Red-hot Curry in a hurry

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry celebrating after one of his eight three-pointers against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Centre on Saturday. He made a career-high 15 of 16 free-throws for a season-high 45 points.
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry celebrating after one of his eight three-pointers against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Centre on Saturday. He made a career-high 15 of 16 free-throws for a season-high 45 points.PHOTO: REUTERS

Warriors star scores 45 points in 29 minutes to lead Golden State to big win over Clippers

LOS ANGELES • With the Los Angeles Clippers unable to stop Stephen Curry on Saturday, fan Darrell Bailey tried to do his part.

"Hey, Kerr, can you please take Curry out?" he shouted in the direction of Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr late in the third quarter.

With five seconds left in the period, Kerr obliged as the damage had already been done.

Curry sat out the entire fourth quarter but still finished with a National Basketball Association (NBA) season-high 45 points to propel the Warriors to a 121-105 victory at Staples Centre.

Curry, who has dazzled since returning from an 11-game injury absence, connected on eight of his 16 three-point attempts and made a career-high 15 of his 16 free-throws.

His haul in 29 minutes on the floor marked the fifth time in NBA history that a player scored 45 or more in 30 minutes or less. Curry accounts for two of those occasions - the only player in NBA history to achieve that.

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  • Points Stephen Curry has averaged in his four games upon his return from injury.

"I just wanted to start off the game right," said the guard, who also grabbed six rebounds and came up with three steals.

"It's obviously weird starting a game at 12.30(pm). You've got to find that energy and something to build momentum, especially early.

"I knew right away, when I got free for a couple of threes in the first quarter and they went down, I got in a rhythm.

"Beyond that, you just keep your head down and keep shooting and stay aggressive."

In the four games since his return, Curry has averaged 36 points while shooting 65.6 per cent from the field.

"He's on fire," said Kerr. "Maybe the break was good for him. He's been amazing."

Curry's performance meant the champions hardly missed forward Kevin Durant, who was again sidelined with a right calf strain.

Klay Thompson and David West added 10 points for the Warriors, who improved their league-best record to 32-8, while Draymond Green came close to a triple-double with nine points, 12 rebounds and seven assists.

For the Clippers, it was more than a demoralising defeat as Blake Griffin suffered a concussion with less than three minutes to go in the first quarter. He was driving to the basket and seemed to slip before Warriors reserve centre JaVale McGee inadvertently caught him in the forehead with an elbow.

Griffin collapsed to the court, shaking as he held his head in his hands. He remained down for several minutes before he was able to make his way to the locker room.

Guard Lou Williams came in off the bench and tossed in 23 points to lead the Clippers (17-21).

In Orlando, the Cleveland Cavaliers snapped their five-game road losing run with a 131-127 victory over the Magic.

LeBron James scored 33 points, pulled down 10 rebounds and handed out nine assists.

Isaiah Thomas, making his first start for Cleveland after injury sidelined him until this month, went point-less in the first quarter before finishing with 19 points and four assists in 21 minutes.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 08, 2018, with the headline 'Red-hot Curry in a hurry'. Print Edition | Subscribe