SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Stephen Curry bounced back from one of the worst shooting nights of his career and scored 23 points, and the Golden State Warriors convincingly ended the Phoenix Suns’ 18-game winning streak with a 118-96 victory on Friday night.
The Warriors (19-3) limited the Suns (19-4) to a season low for scoring and slipped past Phoenix for the best record in the NBA.
The Suns were within 83-74 following a dunk by JaVale McGee early in the fourth quarter but never got closer. Gary Payton II scored on consecutive possessions, added a breakaway two-handed dunk, then followed with a short jumper to put Golden State ahead by 20.
Three days after going 4 of 21 while missing 11 of 14 3-point tries in a 104-96 loss in Phoenix, Curry shot 8 of 20 with six 3s, five rebounds and five assists.
Andrew Wiggins added 19 points as Golden State extended its home winning streak to 11. Draymond Green had nine points, nine assists and nine rebounds.
Deandre Ayton had 23 points and six rebounds for Phoenix. Chris Paul added 12 points and eight assists.
Suns coach Monty Williams had tried his best to keep talk about the streak to a minimum while at the same time encouraging his players to relish the ride. He won’t have to worry about that anymore following Phoenix’s first loss since Oct. 27.
Playing the second half of a back-to-back and again without injured leading scorer Devin Booker, the Suns fell behind by double digits early and spent the rest of the night trying to catch up.
Curry made it an impossible climb.
The two-time MVP hit his first two 3s, completed a three-point play amid chants of “MVP! MVP!” and made another shot beyond the arc to put the Warriors up 49-37.
The Suns trailed by 11, then closed the second quarter on an 8-0 run to pull within 51-48.
UP AND OVER
Warriors swingman Juan Toscano-Anderson brought a roaring Chase Center crowd to its feet late in the first quarter with a thunderous one-handed dunk over Suns 7-foot center JaVale McGee, who was standing in the lane under in front of the basket.
Suns: Mikal Bridges left the court briefly in the first half after appearing to injure his right hand while attempting to chase down a loose ball. Bridges returned midway through the second quarter with medical tape around his pinky finger. … Booker is nursing a sore left hamstring.
Warriors: Klay Thompson will continue to participate in scrimmages but coach Steve Kerr did not say whether Thompson would play in the G League before rejoining the Warriors. The biggest issue facing Thompson right now, Kerr said, is conditioning. … Andre Iguodala (right knee soreness) sat out his eighth consecutive game.
Suns: Host the Spurs on Monday. The Suns have won three straight against San Antonio but have dropped the last two in Phoenix.
Warriors: Face the Spurs at Chase Center on Saturday. San Antonio has won six of the previous 10 games between the two teams.
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Michael Wagaman, The Associated Press