Curry leads Warriors over pesky Nets

Mark Medina, The Mercury News on

Published in Basketball

OAKLAND, Calif. -- When the Golden State Warriors tried, Stephen Curry made 3-pointers with ease, JaVale McGee threw down lobs and they unleashed double-digit runs.

When the Warriors did not try? They squandered double-digit leads. They committed careless turnovers. Curry airballed a 3-pointer on one play, while Draymond Green could not get the ball up over the rim on a wide-open dunk.

And so it goes. The Warriors finished with a 114-101 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday at Oracle Arena, and the only positive development points to the result.

"We want that No. 1 seed," Warriors guard Klay Thompson said beforehand. "We're obviously paying attention to what Houston is doing. But we control our own destiny if we take care of business."

The Warriors (50-14) extended their winning streak to six in a row to stay a half-game behind the Houston Rockets (50-13) for first place in the Western Conference standings. Yet, the Warriors did not build off the good habits they had displayed since the All-Star break. And the Warriors could not escape the game without an injury, a component that Warriors coach Steve Kerr considers a higher priority than home-court advantage.

The night started with Warriors veteran forward David West missing Tuesday's game because of a right arm cyst. The night ended with Warriors rookie forward Jordan Bell spraining his right ankle again after contesting a shot and landing awkwardly with 16.7 seconds left in the third quarter. After pounding his fist on the ground, Bell limped to the locker room on his own, Bell sat the rest of the game and was expected to receive X-rays. Bell had just played four games after missing the previous 14 after spraining his left ankle on Jan. 17 in Chicago.

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The other variable Kerr holds in higher regard than home-court advantage: the team's habits. The Warriors became another form of Jekyll and Hyde in which they showed their best and worst all in the same game.

The Warriors exerted offensive dominance with Curry (34 points), Kevin Durant (19 points), Thompson (18), Draymond Green (16) and JaVale McGee (12) leading the way. The Warriors also displayed offensive sloppiness with 17 turnovers, including six from Green.

All of which led to a game that seemingly changed by the moment.

The Warriors sprinted out to a 35-19 first-quarter lead that coincided with the Warriors' superior shooting (70 percent), the Nets poor marksmanship (27.3 percent) and a devastating 25-0 run. That dominance soon went to waste. The Nets (20-45) tied the game at 39-39 with 5:39 left in the second quarter after going on a 20-4 run. The Nets eventually held with a 53-48 half-time lead, with D'Angelo Russell (22 points) and DeMarre Carroll (19) finishing with double-digit efforts.


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