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Curry returns to lead Warriors in win over Suns

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Associated Press
2/3/2013 1:13:06 AM
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OAKLAND, Calif. -- Stephen Curry started campaigning early, sending several signals out to coach Mark Jackson for playing time.

"He was ignoring me, turning his back on me and giving me that look my kids give me when they want something special for Christmas," Jackson said. "He wanted badly to be out on the floor."

Curry returned after missing two games with an ankle injury and scored 19 of his 29 points in the second half, helping the Golden State Warriors beat the Phoenix Suns 113-93 on Saturday night.

"I've been through that same conversation with him three times," Curry said of Jackson. "I put up a good fight today. I was 0 for 2 before that. It was not really a pain issue but a swelling issue. I gave it all day to lessen and then conferred with the trainers to get the OK."

Jackson was unsure if Curry would be available until watching him during the shootaround.

"We went with him and he had a heck of a ballgame," he said.

Harrison Barnes matched his season high with 21 points for the Warriors, who have won four straight and seven of nine overall. David Lee had 16 points and 12 rebounds, Klay Thompson added 17 points and Andrew Bogut finished with 11.

"Not enough credit goes to Barnes," Jackson said. "Here's a rookie who is playing a huge role in us being 13 games over .500. He is competing."

Curry, who twisted his right ankle in the third quarter of Monday night's win over Toronto, was 6 for 10 from 3-point range as Golden State beat Phoenix for the fourth straight time.

"We were a little lackadaisical in the first half," Curry said. "We didn't have a lot of energy. I got some open looks, we got some stops and we were able to go in transition."

The Warriors recorded a season-high 34 assists and had four players -- Curry, Lee, Thompson and Jarrett Jack -- with at least seven for the first time in franchise history and the first time in the NBA since Nov. 24, 2006, when the Denver Nuggets did it against the Warriors.

Michael Beasley scored 24 points for the Suns, who have dropped four of five. Jared Dudley added 16 points, Goran Dragic scored 13 and Luis Scola had 14 rebounds.

"They came out hard, they throw the first punch and we were kind of soft out there," Dragic said. "That's the first thing we gotta work on. Certain players just played soft today. Usually their nature is playing hard but on certain people we just can't help it anymore. We made a lot of mistakes today. We didn't share the ball, we held the ball for too long again and tried to create on our own."

Phoenix led 52-48 at halftime, but Curry and Barnes combined for 20 points in the third quarter to send the Warriors into the final period with an 81-74 advantage.

Golden State extended its lead with three quick baskets to open the fourth, including a 3-pointer from Curry, who also stole the ball and fed Jack for a layup that forced the Suns to call a timeout.

"Those guards are snipers and if you make any mistake defensively they make you pay," Suns coach Lindsey Hunter said. "They made us pay. Those guys shot the lights out."

The Suns went nearly three minutes without scoring in the quarter, falling behind 90-74.

Dragic converted a three-point play early in the third quarter to give Phoenix a 58-48 lead.

That's when Curry and Barnes heated up, leading the Warriors on a 32-12 surge that gave Golden State an 81-70 edge entering the final minute of the third.

NOTES: It was the 13th consecutive home sellout for Golden State. ... The Suns have beaten the Warriors more times (85) than any other NBA team. ... Suns C Marcin Gortat had seven rebounds in the first quarter and two more the rest of the game. ... The Suns have the fewest road victories (four) in the Western Conference. ... The Warriors reached their 30th win the earliest, calendar-wise, since the 1975-76 team started 30-9.

Stephen Curry (Photo: Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty Images)
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