LOS ANGELES: Stephen Curry scored 37 points as the Golden State Warriors thrashed the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday, 120-90, in the first meeting between the two top NBA teams this season.
The reigning most valuable player Curry drained five three-pointers as the defending champion Warriors shot 11-for-26 from beyond the arc.
“This was a team we hadn’t played yet and the Spurs have been playing some great, great basketball so to have this kind of performance is huge,” said Curry.
He played 28 minutes and didn’t set foot on the court in the fourth quarter, with Golden State in complete control.
Golden State’s 39th straight home victory earned them a three-game lead over San Antonio in their duel for top seeding in the Western playoffs.
The Warriors and Spurs are considered the two top heavyweights, and each team knows it must go through the other to win the title.
“We got our butts kicked, that’s for sure,” said Spurs Manu Ginobili.
Golden State is chasing the Chicago Bulls’ NBA record — set between March 1995 and April 1996 — of 44 straight regular-season home wins.
The Warriors are the third team in history to win 39 straight at home.
The loss snapped a 13-game winning streak for the Spurs. They played without star forward Tim Duncan, who was resting an ailing right knee.
It was the worst loss for San Antonio since a 137-97 rout at the hands of Portland in February 2012.
“It was like men and boys. They beat us in every phase of the game. I am glad my general manager wasn’t in the locker room or I might have gotten fired,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said.
Curry, who hit 12 of his 20 shots overall, also had four assists and five steals for the Warriors.
Curry set the tone early, connecting on three three-pointers in a 15-point first period. When backup guard Shaun Livingston got into the act with five consecutive hoops in the second period, the game got away from the Spurs for good.
“We had so many assists on our shots that were created by ball movement and that is when we are at our best,” Curry said.
Curry added 18 points to his total in the quarter while nearly outscoring San Antonio (19) single-handedly.
Hornets narrowly beat Kings
Guard Troy Daniels hit his eighth three-pointer of the game with nine seconds remaining in the second overtime, lifting the Charlotte Hornets to a 129-128 victory over the Sacramento Kings.
Daniels finished with 28 points, and the Hornets overcame a career-high 56 points from Kings center DeMarcus Cousins to win their third straight.
Guard Darren Collision’s turnaround jumper from the top right corner of the key at the final buzzer rattled off the rim, ending Sacramento’s season-high, five-game winning streak.
Cousins made 21 of 30 shots and topped the 40-point mark for the third time this season.
He also grabbed 12 rebounds and scored all nine of the Kings’ points in the first overtime before fouling out on a questionable call while putting back a rebound with 3:29 remaining in the second overtime.
Cavaliers win under coach Lue
Two-time finals MVP LeBron James scored 25 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers won their first game under new coach Tyronn Lue with a 114-107 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
James also dished out nine assists for the Cavaliers, who had to survive a late challenge by Minnesota.
It was Lue’s second game since taking over from fired coach David Blatt, who was sacked despite Cleveland having the best record in the Eastern Conference.
James sealed the victory with a pair of free throws after Zach LaVine drained a three pointer to pull the Timberwolves to within 110-107 with 16 seconds remaining.
“It felt great to finally get a win,” Lue said. “It’s only been two games, but to get my first head coaching win means a lot. I feel great about that.”