Golden State Warriors 15-0 and on the cusp of NBA history

Defending champions beat Denver Nuggets 118-105 to match best ever start to a season

Stephen Curry scored 19 points and made seven assists as Golden State Warriors beat the Denver Nuggets to go 15-0. Phogoraph: Getty

Stephen Curry scored 19 points and made seven assists as Golden State Warriors beat the Denver Nuggets to go 15-0. Phogoraph: Getty

 

Golden State guard Klay Thompson scored 21 points, Stephen Curry had 19 and seven assists, and the Warriors won their 15th straight to match the best start in league history with a 118-105 win over the Denver Nuggets.

The Warriors are the third NBA team to start the season 15-0 and the first defending champions to do so. The 1948-49 Washington Capitals and the 1993-94 Houston Rockets also began with 15 straight wins. The Rockets went on to win their first of two consecutive NBA titles that season.

“It’s a huge accomplishment coming off a championship and taking care of business 15 straight times to start the season,” Curry said. “You couldn’t ask for a better start, obviously.”

The Warriors have not avoided talking about their record-setting start, choosing to acknowledge it often as the wins piled up.

“Maybe two games ago it became a real conversation in the locker room,” Curry said. “Now that we’re at 15 let’s get 16.”

Golden State will go for the record at home on Tuesday against the Lakers.

The Warriors are on the cusp of history without head coach Steve Kerr, who is recovering from two offseason back surgeries. Interim coach Luke Walton has kept in constant communication with Kerr and credits his system for the success.

Second Captains

“All we’re doing is following his leadership,” Walton said. “I’m just glad to not be letting my boss Steve down.”

Darrell Arthur, who started because forward Kenneth Faried was out with a sprained left ankle, led Denver with a season-high 21 points. Danilo Gallinari and Will Barton had 19 points each and Emmanuel Mudiay had 17 and eight assists for the Nuggets (6-8).

“Darrell was terrific,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “He comes out 9-of-12, 21 points, eight rebounds. Darrell stepped up and had a heck of a game.”

The Nuggets wanted to be the team to stop the streak but could not keep up with the reigning champions.

“Personally, I cared a lot,” Mudiay said. “I wanted to stop the streak just because I hate records being set on me or any of my team mates.”

Curry took just 16 shots for his season low in points, but the Warriors did not need the MVP to hand the Nuggets their third straight loss. He scored nine points in the third quarter when the Warriors extended their halftime lead to 91-79.

Golden State built on the lead with the starters on the bench at the start of the fourth.

Andre Iguodala and Leandro Barbosa hit jumpers to make it a 16-point game.

After Mudiay and Barton brought Denver within 11, reserve guard Ian Clark converted two running layups to make it 99-84 with 9:09 left and the Warriors’ bench erupted in celebration.

“You love to see everybody contribute to the game,” Curry said. “When Ian got in there he tried to make some plays. Two straight layups opened the game up.”

The Warriors led by as many as 21 in the fourth quarter.

Walton said he was glad to limit Curry’s minutes. He played just 28, one more than his fewest this season, and he got some valuable rest.

“He looked tired out there,” Walton said. “It’s hard to play in Denver. A lot of our guys looked tired. We have a great bench and it’s a perfect chance to get them extra minutes.”

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