After Golden State built a sizable 28-point lead, the young Brooklyn Nets fought back, scoring 42 points in the third quarter to give themselves a chance at stealing the contest.
The Nets came within four points with 2:38 remaining in the contest but couldn't gain any more ground.
On the second end of a back-to-back, Golden State walked away with the narrow 118-111 victory Sunday night.
Fouling was problematic for the Warriors, who committed 27.
"Not many teams can keep up with us running," Warriors forward Draymond Green said. "So, slow the game down, I think you give them more of a shot. Something we always talk about is defending without fouling. We didn't do a good job of that today."
The Warriors led the Nets 78-50 with 8:27 left in the third quarter after a Curry jumper, forcing a Brooklyn timeout. Over the next 17:49, the Nets went on a 53-29 run, fueled by Brooklyn point guard Spencer Dinwiddie's ability to get the free throw line and the Nets' ability to turn 10 Warriors turnovers into 14 points.
"We had to withstand their run," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said, "and luckily we did with some good execution in the last few minutes after Steph went out."
Curry fouled out with exactly three minutes left in the game after charging into Nets forward Quincy Acy.
The latter stages of Sunday's outing represented the latest of Golden State's major defensive lapses.
On Saturday, while visiting the Philadelphia 76ers, the Warriors (13-4) played an abysmal first half and had to climb out of a massive hole in order to leave victorious.
On Sunday, they underperformed in the second half and made just enough plays down the stretch without Curry to get the win.
"I mean, it's not very similar," Green told this reporter about the comparison of the two games. "That's a bad comparison, brother. Horrible comparison. It's cool, though. You tried it."
Kerr said his team has the propensity to "switch" the energy on at a moment's notice due to the talent it possesses.
"I don't think we think that, but what we do think is that at any point during the game, we know how to focus and lock in," Green said. "I wouldn't necessarily call it like, 'Hey, flip the switch.' But as competitors, you just know. You look at each other like, 'All right, yo, we need to be better.' I guess you can consider that a switch, but I wouldn't necessarily call it that more so than just locking in more."
Before Curry's night ended, he finished with season highs in points (39) and rebounds (11) to go with seven assists. He outscored the Nets' entire starting lineup in the opening quarter, 13-12.
"I would love to have those plays back," Curry said of his last two fouls being charges. "But I like the aggressiveness I tried to have in those possessions and I don't like to foul out, but that's kind of how I tried to bring that intensity the whole game."
Curry fouls out with 39 points
Steph Curry drives to the basket looking for a layup but gets called for a charge, giving him six fouls and a seat on the bench for the rest of the game.
Klay Thompson scored 23 points and pulled down a season-high 10 boards. Omri Casspi made his first start as a member of the Warriors in place of the injured Durant, registering a season-high 12 points and eight rebounds.
"Whether KD's in or out, you kind of have to play with that same aggressiveness, whether you're the one getting the shots or not," Curry said. "So, when you've got 25 points missing, you've got to find that scoring."
Allen Crabbe led Brooklyn (6-10) with 25 points and seven rebounds, while Dinwiddie added 21 points (11 of 13 free throws) and eight assists.
Next up for the defending champs is a marquee battle with the Thunder, Durant's former team, on Wednesday in Oklahoma City. Durant told ESPN when asked if he'll able to go Wednesday: "I'm not sure."
"I'm just going to take it day by day and see how it progresses," Durant said.
Golden State is now 2-1 on this four-game road trip.