Curry’s 39 leads Warriors past Blazers, 125-98
Posted at: 03/31/2013 1:39 AM
By MICHAEL WAGAMAN
(AP) OAKLAND, Calif. - Stephen Curry scored 39 points and the Golden State Warriors moved one step closer toward ending their five-year playoff drought with a 125-98 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night.
Carl Landry had a season-high 25 points and 10 rebounds coming off the bench, while David Lee had 13 points for the Warriors, who maintained their 1 1/2-game lead over Houston for sixth place in the Western Conference. Golden State lowered its magic number for clinching a playoff berth to five games.
Meyers Leonard led the Trail Blazers with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Damian Lillard scored 16 points for Portland and tied the NBA’s single season rookie record for 3-pointers, but was nowhere as effective as he was in his first trip back home. The Oakland native shot just 4 of 11 from the floor and committed three turnovers.
Curry, whose record Lillard tied, spent most of night defending Portland’s talented point guard and showed why he’s one of the elite perimeter shooters in the league. He made seven 3-pointers and went 14 of 22 from the floor. He also had six assists and five rebounds in his most impressive outing since scoring an NBA season-high 54 points against the New York Knicks on Feb. 27.
That helped the Warriors to their third win in four games, inching them one step closer toward the postseason. Golden State hasn’t made the playoffs since stunning top-seeded Dallas in the first-round of the 2006-07 postseason.
Curry also moved past Tim Hardaway into second place on the Warriors’ career list for 3-pointers. Jason Richardson (700) holds the franchise record.
Portland, which dropped its fourth straight, had no answer.
Playing their second straight game without leading scorer LaMarcus Aldridge (right ankle), the Blazers trailed by six late in the second quarter, but gave up 60 points in the second half.
Lillard had a career night in his first trip back to Oakland as a pro earlier this season and got off to another quick start in his return. He scored seven points, had four assists and made two 3-pointers in the first quarter to tie Curry’s NBA rookie single-season record of 166.
That wasn’t enough to slow down the Warriors, who shot 72.7 percent in the first quarter and closed on a 12-3 run to take a 36-31 lead.
Carl Landry scored Golden State’s final four points in the period, then scored the team’s first seven in the second quarter to put the Warriors up 43-34. He finished with 25.
Portland cut the gap to 61-55 with 1:07 left before Andrew Bogut scored on a short hook shot and Harrison Barnes added a dunk that gave Golden State a 65-55 halftime lead.
Curry didn’t slow down after the break. He made two lob passes for assists on dunks by Barnes and Bogut, then later scored on a driving layup and 3-pointer to make it 90-70.
Curry hit more two more 3s in the fourth quarter, the second of which extended the Warriors lead to 110-85.
NOTES: Portland has won only twice in the past 15 games at Oracle Arena. ... The Blazers have had five losing streaks of four games or longer this season. ... Actor Matthew Perry sat courtside for the game near Golden State owner Joe Lacob.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)