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Curry heats up late to lead Warriors over Rockets

HOUSTON (AP) – Stephen Curry capped a subpar January with an offensive masterpiece on Monday night against the Houston Rockets that served as a reminder of just how dangerous he can be.

He scored 21 of his 40 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Golden State Warriors to a 122-108 win.

Much had been made about his shooting slump, and his average this month entering Monday’s game had fallen more than six points from the 27.6 points he averaged in December.

All the talk didn’t bother the superstar, because he said nobody is harder on him than he is
on himself.

“You get all the praise when things are going well and obviously it’s something to talk about when I don’t meet that level.

“It’s not so much the commentary, because when I walk off the court I’m the first one to judge the way that I played,” he continued.

Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry and Houston Rockets’ Kevin Porter Jr battle for the ball. PHOTO: AP

“And I understand when I don’t meet that level and try to deal with the frustration when that happens over a consistent period of time.”

Curry sparked the Warriors to their sixth consecutive win, while Houston extended its skid at home to 11 straight games.

The Warriors were clinging to a four-point lead in the fourth when Curry scored the next five points to make it 113-104 with four minutes left.

He made a basket in the lane before hitting a three from the corner to allow Golden State to pull away.

“We’ve seen Steph do that a million times,” coach Steve Kerr said. “It was bound to happen even though it’s been a couple of weeks or whatever. Not surprising but fun to see … him shake free and have a game like he did.”

Curry made seven three-pointers, with four in the fourth quarter, and had nine assists and
five rebounds.

His 21 fourth-quarter points were the highest of his career.

He knew he was in a zone in the fourth quarter but said that he always feels like he’s capable of getting hot like he did.

“You always feel like the next shot is going to start that vibe,” he said. “It’s no secret how I’ve been shooting the ball recently, but the confidence is always there and it only takes one to ignite a night like that.”

Curry’s performance comes after he hit a buzzer-beater to give the Warriors a 105-103 win over the Rockets on January 21.

“I told him after the game that I’m tired of seeing him,” Rockets coach Stephen Silas said of his postgame chat with Curry. “I don’t want to see him anymore.”

Andrew Wiggins added 23 points for the Warriors and Klay Thompson had 14.

The Rockets, who lost their fourth straight game overall, were led by Christian Wood’s 24 points and 13 rebounds. He had a great first half, piling up 17 points, but cooled down after the break.

Despite Houston’s struggles this season, Silas has been encouraged by the attitude his young team has shown.

“There’s been very, very few times I haven’t felt like we played hard and very, very few times where I felt like we haven’t had fight,” he said.

“Our character and our grit show up pretty much every night.”