Curry sets 3s mark; Warriors beat Blazers 99-88
Posted at: 04/18/2013 2:35 AM
By ANNE M. PETERSON
(AP) PORTLAND, Ore. - Stephen Curry couldn’t wait to get his record out of the way.
Curry broke the NBA single-season mark for 3-pointers with 272 and the Golden State Warriors defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 99-88 on Wednesday in the regular season finale for both teams.
Curry surpassed Ray Allen’s 3-point total of 269 set in 2005-06. Needing two for the record, Curry opened the game with two straight misses from beyond the arc, but hit his first midway through the first quarter before making the record-breaker with 6:49 to go in the second.
"I was nervous to be honest with you. I had butterflies," Curry said. "It was like the elephant in the room."
The feat accomplished, Curry was able to help the Warriors get the win and secure the sixth seed in the Western Conference.
Golden State will face the Nuggets in a first-round game Saturday in Denver.
"I was just so happy to get it out of the way so I could focus on the game," he said. "It’s hard to do both, to be honest with you."
His backcourt teammate Klay Thompson led the Warriors (47-35) with 24 points.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 30 points and a season-high 21 rebounds for Portland (33-49), which lost its 13th straight game to equal the franchise record set in the 1971-72 season. It was the Blazers’ eighth straight loss at home, a franchise record.
"We started out the season doing better that everyone thought. We kind of stalled there at the end with injuries and guys being out, but I thought throughout the whole year guys tried to get better and worked hard every day," Aldridge said after the Blazers thanked their fans in a postgame T-shirt giveaway. "The young guys came in and they tried to learn the game. That’s all you can ask right now."
Golden State led by as many as 16 points in the first half but the Blazers closed the gap to 66-60 late in the third quarter on rookie Damian Lillard’s layup. Sasha Pavlovic followed with a 3-pointer to pull Portland within 3.
Meyers Leonard hit a jumper to get the Blazers within 76-73 with 7:36 left in the game, but Thompson answered for the Warriors with a 3 and Portland couldn’t get any closer.
Curry hit his fourth 3-pointer of the game with 5:56 to go, putting Golden State up 91-77. He finished with 15 points.
"That’s a lot of 3s," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said about Curry’s record. "Just unbelievable. An unbelievable season, and a great accomplishment for him."
The Warriors saw the return of center Andrew Bogut, who missed two games because of a bone bruise on his left ankle. Bogut has missed 42 games this season because of the ankle, which he had microfracture surgery on last April. Bogut finished with two points and eight rebounds in 17 minutes.
Portland was without starting forward Nicolas Batum, who missed the team’s final eight games with a right shoulder injury, and shooting guard Wesley Matthews, who missed the last five games with a sprained right ankle.
"It’s up to us to make sure that we erase this as soon as possible next year, Matthews said following the game.
The Warriors led by as many as eight points early, but the Blazers kept it close and pulled within 26-24 on Aldridge’s jumper. Golden State answered with an 18-5 run to go up 44-29 on Thompson’s 3-pointer.
The Warriors took a 50-36 lead into the half.
David Lee had 20 points and 10 rebounds for his league-leading 56th double-double, becoming the first Warrior to finish atop the league since Wilt Chamberlain had a double-double in all 80 games in the 1963-64 season.
Lillard finished with 21 points for the Blazers.
"They had something to play for, and we had something to prove," Lillard said. "They are a top team in the West and we wanted to come out and compete with them."
Notes: Blazers owner Paul Allen presented Damian Lillard his Rookie of the Month award for March. Lillard has won all five of the rookie awards this season. ... Allen met with reporters before the game on Wednesday night to assess the season. "It’s painful to be on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoffs," Allen acknowledged, but noted that he is encouraged for the future by Portland’s young talent. ... Chuck Charnquist, the Blazers’ media room manager and team historian, worked his final game after 43 years with the team. ... ... Curry is donating three bed nets for every 3-pointer he makes this season to the Nothing But Nets campaign, which seeks to protect families in Africa from mosquitoes that carry malaria.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)