BOSTON: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors and Josh Richardson #8 of the Boston Celtics fight for possession of the ball during the second half at TD Garden on December 17, 2021. — AFP

LOS ANGELES: Stephen Curry followed up his record-setting night earlier in the week with 30 points in Boston as the Golden State Warriors held on to beat the Celtics 111-107 on Friday.

Curry’s Warriors survived to win a tight game down the stretch after Golden State blew a 20-point lead against the undermanned Celtics. One game after breaking Ray Allen’s all-time record for three-pointers, Curry was facing Allen’s former team at the Boston Garden arena. Curry nailed consecutive threes on his first two shots of the game, giving the Warriors an 11-point lead just four minutes in.

“We’re coming off the emotional roller-coaster ... a lot going on around the league,” said Curry, who made five threes, referring to his record-breaking Tuesday night and the growing number of COVID cases in the NBA. “You try not to get distracted by all the things that are outside the locker room.” Andrew Wiggins added 27 points, Andre Iguodala chipped in 12 points and Draymond Green tallied a team-high eight assists for the Warriors, who have won five of their last six games. Jayson Tatum had 27 points, eight rebounds and six assists to lead Boston, who have dropped five of their last seven.

Boston were missing starting centre Al Horford and forwards Grant Williams, Jabari Parker, Juancho Hernangomez and Sam Hauser, all because of the league’s COVID-19 measures. Celtics guard Dennis Schroder also missed the game with a non-COVID illness. Boston guard Romeo Langford left the game with neck pain in the second quarter and did not return. It was Warriors coach Steve Kerr’s 400th coaching victory over eight seasons. “It means I’m incredibly lucky to coach a bunch of talented guys,” said Kerr.

COVID bites

Karl-Anthony Towns finished with 28 points and 10 rebounds as the Minnesota Timberwolves won their third straight game with a 110-92 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in Minneapolis. D’Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley scored 17 apiece and Jaylen Nowell came off the bench to score 14 points for the Timberwolves. LeBron James struggled, scoring just 18 points, while Anthony Davis finished with only nine before limping off to the locker room in the third quarter with a sore knee. Davis got the injury shortly after taking a pass from James.

The Lakers said Davis had a left knee contusion and would undergo additional evaluation in Chicago. Isaiah Thomas scored a team-high 19 points for the Lakers in his season debut. In Florida, Max Strus and Gabe Vincent delivered career-high performances as the Miami Heat rolled over the short-handed Orlando Magic 115-105. Strus scored 23 of his 32 points in the opening half and Vincent finished with 27 as Miami sent the Magic to their seventh straight loss. The Magic had just 12 players on their roster because of injuries and COVID-19.

Mo Bamba, Terrence Ross, Moe Wagner, RJ Hampton and Ignas Brazdeikis were placed into the league’s health and safety protocols. Another six players were sidelined by injury, including leading scorer Cole Anthony (ankle). The Heat came into Friday’s game with six players out, including leading scorers Jimmy Butler (tailbone), Tyler Herro (quadriceps) and Bam Adebayo (thumb). Damian Lillard scored a season-high 43 points and added eight assists as the Portland Trail Blazers snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 125-116 victory over the Charlotte Hornets. — AFP