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Warriors complete sweep of five-game road trip

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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Coach Steve Kerr expected the Golden State Warriors to make some early noise. He’s a little surprised by the way they have thumped opponents with regularity, though.

Golden State won its ninth straight by pounding the hapless Detroit Pistons 104-93 on Sunday at The Palace.

The Warriors (14-2), who are off to their best start in franchise history, completed a sweep of a five-game road trip for the first time since 1978.

“I envisioned a good start,” said Kerr, who replaced Mark Jackson as coach after last season. “This team has been together for a couple of years. I figured some of the offensive stuff would take some time but what we do offensively suits our players’ skill sets. After the first week or so, we started taking care of the ball and I could feel a good run coming. I didn’t expect 14-2 but I did think we’d get off to a good start.”

Kerr’s club looked a little sluggish before finishing the first half on a 10-1 run and taking a 13-point halftime lead. The Warriors were up by double-digits throughout the second half.

“We talked about it before the game, it’s so hard to sweep a five-game road trip in the NBA,” Kerr said. “I just feel like this is a professional team. This is a group that understands you’ve got to take advantage of a momentum roll when you can. We were playing against a team that’s struggling right now, so we needed to take care of business. We didn’t play particularly well but the defense was there most of the night.”

Forward Draymond Green scored 20 points, including a career-high five 3-pointers, and point guard Stephen Curry supplied 16 points and 10 assists before exiting with 8:38 remaining with a left ankle sprain. X-rays were negative and Curry, who tweaked the ankle going for a steal, doesn’t expect to miss any games.

“I just came back and tried to plant on it and it gave way a little bit,” Curry said with his left foot soaking in ice water. “I’ve obviously had my fair share, so I could tell right away that as long as I take care of it in the next couple of days, I should be fine.”

Shooting guard Klay Thompson added 15 points and power forward Marreese Speights contributed 11 points and 12 rebounds off the bench. The defense held the Pistons to 36.3 percent shooting.

“We made a push at the end of the first half,” Green said. “I think we went off with a (13)-point lead and that helped us out a lot. We started off bad and the second unit really picked us up at the end of the first quarter and beginning of the second.”

Shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had a season-high 23 points for the Pistons (3-14), who lost their eighth straight and sixth in a row at home. It is their longest skid since they dropped 10 consecutive games in March 2013.

“The problems were in the first quarter when we hit a stretch where there were just fast-break layups for them which put them in the lead,” coach Stan Van Gundy said. “We had a really bad second quarter and then the start of the third. From there, I thought we fought but we were in too big of a hole.”

Point guard Brandon Jennings, who missed the previous three games with a sprained left thumb, chipped in 22 points and six assists. Power forward Greg Monroe added 13 points and 10 rebounds for Detroit and forward Josh Smith just missed a triple-double with 14 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds.

Detroit made just 16 of 53 attempts in the lane.

“We have to change that,” Monroe said. “We just have to finish. There’s really no other answer when you talk about layups and shooting shots right in the paint.”

NOTES: Golden State tied its franchise record for most wins in a month by going 13-2 in November. … The Warriors have a seven-game winning streak over the Pistons for the first time since 1975-76. They have held Detroit under 100 points in each of those games. … The Pistons starters were with the club last season, which makes their poor start even tougher for first-year coach Stan Van Gundy to swallow. “It hasn’t helped us a whole lot,” he said. “Generally, you would think continuity would be a positive.” … The Warriors are No. 1 in field-goal percentage and rank No. 2 in made 3-pointers per game. “You’ve got to be almost perfect (on defense),” Van Gundy said. “That’s what great players do, they make you pay for any little mistake.” … Golden State PF David Lee (hamstring), who has appeared in just one game, remained inactive.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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