NEW YORK (AP) — Stephen Curry knew he needed to start aggressively to make up for the absence of Kevin Durant.
Then the Warriors had to finish the job without Curry after foul trouble ended his best game of the season.
Curry had season highs with 39 points and 11 rebounds, and Golden State held on after he fouled out to beat the Brooklyn Nets 118-111 on Sunday night.
Curry also had seven assists but committed seven turnovers and his last two fouls came on charging calls.
“Obviously, he was brilliant I mean in terms of his scoring and shot-making but I thought in the second half he got a little wild,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “He kind of had his way out there for a while and he got so excited that he probably went over the top and started making some mistakes.”
A night after erasing a 22-point halftime deficit in Philadelphia, the Warriors built a 22-point cushion after two quarters behind 22 points from Curry. Playing without Durant, they led by 28 in the third quarter but Brooklyn cut it all the way to four after Curry picked up his sixth foul with three minutes remaining.
Klay Thompson then scored seven of his 23 points in the final two minutes.
“You like to see those guys out there,” Draymond Green said of Durant and Curry. “But obviously we have other guys that can step up.”
Durant was out with a sprained left ankle, giving him extra rest before Golden State wraps up its four-game trip at Oklahoma City on Wednesday night in his former home arena. Omri Casspi started in his place and had 12 points and eight rebounds.
The Warriors trailed 74-52 at halftime in Philadelphia on Saturday before scoring 47 points in the third quarter and winning 124-116. Curry appeared determined to get Golden State going quickly in Durant’s absence, scoring 13 points while playing all 12 minutes in the first quarter.
“For sure,” Curry said. “It’s 25, 26 points that are missing and you’ve got to try to put pressure on the defense to kind of honor your scoring threat and open up the floor for everyone else.”
Allen Crabbe scored 25 points, and Spencer Dinwiddie had 21 points and eight assists for the Nets.
“I thought we were taken by the moment a little bit,’’ Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. You know, these guys play a lot of big games, but I felt like were frozen for some reason.”
It was 64-42 at halftime and the Warriors extended the lead to 28 in the third, though the Nets cut that in half by period’s end, scoring 42 points to trim it to 98-84.
Warriors: Kerr said center Zaza Pachulia’s two sons are serving as the Warriors’ ball boys during their trip. “Zaza told me last night that after losing in Boston and then we were down 20 at halftime last night, he said if we didn’t win this game he was going to FedEx his kids back to the Bay Area,” Kerr said. “So I’m glad we won so he didn’t have the stuff the kids into a FedEx box.”
Nets: Atkinson said the Warriors’ offense might be the best of all time. “Think about Steve’s Kerr kind of background,” Atkinson said, “playing for Phil Jackson and playing in the Spurs system and then obviously with the Suns as the GM he was with (Mike) D’Antoni and it’s kind of like he’s got all areas covered.” … Trevor Booker started at center but played just nine minutes because of a sprained left ankle.
TALKING TRUMP’S TWEET
Kerr, who has been critical of President Donald Trump, on Trump’s tweet that should have left LiAngelo Ball and two other UCLA basketball players accused of shoplifting in China in jail, after LaVar Ball minimized Trump’s involvement in comments to ESPN.
“Two people seeking attention and they’re both getting it, so I’m sure both guys are really happy,” Kerr said. “You know what would help? If all of you just stopped covering both of them. Is that possible? You could probably stop covering LaVar. I don’t think you can stop covering the president. I don’t think that will work.”
The Nets opened November with five road games in the West, returned to Brooklyn for a three-game stint that featured Boston and Golden State, the NBA’s two top teams, and now go back on the road to face Cleveland, where they have lost eight in a row.
“Listen, I worry a lot so I try not to look ahead too far and every game’s so tough in the NBA,” Atkinson said, “but this is a tough stretch for us.”