OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Stephen Curry's shooting stroke flowed so smoothly he swished shots without even looking at the basket.
At one point, the Los Angeles Clippers cornered Curry on the sideline near the Golden State Warriors' bench. The 6-foot-10 Lamar Odom tried to crowd Curry out of bounds, and the diminutive point guard never hesitated to chuck up the shot.
"I lost sight of the rim and I knew it was going in," Curry said. "I haven't been that locked-in in a while."
Curry scored 25 of his 31 points in the first half, David Lee finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds and the Warriors coasted past the ailing Clippers 115-94 on Wednesday night.
After winning a franchise-record 17 straight games, Los Angeles has suddenly dropped two straight and has Golden State surging from behind.
Curry made nine of his first 10 shots, including 4 of 5 from beyond the arc, and added eight assists and six rebounds to pace Golden State's 26-8 spurt to start the game. His twice-surgically repaired right ankle healthy again, Curry — along with Lee — is making a strong case to be the first All-Star for the Warriors since Latrell Sprewell in 1997.
"If my two guys didn't make a statement, I don't know what else they have to," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. Later, he added, "Maybe I'll hold my own game if these two guys aren't in there."
Jackson talked before the game about how he had a board installed at the team's headquarters that shows the NBA standings before players walk out to the practice court. One day over the holiday break, the Warriors official in charge of updating the standings was off, and players pitched a fit when the board shorted them a win.
For a franchise that has missed the playoffs all but once since 1994, it's hard not to pay attention to the latest Pacific Division standings: The Warriors (22-10) are only 2 ½ games behind the Clippers (25-8).
Jamal Crawford scored 24 points on a sore left foot and Chris Paul had 23 points and six rebounds for the Clippers, playing with heavy hearts after learning of the death of owner Donald Sterling's son earlier in the day. Small forward Caron Butler also wasn't with Los Angeles because of personal reasons.
After owning the NBA's longest winning streak since the Boston Celtics rolled off 19 consecutive games from Nov. 15 to Dec. 23, 2008, Los Angeles has struggled to shoot in losses at Denver and Golden State. The Clippers shot 38.5 percent in Tuesday night's 92-78 loss at Denver and 36.4 percent at Golden State, ending a difficult 24 hours for the franchise.
Scott Ashley Sterling was found dead of an apparent drug overdose at his Malibu home late Tuesday night, authorities said. He was 32.
Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said before the game the Sterling family's loss was "first and foremost on everybody's mind." He also said he wanted to "see what we're made of" in the first game since his team's record winning streak ended, especially considering the Clippers lost four straight before their record run.