ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Stephen Curry’s smile gave way to laughter.
The reigning MVP received an inbounds pass following a free throw, took a couple of dribbles past midcourt before launching a 44-foot shot that banked in at the buzzer.
The crowd rose to its feet, Curry lifted his arms and struck a pose before chuckling his way to the Golden State bench.
“I was laughing, sure. That really isn’t supposed to happen,” Curry said Thursday night after making 10 3-pointers and scoring 51 points in a 130-114 victory over the Orlando Magic.
“I made a bunch of 3s in the third quarter and then finished with that one,” he added. “It was really funny to me, it just banked off the glass.”
A night after scoring 42 in a six-point victory at Miami, Curry made 20 of 27 shots, including 10 of 15 3-pointers. The Warriors pulled away in the closing minutes of the third quarter, with his bank shot putting the defending NBA champions up 99-91.
“Are you guys surprised?” Magic guard Evan Fournier asked reporters. “I’m not. It’s just what he does.”
Curry topped 50 points for the third time this season, the first player to do it that many times since LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in 2008-09.
That wasn’t his only highlight of the night.
Curry surpassed Kyle Korver’s mark of 127 straight games with a 3, which he tied while making six 3s at Miami on Wednesday night.
“I don’t know that the record is that significant because it’s so simple for him. His 3-point shot is like a 2-point shot. It’s what he does,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said. “It’s to the point where we expect a half-court shot. ... It’s a rhythm shot, and it just went in.”
Including the postseason, Curry has made 3s in 149 straight games, also a record.
“I have a hard time seeing how that streak is ever going to end. It would have to be kind of a fluke night,” Orlando coach Scott Skiles said.
“The way he makes them is totally different from Kyle,” Skiles added. “Kyle is sprinting off screens and it’s possible you could switch out and maybe take some away from him, whereas Steph, there are so many of them off the dribble and from 30 feet and fading away. ... He’d just have to be off that night, and that certainly doesn’t happen very often.”
The Warriors improved to 52-5, the best 57-game start in league history. The 1995-96 Chicago Bulls won 51 of their first 57 on the way to finishing 72-10.
Curry scored 24 in the third quarter. He sat out the first six minutes of the fourth, added a 3 and a layup down the stretch and also finished with eight assists and seven rebounds as the Warriors weathered a quiet night from backcourt mate Klay Thompson, who had nine points on 4-of-10 shooting.
“It’s no secret what’s he’s going to do. He did to us what he’s been doing to everybody else,” said Orlando’s Victor Oladipo, who had 14 points. “It’s no surprise. ... At the end of day, whatever we wanted to do with him, didn’t work.”
“This was Steph’s night. He tricked us so many times. He runs. He stops. He relaxes, causes you to relax, and then he’s gone,” the Magic coach said. “That happened at least a dozen times.”
Warriors: Golden State improved to 5-1 on a seven-game road that began with a victory at Phoenix in the final game before the All-Star break. ... Marreese Speights had 14 points and Draymond Green and Andrew Bogut 12 apiece. ... Golden State is 14-1 on the second night of back-to-back games.
Magic: Fournier led Orlando with 20 points. Aaron Gordon matched his career high with 19. ... Averaging a league-low 19.2 free throws per game, the Magic shot 28. ... The only time this season the Magic gave up more points was on Oct. 30 in a double-overtime loss to Oklahoma City, which scored 139.
The sellout crowd of 19,189 included several celebrities and pro athletes Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals, C.C. Sabathia of the New York Yankees and Jameis Winston of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Warriors: At Oklahoma City on Saturday.
Magic: At New York on Friday.