OAKLAND, Calif. — Birthday boy Stephen Curry received a postgame locker room visit from Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera, who gifted Golden State’s All-Star point guard from Charlotte with a football jersey sporting his No. 30.
What a way to celebrate turning 27. He had a snazzy cake and new sneakers, too.
Curry dazzled for 25 points and 11 assists, and the Warriors beat the New York Knicks 125-94 on March 14 for their eighth straight home victory.
Curry was serenaded with a “Happy Birthday” song from fans during one timeout. “It was a fun night all the way around,” Curry said. “It’s special that they’re having fun.”
Curry ended the first half with a contested 3-pointer from the top of the arc as he leaned in and let it go, legs off balance. He finished 6-of-10 on 3s.
Klay Thompson added 27 points with six 3s, and the Splash Brothers combined for 29 points by halftime to highlight a 47-point second quarter that blew open the game.
Andrea Bargnani had 18 points for the Knicks and Alexey Shved added 14.
After having their five-game winning streak snapped a night earlier at Denver with the regulars resting, Curry and Co. kick-started a welcome six-game homestand with plenty of pizazz for the Western Conference leaders (52-13), who topped their win total of last season.
“When those guys get hot it’s really hard to cool them off,” New York’s Lance Thomas said. “Once we took our foot off the gas defensively, that’s when they executed.”
Midway through the third, Curry drove the baseline and dished to Thompson for a 3. A couple minutes later, he drove through traffic for a left-handed layup and fell a few rows back into the baseline fans.
Curry was greeted in the locker room before the game by a cake in the form of his All-Star 3-point contest trophy and new Under Armour sneakers. “That’s probably the craziest cake (I’ve had),” he said.
Averaging 25.6 points in nine previous games against New York, he hit that mark again. Curry knocked down consecutive 3-pointers early in the opening quarter to find his stroke.
“He’s just one of the best in the world at what he does,” Thompson said.
Coach Steve Kerr’s move to rest Curry, Thompson, Andrew Bogut and Andre Iguodala in Denver certainly looked genius a day later — with his team playing a fifth game in seven days and sixth in nine.
“We looked like ourselves again with our pace and taking care of the ball,” Kerr said. “Thirty-four assists to (nine) turnovers, that’s a coach’s dream.”
The Warriors lost 114-103 to the Nuggets with a short bench. Bogut sure looked fresh and had two big first-quarter dunks.
Draymond Green added 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists as the Warriors beat the Knicks for the ninth time in 12 meetings and 19 in 25.
New York snapped its five-game skid March 12 at the Lakers while shooting 9-of-18 on 3-pointers. But a sluggish, sloppy second quarter put the Knicks in an insurmountable 73-52 halftime hole. Longtime fan and director Spike Lee watched the rout from courtside.
University of Washington coach and former Warriors guard Lorenzo Romar was shown on the Kiss Cam late in the second quarter but didn’t see it, so they moved on to another couple.
(JANIE McCAULEY, AP Sports Writer)
Source: The National Herald