Curry leads Warriors to 14-0 start as they hold off Bulls
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Until a couple of games ago, Stephen Curry really hadn't thought much about making more NBA history.
Now, Curry and the Golden State Warriors are right on the cusp of adding another accomplishment in an incredible year.
Curry scored 27 points and the defending champions moved within one victory of matching the best start in NBA history, holding off the Chicago Bulls 106-94 on Friday night to improve to 14-0.
The league's last undefeated team ran its franchise-record home winning streak to 26 games by beating a Chicago team that is the last to win at Oracle Arena during the regular season, way back in late January. Golden State did so with its third tough game in four nights, too.
''It's a goal that's right here and now and it's something that we want to experience,'' Curry said. ''It'd be a huge accomplishment because doing something that hasn't been done in the history of the league is special. You never know if this opportunity will come back again. There are so many variables that go into winning this many in a row, especially the start of the season.''
Golden State equaled the 1957-58 Celtics as the only defending champions to win their initial 14 games. The Warriors are one of five teams in NBA history to begin 14-0, and will travel to Denver looking to keep it going Sunday.
Harrison Barnes added 20 points and nine rebounds for the Warriors in a game featuring 18 lead changes and 17 ties.
Jimmy Butler had 28 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for the Bulls in the second game of a four-game road trip.
''We understand how hard you have to play in order to win in this league, and everybody has bought into that,'' Butler said.
Kirk Hinrich hit a tying 3-pointer with 5:44 to go only to see Curry knock one down moments later to put his team back up 92-89.
A day after rallying from a 23-point deficit to beat the rival Clippers in Los Angeles 124-117 - the biggest comeback in the NBA this season - Golden State overcame another slow start.
The Bulls led by 10 in the first before the Warriors roared back and got the sellout crowd at Oracle Arena rocking on Curry's over-the-head lob pass to Andre Iguodala for a dunk.
The Bulls' 113-111 overtime win on Jan. 27 snapped Golden State's then-franchise record 19-game home winning streak. It was one of only two regular-season home losses last season.
Interim coach Luke Walton reminded his players of that loss before the game.
If Golden State gets by Denver to move to 15-0, it will have a chance to break the record Tuesday night back home against the Lakers.
The Washington Capitols in 1948-49 and Houston Rockets in `93-94 are the other teams to start 15-0.
''We have a chance to do something special in history, mark our place,'' guard Shaun Livingston said. ''If we have a chance to do it, why not?''
Golden State stressed during the preseason starting fast and shutting down on defense early to set the tone.
Yet the Warriors were allowing 34 points in the first quarter their previous three games, including 41 to the Clippers on Thursday night.
''It's two things. It's people wanting to be the first team to give us a loss and they're coming out and playing like it's a playoff game. This is the biggest game of the season for them so far,'' Walton said. ''And, two, we're not matching their intensity early on. We were thrilled with the effort we had earlier in the season as far as the way we were starting games. That was one of our focal points in training camp this year.''
REPLICA TROPHY NIGHT
Traffic to get into Oracle Arena was unusually busy more than 2 1/2 hours before tipoff as fans rushed to get in line for the replica NBA championship trophy giveaway.
Included in the crowd: The San Francisco 49ers defensive line before the team travels Saturday to Seattle.
Bulls: G Aaron Brooks missed the game with a left hamstring injury coach Fred Hoiberg said ''may hold him out for a little bit of an extended time,'' and ''at least the next couple games.'' ... Warriors GM Bob Myers was Hoiberg's agent during the former guard's playing days. They had a ''very brief discussion'' about Hoiberg coaching Golden State before Steve Kerr got the job, Hoiberg said.
Warriors: Golden State is 19-4 in the second game of back-to-backs dating to last season (4-0 this season). ... G Leandro Barbosa returned from the flu a night earlier and Livingston played for the first time in three games after being sidelined with a strained left hip flexor.
Bulls: Visit Portland on Tuesday.
Warriors: Sunday at Denver, where Golden State has lost 17 of 21.