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Curry leads Warriors back to playoffs with win over Lakers

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The Canadian Press
4/12/2014 1:01:32 AM
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LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Stephen Curry had 30 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds, and the Golden State Warriors clinched a playoff berth with a 112-95 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night.

Klay Thompson and Marreese Speights scored 16 points apiece for the Warriors, who will make back-to-back post-season appearances for the first time in more than two decades.

After blowing a 20-point lead and a chance to clinch at home against Denver on Thursday night, Curry and the Warriors are back in the post-season after snapping an 11-game road losing streak against the Lakers.

Nick Young scored 25 points for the Lakers, who set a franchise low with the 54th loss of their miserable season. The 1957-58 Minneapolis Lakers lost 53 times in their 72-game season.

Curry, who hit four 3-pointers, grabbed a defensive rebound with 41 seconds left to wrap up his fifth career triple-double. The speedy point guard is the first Warriors player with four triple-doubles in a single season since Wilt Chamberlain had five in 1962-63.

The Warriors had little trouble with the remnants of the Lakers, opening a 20-point lead in the third quarter and cruising to just their second road win over the 16-time NBA champions in 22 games.

Steve Nash and Pau Gasol sat out for the Lakers, who will miss the playoffs for just the third time since 1976.

Golden State also won its season series with the Lakers for the first time since 1994-95, and the Warriors' victory was their 49th, one shy of the franchise's first 50-win season since 1993-94.

The Warriors are likely to be the Western Conference's sixth seed, which would mean they'll return to Staples Center next week to face the Pacific Division champion Clippers.

Steve Blake had 13 points, five assists and five rebounds in his first road game against the Lakers since they traded him to Golden State on Feb. 19. The veteran point guard hit three 3-pointers during his highest-scoring game since joining the Warriors.

Only nine Lakers suited up, thanks to their usual lengthy list of injured players: Nash, Gasol, Chris Kaman, Kent Bazemore and Xavier Henry all sat out. Nash experienced a flare-up of his season-long problems with his back and hamstrings on Tuesday while passing Warriors coach Mark Jackson for third place on the NBA's career assists list.

Andre Iguodala and Jermaine O'Neal sat out for Golden State, with Iguodala resting his right knee tendinitis for the second time this month.

David Lee had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Warriors, coming off the bench in his return from a seven-game absence with right leg problems.

Curry was sharp from the opening tip, scoring 11 points in each of the first two quarters. Even when he missed a breakaway dunk, he got the rebound and buried a 25-foot fall-away 3-pointer.

Jordan Crawford's 3-pointer set off a 17-6 run by the Warriors, who led 58-43 at halftime.

Young hit a series of jumpers to trim Golden State's lead to 103-92 with 2:52 to play, but Thompson hit a few big shots to wrap it up.

NOTES: The Lakers had planned to wear their black alternate jerseys, but the Warriors mistakenly packed their regular blue road jerseys, forcing Los Angeles to wear its traditional home gold. ... The Warriors had lost 20 of their past 21 home games against the Lakers, losing only on March 23, 2008, when Stephen Jackson hit two last-minute 3-pointers.

Stephen Curry (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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