The Golden State Warriors are 48-4 and will bring an 11-game winning streak to Portland on Friday when their regular season resumes.
TORONTO – The Golden State Warriors are chasing history. Everyone else in the league is chasing the Warriors.
The defending champions have been so dominant they could already be a 50-victory team this weekend. And unless opponents start figuring out a way to slow Stephen Curry and the league’s most potent offense, they could be the best team ever by the time they are done.
Curry and fellow All-Stars Klay Thompson — a former Washington State standout — and Draymond Green took time out for fun in the first All-Star Game held outside the United States. Curry tossed in the final points in the highest-scoring game ever with a 42-footer to give the West a 196-173 victory in Toronto.
It won’t be long before the Warriors get serious again.
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“Yeah, obviously, Thursday, Friday, when games start up, put our game face back on and figure out how we’re going to try to finish out the season strong and go after another championship,” Curry said.
The Warriors are 48-4 and will bring an 11-game winning streak into Portland on Friday when their season resumes.
Golden State could reach 50 victories — for many clubs, the mark of a strong regular season — with a victory Saturday against the Los Angeles Clippers in what has become perhaps the league’s testiest rivalry.
The NBA record of 72 victories, set 20 years ago by a Chicago Bulls powerhouse led by Michael Jordan, could be in reach.
“If it’s there for us, we want to get it, but at the end of the day we’re trying to win a championship,” Thompson said.
There are a couple of teams in the Western Conference and a front-runner in the East that could pose the toughest challenges to the Warriors.
San Antonio, Oklahoma City and Cleveland seem to have the best chances to prevent Golden State from repeating, though the Warriors blew out the Spurs and Cavaliers last time they met.
Business comes before basketball this week, as the trade deadline is Thursday, a few hours before the season resumes. Contenders will try to load up and disappointments can break up.
Superstar LeBron James dismissed a report this week the Cavaliers were discussing trading Kevin Love, saying they had enough to win after a turbulent first half that included the firing of coach David Blatt not long after point guard Kyrie Irving had returned from knee surgery.
“Every piece that we have means a lot to the process,” James said. “Obviously with myself, Kyrie and Kev, we spearhead the whole thing. We’re focused on the main thing and knowing what the main thing is every day, we’re going to have a great chance.”
So will the Spurs, who are 3½ games behind Golden State at 45-8, and like the Warriors are unbeaten at home. They have won six in a row, even while Manu Ginobili is recovering from surgery; star offseason acquisition LaMarcus Aldridge looks more comfortable playing for his new team.
“We’ve been winning and we’re putting ourselves in a position to be special,” Aldridge said. “So that’s what it’s about.”
There’s plenty more to watch down the stretch, from Kobe Bryant’s final games before retirement to the rookie-of-the-year race between Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns and New York’s Kristaps Porzingis.
But the focus will never be too far from the Warriors and Curry, who seems headed for a second straight MVP award.
Their record-setting start to the season brought unusually high attention to the NBA’s pre-Christmas schedule, and a strong finish and a chance at 73 victories would do the same during March Madness.
The record would be nice. The Warriors would prefer another championship ring.
Report: Bosh has 2nd blood-clot scare
MIAMI – Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat is dealing with another blood-clot scare, making this the second consecutive year he has spent the All-Star break facing an uncertain future because of the issue.
All-Star forward Bosh will spend “the next few days” reviewing options and no determination will be made about his playing status until he goes through more tests and evaluation, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press.
Bosh is Miami’s leading scorer at 19.1 points per game this season.
• The All-Star Game on TNT/TBS averaged 7.6 million viewers, up 6 percent from last year, according to Nielsen ratings. The game was the most-viewed program on cable TV on Sunday night.
• Former All-Star Tracy McGrady is joining ESPN as an analyst and will make regular appearances on its new daily NBA show, “The Jump,” which is hosted by Rachel Nichols and debuts Thursday.