OAKLAND, Calif. — Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry says he doesn’t need any extra motivation in order to be at his best.
But when it does make itself available, he demonstrated Friday night he has no problem using it to catapult him to even greater heights.
Curry rallied the Warriors into a halftime lead with nine late second-quarter points after getting nailed with a technical foul, and Golden State rolled on from there to a 110-99 victory over the San Antonio Spurs.
“I try to have an edge every time I start a game,” the All-Star said. “But things happen and you react to it. That technical foul lit a little fire under me. I enjoy playing in that moment.”
The technical occurred when Curry reacted in disbelief to having been called for a foul on the Spurs’ Tony Parker with 5:08 remaining in the first half. Warriors coach Steve Kerr also got nailed with a “T” for backing his star, and when Parker hit both free throws, San Antonio held a 44-41 lead.
A fired-up Curry responded by nailing a 3-pointer shortly thereafter, then added six more points before halftime as Golden State built a 62-55 lead at the break and never trailed again.
“I wanted my opinion to be heard,” Curry said of drawing the technical. “It is good at times to show that. We were playing pretty good at that point. That was a little something to get us over the edge.”
Playing for the second consecutive night, the Spurs stayed within arm’s length for most of the third quarter, before reserve forward Andre Iguodala buried a pair of 3-pointers in an 11-0 burst at the end of the period that propelled the Warriors to what turned out to be a comfortable win.
“We really didn’t play badly,” observed Spurs veteran backup Manu Ginobili. “They were just inspired.”
The Warriors (43-9), who had lost five in a row to the Spurs, improved to 24-2 at home by opening their post-All-Star Game schedule with the same type of dominant win that that had been so prominent while building the league’s best record entering the break.
Curry hit four of his eight 3-point attempts overall en route to a game-high 25 points for the Warriors, who had lost to the Spurs 113-100 at home on Nov. 11. Curry also found time for a game-high 11 assists to complete a double-double.
Shooting guard Klay Thompson backed Curry with 20 points, small forward Harrison Barnes added 16, and Iguodala (14) and forward David Lee (11) also reached double figures in scoring off the bench.
Twelve of Iguodala’s 14 points came on a season-high four 3-pointers, as Golden State connected on 17-of-33 (51.5 percent) from beyond the arc. The Warriors shot 48.6 percent overall.
“It’s pretty simple for us,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr noted. “Defend like crazy, take care of the ball and move the ball. When we do that, we have enough weapons to score enough points. That’s it.”
Small forward Kawhi Leonard and center Aron Baynes had 12 points apiece for the Spurs (34-21), who were coming off 119-115 loss in Los Angeles against the Clippers.
Power forward Tim Duncan, who played 32 minutes in the L.A. loss, was limited to eight points and three rebounds in 21 minutes in the second half of the back-to-back. Parker, who had played a team-high 35 minutes the night before, endured an 0-for-4, two-point nightmare against the Warriors.
“It was just one of those games,” Parker lamented. “I was never able to get into a rhythm. I had six assists but only took four shots. It just happens sometimes.”
The Spurs, who shot 48.1 percent overall but missed 13 of their 19 3-point attempts, were playing their fifth consecutive road game sandwiching the All-Star break, with still four games remaining on their trip. They get the weekend off before resurfacing in Utah on Monday.
NOTES: The last time the Warriors had beaten San Antonio was in the second round of the 2013 playoffs during a best-of-7 that was won 4-2 by the Spurs. … The double-digit margin of victory was the 32nd of the season for the Warriors, which already ties the franchise record set in 1975-76. … The Warriors were playing their second and final home game in February. The Spurs also have just two home games this month. … Spurs coach Gregg Popovich took a few steps out of the locker room after a brief cooling-off period following the loss, but then returned to his office without taking any questions from the media. He could be subject to an NBA fine. … The Warriors debuted a Chinese New Year uniform for Friday’s game, becoming the first team in NBA history to do so.
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