Warriors guard Stephen Curry shoots over Jae Crowder of the Suns during Golden State’s 116-107 win Saturday in Phoenix. Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

PHOENIX — 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-point range, to help the Warriors end Phoenix’s 15-game home winning streak.

Porter took 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.

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NETS 122, LAKERS 115: Nic Claxton threw down a tiebreaking alley-oop over LeBron James with 40.7 seconds left, and James Harden and Brooklyn returned from a week-long COVID-19 hiatus to win at Los Angeles.

Harden had 36 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. The last helper was a lob that Claxton caught with two hands while soaring over James, who had just helped Los Angeles erase a 20-point deficit. Claxton posterized the 17-time All-Star, then made a free throw for a three-point play and a 118-115 lead.

Patty Mills added 34 points for the Nets, who had three games postponed because they did not have enough players to compete. They were still without Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, among others.

James scored 39 to pass Kobe Bryant for most career points on Christmas Day, but it was not enough to stop the Lakers’ losing streak from reaching five. Russell Westbrook had 13 points, 11 assists and 12 rebounds for his second career holiday triple-double, and Malik Monk chipped in 20 points.

KNICKS 101, HAWKS 87: Kemba Walker became the seventh NBA player with a triple-double on Christmas, and New York beat depleted Atlanta for its first win on the holiday in a decade, in New York.

Julius Randle had 25 points and 12 rebounds for the Knicks in a matchup of teams that met in the first round of last season’s playoffs. But the Hawks were missing Trae Young among nine players in the NBA’s health and safety protocols, so it wasn’t much of a rematch of Atlanta’s five-game victory.

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Walker finished with 10 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds. The 6-foot guard raced around the floor trying desperately for his 10th rebound for much of the second half, finally getting it in the fourth quarter when Mitchell Robinson’s block came to him.

It was the first triple-double on Christmas since Golden State’s Draymond Green in 2017, continuing Walker’s strong stretch since going from out of the rotation to back in the starting lineup when the Knicks were short-handed.

NOTES

CAVALIERS: Coach J.B. Bickerstaff has received a multiyear contract extension for his role in the team’s dramatic turnaround.

ESPN reported Bickerstaff is now under contract through the 2026-27 season.

After winning just 22 games last season, the Cavs are 19-13 and fifth in the Eastern Conference. They recently won six straight games, but were hit with a COVID-19 outbreak and had to place eight players in health protocols.

CLIPPERS: Paul George has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and will be out up to a month.

George leads the Clippers in scoring with a career-high 24.7 points per game.


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