By Sam Bush
It is an axiom of sports that on any given night anything can happen.
Even the worst can beat the best.
Last night in Oakland was not one of those nights.
Klay Thompson (above) scored 40 points in consecutive games for the first time in his career, Draymond Green posted his franchise-best 12th triple-double and the NBA-best Golden State Warriors beat the NBA-worst Sixers 117-105.
Stephen Curry had 20 points and eight assists and Green contributed 13 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists as Golden State (66-7) stayed a game ahead of the pace set by the 1995-96 Bulls’ during their record 72-win season. Chicago was 65-8 through 73 games.
Backup big man Marreese Speights, a former Sixer, added 17 points and seven rebounds in the Warriors’ 53rd straight regular-season victory at Oracle Arena and 35th consecutive at home this season.
Carl Landry scored 22 points for the lowly Sixers, who lost their ninth in a row and 22nd in 23 while playing a back-to-back.
When coach Steve Kerr took the Golden State job before last season, he challenged Speights to extend his range by a foot. It was a slow process that didn’t happen during the championship run, but the 6-foot-10 center has done it this season all right.
Curry (350) and Thompson (253) have 603 combined 3s, the most by a pair of teammates in a season. Reigning NBA MVP Curry, already the first player in NBA history with 300 3s in a season, has nine games left to chase 400.
Thompson shot 15 for 27 and had his fourth 40-point game this season and eighth of his career, all coming at home. Speights hit his first six field-goal tries, including a pair of 3-pointers, and finished 7 for 10.
Ish Smith added 20 points on 9-for-14 shooting and 10 assists for the 76ers, who rallied from 24 points down and 19 in the fourth quarter before losing 108-105 to Golden State in the first meeting Jan. 30 on Harrison Barnes‘ game-winning 3 with .2 seconds left.
On Sunday, Curry started 1 for 6 and missed his initial four 3-point tries before connecting 4 minutes before halftime – running his NBA record to 143 straight games with at least one 3.
Coach Brett Brown is unsure whether F Richaun Holmes will return from a right Achilles tendon strain before season’s end after he re-injured it Saturday at Portland. “I worry. You don’t want to mess around with Achilles injuries,” Brown said. “You go overboard with your conservative approach.” Brown is not as concerned with F/C Nerlens Noel‘s status as he nurses a bone bruise on his right knee. He missed his third straight game. … The Sixers called up F Christian Wood from the Delaware 87ers and signed him to a 10-day contract. … Philly hasn’t beaten Golden State since a 104-97 win on March 2, 2013.