Stephen Curry Passes James Harden in MVP Race and Other Saturday NBA …

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Stephen Curry isn’t usually a NBA‘s many widespread indicate guard. He’s also a discriminating discuss group captain. 

As a Golden State Warriors (32-6) blitzed a Houston Rockets, 131-106, Saturday night, Curry took an fatiguing lead and done a convincing shutting evidence in a league’s MVP race, all though relegating James Harden to a standing of initial runner-up in an noisy outing. 

Over a march of 33 minutes, Curry worried Houston’s sixth-ranked scoring invulnerability to a balance of 27 points (9-of-18 shooting), 11 assists, 7 rebounds and 3 steals. According to GSWStats on Twitter, Curry sits in disdainful association as it pertains to double doubles of a tip size this season: 

Comparatively, Harden finished with 12 points (4-of-15 shooting), 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 turnovers in 30 minutes.

The pleasing components of Curry’s opening were bountiful. Not usually did Steph finish a team-best plus-25 handling as Golden State’s block on both ends of a floor, though he ran circles around a Rockets inside a arc.    

Instead of hounding a Rockets (28-13) with his fatal crack of a wrist from distance, a accumulation tough-angled runners, floaters and layups valid usually how manly a Warriors’ building ubiquitous can be when imitating Harden’s many assertive interior stylings. 

During a inclusive third entertain that saw Curry finish with 15 points, he consistently barreled subsequent a free-throw line en track to prosperity, as ESPN.com’s Ethan Sherwood Strauss noted: 

Rockets conduct manager Kevin McHale overwhelmed on his team’s inability to delayed down a Warriors after halftime when vocalization with reporters following a loss, according to ClutchFans: 

All told, a Warriors outscored a Rockets, 38-21, in a third frame, interjection in partial to some desirous finishes during a edge from Curry: 

As a pitch of Curry’s top-to-bottom order over Houston, he total insult to damage by holding a assign on Harden with 1:44 remaining in a third as a Bearded One picked adult his fourth tainted of a night. 

Slicing and dicing Houston’s interior invulnerability each that way, Curry punctuated a signature outing with one of a many seemly no-look dimes you’ll ever see:  

The competition for Most Valuable Player honors isn’t over usually yet. At a season’s mid point, it’d be absurd to consider so.

But with Golden State in possession of a 3-0 array lead and Curry outscoring Harden in dual of those 3 contests, a latter’s domain for blunder has narrowed considerably. 

The good news for Harden is he won’t have many time to meal over Saturday’s shortcomings.

After usually 3 days apart, a Rockets and Warriors are slated to do conflict Wednesday dusk during 10:30 p.m. ET as Golden State aims for a brush of a deteriorate array and attempts to constraint a franchise-record 16th true home win. 

 

Around a Association


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Korver Fires Atlanta Past Chicago 

Despite a second true double-double from Derrick Rose (23 points, 10 assists, eight rebounds), a Chicago Bulls weren’t means to conquer a godlike Atlanta Hawks, who came out on top, 107-99, in a Windy City. 

In aiding a Hawks constraint their 12th true win, Kyle Korver forsaken a game-high 24 points while knocking down a season-high 7 threes (on 9 attempts). As Grantland’s Zach Lowe put it, Korver is usually inducing bouts of speechlessness these days: 

His shot draft given Jan. 11 is also a things of legends, as remarkable by Rotoworld.com’s Michael Gallagher: 

Atlanta also continued pity a round during an positively absurd pace, aiding on 77.5 percent of a done margin goals. Within that offset effort, 4 Hawks finished in double figures, including Al Horford, who forsaken 22 points (11-of-14 shooting) to go with 9 rebounds and 4 assists. 

As Bleacher Report’s Ethan Skolnick explained, Atlanta shouldn’t be projected to delayed down any time soon: 

 

Memphis Outlasts Portland in Elite Western Clash

The Portland Trail Blazers outscored a Memphis Grizzlies, 56-42, in a second half, though it wasn’t adequate to overcome an 18-point halftime deficit.  

Following dual true losses, Memphis has ripped off 4 true wins after evading with a 102-98 feat Saturday evening. The Blazers, meanwhile, have forsaken 3 straight. 

