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Curry’s 36 leads Warriors to 50th victory of season

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Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry shielded the ball from Phoenix Suns guard Brandon Knight in the second quarter, Monday, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

PHOENIX » Make it 50 wins and counting for the Splash Brothers and Co.

Stephen Curry scored 25 of his 36 points in the second half and the Golden State Warriors beat the Phoenix Suns 98-80 on Monday night for their 50th victory of the season.

"This is a special team and a special group," Curry said. "We are put together to win a championship. That is the big picture but the focus is on how we play night in and night out. You can tell by the way we played tonight."

Curry’s Splash Brother, Klay Thompson, added 25 for the Warriors, who at 50-12 have the NBA’s best record, a half-game better than Atlanta.

Curry made 7 of 13 3-pointers, 6 of 8 in the second half, in his 13th 30-point game of the season.

"Steph was spectacular and hit so many shots," Golden State coach Steve Kerr said. "I got on him a little bit at halftime. The last two minutes of the first half were really disappointing. We just lost our focus and he came out in the second half just on fire and locked in. He was incredible."

Draymond Green had 11 points and 10 rebounds in Golden State’s fourth straight win.

Eric Bledsoe scored 19 for Phoenix. Brandon Knight had 13 before leaving the game with a sprained left ankle in the second quarter. Alex Len had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

The Warriors became the second NBA team to win 50 games this season. Atlanta did it with a victory over Sacramento a few hours earlier.

With their ninth loss in 13 games, the Suns are three games behind Oklahoma City for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Golden State scored 33 points off 18 Phoenix turnovers. The Suns have scored 79 and 80 points in their last two games.

Phoenix coach Jeff Hornacek said his team "stood around and did 1-on-1 stuff" in the second half.

The game was tied at 46 at the half, then the Warriors opened it up with a 23-5 third-quarter run. Thompson’s 3-pointer capped the outburst and put Golden State up 76-57 with 1:41 left in the period.

A lineup mostly made up of Suns reserves scored the next 10 points to cut the lead to 76-67 with 10:57 to play. But the Warriors scored the next eight and, with Curry leading the way, blew the game open from there.

Knight, acquired from Milwaukee in a trade deadline deal, made a strong move to the hoop and crashed to the floor as he attempted to pass to Len with 4:17 left in the first half. Knight lay on the floor, pounding the court with his fist in pain, before he was carried to the locker room. Hornacek said X-rays were negative.

Knight was missed.

"Brandon was pushing the pace. He was being super aggressive," Phoenix’s Markieff Morris said. "We used the two guards at the same time and we don’t really have a backup."

The Warriors led nearly all the first half, by as many as 11, and were up 46-37 on Curry’s driving layup with 1:55 left. Golden State committed two of its eight first-half turnovers while Phoenix finished the half on a 9-0 run, tying it at 46 on Bledsoe’s layup after a steal with 43 seconds to play.


Warriors: It’s the first time in franchise history that the Warriors have reached 50 wins in 62 games. They are the 20th NBA to do it. The last was San Antonio in 2010-11. … Golden State is 11-3 in the second game of back-to-backs. The Warriors last won 11 in that situation in the 2007-08 season.

Suns: Markieff Morris didn’t get much reaction from the crowd when introduced in his first home game since he criticized the fans for lack of support. … The Morris twins were a combined 2 of 15 from the field. … Phoenix scored fewer than 20 points in three of the four quarters.


Warriors: Host Detroit on Wednesday.

Suns: Host Minnesota on Wednesday.

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