OAKLAND — Stephen Curry scored 31 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with just over a minute to go that led the defending champion Golden State Warriors to their fifth straight win to open the season, 112-108 over the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night.
Harrison Barnes added 17 points and sparked the big run that helped Golden State overcome a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to knock off perhaps its most hated rival.
Chris Paul scored 24 points and Blake Griffin added 23 for the Clippers, who also had won their first four games of the season to give extra meaning to this early season matchup.
An offseason war of words that has been waged between Clippers coach Doc Rivers and several Warriors about what role luck played in their championship last season only added to the drama.
The Warriors faced their biggest deficit of the season when they trailed by 10 early in the fourth quarter before rallying behind their small-ball lineup.
Barnes hit a pair of 3-pointers and scored 10 straight Golden State points to start the spurt. Curry then made his first two baskets of the second half — both from long range — to give the Warriors the lead. He raised his arms to the crowd after a 27-footer made it 103-99.
The Clippers did not go away and went ahead 106-105 when DeAndre Jordan made one of two free throws with 1:16 to play. Curry answered with his seventh 3-pointer of the night to give the Warriors the lead for good as they became the fifth team to start consecutive seasons with five straight wins.
The reigning MVP has played a big role. Curry has scored 179 points, the most through five games since Michael Jordan had 182 in 1991-92.
Both Paul and Curry dealt with early foul trouble, with Curry going to the bench with two fouls less than three minutes into the game and Paul being forced to sit early in the third quarter with his fourth.
Both teams actually rallied without their star point guards, with Golden State building a 17-point lead early in the second quarter and the Clippers rallying to the lead with Paul on the bench in the third.
Clippers: The Clippers have started 5-0 just once in their history, in 1985-86. … Jordan shot 5 of 6 and is 19 for 23 from the floor this season.
Warriors: Curry made a 3 on Golden State’s opening possession to tie Dennis Scott for the fourth-longest streak of making at least one 3-pointer at 78 games. Kyle Korver holds the record at 127 games. … C Andrew Bogut missed his fourth straight game with a concussion.