OAKLAND, United States // Stephen Curry erased a forgettable first half for the Golden State Warriors with a fourth quarter to remember.
Curry made a pull-up jumper with 3 seconds remaining to cap a sensational finishing stretch, rallying the Warriors from 18 points down to beat the Dallas Mavericks 95-93 on Wednesday night.
“He’s a great player and an all-time great shooter,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. “I’ve seen Steph Curry every single day take that shot hundreds and hundreds of times, thousands of times, so when the curtains open up you expect it to go in.”
Curry scored 16 of his 33 points in the final period. He finished with 10 assists, four rebounds and another big shot in a young career already full of them.
With the clock winding down, Curry dribbled on the perimeter, came off a screen and faked a shot to send Shawn Marion jumping past him. Curry then hit the 19-footer to give Golden State, which trailed by 18 points late in the second quarter, the lead for good.
“I kind of lulled him to sleep with the pump fake and thankfully it went in,” said Curry, who couldn’t recall making a game-winning shot since high school.
“We blew everybody out at Davidson, so we didn’t need game-winners,” he joked about his college career.
Harrison Barnes scored 17 points, David Lee added 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Andrew Bogut grabbed a season-high 18 rebounds to help the Warriors overcome 18 turnovers and a sloppy start.
Monta Ellis and Dirk Nowitzki each scored 21 points, and Jose Calderon had 18 for the Mavericks, who had no timeouts left and were forced to heave a desperation shot at the buzzer. Dallas finished 2-2 on their road trip because they couldn’t corral Curry when it mattered most.
“When they made shots and the crowd got into it, this is kind of a hostile environment,” said Ellis, a former Warriors fan favourite who was traded to Milwaukee for Bogut two seasons ago.
Curry made consecutive 3-pointers to tie the game at 82 midway through the fourth quarter. Nowitzki scored the next four points before Curry’s pull-up jumper.
Ellis answered with a pair of key scores late, including a layup through traffic that gave the Mavericks a 92-86 lead. Curry came back with a four-point play, getting fouled by Calderon as he made a 3 and then hitting the free throw.
After another defensive stop, reserve Draymond Green made a 3-pointer with 49.9 seconds to play that put the Warriors up 93-92 – their first lead since the opening quarter.
Ellis made one of two free throws to tie the game. After Curry and Ellis each missed shots, Curry came off a screen and juked Marion to make the biggest play of the night.
“I thought we played Curry decently,” Nowitzki said. “Marion was on him. Probably been our best perimeter defender for a long time and that’s a matchup we like. Curry just got him up in the air. It’s a tough play. Stepped under him and made a tough shot.”
The Warriors played seven of their previous eight on the road, going 4-4 during that stretch. They opened a string of seven of the next nine at home, returning to Oracle Arena short-handed.
Andre Iguodala missed his 10th straight game with what the team has called a strained left hamstring. And backup center Jermaine O’Neal sat out with a right wrist injury.
Dallas started the game determined to end their road trip on a winning note.
Calderon, Ellis and Nowitzki directed Dallas to big leads throughout the first half. Nowitzki capped the spurt by making a pair of high-arching 3s to put the Mavericks ahead 52-34 late in the second quarter.
Curry pumped some life into the announced sellout crowd of 19,596 when he made a 3-pointer that twice bounced on the rim and the backboard before it dropped. The shot sliced Dallas’ lead to six, and the Mavericks closed the third quarter ahead just 72-66 despite controlling most of the game.
“We have to stop. We can’t continue to get behind like that and continue to try and come back and win,” Green said. “But once again, our crowd helped us get back into the game.”
OTHER WEDNESDAY RESULTS
Clippers 96, Celtics 88
Former Celtics coach and current Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers earned a win in his emotional return to Boston.
Veteran backup guard Jamal Crawford led the way with 21 points for Los Angeles (15-8), and hit back-to-back 3-pointers, the second with 2:11 left to seal the game.
Rivers, who coached for nine years and won an NBA title in Boston, received standing ovations as his team held off the Celtics (10-14) despite 20 points and nine assists from Jordan Crawford.
Thunder 116, Grizzlies 100
Russell Westbrook had 27 points and nine assists, Kevin Durant added 18 and the Oklahoma City Thunder won for the 12th time in 13 games.
The Thunder (17-4) pushed the lead to 24 points in the third quarter and the Grizzlies did not recover.
Mike Conley led Memphis (10-11) with 20 points and nine assists.
Spurs 109, Bucks 77
Tim Duncan scored 21 points with 16 rebounds and the San Antonio Spurs rolled to a victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.
San Antonio (16-4) never trailed in the contest and led by as many 38 points. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was even able to give his reserves extended minutes while the starters still racked up some impressive numbers.
Milwaukee (5-17) had won two of their last three.
Knicks 83, Bulls 78
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks in scoring for the 21st time in as many games, pouring in 30 points in New York’s win over the Chicago Bulls.
The Knicks (6-15) forward is the only player to lead his team in scoring in every game this season.
Chicago (8-12) received 20 points from forward Mike Dunleavy but lost their third straight and fell for the ninth time in 11 games.
Timberwolves 106, 76ers 99
Kevin Love (26 points, 15 rebounds) and Nikola Pekovic (20 and 10) produced double-doubles, and the Minnesota Timberwolves overcame a 19-point deficit in the first half to win.
Minnesota trimmed Philadelphia’s lead to 86-81 early in the fourth quarter, before the Wolves (11-11) went on a 10-0 run to take control.
Tony Wroten and Spencer Hawes each finished with 20 points but Philadelphia (7-16) scored just 38 points in the second half to lose for the eighth time in nine games.
Magic 92, Bobcats 83
Glen Davis and guard Jameer Nelson led a balanced attack with 17 points each and the Orlando Magic snapped a six-game losing streak.
Charlotte shot just 36.9 percent from the field, and fell to 10-12 as their two-game winning streak was snapped.
Pelicans 111, Pistons 106 (Overtime)
Ryan Anderson overcame an ice-cold shooting night by hitting two 3-pointers and two free throws in overtime, leading the New Orleans Pelicans to a victory over the Detroit Pistons.
Anderson had missed 12 of 16 shots before he finally made a game-tying and go-ahead three-pointer in overtime.
Anderson finished with 22 points, and center Jason Smith added 22 points and a season-high 16 rebounds for the Pelicans (10-10).
Jazz 122, Kings 101
Derrick Favors scored 20 points and Trey Burke added 11 with nine rebounds as Utah (5-19) routed hosts Sacramento (6-14).
Veteran forward Richard Jefferson provided 20 points as well for the Jazz, shooting 7-for-9 from the field.
Demarcus Cousins (21 points, 11 rebounds) registered a double-double for the Kings and Isaiah Thomas scored 20 on 7-of-13 shooting in the loss.