JANIE McCAULEY, AP Sports Writer
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Stephen Curry made a sweet crossover, then stepped back and knocked down another 3-pointer as Kevin Durant covered his mouth with his hand in pure admiration and awe.
In his last six quarters, Curry has 20 3-pointers and 82 points — and the Golden State Warriors have been so far ahead coach Steve Kerr could rest his MVP for the fourth period both times.
With dad Dell watching live Wednesday night, Curry hit 11 3-pointers and scored 39 points, coming back with vengeance from a one-game absence while ill and leading the Warriors to a 126-111 blowout of his hometown Charlotte Hornets.
“It’s always cool to see my dad on the sidelines commentating the game on their end,” Curry said. “You get a little juice from that, too. … I don’t take those opportunities for granted because this an unbelievable opportunity to play the game that he played for 16 years in the NBA and carry on that name in the league.”
For everybody who questioned Steph’s productivity and shooting touch months ago as Durant came aboard, he has quieted them all.
“Early on, he got it cookin’,” Durant said. “We kind of rode the wave from there.”
Klay Thompson added 29 points and matched his career high with eight assists, and Durant had 18 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for the NBA-leading Warriors (42-7).
Curry recorded his fifth career game with at least 11 3s, shot 14 for 20, 11 of 15 from long range and dished out eight assists facing Charlotte for the second time in exactly a week.
The two-time reigning NBA MVP was sick — his shooting, that is. He sat out Sunday night at Portland with the stomach flu. Nothing slowed him down this night, and he even hit one third-quarter 3 while falling into the front row of fans.
“It’s amazing. You’ve got to appreciate greatness,” Thompson said.
Already having set the regular-season single-game record with 13 on Nov. 7 against New Orleans, Curry rested in the fourth. Golden State wound up with 21 3s in all Wednesday on a franchise-record 48 attempts.
Frank Kaminsky scored 24 points off the bench for the Hornets, who lost their sixth in a row overall and ninth straight on the road.
Curry hit six first-quarter 3s and Golden State matched a franchise record with nine 3s in a quarter, doing so for the sixth time. The Warriors led 41-21 after the first, their NBA-leading 14th 40-point quarter.
The Warriors reached 70 points by halftime for the seventh time, up 77-56 at the break.
Late in the first half, Curry hit his 1,788th career regular-season 3, which moved him past Rashard Lewis into 12th on the NBA career list.
In the waning seconds before halftime, two defenders swarmed Curry near half-court in an effort to keep the ball out of his hands.
“When he’s shooting the basketball like that, he’s pretty unguardable,” Charlotte’s Kemba Walker said.
JaVale McGee scored nine points and had a season-best four blocks starting in place of injured center Zaza Pachulia, who will miss at least a week with a strained right rotator cuff.
Back and forth to the D-League all season, rookie Damian Jones made his Oracle Arena debut and scored his first career NBA points.
“We gave him the game ball, then we asked him if he wanted to give a speech to the guys,” Kerr said. “It wasn’t exactly historic, but it was a great moment for him.”
Hornets: F/C Cody Zeller missed his fifth straight game with a bruised right quadriceps that he hurt taking a knee to the leg Jan. 23 against the Wizards. “He’s doing better,” coach Steve Clifford said. “It’s a big muscle.” … The Hornets lost their sixth straight to Golden State and eighth in 10. Charlotte last won on the Warriors’ home floor on Feb. 4, 2014.
Warriors: G Shaun Livingston missed the game with a strained mid-back. He is listed as doubtful for Thursday’s road game at the Clippers, but will travel with the team. … The Warriors notched their 13th game with at least 35 assists. … Big man David West had a follow-up X-ray on a non-displaced fracture of his left thumb, is making good progress and will be examined again early next week.
Hornets: At Utah on Saturday.
Warriors: At the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday in a second straight back-to-back set. L.A. lost 144-98 at Oracle on Saturday.
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