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Stephen Curry sparks Warriors past Nets for win No. 22

By Larry Fleisher, The Sports Xchange
Stephen Curry sparks Warriors past Nets for win No. 22
Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry warms up prior to the game. Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK -- The Golden State Warriors outran the Brooklyn Nets at the start and the end of their latest win.

In between were some dicey moments, but the Warriors had the right guy bailing them out.

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The Warriors improved to 22-0 Sunday night with a 114-98 victory over the Nets, as guard Stephen Curry scored 11 of his 28 points in the final 2:10 of the third quarter.

The Warriors opened the game with a 25-8 lead and held a 15-point lead with 1:49 remaining in the first half, but Curry put on his scoring spree after Golden State faced a trio of five-point deficits.

His timely spree featured a mix of aggressive moves and effective perimeter play.

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"It's pretty purposeful just trying to see if I can get some room and figure out a way to impact the game," Curry said. "Things started to click. We were down three at the time or something like that, so we just needed a little life. We like to close quarters out strong, and we were obviously able to do that, get a nice lead and not look back from there."

A minute after guard Shane Larkin's 3-pointer gave the Nets a 75-70 lead, Curry hit a driving bank shot for a 76-76 deadlock.

On the next possession, Curry gave the Warriors the lead for good with an uncontested 3-pointer. He finished the quarter by finding center Festus Ezeli for an alley-oop dunk before converting a three-point play and knocking down a 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds left for an 87-80 edge.

"It's a show," Golden State reserve forward Marreese Speights said of Curry's performances. "We're just like fans on the bench enjoying the show every time he gets going."

Said Brooklyn coach Lionel Hollins: "When he needed to, he stepped up and put the dagger in us. He's a great player."

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The Warriors did not look back, seizing control early in the fourth due to their reserves.

Curry and backcourt mate Klay Thompson sat for the first six minutes as the Warriors took a 106-89 lead, getting their first 19 points of the quarter from the second unit. Curry and Thompson returned but neither player was needed on the second night of a back-to-back.

While Curry helped the Warriors finish off the win, Thompson got it started. He scored 12 of his 21 points when Golden State appeared on its way to a runaway in the opening quarter. Forward Draymond Green finished with 22 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.

"We got stops and got out and ran," Green said. "Once we run, it's tough to stop us, and 30 (Curry) was 30 (Curry)."

Ezeli scored 12 points and guard Leandro Barbosa contributed eight of his 11 early in the fourth.

Golden State shot 51 percent and made 14 of 33 3-pointers while getting a standing ovation from most of the fans at Barclays Center after the final buzzer. The Warriors posted their 26th consecutive regular-season victory dating to April 9 and 12th road win of the season.

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The Nets (5-15) started the Sunday game as a duplicate of Friday's ugly loss to the New York Knicks. After falling behind 17 in the opening quarter, Brooklyn scored the final 12 points of the first half, getting within 57-54 on a 3-pointer by forward Joe Johnson in the final seconds.

Forward Thaddeus Young led the Nets with 25 points, with two of his baskets giving the Nets leads of 66-61 and 68-63 a few minutes before Curry's flurry. Center Brook Lopez added 18 three weeks after missing the game-winner in regulation of Brooklyn's eight-point overtime loss at Golden State.

"We've got to calm the flame down," Young said. "Once he starts to get going, starts to get in his rhythm, it's hard to stop the whole team. They're a good team. They wouldn't be 22-0 if they weren't a good team."

NOTES: Warriors F Harrison Barnes missed his fifth consecutive game with a sprained left ankle. According to interim coach Luke Walton, Barnes is getting better, although there is no timetable for his return. ... Brooklyn rookie G Rondae Hollis-Jefferson did not play due to a sprained right ankle he sustained during practice Saturday. Hollis-Jefferson had been in the starting lineup for every game since Nov. 6 against the Los Angeles Lakers, and coach Lionel Hollins did not say anything about his absence beyond Sunday's game. ... G Bojan Bogdanovic started in place of Hollis-Jefferson and scored five points in 20:08 during his 30th career start. ... Golden State C Andrew Bogut returned after missing Saturday's game with a lower back injury. He went scoreless in 15:52. ... Brooklyn F/C Andrea Bargnani missed his third game in a row because of a tight left hamstring.

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