LOS ANGELES: Stephen Curry scored 17 points to win his latest on-court duel with elder brother Seth on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) as the Golden State Warriors notched a fifth straight victory with a rout of the Dallas Mavericks.
The Western Conference leaders were rarely in trouble as they romped to a 112-87 win at the American Airlines Center in Texas to improve to 57-14 in a game dubbed the “Curry Bowl.”
The game marked the sixth time the Curry siblings have faced each other on an NBA court—and it was Warriors star Steph who came out on top.
“Just knowing that we were going to be out there for extended minutes playing against each other is a surreal kind of feeling; seeing your brother, who you’ve been battling with since you can remember, out on the NBA floor,” Steph Curry said afterwards.
“It’s amazing to see what he has done here in Dallas, taking his game to the next level and showing them what he is really about.”
Klay Thompson led a balanced offense with 23 points, while Curry added nine assists to his points haul.
But it was the Warriors’ defensive display that left coach Steve Kerr beaming with pride.
“When you’re out on the road you have to defend, you have to maintain a really good defense to win road games, and I think we’ve done that,” Kerr said.
“In the past several seasons our team has been in the top five in the NBA defensively, and obviously we’ve got plenty of shooters and scorers.”
The Dubs’ win keeps them firmly in control of their destiny at the top of the conference.
Nearest rivals San Antonio improved to 54-16 with a come-from-behind win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 26 points as the Spurs fought back from a nine-point halftime deficit to claim a 100-93 win.
Kawhi Leonard contributed 22 points to back up Aldridge while Spanish veteran Pau Gasol scored 11 points off the bench as the Spurs claimed a second straight win.
Karl-Anthony Towns had 25 points and 14 rebounds for Minnesota to complete his 53rd double-double of the season.
In the Eastern Conference, DeMar DeRozan’s 42 points stole the show as Toronto sealed a 122-120 overtime win over the Chicago Bulls.
A stormy clash saw Chicago’s Robin Lopez and Toronto’s Serge Ibaka both be ejected during the third quarter after a brawl erupted.
Lopez finished the game with 12 points while Ibaka had 16 points before the dismissals.
“It felt great, in the fact that win, lose or draw, I felt we were scrapping, competing and that’s all you can ask for from your team at this time of year,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said.
Lopez and Ibaka later played down the exchange of blows that led to their ejections.
“I think it was just a really physical game for everybody, it just kind of hit a flashpoint,” Lopez said.
“He was playing physical basketball and he got frustrated,” Ibaka said. “We started to push each other like always happens when there’s contact and then he threw the punch. Like man, I’m just going to defend myself.”
The Bulls had appeared poised to grab an important win after going 15 points clear in the third quarter.
But the Raptors fought back brilliantly with DeRozan crowning his performance with a go-ahead basket in overtime.
Elsewhere Tuesday Miami’s Hassan Whiteside scored 23 points but suffered an injury as the Heat beat Phoenix 112-97.
Whiteside was forced to leave the game late in the fourth quarter after an attempted block of a Marquese Chriss shot left him nursing a nasty cut on his middle finger.
Whiteside later received 13 stitches in the wound, placing a question mark on his availability at a crucial time of the season.
Miami, who face Toronto on Thursday, are already without injured guard Dion Waiters, who missed Tuesday’s game following an ankle sprain.
“Hassan, we’ll find out,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We’ll know more (Wednesday). Those minutes that he played, he was extremely impactful.”