LOS ANGELES: Stephen Curry scored 43 points to lead the Golden State Warriors to their most dominant victory of the NBA season, a 114-98 rout of the Los Angeles Clippers in Oakland.
“It feels great,” said Curry, who electrified the crowd with a 51-foot shot to close the first half. “I felt like I was always in a rhythm and the guys were setting great screens.”
After the break he drained five three-pointers in the third quarter en route to 25 points in the period.
“It was one of those quarters where everything seems to go right,” Curry said.
The 46-point margin of victory was the Warriors’ biggest of the season while the Clippers hadn’t lost by more than 26 this year.
Curry notched his third 40-point game of the season and came tantalizingly close to his season high of 46 points despite sitting out the entire fourth quarter.
Even Warriors coach Steve Kerr couldn’t help but be in awe of Curry’s performance. Kerr, who played over 900 games in the NBA, told his star player during one timeout on the bench that he could only dream of having a game like that.
“How does it feel whatever the hell you are feeling right now?” Kerr asked in the middle of the game. “Just once in my life … for me if I went like five for six and made four threes that was about the best I ever did.”
Kevin Durant added 23 points and a team-high seven assists, and Klay Thompson had 16 points for the Warriors, who notched their fifth straight home win.
Curry also found time for a team-high nine rebounds and six assists.
The Clippers dropped to 1-4 since losing star guard Chris Paul to injury despite having Blake Griffin back in the lineup. Griffin, who finished with 20 points, was playing in his second game since returning from knee injury.
J.J. Redick added 13 points for the Clippers, who haven’t beaten the Warriors in the regular season since Christmas Day in 2014.
Heat extend win streak
Elsewhere, Goran Dragic tallied eight of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and the Miami Heat extended their NBA win streak to seven games with a 116-103 win over the Detroit Pistons.
Wayne Ellington scored 19 points and James Johnson finished with 18 for the Heat, who have the longest active winning streak in the league.
“Our toughest, most physical, most committed minutes were in the fourth quarter. That was good to see,” said Miami coach Erik Spoelstra.
Miami improved to 18-30 on the season, giving them their longest winning streak since February 2014.
Dion Waiters scored 13 of his 17 points in the first quarter in front of a crowd of 19,600.
Detroit dropped to 21-26 on the season despite getting a team-high 24 points from Reggie Jackson.
In Milwaukee, Isaiah Thomas scored 37 points and Jae Crowder added 20 as the Boston Celtics beat the Milwaukee Bucks a 112-108 in overtime at the Bradley Center.
Thomas knocked down six three-pointers and went 11 for 21 from the floor. He has scored 20 or more points in 31 straight games.
“He was good,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said of Thomas. “He was really good. He got to the rim. They really collapse so you have to kick it out. His ability to get to the rim started others’ ability to get to the rim and we were able to get enough kick outs and finishes to win.”
In Charlotte, DeMarcus Cousins scored 35 points and pulled down 18 rebounds to lead the visiting Sacramento Kings to a 109-106 victory over the Hornets.
Cousins put the Kings ahead for good with a driving basket that took the score to 108-106 with 14.3 seconds remaining.
After Charlotte’s Frank Kaminsky missed a three-point attempt, Cousins added a free throw with less than a second remaining as the Kings — nearing the end of an eight-game road trip—bounced back from an overtime defeat at Indiana on Friday.