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All-Star Stephen Curry ready to lead Warriors into playoffs (w/video)

  • Warriors guard Stephen Curry dribbles by the 76ers' Elliot Williams on Feb. 10 in Oakland. (Associated Press)

NEW ORLEANS — He didn't come close to shooting it the way he wanted to, about which he was “definitely frustrated.” Still, Warriors guard Stephen Curry made the statement he wanted to make — he's arrived.

Sunday, Curry became the first Warrior to start in an All-Star game since Latrell Sprewell in 1995. Getting voted into the NBA's biggest showcase is just the latest benchmark in Curry's rise to national stardom.

His status as a premier NBA star, which the Warriors haven't had since Chris Mullin, is now official.

“I feel like I belong for sure,” Curry said after the East's 163-155 victory. “To be out there and get up and down and compete with the best in the NBA, it kind of just put the stamp on that.”

Curry finished with 12 points and 11 assists in just shy of 28 minutes. His biggest impact came with his dribbling and passing, throwing lobs to Blake Griffin and weaving through the defense to set up easy shots. He drew his biggest reaction of the night with a crafty between-the-legs dribble to lose a defender.

But the skill that made him the second-highest vote-getter in the Western Conference wasn't clicking. Curry followed up his disappointing first-round exit in Saturday's Three-Point Shootout with another rough shooting performance Sunday.

He made 2 of 11 from 3-point range and missed 10 of his 14 shots in all.

“We were glad he went (2) for 11,” Indiana star Paul George said. “If he'd made two or three more of those, we might have lost.”

Curry did hit a big one as the tone of the game got serious in the final minutes. He drilled a pull-up over game MVP Kyrie Irving to give the West back the lead with 3 minutes, 36 seconds left. Curry threw both his hands in the air, as if to say “finally.”

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