WASHINGTON — Stephen Curry scored 38 points, local product Kevin Durant had 21 and the Golden State Warriors hammered the ball inside to beat the Washington Wizards 126-118 Thursday night (Friday, Manila time) for their season-high ninth consecutive victory.
The two-time defending NBA champions put up 70 points in the paint after shooting 1 of 6 from the outside in the first quarter. Curry was at the forefront of Golden State's drive-the-paint strategy as he made just two of his eight 3-point attempts and was 12 of 16 inside the arc.
Durant, from nearby Suitland, Maryland, was 9 of 18 from the floor.
Center DeMarcus Cousins had 17 points in 24 minutes in his third game with the Warriors since missing almost a full year with a ruptured left Achilles tendon. Cousins was a matchup nightmare in the post against Washington, which went with a small lineup for most of the night.
Trevor Ariza led the Wizards with a season-high 27 points and Bradley Beal had 22 points as their two-game winning streak came to an end.
After the Warriors led by 12 after three quarters, the Wizards went on an 11-2 run to get back into the game. With Curry, Durant and Draymond Green on the bench, a 3-pointer by little-used Chasson Randle with 7:46 left cut Washington's deficit to two at 108-106, and Sam Dekker missed a lay-in on the next possession that would have tied it.
Shaun Livingston hit two free throws the next time down the floor for Golden State, and dunks by Alfonzo McKinnie and Kevon Looney pushed the lead back up to eight. The Warriors pulled away when Curry re-entered the game.
Warriors: Curry surpassed 30 points for the 19th time this season. ... One game after tying an NBA record by making his first 10 3-point attempts, Klay Thompson was 1 of 4 on 3s. ... F Jonas Jerebko did not fly with the team because his wife was due to give birth.
Wizards: G Tomas Satoransky tied a season-high with 20 points. ... F Otto Porter Jr. came off the bench for the 10th consecutive game, was 0 of 7 on 3-point attempts and finished with seven points. ... Beal shot 1 of 9 on 3s.
Wizards coach Scott Brooks thinks Durant can break Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's all-time scoring record as long as he stays healthy. Durant is currently 36th, but fourth in NBA history in points per game.
"Nobody in the league's history can dribble the ball at that size," said Brooks, who coached Durant for seven seasons with Oklahoma City. "And to be able to get the shot off with those dribbles, I mean his moves are flawless. ... He has been programmed to get better every day. He has that insatiable desire to improve every single day and that's what makes him one of the greatest players to ever play."
Curry and Durant were named All-Star starters, but coach Steve Kerr doesn't expect Golden State to have four representatives this year, namely because Green and Thompson haven't been playing at their recent levels consistently enough to make it. And the Warriors weren't this dominant in previous months.
"I don't think it's been that kind of a season," Kerr said. "It's been rocky at least until the last few weeks."
THEY SAID IT
Brooks on facing the Warriors: "I was fortunate enough to coach two Western Conference All-Star teams. Now I get to coach against one."
Warriors: Visit old nemesis Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics on Saturday.
Wizards: Begin a three-game road trip Friday at the Orlando Magic.