Stephen Curry scored 31 points as he helped the Golden State Warriors beat LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers 128-121.

James scored 40 points for the Lakers but could not stop the Warriors leapfrogging them into ninth place in the Western Conference.

“They always going to talk about me and him,” Curry said of James.

“It was about our total group tonight. For us, it takes a whole team to win and we needed it – we needed it bad.”

The match was marred by lengthy replay delays, with one overturning a three-pointer from James, and multiple shot-clock malfunctions with about two minutes to go.

“I’ve never seen that in my career. Usually they have a back-up clock or something,” said 36-year-old Curry, who returned after a three-game absence because of an ankle injury.

“That’s the worst thing that could happen, especially this age. You build up all pre-game, you get going and when the engine shuts off it’s hard to get it going again.”

The Warriors are a percentage point above the Lakers, with both teams in the last two play-in positions in the Western Conference.

The Lakers were hindered by losing Anthony Davis after the first quarter because of an eye injury.

“A big win for us,” added Curry. “I don’t know the last time we won in here against them. Big deal.”

Elsewhere, Jalen Brunson scored 42 points to help the New York Knicks to a 98-91 victory against the Sacramento Kings.

Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Memphis Grizzlies 118-112 to move top of the Western Conference, alongside the Denver Nuggets with a 47-20 record.

Jalen Williams scored 23 points and registered seven rebounds and six assists in the Thunder’s win.