Stephen Curry padded his NBA scoring lead with 34 points in just 31 minutes and the Golden State Warriors moved up a spot on the Western Conference playoff ladder with a 118-97 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday in San Francisco.
The win in the opener of a regular-season-ending, six-game homestand allowed the Warriors (34-33) to pass the Memphis Grizzlies (33-33) in their duel for the eighth playoff position in the West. The Grizzlies lost 111-97 to the Detroit Pistons on Thursday.
Curry began the night as the NBA's leading scorer at 31.5 points per game and added to his advantage on a night when his chief rival, Washington's Bradley Beal, totaled 28 points in an overtime win against the Toronto Raptors.
Curry shot 11-for-21 overall and 6-for-13 from 3-point range for the Warriors, who outshot the Thunder 48.8 percent to 40.9 percent overall and 40.4 percent to 23.1 percent from long distance.
Getting double-figure scoring from four other players and double-figure rebounds from Kevon Looney, Golden State gradually pulled away from a Thunder team that lost its fifth straight.
The clubs will meet in a rematch -- also in San Francisco -- on Saturday.
Mychal Mulder had 25 points, Andrew Wiggins 18, Jordan Poole 14 and Kent Bazemore 13 for the Warriors, who were coming off a loss at New Orleans on Tuesday that completed a 2-2 trip.
Mulder outdid Curry with seven 3-pointers in 13 tries, helping Golden State outscore Oklahoma City 57-27 from beyond the arc.
Looney collected a game-high 10 rebounds, one more than teammate Draymond Green, who also had five points and a game-high nine assists.
Ty Jerome came off the bench to pace the Thunder with 23 points, hitting eight of his 14 shots and three of his six 3-point attempts.
Darius Bazley went for 22 points and Theo Maledon 15 for Oklahoma City, which began an unusual four-game sequence that features two straight in San Francisco and then two straight 90 miles away in Sacramento.
Maledon had a team-high eight assists and Moses Brown pulled down a team-best eight rebounds for the Thunder, who never led in the game and trailed by as many as 25.
--Field Level Media