NBA-Curry sizzles for 43 points as Warriors slice up Clippers

Jan 29 (The Sports Xchange) - Stephen Curry bombed in five three-pointers in a personal 25-point, third-quarter explosion, helping the Golden State Warriors run away from the Los Angeles Clippers in a 144-98 victory on Saturday. The All-Star starter, playing at home for the first time since the formal announcement last week, poured in a game-high 43 points, delivering the Warriors (40-7) an eighth consecutive regular-season win against their Western Conference rival. The 46-point victory margin was the Warriors' biggest of the season. The Clippers, meanwhile, had not previously lost by more than 26 this year. Curry swished a 51-foot buzzer-beater at the end of the second quarter but his best was yet to come. He connected on eight of his 11 shots, including five of his eight three-point attempts in the third quarter, during which the Warriors went for 45 points and ran off to a 117-74 lead. Despite not playing in the fourth period, Curry recorded his third 40-point game of the season and came within three of his season-high, set in November against New Orleans. Kevin Durant contributed 23 points and a team-high seven assists, and Klay Thompson had 16 points for the Warriors, who notched their fifth straight home win. Curry (9-for-15), Durant (3-for-4) and Thompson (2-for-3) combined for 14-for-22 shooting from three-point range, as the Warriors made half their 34 attempts from beyond the arc as a team. Curry also found time for a team-high nine rebounds and six assists, helping Golden State gain a 48-32 advantage on the boards and record 30-plus assists for the 31st time this season with 35. The Warriors are now 30-1 when logging 30 or more assists in a game. Blake Griffin, playing for just the second time since returning from knee surgery, led the Clippers with 20 points. J.J. Redick added 13 points for Los Angeles (30-18), which has not beaten the Warriors in the regular season since Dec. 25, 2014. The Clippers fell to 1-4 since losing star guard Chris Paul to thumb surgery. The Warriors gained an immediate upper hand in the game when Griffin drew two early fouls and was pulled in the contest's fifth minute. Golden State went up by as many as 11 in the quarter, then pulled away with a 41-point second period that featured 5-for-5 shooting on three-pointers. Curry had two threes in the run, including his curtain-closer on the half from one step beyond half court. The Warriors led 72-51 at halftime. (Editing by John O'Brien)