Don’t let the Warriors say they don’t care about a 16-0 start, which would be the best in NBA history. Not when Stephen Curry was gesturing to the Toronto bench, Draymond Green was raising his arms and Interim head coach Luke Walton and Leandro Barbosa were arguing a call and drawing technical fouls.
Curry scored 37 points to lead the defending champions to their 12th straight win to open the season, a hard-fought 115-110 victory over the Raptors on Tuesday night at Oracle Arena.
Klay Thompson added 19 and Andrew Bogut scored 13 for the Warriors, who are off to the best start since Dallas won the first 14 games in 2002-03. Golden State needs just three more wins to equal the NBA record of 15-0 held by the 1948-49 Washington Capitols and the 1993-94 Houston Rockets.
It didn’t come easy as Toronto fought back from an 18-point deficit and trailed by just one late in the game with the ball. But Kyle Lowry was called for an offensive foul and Curry hit two free throws to help seal the win.
“We hold ourselves to a very high standard,” Curry said. “We didn’t put any pressure on them defensively in the third quarter, we were sloppy on a couple of possessions offensively and gave them life. Those are things we need to improve on. Everyone likes to learn those lessons in wins.”
Everyone is noticing the Warriors’ high-energy dominance, including the megastar they vanquished in the NBA Finals. “We haven’t done anything,” a frustrated LeBron James said earlier Tuesday after the Cleveland Cavaliers lost to Detroit. “We didn’t win anything. We lost. We lost in the Finals. So that’s enough motivation for myself. I think we need to understand that. Like, we lost in the Finals. We didn’t win. And the team that beat us looks more hungry than we are. So it shouldn’t be that way.”
Lowry and DeMar DeRozan scored 28 points apiece for the Raptors, who have lost five of seven following a 5-0 start.
Toronto fought back by getting to the foul line and the Raptors took their first lead of the second half on two free throws by Lowry midway through the fourth.
Bogut then then tied it for Golden State on an alley-oop from Green as Golden State got a fastbreak off the made free throw. After a Toronto turnover, Curry put the Warriors back ahead for good with his fifth 3-pointer of the night to make it 101-98.
Curry’s sneak attack helped key a 12-0 run that gave the Warriors an 18-point lead late in the first half. Thompson started the spurt with a jumper. Curry then pounced when Jonas Valanciunas threw a casual inbound pass to Lowry. With Lowry unaware he was coming, Curry stole the ball and hit the layup.
Thompson then threw an alley-oop to Andre Iguodala before Thompson and Curry capped the spurt by hitting second-chance 3-pointers on successive possessions.
Curry joined Wilt Chamberlain, Rick Barry and Chris Mullin as the only Warriors in the West Coast Era to score at least 20 points in each of the team’s first 12 games. This on a night when the Warriors wore their “The City” throwback uniforms for the first time since March 29, 2007.
Bogut returned to the starting lineup for the first time since suffering a concussion in the season opener. He played his first four games back as a backup to Festus Ezeli, who thrived in the starting role. Ezeli got back in quickly when Bogut committed his second foul 3:38 into the game and ended up playing more minutes than Bogut.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.