THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Sunday, February 7, 2016, 12:50 AM
Stephen Curry has 26 points as the Warriors win a big game over the Thunder Saturday.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Stephen Curry scored 26 points, Harrison Barnes added 19 and the Golden State Warriors won their 41st straight regular-season home game, beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 116-108 on Saturday night.
Klay Thompson added 18 and the Warriors (46-4) won their ninth straight game to match the 1966-67 Philadelphia 76ers for the best record ever after 50 games. Golden State moved within three wins of tying the Chicago Bulls (1995-96) for the longest home winning streak in NBA history.
Kevin Durant had 40 points and 14 rebounds and Russell Westbrook added 27 points and 12 assists for the Thunder, who had won five straight and 12 of 13.
One day before he plans to watch good friend Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers take on Denver in the Super Bowl at nearby Levi’s Stadium, Curry helped the Warriors break out to a 20-point lead in the second quarter on their way to another win against a top-notch team.
The defending-champion Warriors have beaten the three teams directly behind them in the standings during this current streak. After blowing out San Antonio and Cleveland by a combined 64 points, Golden State was tested against Oklahoma City.
The Thunder hung tough after facing the big deficit in the first quarter and cut the lead down to 99-95 on a 3-pointer by Durant midway through the fourth quarter.
Enes Kanter tied the game at 104 with a fall-away jumper but Durant missed a long 3 a short while later that could have given Oklahoma City its first lead since the first quarter.
Curry responded with a driving layup and Klay Thompson followed another Durant miss from 3 with a long-range basket that made it 110-104 with 1:40 to play. Curry’s jumper made it 114-108 with 33.6 seconds left, prompting chants of “MVP! MVP!” from the sellout crowd.
After allowing the first nine points of the game, the Warriors dominated the rest of the first half with help from strong bench play. Marreese Speights scored seven points — including a fall-away 3-pointer to beat the shot clock — during 10-0 run that made it 60-40 in the second quarter.
Curry’s jumper in the closing seconds gave the Warriors a 73-59 lead at the break.
Thunder: Durant was called for a technical foul in the first quarter.
Warriors: The Warriors have scored at least 70 points in the first half nine times this season. No other team has done it more than once. … Curry has made a 3-pointer in 121 straight games, six shy of tying Kyle Korver’s record.
FREE AGENT TALK
Durant deflected any talk about his upcoming free agency after a Yahoo Sports report earlier in the week that the Warriors could be high on his list if he decides to leave Oklahoma City this summer. Durant said his focus is on improving each day. Warriors coach Steve Kerr found any speculation silly.
“I don’t know why anybody would talk about anything other than the fact we’re 45-4,” he said “We have a hell of a team. Why would anybody talk about some different team and future stuff and other players. Focus on our team, we’re pretty good.”
With the Super Bowl being played down the road in Santa Clara on Sunday, plenty of celebrities were on hand for this one, including Beyonce, Jay-Z, Kate Hudson and Jim Harbaugh.
“There’s a lot of energy in the city with the Super Bowl here,” Kerr said. “We know it will be a star-studded crowd here tonight. It doesn’t feel like a pre-All-Star break game.”
Thunder: At Phoenix on Monday.
Warriors: Host Houston on Tuesday.