Sports

Curry’s first buzzer beater, Irving’s ‘breakthrough’ game, and more from a busy NBA Friday


Steph Curry called game.

Steph Curry called game.
Image: Getty Images

Friday night was a “drink and you missed it” kind of night in the NBA, so if you didn’t catch (or forgot) the many highlights because you went out to dinner, the bar, a buddy’s place, or somewhere else other than in front of your TV watching games, allow me to fill you in while you scroll through your phone hopefully not too hungover.

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Steph Curry can’t shake slump, but buries another misconception about his game

The 14-33 Houston Rockets gave the 33-13 Golden State Warriors a game Friday, needing only a stop with 5 seconds left to force overtime. Then, for the first time in his career, Curry hit a deep, setback two to call game at the buzzer.

Here it is again in slow-mo if you’re into that kind of thing.

Maybe this will get him and the Warriors out of their funk. Curry put up 22 on 6-21 from the field, but he hasn’t scored more than 20 points in five of their past 10 games, and the Warriors are 6-4 during that span.

I know this was his first official buzzer beater in the NBA, but the guy is so good that his team is up so much so often that there are rarely opportunities to be clutch. Him not having a catalog of game winners a la Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, or Damian Lillard is more about him up big, sitting on the bench and clowning his second stringers while the final seconds tick off than it is about his ability to hit a buzzer beater.

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And let’s move on because I’m going to vomit if I write any more nice things about Curry or the Warriors.



James Harden calls Kyrie Irving’s strong fourth-quarter showing a ‘breakthrough’

Speaking of sickness and death, yes, I know Harden was referring to Irving’s 15 points in the final period and 24 points overall in their 117-102 win over San Antonio on Friday when he said, “For sure, it was a breakthrough.”

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The full quote, per ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, reads:

“For sure, it was a breakthrough,” said Harden, who finished with 37 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. “He’s capable of doing that at any moment and any point in the game.

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“That’s one of the reasons why we need him every single game, because he’s able to do that, especially with everything that’s going on with our team. But he’s able and more than capable of doing things like that whenever he wants. I think he just tries to get us involved a little bit more, but he’s a special talent.”

However, let’s please refrain from words like “breakthrough” in any story, headline, or news conference about Irving. It’s very confusing. I know he has to be vaccinated to be susceptible to breakthrough cases, but the majority of his teammates and team staff are not so lucky.

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The Nets are now 2-1 since Kevin Durant went down.

Grayson Allen takes a Bull by his horns

Allen’s history of seeing red during competition is well-documented, so the following highlight of him taking out Chicago guard Alex Caruso mid-flight during the Bucks-Bulls game Friday only serves to reinforce his reputation as a dirty, over-emotional player among Duke haters, but here it is anyway.

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As a white, American male, it’s sad to see white-on-white violence among the few white guys in the NBA. What’s next? Doug McDermott close-lining former teammate TJ McConnell?

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After the game, a 94-90 Bucks win, Chicago coach Billy Donovan was unhappy with Allen, who got a flagrant 2 and was ejected from the game, for other reasons (per AP News).

“For Alex to be in the air like that, and for (Allen) to take him down like that, it could have ended (Caruso’s) career,” Donovan said. “And (Allen) has a history of this. That to me was really, it was really dangerous. And I really hope the league takes a hard look at something like that because (Allen) could have really, really seriously hurt him.”

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Yeah, I’d be pissed, too, especially after a loss. The Bulls are without Lonzo Ball for an extended period of time and have dropped six of their past eight games, but still hold the second best record in the East after an impressive start.

Lakers beat Magic, Russell Westbrook says he has “turned the page” after benching

What a relief. Westbrook has figured it out after 13 years in the league. All it took was the biggest fanbase in the NBA yelling at him, his coach benching him and then publicly doubling down on the move. Let this be the last we hear of the Lakers dysfunction, so my coworker Stephen Knox doesn’t have to pen another 1,400-plus words on the franchise running in place.

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From henceforth, Jan. 21 shall be known as Russell Westbrook Day, the day he “turned the page” in a 116-105 win over the Orlando Magic.

“My job as a player, as a professional, is to do my job, continue to find ways to be able to help impact winning,” Westbrook said (via ESPN). “That’s all I was thinking about and turned the page to do and that’s what I tried to do tonight.”

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Come, Lakers faithful, and rejoice as the prophecy will be fulfilled. LeBron James will tie Michael Jordan’s six championships (after 11 tries), and LA will win its 18th title (five of them while in Minneapolis) to break the tie with the Boston Celtics.

Finally at .500 and only 13 games behind the Suns for the one seed, it’s likely the Lakers win out, pass Phoenix, and cruise to another title.

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