Warriors hold off Sixers 106-104 to snap three-game skid
Philadelphia 76ers' Richaun Holmes, left, Dario Saric (9) and TJ McConnell (1) guard Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry (30) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, in Oakland, Calif. At right is 76ers' Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot. The Warriors won, 106-104. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
By Janie McCauley, Associated Press
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Stephen Curry scored 29 points on his 29th birthday, Klay Thompson added 28 and the Golden State Warriors used a frenetic fourth-quarter rally to snap a three-game skid and beat the Philadelphia 76ers 106-104 on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time).
Dario Saric intentionally missed his second free throw with 2.6 seconds remaining to try to give the Sixers one last shot, but Curry secured the ball.
Curry struggled to knock down open three-pointers again but came through from deep with 5:38 left and again with a key baseline triple at 3:42. Matt Barnes hit one a minute later from the opposite corner for a 104-99 lead.
Curry's jumper with 9:55 to play pulled the Warriors within 90-86 after Golden State trailed 90-78 to begin the final quarter. Draymond Green's three at 8:04 made it a one-point game, and Shaun Livingston gave Golden State the lead the next time down.
Green had 20 points, eight assists, eight rebounds and six blocks for the Warriors, who trailed by as many as 16 in the third.
Saric had 25 points in the Sixers' eighth straight loss to Golden State. The Warriors' winning streak in the series matches their longest ever, along with a stretch from Dec. 16, 1971, to March 11, 1973.
Curry shot just 8-for-23 and 5-of-13 from three-point range, making him 26 for 89 from deep in his past eight games.
Earlier in the day, he refused to call his shooting of late a slump, and coach Steve Kerr insists nobody can expect the two-time reigning MVP to match his NBA-record 402 three’s last season.
"I never really use that word, because a slump to me almost [seems] like you're losing confidence," Curry said.
The Warriors returned to the Bay Area following a brutal road stretch -- which included losing Kevin Durant to a sprained left knee -- and barely bounced back to avoid their first four-game losing streak since Feb. 26, 2013, to March 2, 2013.
Golden State moved a half-game ahead of the idle Spurs for the top spot in the Western Conference.
Durant took set shots and moved around the court earlier in the day without his knee brace and soon could add jumpers. He is scheduled to be re-evaluated late this month to determine whether he might return before the regular season concludes.
LESSON FOR THE LEAGUE
After a grueling two weeks that Kerr hopes the NBA notes for future scheduling lessons, the Warriors began a stretch with 11 of their last 16 games at home.
"It feels like the beginning of the end of the regular season," Kerr said.
They just had eight games in 13 days with two cross-country trips.
Kerr has an idea for a fix: Work with the TV networks.
"There's a reason we fly 10,000 miles more than Sacramento, because we've got a lot more national TV games and they're trying to slide them in," he said. "Everyone's going to have hard road trips, but we didn't need to come home for that Boston game. That was what put us over the edge, mentally and physically."
76ers: The Sixers shot 56 percent in the first to stay within 35-34. F Robert Covington started after he missed Sunday's (Monday, PHL time) win at the Lakers with soreness in his right knee. Philadelphia has lost five straight at Oracle Arena since its last win in Oakland, 104-97, on Dec. 31, 2011.
Warriors: Green became the 11th player in franchise history with 400 blocked shots. He moved past Andrew Bogut for 10th place on the franchise list. The Warriors are 11-1 at home vs. the Eastern Conference with three in a row against the East at Oracle this week. Curry, playing on his birthday for the fourth straight year, has scored at least 25 points on his past four birthdays. Rookie Patrick McCaw made his first shot after going 0-for-12 and missing all six of his three-point tries in Saturday's (Sunday, PHL time) loss at San Antonio.
76ers: Return home from a four-game West Coast trip to host Dallas on Friday (Saturday, PHL time).
Warriors: Host Orlando on Thursday (Friday, PHL time) looking for an eighth straight win vs. the Magic.