Warriors become 2nd team ever to post consecutive 65-win seasons
Bulls only other team to manage feat in 1995-96 and 1996-97
After a record-setting night of 3-pointers for Golden State, coach Steve Kerr's focus was more on deficiencies at the other end of the court that nearly cost his team a game against an undermanned opponent.
Klay Thompson scored 40 points and Stephen Curry added 33 as the Splash Brothers combined for 14 3-pointers in all in a 128-120 victory Friday night over a Dallas Mavericks team missing Dirk Nowitzki and two other starters.
"Our defense was horrific," Kerr said. "Dallas exposed us and they ran great stuff and they made shots and deserve all the credit in the world. But our defense was horrific. We lost focus time after time."
Thompson and Curry made sure it didn't matter. Their long-range shooting helped Golden State make 21 3-pointers in all to give the team a record 938 on the season, breaking the mark of 933 set by Houston last season.
"That's pretty sweet," Thompson said. "The game is kind of changing and I think we're on the forefront of that. Our team's shooting ability is second to none."
Draymond Green added 19 points as the Warriors won their 52nd straight regular-season home game and improved their record to 65-7 following a 67-win season a year ago. The only other team to win at least 65 games in consecutive seasons was Chicago in 1995-96 and 1996-97. The Bulls won a record 72 games that first season, a mark the Warriors remain on target to beat after their latest win.
"We know we can make history," Thompson said. "That's a good motivator itself."
Wesley Matthews scored 26 points and J.J. Barea added 21 for the short-handed Mavericks, who were without Nowitzki, Devin Harris and Chandler Parsons. David Lee added 12 points, nine rebounds and six assists in his first game back in Oakland since winning the championship with Golden State last season.
Dallas fell into a tie for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with Utah.
"We've shown that we can compete with everybody in the league. The important thing now is getting there," coach Rick Carlisle said. "The next 10 games are going to tell the story."
The Warriors opened up an 18-point lead in the third quarter before Dallas fought back to get the deficit into single digits early in the fourth three times. Thompson responded with 3-pointers each time to restore the double-digit margin.
The Mavericks then closed to 116-113 with just over three minutes remaining on a 3-pointer by Charlie Villanueva. But Harrison Barnes hit a turnaround jumper and Curry scored on a coast-to-coast layup with help from a slick behind-the-back dribble to elude Zaza Pachulia to make it 120-113 with 2:33 remaining.
"That's how they beat people," Lee said. "They're similar to the Spurs. A lot of teams are in the game at some point, but they make plays at the end and they find a way to win a lot of these closer games."
Curry was involved in one of the few plays that didn't work on a night dominated by the offenses. Late in the second quarter, he found himself all alone behind the 3-point line. Thompson raised his arms in celebration and started back down to the other end of the court, so sure that Curry would make the open 3.
The only problem was Curry decided to pass to an equally open Thompson. The ball hit off Thompson and was nearly a turnover.
"I thought he was hotter than I was at the time, so I wanted to give it up," Curry said. "Bad decision."
Curry made up for that blunder when he hit a 33-footer punctuated by a shimmy dance just before the halftime buzzer to make it 72-58.