ORACLE ARENA — Stephen Curry poured in 35 points with seven 3-pointers against a depleted Spurs roster in a 116-106 victory Monday night that pushed Golden State back into sixth place.
It was a pretty close and slow moving game for over three quarters against San Antonio’s back up squad led by guard Gary Neal who finished with 25 points. But a 19-0 run in the fourth quarter including 11 of Curry’s 35 gave the Warriors a 20 point lead and brought Curry within one of Ray Allen’s single-season three-point record (269).
Head coach Mark Jackson said after the game that Curry was amazing and put on a shooting clinic:
Warriors coach Mark Jackson
“Ray Allen’s number is sitting there, Steph’s fully aware of it and so am I. I didn’t want to chase it, but he started making shots, and I like the idea of being within reach, come Wednesday. I don’t know who second place is for best shooter in the world but he certainly has first place tied up as it is. He’s unbelievable.”
Even Spurs coach Gregg Popvich said that he enjoyed watching what Curry was able to do on the floor:
Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich
“Steph took over with his shooting and did a magnificent job. It’s actually fun to watch. Everybody hates losing but I enjoyed the hell out of watching a talented kid perform the way he did and he does it with class.”
Despite outshooting the Spurs in the first half, the Warriors headed to the locker room down 57-54. By the end of the first quarter all five of Golden State’s starters had turned the ball over, and by then end of the second the Spurs had 19 points off of 12 turnovers.
The Warriors came out of halftime looking like a different team. Within the first couple minutes, consecutive plays led to multiple threes from Curry and Klay Thompson. Festus Ezeli, starting in place of an injured Andrew Bogut, had a monster block and slam. He finished with a career high 13 rebounds to go along with eight points.
It was in the final frame though that Golden State went into overdrive and pulled away. In the final minutes of the game Curry single-handedly brought the fans to their feet chanting his name while he drained shot after shot and took the game out of reach for San Antonio.
David Lee said he was impressed with Curry not for just shooting the ball well, but for everything else he does on the floor:
Warriors forward David Lee
“He’s one of the leaders of this team and he’s been an unbelievable teammate. He’s been a guy that has been healthy and able to be relied on night in and night out and that’s something that’s really important…I’m just really proud of him.”
Curry tried to tie the record with 4:31 left but missed badly. With a 16 point lead, Coach Jackson was confident the record can be broken in the final game at Portland, Wednesday night. So with 3:51 remaining, he substituted all of his starters including Curry who got a thundering ovation from the crowd.
On Fan Night at Oracle Arena the fans showed the Warriors what things might be like during the playoffs. Curry said that hearing them get even louder than normal and chant his name makes him that much more excited for what’s to come:
Warriors guard Stephen Curry
“We experience their energy every single night, and we understand how much of a home court advantage they give us and how much energy they give us. They’ve been waiting to experience the playoffs for six years now so I hope they’ve saved up a lot of energy.”
The Warriors finish the regular season Wednesday night in Portland. With a win, they are assured of the sixth seed in the upcoming playoffs.
Curry became the first player in NBA history to have five games in a single season with at least 35 points and seven 3-pointers. … Jarrett Jack dished out a career-high-tying 12 assists off the bench. … Lee secured his league-leading 55th double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 rebounds. … The Warriors beat the Spurs for the second time in less than two months, the first time they’ve beaten the Spurs twice in a calendar year since 1997. … The Spurs bench outscored the Warriors 61-27. … The Warriors sold out their 32nd consecutive game (34th this season), for the second best attendance mark in franchise history (behind only 2007-08).