Warriors put away Nets with blistering start to 4th quarter, move to 22-0
NEW YORK — Golden State’s first game against the Nets went down to the wire, and the rematch seemed headed the same way.
With one of his electrifying flurries, Stephen Curry changed things in a hurry.
Curry scored 16 of his 28 points in the third quarter and the Warriors ran their NBA-record start to 22-0 by beating Brooklyn 114-98 on Sunday night.
Coming off consecutive 40-point games, Curry was having a relatively quiet and even puzzling night — he missed his first three free throws — before helping the Warriors regain control against a team that nearly beat them this season and looked capable of finishing the job this time.
“Just trying to see if I could get some room and figure out a way to impact the game,” Curry said, “and things started to click.”
They sure did, as Curry scored 11 points and threw a lob for Festus Ezeli’s slam during a 15-4 run to close the third.
“That’s what great players can do. Plus, he has a great team,” Nets coach Lionel Hollins said. “He doesn’t have to go out there and do it all the time. Last night he had 44. Two nights ago when they were in Charlotte he had 43. When he needs to he can and when he doesn’t need to he takes a backseat to those guys.”
Draymond Green added 22 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Klay Thompson scored 21 for the Warriors, who won their 26th in a row overall in the regular season, one behind the 2012-13 Miami Heat for the second-longest streak in NBA history.
Down 75-70 with 3:10 left in the third, the Warriors were soon ahead 96-85 early in the fourth.
“It’s one of our biggest strengths, is that we’re never out of a game and we’re always one little run away from putting a game away,” coach Luke Walton said.
The Warriors equaled another NBA record, tying the 1969-70 New York Knicks for the best road start at 12-0. They visit Indiana on Tuesday.
Thaddeus Young had 25 points and 14 rebounds, and Brook Lopez scored 18 for the Nets, who had their four-game home winning streak snapped.
Lopez missed from point-blank range at the regulation buzzer on Nov. 14 and the Warriors beat the Nets in overtime at home. Walton said the Warriors let the Nets have too good a start in that one, when Brooklyn scored 36 points in the first quarter.
This time, Golden State bolted to a 9-0 lead and the only reason its 30-16 advantage after one wasn’t bigger was because the Warriors were just 5-for-14 at the free throw line — with Curry missing all three.
But with a season-best 38 points on 78 percent shooting in the second period, the Nets trimmed it to 57-54 at halftime, then moved ahead in the third.
Ezeli had 12 points and Leandro Barbosa 11 off the bench.