REUTERS, AFP) – Stephen Curry scored 20 of his 49 points in the fourth quarter to propel the visiting Golden State Warriors to a 107-96 victory over the NBA East leaders Philadelphia 76ers on Monday (April 19) night.
He drained 10 three-pointers on his way to recording his National Basketball Association-best eighth 40-point performance of the season. It also marked Curry’s 11th straight game of at least 30 points.
The Western Conference Player of the Week initially received a spirited challenge from a familiar foe: his younger brother. Philadelphia’s Seth Curry scored all 15 of his points in the first half, while teammate Joel Embiid finished with 28 points and 13 rebounds.
For the Warriors, Andrew Wiggins collected 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Kevon Looney notched 15 rebounds. Golden State has have won five of its last six games.
Matisse Thybulle scored 13 points off the bench and Danny Green made four three-pointers for the 76ers, who saw their four-game winning streak end.
Embiid made a pair of free throws to give Philadelphia a 92-91 lead before Stephen Curry made two of his own to ignite a 10-0 run for Golden State. He sandwiched three-pointers around Wiggins’ basket and answered Shake Milton’s trey with another one. Curry tacked on three more free throws to cap his scoring.
His latest masterpiece left Golden State coach Steve Kerr struggling to find adequate superlatives.
“I don’t know what else to say,” he said of Curry. “When you guys ask me after every game what I think of Steph and his performance, well, whatever I said after the last game – just use that.
“Because it’s the same thing after every game – utter amazement at this guy’s skill level, heart, mind and focus. Just amazing to watch.”
Kerr described Curry’s record of three-point scoring as “mind-boggling stuff” that put the 33-year-old in a league of his own in NBA history as far as shooting was concerned.
“Kobe Bryant earlier in his career had a stretch, and obviously Michael Jordan had some stretches where he scored like crazy,” Kerr said. “But nobody’s ever shot the ball like this in the history of the game.”
The 76ers played without Tobias Harris (right-knee soreness) and Ben Simmons (illness), although George Hill scored two points in 18 minutes in his debut.
Hill, who returned from thumb surgery, was acquired from the Oklahoma City Thunder last month in a three-team trade with the New York Knicks.
Philadelphia scored the first 12 points of the game before Golden State responded with a 24-12 surge to end the quarter in a tie. Curry highlighted the Warriors’ surge with three three-pointers, including one at the buzzer.
Golden State pushed their advantage to six midway into the second quarter before Embiid began to heat up. He scored 10 points during the final five minutes of the quarter, including a mid-range jumper with 7.2 seconds left to tie the game at 55 at half-time.
Philadelphia mustered just 15 points in the third quarter. Golden State carried a 75-70 lead into the fourth quarter.
The win saw the Warriors improve to 29-29 as they chase a play-off place from the West. “We need every win we can get,” said Kerr. “We’ve been playing really well for the past couple of weeks. We’re in a good groove and there’s a really good spirit and energy with the team right now.”
The Eastern Conference-leading Sixers, meanwhile, slipped to 39-18 as their four-game winning streak came to an abrupt halt.
Elsewhere on Monday, Devin Booker’s free throw with 0.3 seconds of overtime remaining helped the Phoenix Suns squeeze a 128-127 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks at the Fiserv Forum.
The game ended in controversy, with P.J. Tucker adjudged to have fouled Booker to set up the winning free-throw for the Suns just when a second period of overtime loomed.
Booker led the scoring in a strong all-round offensive performance by Phoenix with 24 points. Chris Paul added 22 points with 13 assists, while Mikal Bridges had 21 points.
DeAndre Ayton had 20 points with 13 rebounds while, Cameron Payne and Cameron Johnson both cracked double figures with 12 and 13 points respectively.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks scoring with 33 points, while Khris Middleton finished with 26 and Jrue Holiday 25.