LOS ANGELES – After Stephen Curry came up limping from another blow to his sore left leg, Golden State coach Luke Walton thought the reigning MVP should take the rest of the night off while the Warriors wrapped up another blowout win.
Walton also knows Steph wouldn’t be Steph if it was that easy to keep him off the court.
Klay Thompson scored 22 of his 36 points in the first quarter and Curry added 17 before sitting out the fourth to rest his ailing leg in Golden State’s 109-88 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night.
The defending champion Warriors became the first NBA team to win 33 of its first 35 games.
Curry stayed in the game after knocking legs with Roy Hibbert in the third quarter, leaving the star guard with obvious frustration on his face. He missed two games with a bruised lower left leg last week before returning for Golden State’s past three games, unwilling to take more than the minimum time away from the Warriors’ 33-2 season.
“It’s frustrating and annoying,” Curry said. “Long-term, it’s not something I have to worry about. It’s just playing through an injury.”
Curry only agreed to go to the locker room before the fourth quarter, after the Warriors had scored 22 straight points to put it away. He said he has been told it would take four weeks to fully heal his leg, “but I’m not sitting out four weeks.”
“I played with a guy like that,” said Walton, Kobe Bryant’s championship-winning teammate with the Lakers. “I wasn’t going to put him back out there at first, but he was pretty adamant about it.”
Bryant sat out his third straight game with a sore right shoulder for the Lakers, whose three-game winning streak ended.
The Warriors never trailed while beating the Lakers at Staples Center for only the fifth time in franchise history.
“It’s unbelievable,” Thompson said of the Warriors’ start. “It’s honestly surreal. (Going) 33-2 is tough to do in high school, let alone the NBA.”
Jordan Clarkson scored 23 points for the Lakers. Rookie guard D’Angelo Russell sat out with a sore throat, missing a game for the first time in his career. The Lakers’ three-game winning streak was their longest since February, but the loss dropped their record to 8-28, the second-worst in the NBA.
“They’ve got a bunch of intelligent players, and the league right now as a whole is not a very intelligent league,” Metta World Peace said. “They have a high IQ, and they capitalize on the lower IQs.”
Mavericks 117, Kings 116 (2OT)
In Dallas, Deron Williams hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer in the second overtime, and the Mavericks earned their 22nd consecutive home victory over Sacramento.
Williams took an inbounds pass from Devin Harris with 2.3 seconds left, pump faked to get Rudy Gay to fly by him in the left corner and the ball went in after the buzzer sounded.
Dirk Nowitzki hit an earlier 3 as the Mavericks scored the last eight points after falling behind 116-109 with 1:20 left in the second overtime.
DeMarcus Cousins scored 35 for his third straight 30-point game for the Kings, including a buzzer-beating layup for a 98-all tie at the end of regulation.
Former Dallas guard Rajon Rondo was out with back spasms in his first visit since an acrimonious split after an ill-fated half-season with the Mavericks.
Bulls 117, Bucks 106
In Chicago, Jimmy Butler had 32 points and a season-high 10 assists to lead the Bulls over Milwaukee for their season-best fifth straight win.
Pau Gasol scored 26 points with 11 rebounds, and Taj Gibson added 11 points and 14 boards as the Bulls led the entire way.
Derrick Rose returned to the Bulls after missing three straight games with a sore right hamstring. He showed no effects of the injury and finished with 16 points.
Knicks 107, Hawks 101
In Atlanta, Arron Afflalo and Carmelo Anthony both scored 23 points, and New York almost lost a 16-point lead before holding off Atlanta to give the Knicks their second win over the Hawks in three days.
The Knicks led by 16 in the third quarter but saw the lead reduced to two points in the final minute before Jose Calderon scored on a drive with 18 seconds remaining.
Kristaps Porzingis had 17 points and 11 rebounds for New York. Anthony finished with 11 rebounds and seven assists.