By Rusty Simmons Updated 6:35 am, Tuesday, March 8, 2016
The Warriors’ stinker Sunday in Los Angeles appears to have been an aberration, which should be wholly expected since they got to play their bounce-back game at Oracle Arena.
They were back to the unselfish, three-point-slinging group that joyously celebrates victories — this one a 119-113 win over Orlando on Monday that set the mark for the NBA’s longest home winning streak.
The Warriors (56-6) won their 45th straight home game during the regular season, having finished the 2014-15 regular season with 18 straight wins at home and winning 27 in a row at Oracle Arena to start this season. They passed the Chicago Bulls, who won 44 in a row from March 30, 1995, to April 4, 1996.
“It’s been a remarkable job by our players over the past two years,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said. “The consistency and the effort that it takes to do that is pretty amazing. There are so many games when the ball can bounce the other way, and we’ve definitely had some of those during the streak.
“But we keep putting ourselves in position to win games and dominate our home floor, and I’m very proud of the guys for that.”
The record-setter didn’t come without drama. The Warriors led by nine points with 2:41 remaining, but Orlando surged back to trim its deficit to 111-109 with 1:13 on the clock. Klay Thompson made a corner three-pointer for a 114-109 lead at the 52.5-seconds mark.
Stephen Curry swiped a pass and raced the length of the court for a left-handed layup that put the Warriors ahead 116-109 with 44.3 seconds left. After two free throws from Evan Fournier, Curry clinched his league-leading 12th 40-point game and the Warriors’ victory with a pair of free throws that also clinched the victory. He finished with 41 points.
The Warriors moved to 15-1 in the second game of back-to-back sets, showing the resilience that has become part of the team’s identity. They have now gone 62 games without consecutive losses, bouncing back from the 112-95 embarrassment to the Lakers to close in on the league’s best-ever runs: The 1984-85 Boston Celtics played 74 games without consecutive losses, and this season’s San Antonio Spurs are 63 games into a spurt without consecutive losses.
A night after Curry and Thompson combined to go 1-of-18 from three-point range, they combined for 68 points on 12-of-24 three-point shooting. Having already smashed his single-season record for three-pointers, Curry became the first player in NBA history to make 300 in a season.
“It’s surprising if they go into a stretch of more than a couple of games where they don’t shoot well,” Kerr said. “They’re too good and too confident. This didn’t surprise me.”
Brandon Rush had 11 points filling in for Andre Iguodala, who missed his third game in the past four with left hamstring tightness. After missing the shootaround with an illness, Draymond Green had nine rebounds and 10 assists. Andrew Bogut had 10 rebounds, six assists, three steals and two blocked shots, and the Warriors outscored the Magic by 18 points during his 22½ minutes.
The Magic (27-35), whose 102-84 loss to Phoenix on Friday snapped the Suns’ 17-game road losing streak, got a well-rounded effort but rarely challenged the Warriors until near the end. Golden State was ahead for the game’s final 42½ minutes, held a lead as large as 19 points and was up by double digits for much of the second half.
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