Reigning NBA champion Golden State bounced back from losing for only the fifth time this season for an emotional 115-112 road victory on Saturday over the Los Angeles Clippers.
Klay Thompson scored 32 points while Stephen Curry added 23 points and nine assists, and Draymond Green contributed 18 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists to lead the Warriors, who own the NBA’s best record at 49-5.
The Warriors are chasing the all-time best record in league history, the 72-10 mark of the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls.
A night after losing 137-105 at Portland, the worst blowout defeat by a defending champion in nearly a decade, the Warriors had 32 assists and only 14 turnovers. At Portland they had 20 turnovers, 13 in the third quarter alone.
“The electricity in this building got us up,” Thompson said. “We didn’t have 13 in one quarter. The 30 assists, that’s crazy. It’s a testament to how unselfish we are.”
The Warriors pulled their starters with a 16-point lead in the final minutes and the Clippers responded with a 13-0 run to pull within 115-112 with 5.1 seconds remaining.
A Golden State turnover on the inbounds pass gave C.J. Wilcox a shot at a tying 3-pointer, but he missed at the final buzzer.
“We got careless with the ball,” Thompson said. “We’ve got to learn from it, learn it’s a 48-minute game and no matter whoever is out there to never stop fighting.”
At Miami, Britain’s Luol Deng scored 27 points to lead the Miami Heat over Washington 114-94. Playing without top scorers Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade for the second consecutive game, the Heat never trailed after scoring 11 unanswered points for a 15-5 lead with 6:54 remaining in the first period.
Centre Hassan Whiteside returned from a one-game suspension and scored a career-high 25 points with 22 rebounds for Miami.
Carmelo Anthony scored 30 points and had 11 rebounds while Robin Lopez tied season highs with 26 points and 16 rebounds to spark the New York Knicks over host Minnesota 103-95. Arron Afflalo and Lance Thomas each scored 11 points for New York, which ended a seven-game losing streak.
Karl-Anthony Towns and guard Andrew Wiggins led the Timberwolves with 24 points while Ricky Rubio passed out 16 assists.
Jabari Parker scored a career-high 28 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lift the Milwaukee Bucks over host Atlanta 117-109 in double overtime.