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Curry's triple-double helps Warriors clinch playoff spot

The SportsXchange

LOS ANGELES -- A record night by guard Stephen Curry lifted the Golden State Warriors into the playoffs.

After blowing a 20-point lead Thursday night in a loss to the Denver Nuggets, the Warriors avoided repeating the same mistake, posting a 112-95 rout of the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on Friday night.

Curry had a triple-double with 30 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds, becoming the first Warriors' player since Wilt Chamberlain to record four triple-doubles in a season. Chamberlain had five during the 1962-63 campaign.

"It's amazing. Anytime you're on a list with Wilt, a Hall of Fame legend, it's special," said Curry, who scored 22 of his points in the first half. "I wear this Warrior uniform with pride; it's the only one I've worn. Anytime you can do something that enhances the franchise, it means a lot."

Curry connected on 12 of 20 shots, including four of five from behind the 3-point arc.

"It's what superstars do," Golden State coach Mark Jackson said. "He's a guy that was very upset last night after the game. He talked about it, expressed it, and on top of that, what the special players do is that they do something about it in between the lines. His will, his determination, his competitive spirit carried us tonight."

Curry, though, was more excited about clinching a postseason berth.

"It means a lot," Curry said. "We know the history of the franchise, and to keep making strides to be perennial playoff contenders, these are big-time accomplishments. We got to appreciate it and continue to move forward, close out the season strong and get ready for hopefully another big playoff run."

The win allowed the Warriors (49-30) to remain at No. 6 in the Western Conference race, 1 1/2 games ahead of the idle Dallas Mavericks. Golden State also snapped an 11-game skid against the Lakers at Staples.

"Our energy was down," said Lakers center Jordan Hill, who finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds. "We have to keep fighting, keep battling."

Los Angeles (25-54), which dropped its sixth in a row, set a franchise record for losses in a season.

Guard Klay Thompson and reserve forward Marreese Speights scored 16 apiece for Golden State.

Forward David Lee, who missed seven games with a right hamstring strain and nerve inflammation in his leg, returned and came off the bench to score 10 points and grab 10 rebounds.

Warriors reserve guard Steve Blake faced the Lakers for the first time since being traded for forward Kent Bazemore and guard MarShon Brooks. Blake scored 13 points, dished out five assists and had five rebounds.

"This was his best overall game," Jackson said of Blake. "I think a guy like him, who does everything right, deserves to come back in a place where he did some special things and have some success."

Guard Nick Young came off the bench to score 25 points to lead the Lakers, while forward Ryan Kelly added 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Golden State pulled away in the second quarter, outscoring the Lakers 32-17 for a 58-43 halftime lead. The Warriors, who led by as many as 21 points, maintained a double-digit lead for much of the second half.

One night after the Nuggets hammered the Warriors on the glass by a 63-38 margin, Golden State outrebounded the Lakers 57-42. The Warriors also had a 46-32 edge on points in the paint.

The Warriors prevailed despite playing without forward Andre Iguodala, who sat out with right knee tendinitis.

NOTES: Golden State coach Mark Jackson said he won't rest any of his players until the Warriors lock up their seed. "It's not our goal just to be a playoff team," Jackson said. "Until we're locked into a position, we will continue to chase the ultimate spot, whatever that may be." Jackson on Lakers G Steve Nash passing him this week for No. 3 on the career assists list: "I don't feel good about being fourth," Jackson joked. "But I will say it's a tremendous honor when you look at the list, and being surrounded by (John) Stockton and (Jason) Kidd and (Steve) Nash and Magic (Johnson) and Oscar (Robertson) and Isiah (Thomas), it's incredible." ... The Warriors have two of their three remaining games on the road, with visits to the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday and to Denver to play the Nuggets on Wednesday. Those games are sandwiched around a home contest against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday. ... The Lakers cap their homestand against the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday followed by road games against the Utah Jazz on Monday and the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday to close the season.

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