Curry sets 3s mark; Warriors beat Blazers 99-88
PORTLAND, Ore. — Stephen Curry couldn’t wait to get his record out of the way.
Curry broke the NBA single-season mark for 3-pointers with 272 and the Golden State Warriors defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 99-88 on Wednesday in the regular season finale for both teams.
Curry surpassed Ray Allen’s 3-point total of 269 set in 2005-06. Needing two for the record, Curry opened the game with two straight misses from beyond the arc, but hit his first midway through the first quarter before making the record-breaker with 6:49 to go in the second.
“I was nervous to be honest with you. I had butterflies,” Curry said. “It was like the elephant in the room.”
The feat accomplished, Curry was able to help the Warriors get the win and secure the sixth seed in the Western Conference.
Golden State will face the Nuggets in a first-round game Saturday in Denver.
“I was just so happy to get it out of the way so I could focus on the game,” he said. “It’s hard to do both, to be honest with you.”
His backcourt teammate Klay Thompson led the Warriors (47-35) with 24 points.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 30 points and a season-high 21 rebounds for Portland (33-49), which lost its 13th straight game to equal the franchise record set in the 1971-72 season. It was the Blazers’ eighth straight loss at home, a franchise record.
“We started out the season doing better that everyone thought. We kind of stalled there at the end with injuries and guys being out, but I thought throughout the whole year guys tried to get better and worked hard every day,” Aldridge said after the Blazers thanked their fans in a postgame T-shirt giveaway. “The young guys came in and they tried to learn the game. That’s all you can ask right now.”
Golden State led by as many as 16 points in the first half but the Blazers closed the gap to 66-60 late in the third quarter on rookie Damian Lillard’s layup. Sasha Pavlovic followed with a 3-pointer to pull Portland within 3.
Meyers Leonard hit a jumper to get the Blazers within 76-73 with 7:36 left in the game, but Thompson answered for the Warriors with a 3 and Portland couldn’t get any closer.
Curry hit his fourth 3-pointer of the game with 5:56 to go, putting Golden State up 91-77. He finished with 15 points.
“That’s a lot of 3s,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said about Curry’s record. “Just unbelievable. An unbelievable season, and a great accomplishment for him.”
The Warriors saw the return of center Andrew Bogut, who missed two games because of a bone bruise on his left ankle. Bogut has missed 42 games this season because of the ankle, which he had microfracture surgery on last April. Bogut finished with two points and eight rebounds in 17 minutes.
Portland was without starting forward Nicolas Batum, who missed the team’s final eight games with a right shoulder injury, and shooting guard Wesley Matthews, who missed the last five games with a sprained right ankle.
“It’s up to us to make sure that we erase this as soon as possible next year, Matthews said following the game.
The Warriors led by as many as eight points early, but the Blazers kept it close and pulled within 26-24 on Aldridge’s jumper. Golden State answered with an 18-5 run to go up 44-29 on Thompson’s 3-pointer.
The Warriors took a 50-36 lead into the half.
David Lee had 20 points and 10 rebounds for his league-leading 56th double-double, becoming the first Warrior to finish atop the league since Wilt Chamberlain had a double-double in all 80 games in the 1963-64 season.
Lillard finished with 21 points for the Blazers.
“They had something to play for, and we had something to prove,” Lillard said. “They are a top team in the West and we wanted to come out and compete with them.”
GRIZZLIES 86, JAZZ 70
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Zach Randolph had 25 points and 19 rebounds and Memphis ended Utah’s playoff hopes.
The Grizzlies’ victory meant the Los Angeles Lakers were assured of making the playoffs even before their late game against the Houston Rockets.
Mike Conley finished with 14 points for Memphis, which won its second straight and fifth in the past six. Darrell Arthur finished with 11 points for the Grizzlies, who took the West’s fifth seed and will facec the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round.
Al Jefferson scored 22 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to lead Utah, the only Jazz player in double figures. The Jazz managed only 32 percent shooting and were outrebounded 57-47.
BULLS 95, WIZARDS 92
CHICAGO — Carlos Boozer had 19 points and 15 rebounds to help the Bulls clinch the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference with a win over the Wizards in the regular-season finale.
