By Clay Bailey
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
MEMPHIS, Tenn. _ The Golden State Warriors haven’t started a season this well in 55 years. So far back, the franchise was in Philadelphia.
Stephen Curry scored 28 points and Andre Iguodala added 20 as the Warriors matched the 9-0 start of the 1960-61 Warriors with a 100-84 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night.
“It’s great, because it means you’re winning, which is the most important thing,” forward Draymond Green said, adding that the Warriors don’t concentrate much on such records.
Harrison Barnes added 19 points for Golden State. Curry was 9 of 21 from the field, but only 3 of 10 from outside the arc. The Warriors finished shooting 41 per cent from 3-point range, 11 of 27.
“We’ve got different guys every night to step up,” said Warriors guard Klay Thompson, who had eight points. “It’s not only Steph. But tonight it was Andre and Harrison. Tomorrow night, it could be someone else.”
At least this time, for the Grizzlies’ sake, the loss wasn’t by 50 points.
In the first game between the teams this season, Golden State defeated Memphis 119-69 on Nov. 2, the worst loss in franchise history
Despite a much better effort, it was still the fourth straight defeat for the reeling Grizzlies.
“I thought we played really, really hard,” Memphis coach Dave Joerger said. “I thought we battled. I thought we believed we could win. I still believe we can win, and we will down the line if we keep playing this hard.”
Marc Gasol had 26 points, Zach Randolph added 19 and Tony Allen finished with 15 for the Grizzlies.
Memphis trailed by as many as 15 points in the first half, but fought its way back into the game by reverting to its offensive strength, going inside. Randolph scored 12 points in the third quarter, and Memphis got within 57-56.
But Curry, who connected on a 62-footer at the end of the third quarter in the deciding Game 6 of the conference semifinals between the teams last season, made a 40-footer as the horn sounded at the end of the third Wednesday night. That gave him 17 points in the period and the Warriors a 74-63 lead.
Memphis tried to stay close in the fourth, but consecutive 3-pointers from Thompson and Green stretched the Golden State lead back to 86-71 with 6:29 left.
That was the last gasp for Memphis, which lost to the Warriors for the sixth time in the last seven regular season games.
“We’re having a great year, and we don’t want to lose any time soon,” Thompson said.
Warriors: C Andrew Bogut, who returned Monday night after missing six games with a concussion, played 15 minutes and finished with three points and seven rebounds. …The Warriors committed a season-high 23 turnovers.
Grizzlies: Mario Chalmers and James Ennis, acquired in a trade with the Miami Heat on Tuesday, were not available. That coupled with three injured players, including F Brandan Wright, left the Grizzlies with only 10 players dressed out. … Allen’s 15 points marked the first time he reached double figures this season.
CURRY AGAIN: Curry’s shot to end the third Wednesday wasn’t quite as dramatic as the one in the playoffs last season. That shot is believed to be the longest made by a Grizzlies opponent in FedExForum history. “He has a knack for doing that in this building,” Thompson said.
AND AGAIN: The 40-footer at the end of the third Wednesday night wasn’t Curry’s best shot in the period. Earlier, Curry was bumped and was looking for a foul just inside the midcourt line. He heaved the ball in a modified hook shot and banked it in from 29 feet, even though no foul was called.
FINAL WORD: “Turnovers absolutely tortured us.” _ Joerger on 21 Memphis miscues that led to 25 Golden State points.
WARRIORS: Visit Minnesota on Thursday
Grizzlies: Host Portland on Friday