OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – On a night the Los Angeles Clippers set records with their 3-point shooting, Steph Curry won the game for Golden State at the rim.
Curry made a layup with 0.5 seconds left and the Warriors outlasted the Clippers 129-127 in an emotionally charged game Sunday night.
Curry had 42 points to tie his second-highest scoring output of the season. He also got the last laugh after he exchanged heated words with Clippers guard Patrick Beverley in the first quarter, a sequence that earned both players a technical foul.
The Clippers’ Avery Bradley tied it at 127 with a dunk with 20.6 seconds remaining. On the next possession, Curry had Montrezl Harrell on him at the top of the key, drove down the middle of the lane and converted the layup off the glass for the winner.
Tobias Harris missed a shot as time expired, giving the Warriors their eighth victory in 10 games.
Kevin Durant added 35 points for Golden State to help offset the Clippers’ 78-percent (18 of 23) 3-point shooting.
“That’s just who they are,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said about Curry and Durant. “They’re aggressive, they’re talented, and they both had just incredible moments during that game where they each took over.”
Harris led Los Angeles with 32 points, and Lou Williams added 25.
The Clippers’ shot 81.2 percent from 3-point range in the first half (13 for 16), setting an NBA record for highest 3-point percentage in a half (minimum 13 made). Those 13 first-half 3s also set a franchise record for most in a half.
“We don’t really take moral victories,” Beverley said. “We could have, and we should have, won today, but we came up short.”
As for his flare-up with Curry, Beverley said: “We’re a tough team, they’re a tough team, too. … It’s basketball. It’s going to stay basketball.”
Durant had 14 points in the third quarter and Curry added 11 as the Warriors outscored the Clippers 36-23 to take a 103-94 lead into the fourth.
Harris was 5 for 5 from long distance in the first half and had 19 points as Los Angeles led 71-67 at the break.
Curry had 22 points in the half, but Golden State was 5 of 16 from 3-point range. However, they outscored Los Angeles 24-10 from the free throw line in the first two quarters and that kept it close.
Durant landed awkwardly and rolled his left ankle in the first quarter. He got up gingerly but stayed in the game and played with a wrap on his ankle.
“I don’t think it’s anything serious, but we’ll see how he holds up when he comes in tomorrow,” Kerr said.
The Warriors had a little fun with Curry, decorating a bobblehead box to make it astronaut-themed and leaving it at the two-time MVP’s locker Sunday, in light of Curry’s recent comments about not believing there was ever a U.S. moon landing. Curry held a lengthy Skype chat last weekend with astronaut Scott Kelly to tell Kelly and others he meant no harm with the joke about not believing in the moon landing.
Clippers: The Clippers have lost 14 of the past 16 regular-season meetings against Golden State. … Los Angeles won 125-106 last Jan. 10 at Oracle Arena to snap an 11-game losing streak on the Warriors’ home floor.
Warriors: Durant has scored 30 or more points in four of the last six games. … It was Golden State’s second of three back-to-backs with both games at Oracle.
Clippers: Host Sacramento on Wednesday night.
Warriors: Host LeBron James and the Lakers in a marquee Christmas game Tuesday night. James played in Oakland last Christmas with Cleveland ahead of a fourth straight NBA Finals matchup against the Warriors.
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