OAKLAND — Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors matched one record set by Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls as they close in on the bigger mark.
Curry scored 33 points in his return from an ankle injury and the Warriors tied Chicago’s NBA mark by winning their 44th straight regular-season home game, 121-106 over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night.
“That’s an amazing accomplishment,” Curry said. “It’s a compliment to us as a team, our coaching staff and obviously our fans who bring that atmosphere every night to give us the ultimate home-court advantage.”
Five days after tying the NBA record with 12 3-pointers in an overtime win at Oklahoma City, Curry went 5 of 15 from long range in the rematch. But he got more than enough help from his bench to help the Warriors (55-5) move 50 games above .500 in their quest to break the Bulls’ single-season mark for victories.
The Bulls won 44 consecutive home games from March 30, 1995, until April 4, 1996. That helped them set the record with 72 wins in 1995-96, a mark the Warriors remain on pace to surpass after beating the Thunder for the third time in as many tries this season.
“You can’t even dream that stuff up,” said Golden State coach Steve Kerr, who played on those Chicago teams. “It’s been that kind of season for us.”
Kevin Durant scored 32 points, Russell Westbrook had 22 and Serge Ibaka added 20 for the Thunder, who have lost six of eight since the All-Star break.
“We’ve definitely got to get it under control,” Durant said. “I’m not happy with the way we’re playing. Obviously we want to win, but this is where you see what you’re made of.”
Klay Thompson scored 21 for the Warriors, and Shaun Livingston provided 11 points, eight assists and tough defense on Durant off the bench.
The Warriors trailed 80-71 midway through the third quarter before racing past a Thunder team playing the back half of a back-to-back. Golden State cut the deficit to one after three quarters and then took over in the fourth.
With four starters on the bench to start the period, Golden State scored the first seven points with the help of a 3-pointer by Marreese Speights and strong play from Livingston to take a six-point lead.
“We’re confident coming off the bench,” Livingston said. “They have a good team. But we have a deeper team. We try to come in and all do our parts and do our jobs and hopefully overwhelm them over a 48-minute game.”
Golden State extended the lead once the starters returned, going up 106-97 on Curry’s three-point play with just more than 4 minutes left. Andrew Bogut then stole the ball from Durant, leading to a dunk by Thompson that gave the Warriors a 12-point lead.
Curry, who missed Tuesday night’s overtime victory against Atlanta with an injured left ankle, added two late 3s to seal it.