OAKLAND — Even after a series of misses from deep where he makes his money, Stephen Curry kept letting it fly from long range.
Then, at last, the ball started falling.
Curry scored 29 points on his 29th birthday, Klay Thompson added 28 and the Golden State Warriors used a frenetic fourth-quarter rally to snap a three-game skid and beat the Philadelphia 76ers 106-104 on Tuesday night.
“That’s what I love about Steph is that he’s never going to stop shooting and he never loses confidence,” coach Steve Kerr said. “That’s the mark of a star, when it’s not your night and you still hit big shots to help your team win.”
Dario Saric intentionally missed his second free throw with 2.6 seconds remaining to try to give the Sixers one last shot, but Curry secured the ball.
Curry struggled to knock down open 3-pointers again but came through from deep with 5:38 left and again with a key baseline 3 at 3:42. Matt Barnes hit one a minute later from the opposite corner for a 104-99 lead.
“He found it at the right time and he came through for us when we needed it the most,” Draymond Green said of Curry.
Curry’s jumper with 9:55 to play pulled the Warriors within 90-86 after Golden State trailed 90-78 to begin the final quarter. Green’s 3 at 8:04 made it a one-point game, and Shaun Livingston gave Golden State the lead the next time down.
Green had 20 points with 11 free throws, eight assists, eight rebounds and six blocks for the Warriors, who trailed by as many as 16 in the third.
He reminded his teammates during one timeout it would take everything to pull out of this recent rut.
“The only way to change that is to grind your way out of it. It’s not going to be pretty,” Green said.
Saric had 25 points in the Sixers’ eighth consecutive loss to Golden State. The Warriors’ winning streak in the series matches their longest ever, along with a stretch from Dec. 16, 1971, to March 11, ‘73.
Curry shot just 8 for 23 and 5 of 13 from 3-point range, making him 26 for 89 from deep in his past eight games.
The Warriors aren’t worried. Thompson and others remind him of all his incredible feats.
“He’ll have a huge breakout game coming soon,” Thompson said. “He’s better missing now than come May or June.”
Earlier in the day, Curry refused to call his shooting of late a slump, and Kerr insists nobody can expect the two-time reigning MVP to match his NBA-record 402 3s last season.
“I never really use that word, because a slump to me almost (seems) like you’re losing confidence,” Curry said.
The Warriors returned to the Bay Area following a brutal road stretch — which included losing Kevin Durant to a sprained left knee — and barely bounced back to avoid their first four-game losing streak since Feb. 26, 2013, to March 2, ‘13.
Golden State moved a half-game ahead of the idle Spurs for the top spot in the Western Conference.
(seedings in parentheses)
(1) Eureka 6, (5) Technology 3
(3) Fortuna, (2) Arcata 0
(1) Eureka vs. (3) Fortuna, TBD
Division 3 (1) St. Vincent vs. (3) Credo, 2 p.m.
(4) Roseland University Prep 1, (1) Fortuna 0
(7) Gateway 1, (3) Stuart Hall 0
(1) Head-Royce 4, (4) Athenian 0
(2) Making Waves 5, (6) Drew 0
(3) Roseland Collegiate Prep 0, (1) Anderson Valley 0, RCP wins 3-2 on penalty kicks
Division 1 (4) Roseland University Prep vs. (7) Gateway, TBD
Division 2 (1) Head-Royce vs. (2) Making Waves Academy at Fremont Christian, 1 p.m.