Golden State star Stephen Curry scored 26 points on another milestone night on Monday, leading the NBA champion Warriors in a 132-100 rout of the Indiana Pacers.
The Warriors stretched the longest winning streak in the league this season to 11 as they wrapped up a five-game road trip in style in Indianapolis.
Curry connected on 10 of 13 shots from the field, including six three-pointers and became the first player in NBA history to make 200 three-pointers in seven successive seasons.
He did most of the damage in the first half, when his 23 points included eight straight to break a 16-16 tie midway through the first quarter — a burst that put the Warriors on their way.
“Just a really good way to finish it,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of the convincing end to the road trip. “I was a little worried about this game. Everybody’s anxious to get home, but we’ve finished off the trip the right way.
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“We’re in a groove, we’re in a good place. We’ve just got to keep going.”
DeMarcus Cousins added 22 points for the Warriors, shaking off a scary fall in the first quarter.
Cousins, playing just his fifth game for the Warriors after missing almost an entire year after a torn Achilles tendon, went down hard after Indiana’s Myles Turner fouled him in transition in the first quarter.
“I wasn’t actually hurt, I was more spooked from the fall,” said Cousins, who was slow to rise but stayed in the game.
Kevin Durant added 16 points for the Warriors, who let “banged up” Draymond Green sit out for a bit of rest.
Turner scored led the Pacers with 16 points, but Indiana dropped their second straight since losing guard Victor Oladipo to a season-ending knee injury.
In Boston, the absence of Kyrie Irving was no problem for the Celtics as Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart scored 21 points apiece to lead the Celtics to a 112-104 victory over the Brooklyn Nets.
Aron Baynes added 16 points, Marcus Morris scored 15 and Al Horford and Terry Rozier chipped in 14 each for the Celtics, whose 16 blocked shots were a franchise record.
Irving sat out with a sore left hip — possibly the result of a fall in Saturday’s loss to the Warriors.
“I don’t think it’ll be anything long-term,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said before the game. “We’ll see after tonight how he feels tomorrow.”
Stevens said it wasn’t a tough decision to have Irving sit out a seventh game this season, even with a minor injury, as the team looks to preserve the long-term health of the All-Star point guard.
“Especially with a guy that we were going to sit him eight to 12 games anyway, so when he does have nicks and bruises, it makes sense to sit.”
– Nuggets rally –
The Denver Nuggets, second in the Western Conference behind he Warriors, erased a 25-point third-quarter deficit to beat the Grizzlies in Memphis 95-92.
Nikola Jokic scored 24 points and drained a go-ahead hook shot with 28.9 seconds to play as the Nuggets became the first team in the league this season to win after trailing by 25 in the second half.
Down 17 heading into the final period, the Nuggets forced the Grizzlies into eight straight misses in the final 10 minutes.
Malik Beasley scored 13 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter.
“It’s what we do,” Beasley said. “We just stayed together, kept our heads up and kept playing hard. We’re the best team in this league to me.”