Warriors rally to grab 13th victory

Golden State, who trailed 55-32 early in the second quarter, battled back, with reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry scoring 13 of his 40 points in the fourth quarter.

The reigning NBA champions became just the fifth team in NBA history to open a season 13-0 and continued to close in on the record for the best start to a season of 15-0 — achieved by Washington in 1948-49 and the Houston Rockets in 1993-94.   -  AP

The Golden State Warriors erased a 23-point first-half deficit to stretch their NBA season-opening win streak to 13 games on Thursday with a 124-117 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.

The reigning NBA champions became just the fifth team in NBA history to open a season 13-0 and continued to close in on the record for the best start to a season of 15-0 — achieved by Washington in 1948-49 and the Houston Rockets in 1993-94.

But it was a close-run win, as the pumped-up Clippers raced to a big lead over their Pacific Division rivals, led by point guard Chris Paul.

Paul, back in action after two games sidelined by a groin strain, made his first seven shots, including three from three-point range.

He finished the game with 35 points and eight assists in 32 minutes on the floor.

But Golden State, who trailed 55-32 early in the second quarter, battled back, with reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry scoring 13 of his 40 points in the fourth quarter.

"No matter how bad we're playing, we always feel like we have a shot," said Curry, who also pulled down 11 rebounds. "It was a hard-fought, gut-wrenching game that everybody stepped up and played well."

Guard Klay Thompson scored 25 points for the Warriors. Harrison Barnes added 21 and forward Draymond Green contributed 19 points and nine assists.

Trailing 91-85 going into the fourth quarter, the Warriors shot 73.3 percent from the field in the final period.

A three-pointer by Thompson gave the Warriors their first lead since the beginning of the first quarter — 113-112 with 2:43 to play.

The Clippers responded with a three-pointer by Jamal Crawford before Curry drained a three-pointer with 1:47 remaining that gave the Warriors a 116-115 lead that they wouldn't relinquish.

The Warriors out-scored the Clippers 22-5 in the final stretch, but Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers said his team's problems began long before that.

"I don't think it started in the fourth quarter, I really don't," Rivers said. "I thought right at the end of the second quarter was when we stopped playing with the same force that we played with the first quarter and a half."

It was the Warriors' second win of the season over the Clippers, after a 112-108 triumph on November 4.

"Like I said before the game, we know we're close, but close isn't good enough," Rivers said. "You've got to finish the games."

Cavaliers down Bucks

The Cleveland Cavaliers, the team Golden State beat in last season's NBA Finals, ended their two-game skid with a 115-100 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.

LeBron James scored 27 points with nine rebounds and six assists as the Cavaliers gained sole possession of the Eastern Conference lead with their ninth victory of the season.

Brazilian Anderson Varejao came off the bench and scored nine points in 11 minutes for the Cavaliers after Timofey Mozgov was sidelined in the second half with a strained right shoulder.

"Andy really gave us a lift," coach David Blatt said. "Andy was one of the main reasons we won the game."