The Golden State Warriors sent a “message” to NBA rivals Boston Celtics with a 123-107 victory in a rematch of last season’s Finals in San Francisco.
The Warriors have struggled thus far in their title defense, while the Celtics have the best record in the league.
However, Klay Thompson scored 34 points for the home team, and Steph Curry added 32 points, including six three-pointers.
“We just played these guys in the NBA Finals, you want to send a message,” Warriors forward Draymond Green said.
After back-to-back losses, Golden State entered the game fourth in the West Conference Pacific division, and while they improved their record to 14 wins and 13 losses, they still have a long way to go to get their season back on track.
Meanwhile, the Celtics ended a three-game winning streak but remain atop the Eastern Conference Atlantic division with only their sixth defeat in 27 games.
Boston’s Jayson Tatum, who finished with only 18 points, was adamant that the loss, which came just six months after losing to the Warriors in the NBA Finals, had no special significance.
“It was just one game,” he explained. “It will not determine our season. It all comes down to how we react.”
In other news, the Brooklyn Nets, who are second in the Eastern Conference Atlantic, beat the Indiana Pacers 136-133 in Indianapolis to close the gap on the Celtics.
The Nets were missing Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving due to injuries, but Cam Thomas’ career-high 33 points helped them come back from a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter to win their third straight game.
DeMar DeRozan scored 28 points to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 144-115 win over the Dallas Mavericks, who were missing the NBA’s leading scorer, Luka Doncic.
The Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic – the NBA’s Most Valuable Player – had a triple-double of 31 points, 12 rebounds, and 14 assists in a 115-110 victory over the Utah Jazz, while the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Miami Heat 115-111.