DENVER – Stephen Curry was just about unstoppable in the fourth quarter, except near the very end.
Curry scored 20 of his 38 points in the final period but lost the ball under defensive pressure from Danilo Gallinari in the game’s final moments, and the Denver Nuggets hung on to hand the Golden State Warriors their third loss of the season, 112-110 on Wednesday night.
“It was a great opportunity to try to tie the game or take the lead,” Curry said about the last of his eight turnovers. “Got stuck between looking for the open man and handling the ball, and one little mishandle and Gallinari got it.”
The defending NBA champion Warriors (36-3) had won seven straight since their previous defeat, 114-91 at Dallas on Dec. 30.
Harrison Barnes added 18 points and Klay Thompson had 17 for the Warriors.
Gallinari led the Nuggets with 28 points but it was his defense at the game’s critical moment that made the difference, Nuggets coach Michael Malone said.
“Gallo has proven this year he can guard most players on the floor,” Malone said. “And he did a great job. He got into a stance, forced a deflection, was first to the floor and comes out with the loose ball. Those are winning plays. Those are what separate teams and we had enough winning plays tonight where we were able to withstand the furious comeback that they made.”
Will Barton added 21 points for the Nuggets, who snapped a four-game losing streak to the Warriors despite being outscored 37-29 in the final period.
Thunder 108, Mavericks 89
In Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant had 29 points and 10 rebounds, and the Thunder romped when Dallas sat out its usual starters.
Thunder star Russell Westbrook was ejected in the second quarter after getting his second technical foul following skirmishes with J.J. Barea. Westbrook went scoreless.
Clippers 104, Heat 90
In Los Angeles, backup center Cole Aldrich had 19 points and seven rebounds in place of ailing DeAndre Jordan, and the Clippers used a thunderous third-quarter surge to beat Miami.
Jordan was sidelined because of pneumonia, ending the NBA’s longest active consecutive games played streak at 360.
Celtics 103, Pacers 94
In Boston, Isaiah Thomas scored 28 points, Jae Crowder matched his career high with 25 and the Celtics snapped a four-game losing streak with a win over Indiana.
Amir Johnson had a season-high 18 rebounds and scored 14 points for the Celtics, who beat the Pacers for the first time this season after losing the first two meetings.
Nets 110, Knicks 104
In New York, Brook Lopez scored 20 points, Thaddeus Young had 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Brooklyn ended its 10-game home losing streak.
The Nets also snapped a five-game overall skid with their first victory under interim coach Tony Brown, who took over when coach Lionel Hollins was fired and general manager Billy King was reassigned on Sunday.
Wizards 106, Bucks 101
In Washington, John Wall scored 19 points and Bradley Beal had 11 in his return from injury.
Beal came off the bench and played 22 minutes in his first game since Dec. 9. He had been sidelined with a stress reaction in his lower right leg.
Rockets 107, T-Wolves 104
In Houston, James Harden had 27 points and 11 assists as the Rockets won their season-high fifth in a row. Minnesota lost its season-worst eighth straight.
Dwight Howard added 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Terrence Jones came off the bench to score 16 with nine rebounds for Houston.
Hornets 107, Hawks 84
In Charlotte, Kemba Walker scored 23 points and the Hornets pulled away from Atlanta to stop a seven-game losing streak.
Cody Zeller added 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Jeremy Lin also scored 19 points for Charlotte.
Paul Millsap scored 20 points for the Hawks.
Trail Blazers 99, Jazz 85
In Portland, Damian Lillard had 21 points and 10 assists, and the Trail Blazers shook off a slow first half to beat Utah.
Pelicans 109, Kings 97
In Sacramento, Eric Gordon made six 3-pointers and scored 24 points, Anthony Davis also had 24 and New Orleans snapped a four-game skid.