Kirk Hinrich added 18 points and Nazr Mohammed had a season-high 17 for the Bulls, who will face the Brooklyn Nets in the opening round of the playoffs.
It sure wasn’t easy.
A.J. Price scored a career-high 24 points and John Wall overcame a slow start to finish with 23 for the Wizards, who kept coming back every time it looked as though the Bulls were ready to put them away.
HEAT 105, MAGIC 93
MIAMI — Dwyane Wade scored 21 points and handed out 10 assists, Mike Miller added 21 points and the Miami Heat wrapped up the regular season with a win over the Magic.
The Heat (66-16) became the 14th team in NBA history to finish with a winning percentage over .800, and did so with LeBron James away from the team for the day while tending to a personal matter.
Orlando finished with the NBA’s worst record, 20-62.
Rashard Lewis scored 16 points, Juwan Howard added 12 and Ray Allen scored 10 for Miami. The Heat have home-court advantage throughout the playoffs, and will open against the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday.
Nik Vucevic had 20 points and 13 rebounds for Orlando. Only once have the Magic won fewer games in a season — their inaugural year, going 18-64 in 1989-90.
KNICKS 98, HAWKS 92
NEW YORK — Carmelo Anthony won the scoring title without playing, and the Atlanta Hawks lost their chance to move up in the East standings.
Chris Copeland scored 33 points on a night that belonged to the benches, and the Knicks wrapped up their winningest season in 16 years by beating the Hawks.
With Anthony and just about every important player on either side sitting, the Knicks finished 54-28, their most victories since going 57-25 in 1996-97.
New York is the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference and will host the No. 7 Boston Celtics on Saturday.
NETS 103, PISTONS 99
NEW YORK — Brook Lopez scored 20 points and reserve Andray Blatche added 15 as the playoff-bound Nets held off the Pistons.
Kris Humphries had 11 points and Joe Johnson added 10 for Brooklyn, winners of two straight. The Nets wrapped up their first regular season after leaving New Jersey and will open their first playoff series in six years at home against the Chicago Bulls on Saturday.
The Bulls clinched the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference when Atlanta lost to the New York Knicks.
Will Bynum had 23 points for the Pistons, who snapped a four-game winning streak. Andre Drummond scored 13 points and Greg Monroe added 12 points and 12 rebounds. Detroit will miss the playoffs for the fourth straight season, totaling 201 losses in that stretch.
TIMBERWOLVES 108, SPURS 95
SAN ANTONIO — Derrick Williams had 21 points to help the Timberwolves beat the Spurs, ending a 16-game losing streak at San Antonio.
Chase Budinger added 15 points and Greg Stiemsma and Ricky Rubio had 12 points apiece for Minnesota, won on the Spurs’ home court for the first time since Jan. 14, 2004.
Gary Neal had 17 points, Tim Duncan had 17 points and 14 rebounds, Tony Parker had 15 points and eight assists for the Spurs, who had previously clinched the Western Conference’s second seed.
Duncan, Parker and Manu Ginobili did not play in the final quarter of the regular season finale.
San Antonio opens the playoffs by hosting either the the Los Angeles Lakers, who took the seventh seed.
RAPTORS 114, CELTICS 90
TORONTO — DeMar DeRozan scored 24 points, Rudy Gay had 19 points and nine rebounds, and the Toronto Raptors routed the Boston Celtics, finishing their season with five straight wins.
Jonas Valanciunas scored 18 points, Alan Anderson had 16 and Kyle Lowry had nine points and eight assists as the Raptors matched their longest winning streak of the season.
Jordan Crawford scored 16 points, Terrence Williams had 12 and Avery Bradley 11 for the Celtics, who played for the first time since Monday’s bomb attack near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Players from both teams gathered at midcourt before tip-off to observe a moment of silence.
BUCKS 95, THUNDER 89
OKLAHOMA CITY — Rookie John Henson scored a career-high 28 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, Brandon Jennings had 17 points and the Bucks beat the Thunder in a regular-season finale lacking any postseason implications.
Needing to score 70 points to surpass New York’s Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant conceded the NBA scoring title and joined starting center Kendrick Perkins and key reserves Kevin Martin and Nick Collison in suits on the Thunder bench.
