Stephen Curry came alive late as the Golden State Warriors shook off a sloppy start to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 105-90 and post their seventh straight NBA victory.
With both teams turning the ball over and missing shots it was close at halftime, the Warriors leading 44-42 on the Clippers’ home floor.
Golden State extended that lead with an 11-2 scoring burst to open the third quarter, and never trailed in the second half, posting their 42nd straight game with at least 100 points scored.
It looked like that streak might end, but Curry scored 13 points in the final frame as the Warriors pushed the lead to as many as 21 points after seeing it dwindle to just two late in the third period.
Jordan Poole scored 17 points, including three in less than two minutes late in the third as the Warriors withstood a 30-point performance from Los Angeles star Paul George.
Curry, incensed at not getting a foul call as he drove for a layup with 9:11 left in the fourth, received a technical foul for yelling at a referee.
The moment appeared to galvanize the Warriors superstar, who finished by shooting 53.8 percent from the field while handing out six assists and pulling down five rebounds.
“It was kind of a B.S. T (technical foul),” Curry said, adding: “You have those moments and decisions of where you’re going to put your energy at, and obviously I thought I got fouled so I wanted to let the emotions out and then you let it go and then you just play basketball.
“For me individually and for our team, I think we fueled off of that and just worried about putting the ball in the basket and that’s when the avalanche started.”
Curry also came up with six of the Warriors’ 19 steals as 24 turnovers proved costly to the Clippers.
“That was as upset as I’ve seen him and that I have been in a long time. He clearly got fouled,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “When he knows he got fouled on a play like that and he doesn’t get the call the competitor will come out in him and he will lose his mind a little bit. But it will spur him like it did in this instance.”
By the time Curry checked out of the game plenty of fans in the Staples Center crowd were cheering him.
Curry’s 28.6 points per game lead the league this season, and with seven three-pointers on the day he has reached 100 three-pointers with just 19 games under his belt in the campaign.
The Warriors, whose 18-2 record leads the league, face a marquee matchup on Tuesday against Western Conference challengers Phoenix, who have won 16 straight on the way to a 17-3 record.
Elsewhere, Giannis Antetokounmpo had a double-double of 26 points and 13 rebounds and Jrue Holiday scored 23 as the Milwaukee Bucks won their seventh straight game with a 118-100 victory over the Indiana Pacers.
A half dozen Bucks players finished in double figures including Khris Middleton, who tallied 14 points, five assists and five rebounds.
Bobby Portis scored 15 points, while Pat Connaughton and George Hill came off the bench for 14 and 13 points, respectively in the win.
The Bucks used a 15-4 scoring burst to outscore the Pacers 39-27 in the third quarter. They pulled away from there, compiling a 22-point lead at one stage in the fourth quarter.
In Toronto, Marcus Smart scored eight of his 21 points in the fourth and added eight rebounds and six assists as the Boston Celtics defeated the Toronto Raptors 109-97.
Al Horford added 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Celtics, who ended a two-game losing streak.