Stephen Curry hits 3-pointer with 0.7 seconds left, Warriors beat Suns 113-112

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — As soon as Bradley Beal lunged for the steal to try to keep the ball from Stephen Curry with 3.3 seconds left, the Phoenix guard knew it was a bad gamble.

“He’s the best to ever shoot it,” Beal said. “So you know the result after that.”

Brandin Podziemski’s inbounds pass reached Curry. And with Beal out of the play, Curry hit a 33-footer to help the Golden State Warriors beat the Suns 113-112 on Saturday night for their fourth straight victory and sixth in seven games.

“I just tried to get it to him,” Podziemski said. “No matter how long it took.”

Curry was able to turn and said it was “just muscle memory to shoot.”

“You live with it,” Curry said. “Thankfully, it worked out.”

Curry finished with 30 points, making nine 3-pointers.

“Only a shot that I think he would take,” Podziemski said. “A regular person would probably take a dribble or something like that.”

It was Curry’s 10th career winning shot with five seconds or under.

The Warriors have played in six games decided by one point and are 17-18 in their league-leading 35 clutch games this season. All four games against the Suns this season were clutch games.

“We were due,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “We were due for one of these tight games to go our way. But the guys earned it. It didn’t just happen.”

Devin Booker led Phoenix with 32 points, and Kevin Durant had 24. The Suns had two chances after Curry’s 3-pointer, but Booker was fouled under the basket on the first and Durant couldn’t get a shot off on the second.

“We just weren’t at our best,” Suns coach Frank Vogel said. “We played a pretty good basketball game, played well enough to beat these guys. One play in the final two seconds swings the outcome.”

Durant, who won two championships as Curry’s teammate on the Warriors, knew all too well what an open shot for Curry meant.

“You give him a look like that for the game, he’s licking his chops,” Durant said. “I still think we could’ve had that steal. It’s a tough play. Sometimes guys are just that great.”

Golden State avoided being swept by the Suns in the season series to get back to .500 for the first time since Dec. 25.

The Warriors led 84-82 entering the fourth quarter. Booker gave the Suns a 112-110 lead with 35 seconds remaining on a turnaround jumper.

Jonathan Kuminga added 21 points for Golden State. Draymond Green had 15 points, nine assists and seven rebounds.

Royce O’Neale, acquired at the trade deadline, made his debut for the Suns, scoring three points. David Roddy, Phoenix’s other deadline acquisition, did not play.

Gary Payton, who missed the last 16 games with a left hamstring strain, returned to for the Warriors. He had 11 points.

Green, who had stayed clear of technical fouls since returning from an indefinite suspension in January, picked up a technical while arguing for a foul call after making a layup in the third quarter.

Green also exchanged words and taunts throughout the game with Suns center Jusuf Nurkic, the player Green was suspended for hitting in the face Dec. 12.

“It’s sad,” Nurkic said. “He didn’t learn anything. It’s just a matter of time. He’s going to knock somebody else again. I take everything back, what I said. He doesn’t deserve a chance.”

Green, in response, thought he was “pretty great tonight, honestly.”

UP NEXT

Suns: Host Sacramento on Tuesday night.

Warriors: At Utah on Monday night. ___

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