he Warriors played only about 4 1/2 minutes of playoff-caliber basketball Monday night, but that was enough to beat San Antonio's junior-varsity squad and move back into sole possession of sixth place in the Western Conference.
Stephen Curry scored 11 of his 35 points during an electric 4 1/2-minute stretch in which the Warriors put away the Spurs for a 116-106 victory that had Oracle Arena's 32nd consecutive sellout crowd chanting his name during offensive possessions. Curry hit 7 of 13 three-point tries in the game.
"He put on an incredible shooting clinic," Warriors head coach Mark Jackson said. "I don't know who is in second place for the best shooter in the world, but he certainly has first place locked up."
After Nando De Colo made a three-pointer to trim the Warriors' lead to 88-87 with 9:29 remaining, Curry went nuts. He made an acrobatic reverse layup and three three-pointers from silly body contortions to ignite a 19-0 run.
The Warriors (46-35) moved a game ahead of seventh-place Houston, which lost to the Western Conference's worst team, Phoenix. The Rockets close the regular season at the Lakers on Wednesday. The Warriors can clinch the sixth seed and a likely first-round date with Denver by winning at Portland that night.
The Spurs (58-23) have lost six of their past nine past games to fall out of the Western Conference's top spot, and they basically forfeited to the Warriors. San Antonio sat starters Tim Duncan (knee), Kawhi Leonard (knee) and Tony Parker (ankle), and Manu Ginobili (hamstring) and Boris Diaw (back) did not make the West Coast trip, which started with a loss to the Lakers on Sunday.
The Warriors had lost 50 of their past 57 meetings with San Antonio, but they snapped a 16-game losing streak in the series Feb. 22. Monday's victory gave the Warriors two wins over the Spurs in a calendar year for the first time since 1997.