BOSTON — The Golden State Warriors needed two overtimes to remain perfect on a very imperfect night from the NBA’s reigning Most Valuable Player.
Stephen Curry scored 38 points despite his worst shooting performance of the season, adding 11 rebounds and eight assists on Friday night as the Warriors improved to 24-0 by outlasting the Boston Celtics 124-119 in double overtime.
“Exhausting, but it was fun,” Curry said. “Obviously, it was nice to get the win. But we had to claw our way to it.”
Counting the wins in their final four games last season, the defending NBA champions have taken 28 regular-season games in a row. That broke a tie with the 2012-13 Miami Heat for the second-longest winning streak in league history, and now trails only the 33 straight by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1971-72.
The Warriors play the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night to complete a seven-game road trip. No NBA team has ever gone 7-0 on a single road trip.
“We will definitely cherish this, because it doesn’t happen often,” center Andrew Bogut said. “The record, the history, the team – it doesn’t happen often so we will cherish it. Who knows? Next year you could be on a different team and nobody’s talking about you.”
Curry made only 9 of 27 shots from the field, a .333 shooting percentage that was his worst since Game 2 of the NBA finals against Cleveland. But he was 6 for 13 from 3-point range and a perfect 14 of 14 from the free throw line.
“He can score in so many different ways,” interim coach Luke Walton said. “They did a phenomenal job on him and he scored 38. But that’s how superstars are in this league.”
The Celtics had two chances to win it at the end of regulation, tied 103-all, but Shaun Livingston blocked Isaiah Thomas’ attempt. After Golden State’s try at an alley-oop off the inbounds pass failed, Boston had the ball with 0.7 seconds left, but Kelly Olynyk’s off-balance jumper was wide.
Curry sank a pair of foul shots – his only points of the second overtime – with 13.4 seconds left to give the Warriors a three-point lead. Jae Crowder then missed a 3-pointer to tie it, and Andre Iguodala got the rebound and drew the foul.
That sent the Boston fans to the exits, but the Golden State crowd remained to see Iguodala sink both free throws and keep the winning streak alive.
“They’re the champs. They did what they’re supposed to do,” said Celtics swingman Evan Turner. “Curry, you know, he still made it work.”
Olynyk scored 28 points for Boston, and Avery Bradley had 19 while guarding Curry much of the night. Thomas had 18 points and 10 assists, and Jared Sullinger had 13 rebounds for Boston, which had won two in a row and six of its previous eight games.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens was asked if there was such a thing as a “great loss.”
“No,” he said. “Not even a good one.”
Draymond Green scored 24 points with 11 rebounds, eight assists and five blocked shots. Iguodala scored 13 with 10 boards and Festus Ezeli had 12 and 12 for Golden State, which was playing without injured Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes.
The game brought a playoff mood and a sold-out crowd to the new Boston Garden, but this time the loyalties were more divided than usual. Although the Celtics’ green still dominated, there was plenty of Golden State blue as well.
Fans crowded around the Golden State end of the court during warmups to watch the defending NBA champions and their star. During introductions, the Celtics rooters struggled to drown out the cheers for Curry.
“That’s every night for us,” Bogut said. “It’s always a playoff atmosphere because they all want to beat us.”
After the game, Golden State fans remained long after the final buzzer, cheering Curry when he went to the locker room after his postgame, on-court TV interview.
“Now I can admit I’m tired,” Curry said. “We’ll dig deep for tomorrow.”