OAKLAND — Stephen Curry had 38 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, and the Golden State Warriors used a smothering defense to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 103-88 on Sunday night.
The newly elected All-Star starting point guard, wearing shiny gold shoes, shot 13 of 23 from the floor to carry the offensive load. The Warriors did it all on defense, too, building a 22-point lead midway through the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.
Golden State outshot Portland 41.8 percent to 33.7 percent and forced 15 turnovers while committing only nine.
Damian Lillard had 16 points and four assists, and Wesley Matthews scored 21 for the Blazers, who had a quick turnaround after beating Minnesota in Portland on Saturday night. It was a season low in points and shooting percentage and it tied the largest margin of defeat for Portland, which entered averaging an NBA-best 109.5 points.
David Lee added 17 points and 12 rebounds, and Klay Thompson scored 17 for a Warriors team that had lost three straight at home.
Warriors coach Mark Jackson had been pleading with his team to improve its defensive effort and efficiency. Golden State allowed an average of 92.8 points during a 10-game winning streak before dropping five of its last seven overall, allowing 108.4 points in those contests, including an average of 115 in the five losses.
The Warriors responded to their coach’s call.
The Blazers never looked comfortable against Golden State’s swarming defense. LaMarcus Aldridge, who finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds on 2-of-14 shooting, didn’t score until 2:18 remained in the second quarter.
And the only time Aldridge started to get going, the Warriors responded.
Andrew Bogut shoved Aldridge after the whistle in the third quarter, then Aldridge tossed the ball at the Warriors center. Officials called a technical foul on both players.
The Warriors went on a 16-2 run following the skirmish, with Curry connecting from outside and Lee cleaning up on the inside. Golden State held a 76-67 lead entering the fourth quarter, when it quickly turned the game into a rout.
Golden State started the final quarter on a 12-2 run to take control. Lee’s layup put the Warriors ahead 91-69 with 7:18 remaining, leaving little drama late.
Portland pulled to 94-85 on Matthews’ free throws with 2:56 to play. Curry quickly put an end to Portland’s rally, hitting a jumper and 3-pointer sandwiched around a free throw by Lillard to send most of the sellout crowd of 19,596 heading to the exits early — and happy.
NOTES: The Warriors improved to 20-4 this season when leading after three quarters. … The teams have split two games this season after the Blazers won 113-101 in Oakland on Nov. 23. They meet two more times in Portland.