Red-hot Curry paces Warriors past Hawks

Stephen Curry scored 32 points and made the go-ahead free throw in

the final minute after a technical foul on Jamal Crawford to help

the Golden State Warriors rally from an 18-point deficit and beat

the Atlanta Hawks 108-104 on Sunday night.

Playing with only eight healthy players, the Warriors scored

16 straight points in the fourth quarter to erase the big deficit

and went on to win their first game against a team, with a winning

record since beating Boston on Dec. 28. Golden State had lost 11 of

13, with the only wins being blowouts at home against struggling

Sacramento and the Los Angeles Clippers.

After losing their big lead, the Hawks lost their cool in the

final minute. Leading by two points, Joe Johnson turned the ball

over and Monta Ellis went in for a breakaway layup that tied the

game at 104 with 1 minute left.

After Al Horford missed a jumper, C.J. Watson lost the

rebound out of bounds for Golden State. But Crawford was called for

a technical, giving Golden State the lead on Curry’s free throw.

Crawford then missed a 3-pointer from the corner with 15

seconds remaining and Ellis hit two free throws to make it 107-104.

Josh Smith missed another 3 with 5 seconds to go and Chris Hunter

made one of two free throws for the final margin.

Johnson led Atlanta with 31 points, Horford added 26 and

Smith had 14 points and 17 rebounds. The Hawks have lost three of

four.

Ellis finished with 26 points for Golden State, but was on

the bench for the bulk of the Warriors comeback early in the fourth

quarter.

Golden State cut the 18-point lead down to five on two free

throws by Curry midway through the period. Curry followed with a

3-pointer and Watson’s layup tied the game at 95. Curry capped the

16-0 run with a driving layup to give the Warriors a two-point lead

with just over 5 minutes remaining.

Ellis gave the Warriors a 102-101 lead when he made one of

two free throws, but Johnson answered with a 28-footer as the shot

clock ran down to make it 104-102 with 2:22 to go. Atlanta did not

score again.

The loss was especially tough on Crawford, who had his

differences with Golden State coach Don Nelson last season before

being dealt to Atlanta. Crawford scored 17 points, topping the

10,000-point mark in his career, but didn’t come through down the

stretch.

The game was tight for the first half with neither team

taking a lead bigger than five points. Atlanta led 52-51 at

halftime before breaking the game open in the third quarter.

Horford scored nine points during a 14-2 run that helped

Atlanta take a 74-59 lead just past the midpoint of the quarter.

Smith added back-to-back dunks, including an emphatic left-hander

on a breakaway following a bad pass by Ellis that made it 86-68

late in the third.

Notes: Warriors F Corey Maggette missed the game with a

strained left hamstring. He went to Los Angeles to have the injury

examined. … Golden State F Ronny Turiaf missed the game with

flulike symptoms. … Ellis topped the 5,000 career point mark as

well. …Hawks G Mike Bibby was 1-for-6 from the field and is

3-for-18 over his last three games.