NEW YORK (AP) – Stephen Curry went out on the court to one last chorus of “MVP! MVP! “Chants, a sound he even thought was strange.
It is, after all, Kevin Durant’s home ground.
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It was Curry’s night, though.
Curry had 37 points, easily winning a game of the NBA’s top two scorers as Durant had his worst night of the season, and the Golden State Warriors defeated the Brooklyn Nets 117-99 on Tuesday.
A meeting with his former teammate had Curry revived, as well as the opportunity to return from a loss in Charlotte on Sunday.
“So it’s not the finals, but it’s an intensity that you have to show up to beat a team like that,” Curry said. “You thrive because of that competitive atmosphere, knowing there’s a lot of talent on the floor.”
Durant came in leading the league with 29.6 points per game, but he managed just 19, the first time all season he didn’t hit 20. He shot 0 for 8 in the decisive third quarter and finished 6 for 19 after sitting the fourth.
“They have long defenders, guys who can help, so seeing bodies all the time I had the ball makes that great defenses. And then a few shots that I wish I could have back, “Durant said.” I rushed a few times after we went down 15, 20. I’m trying to get it back so fast that you end up making bad shots and quick shots. “
Curry nearly caught his former teammate for the NBA points lead, making nine 3-pointers and raising his average to 28.7 per game. During fall on 28.9.
Much of his struggles were due to the defense of Draymond Green, the former Defensive Player of the Year.
“I wanted that challenge,” Green said, saying he was “pretty decent” with it.
He was much better than that.
“You can’t do a better job defensively than what Draymond did tonight,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.
Curry was 12 for 19 overall, with fans loudly cheering his long shots and giving him a “MVP! MVP!” chants while Durant and the home team fired.
Andrew Wiggins added 19 points for the Warriors, which improved their NBA best record to 12-2.
James Harden scored 24 points for the Nets, who came home from a 5-1 road trip and fell flat in the nationally televised matchup. Durant won both games last season against the Warriors, his first game for Brooklyn after leaving Golden State.
But this is a much improved Warriors team this season and showed it during a dominant third quarter as they outscored the Nets 35-18 after a close first half.
Wiggins had the first two baskets of the third and Curry the next two, pushing a five-point lead to 71-58. Both had to go to the bench during the period with their fourth faults, but the Warriors did some of their best work without them.
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Golden State had an 18-5 run and held Brooklyn to just one field goal in a span of more than six minutes. Andre Iguodala beat the buzzer with a 3-pointer to finish the quarter, making it 98-76.
Curry then made back-to-back shots from 30 feet early in the quarter to put it away.
Golden State shot 13 of 18 (72%) in the third, while the Nets were 5 for 22.
The game was played at a high level at the start before a definitely divided crowd that grew louder with each make when Curry hit his first four 3-pointers. The Nets made their first six shots of the game and led 34-31 after one, with both Durant and Curry having 12 points.
Wiggins made 3-pointers for the final two baskets of the half, one at the buzzer giving Golden State a 63-58 lead.
The military: Curry’s first basket of the game was his 2,900th 3-pointer. He is close to Ray Allen’s NBA record of 2,973. … Green had 11 points, eight assists and six rebounds.
Networks: Patty Mills made her first start of the season instead of Joe Harris, who has a sprained left ankle. Coach Steve Nash said Harris will likely miss a few games before his ankle is examined again. Brooklyn used the same starting lineup in previous 11 games. * Bruce Brown scored 14 points.
Kerr said Klay Thompson played 5-on-5 back in San Francisco on Monday and was expected to do so again on Wednesday. The star guard has not played since the 2019 NBA Finals due to a knee and later injury to an Achilles tendon.
STILL THE SAME
Kerr was asked if Durant is a better player now than during his three seasons with the Warriors, when he was twice the NBA Finals MVP before breaking his Achilles tendon in Game 5 of the 2019 finals.
“He was pretty good then, so he doesn’t look any different to me and that’s after an Achilles injury that kept him out for a year and a half,” Kerr said. “So that’s saying something. But I don’t think you can say he had an injury because of his ability, his speed, his explosion. “
The military: Visit Cleveland on Thursday.
Networks: Host Cleveland on Wednesday.
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