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

coach.

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

tied up.”

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

seed.

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

Portland.

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

pretty well.”

Once Curry got going, San Antonio’s second-stringers never had a

chance.

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

Phoenix.

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

good.

”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.