year-old Sager is set to work Thursday in Houston, where he receives his chemotherapy treatments - eight days of chemo starting the final week of the regular season and into the first week of the playoffs.
Sager said there’s “no doubt about it” that he’ll work through the playoffs. He hopes to be assigned to San Antonio in the first round so he can go back and forth to Houston.
During shootaround, Golden State got a pep talk from 10-year-old motivational speaker Ezra Frech. He was born without a left knee or fibula and had his lower leg amputated at age 2. Quite a perimeter shooter, Frech also joined in practice.
“He’s an unbelievable kid,” Kerr said. “He’s actually a motivational speaker at 10. I didn’t know such a thing existed, but as soon as he started talking, I realized that this is no joke. This kid is amazing.”
A fifth-grader from Los Angeles and on spring break traveling with his father, Clayton, Frech hoped to see Curry.
“If he comes out here, I’ll challenge him,” Frech said with a smile, before quickly adding, “I’ll probably lose.”
Wizards: John Wall had his streak snapped of nine straight double-doubles - the longest such run among NBA guards this season. He had eight points and 11 assists. … Washington has lost 10 of 11 overall to the Warriors.
Warriors: Curry moved up the career 3-point list again. He passed Tim Hardaway (1,542) for 22nd and Eddie Jones (1,546) for 21st on the NBA’s career list. … Thompson hit his 76th 3 of the month in the third, besting Curry’s 75 3s last year for most ever in March.
Wizards: At Sacramento on Wednesday.
Warriors: At Utah on Wednesday.
Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.