Russell Westbrook extended the NBA’s longest active consecutive games played streak to 394 by playing the first 7 minutes, helping the Thunder score the game’s first seven points and build a 20-9 lead.
The Bucks didn’t pull ahead until Henson’s two-handed slam early in the fourth quarter, during a 27-6 run.
Reggie Jackson led Oklahoma City with a career-best 23 points.
MAVERICKS 99, HORNETS 87
DALLAS — Darren Collison scored 25 points, Dirk Nowitzki added 16 and the Dallas Mavericks finished their worst season in 13 years on a winning note, beating New Orleans in its final game as the Hornets.
The Mavericks (41-41) avoided their first losing record since going 40-42 in 1999-2000 — also the last time they missed the playoffs.
Al-Farouq Amini had 16 points and a career-high 20 rebounds for New Orleans, which will become the Pelicans next season. Eric Gordon also scored 16 for the Hornets.
Nowitzki, who also had a team-high nine rebounds, scored nine points in the third quarter, including a three-point play on a jumper and his one-legged step-back shot at the buzzer for a 75-64 lead.
The Hornets got within six in the fourth quarter, but Collison scored eight straight points to key an 18-4 run that put the Mavs ahead by 20.
BOBCATS 105, CAVALIERS 98
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Kemba Walker had 24 points and seven assists, and the Charlotte Bobcats defeated the Cavaliers to avoid finishing in the NBA cellar for a second consecutive season.
The Bobcats (21-61) finished one game ahead of the Orlando Magic, who lost their season finale to the Miami Heat.
Josh McRoberts added 20 points and eight rebounds as the Bobcats closed the season with three straight wins, matching a season high.
Gerald Henderson added 15 points.
Kyrie Irving had 24 points and 10 assists for the Cavaliers, who finished with the third-worst record in the league (24-58) after losing 16 of their last 18 games, including their last six.
With the win the Bobcats became the first team in NBA history to triple their win total from the previous season.
Charlotte finished last year’s lockout-shortened season 7-59 and its .106 winning percentage was the worst ever.
76ERS 105, PACERS 95
INDIANAPOLIS — Dorell Wright scored 23 points and Evan Turner added 16, leading Philadelphia to a victory over short-handed Indiana in what was likely Doug Collins’ final game as the 76ers coach.
The organization has already scheduled morning news conferences with the managing owner and Collins, who spent almost the entire game glued to his seat and spoke mostly with a hand covering his mouth.
Philadelphia (34-48) finished the season by winning three of its final four games but still out of the playoffs.
The Pacers (49-31) were led by Gerald Green who had a career-high 34 points. Lance Stephenson had 12 points, but the Pacers again failed to win their 50th game and head into the postseason with five losses in their last six games. Indiana rested four starters — Paul George, George Hill, Roy Hibbert and David West.
NUGGETS 118, SUNS 98
DENVER — The Denver Nuggets secured the third seed in the Western Conference playoffs by routing the Suns behind 21 points from Wilson Chandler and 20 from Andre Iguodala.
They will face sixth-seeded Golden State in the first round, opening at home — where they’ve won a franchise-best 23 straight games to finish with the league’s best home mark at 38-3, eclipsing the old record of 36-5 set in 1976-77, their first year in the NBA.
They also won an NBA franchise record 57 games overall, besting the 54-win seasons of 1987-88 and 2008-09.
Luis Scola’s 17 points and 11 rebounds led the Suns, who wrapped up the second-worst season in franchise history with a mark of 25-57, the worst in the West. The only one that was worse for the Suns was their inaugural NBA season in 1968-69, when they went 16-66.
CLIPPERS 112, KINGS 108
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Jamal Crawford scored 24 points, including several big shots down the stretch, and the Clippers locked up the No. 4 seed in the West and home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Chris Paul had 25 points and 11 assists for the Pacific Division champion Clippers (56-26), who will open against fifth-seeded Memphis (56-26) in Los Angeles. The Clippers won three of four games against the Grizzlies this season.
DeMarcus Cousins had a season-high 36 points and a career-best 22 rebounds, and Marcus Thornton scored 21 to rally Sacramento from an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter before the Clippers took control.
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