Oakland (California), Jan 26 (IANS) Superstar point-guard Stephen Curry scored 37 points to lead the Golden State Warriors and their high-powered offence to a 120-90 victory over their chief Western Conference rival, the San Antonio Spurs in a National Basketball Association (NBA) game here on Tuesday.
Curry tormented the NBA’s top defence with his incredible shooting range and ability to drive to the paint, ending Monday night’s game with six 3-pointers and drawing praise from Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, who said the opposing player was impossible to guard, reports EFE.
Like in wins last week over two top Eastern Conference teams, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls, the Warriors (41-4) turned a much-anticipated contest into a laugher, taking a double-digit lead into halftime and putting the game out of reach by the end of the third quarter.
A great deal of hype surrounded the game, the first-ever match-up of teams with 38 or more wins through 44 games of an NBA regular season, but in the end it merely provided evidence of the Warriors’ superiority in every facet.
Curry, who was serenaded by the home crowd at Oracle Arena with chants of “MVP, MVP,” reached two milestones during the game, making his 1,400th 3-point shot and also eclipsing the 10,000-point mark.
The Warriors also got a typically solid all-around game from power forward Draymond Green, who finished with a game-high six assists and nine rebounds.
Three-point shooting accounted for much of the Warriors’ margin of victory, as the hosts made 11-of-26 from distance, compared to the Spurs’ 5-of-14.
Golden State’s bench also was a key factor, with guards Shaun Livingston and Brandon Rush scoring 13 points each and forward Marreese Speights chipping in with 12 points.
The Spurs (38-7) were playing without 39-year-old franchise icon Tim Duncan, who was given the night off to rest.
San Antonio was led by superstar forward Kawhi Leonard, who scored 16 points on 4-of-6 shooting in just 25 minutes of action.
The Spurs shot themselves in the foot with 26 turnovers, allowing the Warriors to get fast-break opportunities and contributing to the fast pace that the defending champions relish.
Popovich acknowledged at the conclusion of the contest that the Warriors under the guidance of head coach Steve Kerr, who underwent back surgery last summer and was on the bench Monday night for just the second time this season, was unquestionably the team to beat once again.
“It’s a hell of a team. Really disciplined. The coaches have got them right where they want them. Really executing well, but they’re executing with aggressiveness,” the future Hall of Famer said.
“It was like men and boys out there tonight, I thought, as far as the toughness and the aggressiveness was concerned in every facet of the game,” he added.
With the win, the Warriors stayed on pace to break the record for regular-season wins set by the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls, who finished that season 72-10.