(The Sports Xchange) - Golden State Warriors moved within one win of equaling the best ever start to an NBA season after two late Harrison Barnes three-pointers secured a 106-94 triumph over the Chicago Bulls on Friday.
Golden State’s 14th straight victory meant they equaled the 1957-58 Boston Celtics record mark to open a season for a reigning champion.
A win on Sunday night in Denver would match the 15-0 starts by the 1948-49 Washington Capitols and 1993-94 Houston Rockets.
“At this point, you do (think about the record),” Warriors power forward Draymond Green admitted. “All you’re doing now is thinking about winning one game. That’s what we’d be doing anyway.”
Golden State’s 18th consecutive regular-season win dating back to last year came at the expense of the Bulls, who were the last team to beat the Warriors at home in the regular season, a 113-111 overtime triumph on Jan. 27.
“We battled them the whole game,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “If we battle like that, we’re going to win a lot of basketball games this year.”
The Warriors’ win resulted from a 17-5 finish after point guard Stephen Curry’s third three-pointer broke the game’s 17th tie and put Golden State up for good at 92-89 with 5:26 to go.
The difference was just 96-92 before Barnes buried the first of his three’s with 1:15 to go, making it a seven-point game.
Then, after Bulls power forward Nikola Mirotic lost the ball trying to draw a foul on a shot at the other end, Barnes bombed in another three, this one pushing the advantage to 102-92 with just 41.2 seconds left.
“Every single night, when it’s a close game and it’s time to win, no matter how they’ve played, these guys step up,” Walton said. “When it’s winning time, it’s incredible how well our guys rise to the occasion and bring home the win.”
Curry, despite missing eight of his 11 three-point attempts, had 27 points to lead the Warriors, who improved to 8-0 at home this season and 26-0 in regular-season games since the Bulls’ last visit.
Barnes hit three of his six three-point attempts on a 20-point night. He also tied Green for the team lead with nine rebounds.
Compiled by Patrick Johnston