Red-hot Curry goes on a rampage
A day after the Dallas Mavericks got the bad news that backup point guard and team sparkplug JJ Barea was lost for the season, Stephen Curry brought more bad news - in the form of 11 three-pointers.
Curry scored 48 points and tied his season high for threes in a game as the Golden State Warriors held off the Mavericks 119-114.
"We just couldn't get Curry under control," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "He was brilliant tonight."
Curry's 11 threes were the most ever by a Mavericks opponent. The last one was his most important, snapping a 114-all tie with 42 seconds to play.
Both Curry and Warriors coach Steve Kerr credited Kevin Durant for switching play calls to get Curry shots rather than taking shots of his own.
"That was just (Durant) taking the initiative, knowing that I had a hot hand going," Curry said.
"Call it a decoy in terms of him being in the action, but allowing me to work. The way they were defending us, it just made sense tonight."
Durant added 28 points for the Warriors and Klay Thompson had nine of his 16 in the fourth quarter as Golden State received a tough test from a Dallas team playing without its top two point guards, Dennis Smith Jr. and Barea.
Luka Doncic scored 26 points for Dallas and Harrison Barnes had 22. Jalen Brunson had 12 off the bench in 30 minutes, in place of the injured point guards.
After Curry's final three-pointer, Draymond Green blocked Brunson's drive at the other end and secured the loose ball. The Mavericks forced a miss, but Barnes turned the ball over in the frontcourt with five seconds left. Curry sealed the game with free throws.
"He had mismatches," Durant said. "He was making shots over everybody tonight, so why run plays? Just give him the ball."
Dallas missed its final eight shots from the field.
Carlisle said Barea requires surgery to repair his ruptured right Achilles tendon. Barea suffered the injury in the fourth quarter on Friday night against Minnesota and is out for the season.
Barea was averaging nearly 11 points and six assists per game.
HARDEN HITS HIGH AND LOW IN SHOCK HOUSTON LOSS
James Harden reached historic milestones on two fronts during Houston's 116-109 loss to Orlando.
Harden scored 38 points to match Kobe Bryant's record run of 16 30-point games from the 2002-03 season but the reigning MVP was just 1-for-17 on three-pointers, tying for the most three-point misses in a game in NBA history.
Harden, who also had 12 assists and nine rebounds, nearly had a triple-double at halftime with 16 points, nine assists and seven rebounds.
Orlando didn't have the one-man show Houston did, but the Magic got scoring from all nine players and were down only 59-52 at halftime.
Harden matched Damon Stoudamire's record for 16 missed threes in a game. Stoudamire went 5-21 on in April 2005 against the Warriors.
Houston's first half was almost exclusively Harden's dribbling behind the top of the three-point line and taking step-back three-pointers or driving to the basket for layups or lobs to Clint Capela.
For the Magic, Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon each scored 22 points and Evan Fournier had 17.
The Magic outscored Harden and Houston 14-4 in the final four minutes of the game to win their second straight game.
"That was exhausting," said Fournier, who spent most of the game chasing Harden around pick-and-rolls. "The guy is terrific. I thought overall, we did a pretty good job, but the guy still had 38."
Harden made a pair of free throws with 4:34 left.
From there, however, he was one for five from the field, including three misses on step-back three-pointers. His teammates were none for three during that span, giving him no help when the game was being decided.
"The problem is you can't rely on (Harden) to be superhuman every night," Houston coach Mike D'Antoni said. "We have to have some contribution from other guys.
"I thought they came in with a lack of focus on the defensive end and it carried over on the offensive end. We didn't play well."