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Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors beat Phoenix Suns, clinch No. 1 seed in NBA playoffs

By
Jerry Brown, The Sports Xchange
Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry (30) celebrates after the Warriors wrapped up the No. 1 seed in the 2017 NBA playoffs. File photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI
Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry (30) celebrates after the Warriors wrapped up the No. 1 seed in the 2017 NBA playoffs. File photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo

PHOENIX -- Stephen Curry scored 23 of his 42 points in the first 10 minutes, and the Golden State Warriors clinched the top spot in the Western Conference and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs with a 120-111 win over the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday.

Klay Thompson added 22 points for the Warriors, who won their 13th consecutive game and hit the 65-win mark for the third straight season.

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The Warriors (65-14) had a 40-point scorer for the third game in a row. Curry had 42 points in a 139-115 win against the Washington Wizards on Sunday, and Thompson had 41 in a 121-107 win against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday.

The Warriors gave back all but four points of a 23-point lead after one quarter but never gave up the lead on the way to matching their longest winning streak of the year. They also won 13 straight from Nov. 7-28.

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Golden State swept the season series and have beaten the Suns 11 straight times, the Warriors' longest winning streak ever against Phoenix. The Warriors finished their road scheduled with a 31-10 mark.

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Devin Booker had 21 points, Tyler Ulis 20 and Jared Dudley added a season-high 19 points off the bench for the Suns, who tied the longest single-season losing streak in team history with their 13th straight loss. Alan Williams had 16 points and a career-high 17 rebounds for Phoenix (22-57).

Phoenix got as close as three points in the fourth quarter when a Ulis jumper made it 104-101 with 5:01 left to play. But Curry answered with his eighth 3-pointer of the game Thompson followed a jumper with a 3-pointer to put the Warriors back up 112-105 with 2:11 to go.

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Curry hit his first five 3-pointers of the game and was 8-for-12 in the first period, when he outscored the Suns 23-18 by himself. His first 3-pointer put him over the 13,000-point mark in his career.

Shaun Livingston was the only other Warrior with more than two points, and his alley-oop pass attempt went into the net for his first 3-pointer of the season with 3.9 seconds left. It capped a 17-5 run to give Golden State a 41-18 lead after one quarter.

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But with Curry on the bench for the first seven minutes of the second quarter, the Suns rallied.

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Ulis had nine points and a Derrick Jones Jr. free throw capped a 19-4 run to pull the Suns within 47-39 with 4:14 left. Curry returned and scored five straight points including his sixth 3-pointer of the half, but Phoenix kept coming and got back to 58-52 at halftime on a Booker jump shot with seven-tenths of a second remaining.

NOTES: The Warriors rested F Draymond Green and F Andre Iguodala on the back end of back-to-back games. Asked why he rested those two and not G Stephen Curry and G Klay Thompson, Golden State Steve Kerr said, "Draymond's tired. I can tell. The training staff can tell. Steph and Klay are in a great groove, feeling good, they want to play. Draymond has been grinding all year and this was a good game to give him a night off." ... The Warriors are the first team in NBA history to win at least 65 games in three consecutive seasons. They won 67 games in 2014-15 and a record 73 games in 2016-17. The win Wednesday ensured at least an .830 winning percentage over the past three years, something no NBA, NHL or MLB team has ever done. The last NFL team to do so was the 1985-87 Chicago Bears (40-7-0). ... Curry is the sixth Warrior to reach 13,000 points, joining Wilt Chamberlain, Rick Barry, Paul Arizin, Chris Mullin and Nate Thurmond.

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