By JOHN MARSHALL
AP Sports Writer
PHOENIX (AP) — Stephen Curry had 33 points, Otto Porter Jr. scored seven of his 19 during a key late stretch and the Golden State Warriors regained to top spot in the NBA from Phoenix, beating the Suns 116-107 on Saturday.
Golden State arrived in the desert short-handed, missing three of its top four scorers to health and safety protocols: Andrew Wiggins, Damion Lee and Jordan Poole.
Curry carried most of the load, overcoming a mediocre shooting night to crack 20 points for the first time in nine Christmas games. He finished 10 for 27, including 5 for 16 from 3 to help the Warriors end Phoenix’s 15-game home winning streak.
Instead of Curry, it was Porter taking over down the stretch, hitting a step-back 3 and a pair of jumpers in a span of 1:02.
Chris Paul had 21 points and eight assists for Phoenix. Deandre Ayton finished with 18 points in the Suns’ third loss in 28 games.
The two teams with the NBA’s best records played in just the third Christmas game in which both teams had a winning percentage of at least .800.
Playing on Christmas is nothing new to the Warriors. This was their ninth straight Christmas Day game and 11th in 12 seasons. The Suns, once regulars on the Christmas schedule, were in their first since 2009.
Both teams put on an after-the-presents offensive show at Footprint Center, sending oohs and aahs across the Footprint Center with each dunk and 3-pointer.
Curry had 11 points in the first quarter and Gary Payton II a massive rebound slam as the Warriors built an early 10-point lead. The Suns revved it up in the second quarter, going on a 15-3 run and taking a 62-58 halftime lead on Paul’s last-second 3-pointer.
The teams continued to trade 3s and baskets in transition, neither able to gain any separation until Golden State went on a short run to go up 107-99.
The Suns pulled within two, but Porter hit consecutive jumpers and a long 3 to stretch Golden State’s lead to nine.
Warriors: Reserve G Moses Moody also was out in health and safety protocols. … Draymond Green was called for a technical foul in the second quarter while arguing for a push-off by Booker. … Curry has made a 3-pointer in 156 straight games, one off the NBA record he set from 2014-16. He’s also made least two 3-pointers in 15 straight games, the longest active streak in the NBA with Phoenix’s Cam Johnson.
Suns: F/C Frank Kaminsky (knee), F Abdel Nader (knee) and F Dario Saric (knee) were all out. … Paul was called for a technical foul in the third quarter after aggressively giving the ball to one of the officials after a non-call on a drive to the basket. … Johnson went 2 for 5 from 3 to continue his streak of making at least two to 15 games.
Warriors: Host Denver on Tuesday night.
Suns: Host Memphis on Monday night.
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