Warriors 116, Spurs 106
With every swish, the chants grew louder.
”Curry! Curry! Curry!” fans shouted. Stephen Curry knew
exactly where he stood, and so did everybody else in the announced
sellout crowd of 19,596 at Oracle Arena.
The only thing that could delay him from making history was his
Curry made seven 3-pointers to move within one of Ray Allen’s
single-season record, scoring 35 points to lead the Golden State
Warriors past the severely short-handed San Antonio Spurs 116-106
on Monday night.
”I don’t know who second place is for the best shooter in the
world,” said Warriors coach Mark Jackson, who pulled Curry once
the game turned into a rout. ”But he certainly has first place
Curry hit 7 of 13 shots from beyond the arc to close within one
of Allen’s mark of 269 3-pointers set in 2005-06 with Seattle. He
added eight rebounds and five assists, sparking a 19-0 run late
with his deep sharpshooting to help the Warriors pull away and move
a game ahead of Houston for the Western Conference’s sixth
The rejuvenated Warriors point guard, with his twice surgically
repaired right ankle no longer an issue, will have a chance to set
a new NBA standard in the regular-season finale Wednesday night at
Curry said he never knew what Allen’s record was until he
started approaching the number in recent weeks. Curry is shooting a
remarkable 45.7 percent from long range and averaging 3.48 3s made
over his 77 games played this season.
”If you actually do the math on it, it’s pretty crazy of a
number,” Curry said. ”It’s nice to be close. It means you’re
healthy and playing in pretty much every game and shooting the ball
Once Curry got going, San Antonio’s second-stringers never had a
Gary Neal had 25 points and five assists and Patty Mills scored
23 for the Spurs, who rested their key starters a night after
losing 91-86 loss at the Los Angeles Lakers. After the Spurs tied
the game at 84 early in the fourth quarter, Curry connected on
three 3-pointers during a run that gave Golden State a 107-87 lead
with less than 5 minutes remaining to bring a 32nd straight sellout
crowd to full throat.
”It’s actually fun to watch,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.
”Everybody hates losing, but I enjoyed … watching a talented kid
perform the way he did, and he does it with class.”
Jackson took his starting point guard out with 3:51 remaining
following a final miss, saying he doesn’t want to chase record but
likes that Curry has a shot at history in the finale. Fans gave
Curry a standing ovation, and they belted out another roar moments
later when the video board showed the Rockets lost 119-112 at
Houston, which would hold the tiebreaker over the Warriors after
winning the season series 3-1, will visit the Lakers in its finale
Wednesday. No matter who the Warriors play, they know Curry’s
streaky shooting will always give them a chance.
”He’s in an unbelievable groove right now, and we just want to
keep him that way for the playoffs,” said Warriors forward David
Lee, who added 12 points and 11 rebounds.
With Oklahoma City clinching the West’s top seed with a win over
Sacramento earlier Monday, the Spurs decided to focus on preparing
for the playoffs.
San Antonio rested point guard Tony Parker (sore neck, left
ankle), power forward Tim Duncan (sore left knee) and small forward
Kawhi Leonard (sore left knee) sat out because of nagging injuries.
All three had played at the Lakers on Sunday night.
The Spurs also were without reserve guard Manu Ginobili, who has
been out since straining his right hamstring March 29. Backup
forward Boris Diaw also is likely out until at least the second
round of the playoffs following back surgery.
Whether Ginobili returns for the regular-season finale Wednesday
against Minnesota is unclear. But Popovich said Parker, Duncan and
Leonard would likely play in the Timberwolves game.
The Spurs will be seeded second and likely face Golden State or
Houston in the first round.
Golden State was without center Andrew Bogut (bruised left
ankle) and backup Andris Biedrins (lower back tightness). Bogut has
missed two straight games since reinjuring his surgically repaired
ankle and his status for the playoffs is murky.
While adjusting to the odd lineups, neither side created much
separation for more than three quarters.
There were 20 lead changes and six ties in the first half. The
Spurs held a 57-54 lead at the break.
Curry hit a pair of 3-pointers and a short jumper before Festus
Ezeli’s dunk put the Warriors up 68-61 early in the third quarter,
the largest lead for either side to that point. The Spurs still
closed the gap several times, tying the score early in the fourth
before Curry – an All-Star snub – ignited Golden State for
”I wish we could rewind to those All-Star votes,” Jackson
said. ”Some of those people should raise their hand and apologize
to the guy.”
NOTES: A moment of silence was held before the game for victims
of the explosions during the Boston Marathon. … The Warriors had
the second-highest total attendance in franchise history with
794,320 fans, second only to the 2007-08 season when the team drew
804,864 after making the playoffs the previous year.