Wes Matthews surfaced a scoring mainstay with 25 points (7-of-14 sharpened from three) and done some authorization story while doing so: 

Courtney Lee and Beno Udrih were glorious in a win, scoring 17 points apiece. Udrih drilled all 7 of his field-goal attempts and pulled down 7 play starting in place a harmed Mike Conley (ankle soreness). 

 

Charlotte’s Gunning for a No. 8 Seed

It wasn’t pretty. Ugly competence even be generous. But though Kemba Walker (knee), a Charlotte Hornets were means to eke out a 80-71 overtime feat opposite a Indiana Pacers. 

Yes, that handicapped total took 53 mins to finalize. 

With a win, a Hornets now lay one game behind of a eighth-seeded Brooklyn Nets, who fell to a Washington Wizards, 99-90, during Barclays Center. 

Lance Stephenson played usually 20 mins off a dais opposite his former team, handling 13 points, 4 rebounds, 3 turnovers and dual assists as a Hornets prisoner their sixth win in 7 tries given Jan. 3. 

After bursting a home-and-home with Washington, Brooklyn’s now mislaid 8 of a final 9 and is in critical risk of descending out of a Eastern Conference playoff design entirely. 

 

Wiggins Pads His Rookie of a Year Credentials


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The Minnesota Timberwolves have now won dual of their final 3 games after Andrew Wiggins destroyed a Denver Nuggets behind a career-high 31 points (11-of-17 shooting), 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocks in a 113-105 triumph. 

According to The Wall Street Journal‘s Chris Herring, Wiggins has been simply depredation defenses of late: 

Minnesota shot 53.8 percent from a margin and 42.1 percent from 3 as all 5 starters finished in double figures. Mo Williams (13 points) forsaken during slightest 10 points in his fourth true diversion while Thaddeus Young tacked on 22 points, 6 play and 5 assists in a finish showing.  

 

The Wheels Continue to Turn in Detroit

The Detroit Pistons weren’t prepared to be broke twice. Although a Philadelphia 76ers squeaked past a Josh Smith-plagued chronicle of Stan Van Gundy’s bar on Dec. 6, Detroit gained a top palm Saturday night with a convincing 107-89 throttling of a Sixers. 

Now 8-2 over their final 10 games and 11-2 given waiving Smith, a Pistons are a small game a back of a Nets and lay tied with a Hornets during 16-25. 

Riding a prohibited palm of Kyle Singler (20 points, 6-of-8 sharpened from three), Detroit knocked down 42.9 percent (15-of-35) of a looks from over a arc while besting Philadelphia, 17-10, in transition. According to Basketball-Reference.com, it was usually a second time all deteriorate Detroit attempted during slightest 35 triples. 

Michael Carter-Williams led a approach for a Sixers with 15 points, 6 assists and 4 turnovers, though Philadelphia’s league-worst offense continue to burn due to a miss of firepower from low (25 percent sharpened from three).  

 

Thompson Sees 20/20, But Clippers Best Kings

With DeMarcus Cousins (ankle) sidelined, Jason Thompson had a night to remember as a Sacramento Kings fell to a Los Angeles Clippers, 117-108. 

Thompson finished with 23 points and 22 reboundsthe initial 20-point, 20-rebound diversion of his career, according to Basketball-Reference.com

Blake Griffin was stellar throughout, too, compiling 30 points (11-of-16 shooting), 5 rebounds and 5 assists. He’s now scored during slightest 30 points in back-to-back games and ranks No. 4 altogether this deteriorate with 9 games of some-more than 30 points, according to Basketball-Reference. Only Harden, Anthony Davis and LeBron James have more. 

Matt Barnes also tied a season-high with 26 points (including 22 in a initial half) on 10-of-15 sharpened (4-of-9 from three). 

 

Just for Kicks

First, Warriors brazen Andre Iguodala channeled his middle Cristiano Ronaldo with a learned right footed foot to Corey Brewer’s lax shoe in a initial half: 

And afterwards it was famed Nuggets mascot Rocky going sneaker selling courtside during Pepsi center: 

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