OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — With another mercurial performance in what has already been an outstanding season, Stephen Curry helped Golden State inch closer to the postseason.
Now it's just a matter of holding court in the Western Conference for the upstart Warriors.
Curry scored 39 points and Golden State moved one step closer to ending its five-year playoff drought with a 125-98 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night.
It's the 12th time this season Curry has had 30 points or more, and his seven 3-pointers extended his single-season franchise record to 236.
"It's amazing the clinic he's putting on," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "We are witnessing one of the greatest shooters that's ever played this game. He's been great for us all season, but he's on the floor like he's the baddest dude in the building."
Curry was definitely that on a night he was paired against Portland's standout rookie, Damian Lillard.
Lillard, who scorched the Warriors for a season-high 37 points in January, scored 16 points and tied Curry's' NBA's single-season rookie record for 3-pointers, but was nowhere as effective as he was in his first trip back home. The Oakland native shot just 4 of 11 from the floor and committed three turnovers.
Carl Landry had a season-high 25 points and 10 rebounds coming off the bench, while David Lee scored 13 points for the Warriors, who maintained their 1½-game lead over Houston for sixth place in the Western Conference. Golden State lowered its magic number for clinching a playoff berth to five.
"Our goal is to be playing our best basketball these next eight games to put ourselves in position to make the playoffs and to not just be that team that goes to the playoffs and gets swept," Curry said. "We have that bigger picture in mind. We're not looking in the rearview mirror."
Curry showed why he's one of the elite perimeter shooters in the league.
He went 14 of 22 from the floor and had six assists and five rebounds in his most impressive outing since scoring an NBA season-high 54 points against the New York Knicks on Feb. 27.
"We have confidence he can have nights like that, but it's still unbelievable to be out there when he gets in a groove like that," Lee said. "The level of difficulty on a lot of the shots he's hitting is unbelievable."
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