OAKLAND – Sweet 16 has never been tastier for the Warriors than it was on Tuesday night.
With a 111-77 victory over the hapless Los Angeles Lakers before a roaring throng at sold-out Oracle Arena, the defending champions raced into the NBA record books as the first team ever to start its season with 16 consecutive wins.
With Stephen Curry leading the way with a game-high 24 points and nine assists, the Warriors became the fifth NBA team to win 20 in a row (including four at the end of last season) while also recording their 27th consecutive victory at Oracle.
Three other Warriors scored in double figures as, Draymond Green put in 18 points, Leandro Barbosa had 13 and Klay Thompson added 11.
The Warriors outrebounded the Lakers 48-44 and were credited with 32 assists, the eighth time this season with at least 30. They committed a season-low-tying eight turnovers.
The Lakers fell to 2-12 as Kobe Bryant finished with 4 points on 1-of-14 shooting.
Curry and Green, both of whom made comprehensive contribution, split the honor.
Curry’s line: 24 points (10-of-21 shooting), nine assists, four rebounds and two steals in 30 minutes. He was plus-36 for the game.
Green’s line: 18 points (7-of-11), seven rebounds, five assists and two blocked shots, also in 30 minutes. He, too, was a plus-36.
Though the Warriors took command fairly early, taking a 30-11 lead into the second quarter, it wasn’t until the third quarter that they created definitive separation.
After Roy Hibbert made two free throws to cut what had been a 22-point Warriors lead to 14 (58-44) with 9:16 left in the third quarter, Curry drained a turnaround jumper to ignite a 20-4 run to push the score to 78-48 with 2:58 left in the quarter.
The Lakers never got closer than 27 for remainder of the game.
Former Warriors guard Jason Richardson was honored between the first and second quarters for his contributions over a six-season span and as a member of the “We Believe” Warriors that upset No. 1 seed Dallas in the first round of the 2007 playoffs.
Warriors: F Kevon Looney (hip surgery) remains out indefinitely. F James Michael McAdoo was a healthy inactive.
Lakers: F Anthony Brown and C Robert Sacre, both healthy, were on the inactive list.
The Warriors will leave on Thanksgiving Day for Phoenix, where on Friday night they face the Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena.