OKLAHOMA CITY – Stephen Curry had no clue how far from the hoop he was. He just knew it was time to shoot.
His 3-pointer from beyond 30 feet with 0.6 seconds left in overtime gave the Golden State Warriors a 121-118 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night.
“Honestly, I don’t know exactly where I am, so it’s not like I’m calibrating in my head, all right, 38 feet, 37, 36,” he said. “Just literally, you’ve got a sense of — I’ve shot the shot plenty of times, you’re coming across half-court and timing up your dribbles, and you want to shoot before the defense goes in. And that was pretty much my only thought.”
Golden State, with the best 58-game record in NBA history at 53-5, became the first team this season to clinch a playoff berth. The Warriors are also the first team since the 1987-88 Los Angeles Lakers to clinch a playoff spot in February.
Curry finished with 46 points, and his winning shot was his 12th 3-pointer, tying the NBA single-game record.
Warriors forward Draymond Green thought Curry had time to get closer to the hoop before the release.
“What was that, 40 feet?” Green asked. “That’s absurd.”
Golden State guard Klay Thompson is beyond the point of being surprised anymore.
“Everybody in this locker room, we’ve seen him practice from that range every day,” Thompson said. “He’s got the greatest range I’ve ever seen. He makes it look so effortless.”
Curry also broke his own NBA record for 3s in a season, leaving the new mark at 288.
“I never would have thought at this point in the season I would be closing in on 300 and all that kind of stuff,” he said. “That doesn’t make sense to me. I’ve always tried to push the envelope and keep getting better, but a lot has to go right to get to this point.”
Thompson scored 32 points and Green had 14 assists for the Warriors.
Curry, the league’s scoring leader and reigning MVP, missed about six minutes of the third quarter with a left ankle injury. He drove to the basket and rolled the ankle before Thunder guard Russell Westbrook stepped on it.
“It was a little nerve racking,” he said. I wanted to make sure I was OK. I had to get it re-taped. It was painful.”
Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 37 points, but he fouled out in the first minute of overtime. Even without him, Oklahoma City was in position to win. The Thunder played one of their better defensive games of the season and shut down the other Warriors players from beyond the arc.
“I thought all of the guys really played their hearts out and did a lot of good things,” Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan said. “It’s disappointing to come up short like that, but I think there is a lot we can take from it in terms of what we can do and what we are capable of doing defensively with a tremendous amount of energy and focus.”
Spurs 104, Rockets 94
In Houston, Kawhi Leonard scored 27 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 26 to lead San Antonio to a victory over the Rockets. The Spurs tied the mark as the seventh-fastest team in NBA history to reach 50 wins.
Trail Blazers 103, Bulls 95
In Chicago, Damian Lillard scored 31 points and Portland won for the 16th time in 20 games.
Celtics 101, Heat 89
In Boston, Marcus Smart had 15 points and six rebounds as the Celtics held off Miami for their 10th consecutive victory at home.
Pistons 102, Bucks 91
In Milwaukee, Andre Drummond posted his NBA-leading 50th double-double with 15 points and 17 rebounds.
T-Wolves 112, Pelicans 110
In New Orleans, Karl-Anthony Towns had 30 points and 15 rebounds, Andrew Wiggins hit two free throws with 3.6 seconds left and Minnesota rallied to beat the depleted Pelicans.