So far, the numbers back him up. The Warriors have triumphed all 11 times they've limited the opposition to 99 points or less this season, and going back to last season (including this spring's playoff run), Golden State's streak is up to 24 consecutive wins in that situation.
"That's the challenge, getting locked in for 48 minutes and not allowing teams to have 39-, 35-, 40-point quarters," Harrington said. "I think that'll be our biggest challenge all season. If we ever get that good defensively, it'll be a lot easier for us."
Warriors coach Don Nelson professed ignorance of the statistic and downplayed any significance, since his up-tempo system is, by design, much more likely to win a game by a 120-105 score than 100-85.
"I don't take numbers (such as that) too seriously," Nelson said. "We have to play the way we play the best. ... If we would focus in on (the 100-point mark), then we would score below 100, and that's probably not a good number either, when we score below 100."
The Warriors are 1-7 in games in which they score less than 100 points, including Wednesday night's thrashing at the hands of the Trail Blazers. It was apparent from the jump that the Warriors weren't going to be increasing their own sub-100-point streak. Portland threw 17 points on the board in 51/2 minutes, had 56 at the half and tacked on another 15 in the opening 41/2 minutes of the third quarter.
"Some nights it's just not happening on the defensive end, or we're starting the game off bad, and they have the momentum that just carries on throughout the whole game," Warriors guard Monta Ellis said. "We can do it (hold teams under 100), we've just got to stay focused and stick to our game plan."
Or scrap the plan altogether, as Nelson was forced to do. After the Trail Blazers' opening fusillade, Nelson inserted forward Matt Barnes into the game and used him at the point of Golden State's 3-2 zone for much of the rest of the half in an attempt to curtail the damage.
OFF THE GLASS: Rookie guard CJ Watson, signed Tuesday to a 10-day contract, made his NBA debut at the start of the second quarter. In keeping with the Warriors' luck to that point, he pulled up for a 20-foot jumper on the first possession of the period but missed it. Watson scored his first NBA points at the 9:21 mark when he craftily drew a foul on Portland forward Channing Frye and hit both free throws. Watson scored his first NBA basket at the 7:01 mark of the third quarter, nailing a 19-footer.