Basketball: Sizzling Stephen Curry picks up scoring slack

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry had his best game of the season with 39 points despite fouling out, and led his team to a 118-111 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday.
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry had his best game of the season with 39 points despite fouling out, and led his team to a 118-111 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

BROOKLYN (New York) • With Kevin Durant sitting out, Stephen Curry felt a need to be more aggressive than usual.

It resulted in his most productive showing of the National Basketball Association (NBA) season but also forced the Golden State Warriors' star guard to watch the final three minutes from the bench.

Curry scored a season-high 39 points to go with 11 rebounds and seven assists before fouling out, as the Warriors nearly blew a 28-point lead before defeating the Brooklyn Nets 118-111 on Sunday.

Durant was ruled out on Sunday morning because of a sprained left ankle.

Without the All-Star forward on the floor, Curry produced his best game of the year before fouling out in the fourth quarter for the 11th time in the regular season.

"Obviously, he was brilliant in terms of his scoring and shot-making. But I thought his second half, he got a little wild," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.

Curry fouled out when he was called for a charge on Quincy Acy.

"I loved the aggressiveness I had on those possessions, and you don't like to foul out, but it was kind of how I tried to bring that intensity the whole game," said Curry.

The 29-year-old finished with his 137th regular-season 30-point game. He shot 14-of-24 from the floor and hit four three-pointers.

Golden State held a 107-102 lead when Curry headed to the bench. The Nets cut it to four on a free throw by DeMarre Carroll on the next possession, but a dunk by Shaun Livingston and two baskets by Klay Thompson pushed the lead to 114-106 with 1 min 29sec left.

Brooklyn (6-10) cut to five on a three-pointer by Allan Crabbe but could not get any closer, and the Warriors (13-4) secured their eighth win in nine games.

Thompson added 23 points and 10 rebounds as the Warriors shot 51.1 per cent overall.

Crabbe scored 20 of his 25 points after the Nets faced a 64-42 halftime deficit. Brooklyn shot 35.8 per cent and lost for the eighth time in 11 games.

"I really can't explain what happened in the first half, why we came out so spiritless," Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said.

"Granted, great team and respect. I thought we were kind of frozen by the moment."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 21, 2017, with the headline 'Sizzling Curry picks up scoring slack'. Print Edition | Subscribe