Kyle Korver nearing NBA record for three-pointers made in consecutive games

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Kyle Korver has always been known as one of the league’s more consistent three-point shooters throughout his NBA career.

Now in his 12th season, he seems to be getting better with age.

Korver is shooting 52.9 percent from three-point distance so far this season, after finishing at 45.7 percent last year, which was good enough for second overall behind Jose Calderon.

But beyond the high percentage, Korver’s consistency is something to be marveled at. And he’s approaching an NBA record that will reflect it if he can simply hit a single three-point shot in each of his next two games.

From Jeff Zilgitt of USA Today:

Korver has made a three-pointer in 87 consecutive regular-season games and he’s two games and two three-pointers shy of tying Dana Barros’ record of 89 set in the 1994-95 and 1995-96 seasons. …

Korver can tie Barros with a three-pointer Tuesday against the Orlando Magic and another Wednesday at the Houston Rockets. He can break the record Friday at home against the Dallas Mavericks. …

“One of the things that is unnoticed is how hard he works when he’s on the court to find open spots,” Ferry told USA TODAY Sports. “He’s in tremendous physical condition. He’s a better athlete than people understand. He can really run. That allows him to get to spots and to find openings.”

SportVu has the data to prove it. Korver is among the league leaders is distance traveled (34.4 miles) and distance traveled per 48 minutes (3.5 miles).

The fact that everyone knows Korver is looking for the three and yet he still manages to get good open looks is a testament to his work ethic, as well as his quick release and ability to knock down shots that are contested at a very high percentage.

The game’s best players and number one options on their respective teams would never be able to secure a record like this, considering all the attention the defense pays them to make other players step up on a nightly basis. It takes a player like Korver to be able to get loose on the perimeter consistently to have a shot at it, but the skill required to achieve it still makes it an extremely impressive accomplishment.

Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling

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DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. missed Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with swelling in his left knee.

Smith, the ninth pick in the NBA draft out of North Carolina State, had 16 points and 10 assists in the Mavericks’ season-opening loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Smith participated in the Mavericks’ shootaround on Friday morning and was a late scratch. It is not known if Smith will play Saturday for Dallas.

The Mavericks were also missing guard Devin Harris, who was granted leave of absence after his brother died on Thursday.

Watch Lonzo Ball’s 29 point, 11 rebound, 9 assist game Friday night

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This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.

After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.

Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).

Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?

Hawks’ DeAndre’ Bembry out with fractured wrist

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In their season opener Wednesday, Atlanta second-year man DeAndre’ Bembry came off the bench and played 17:45, scored six points and was +13 on the night. It was a good start to his career.

But now he is going to miss some time with a fractured wrist.

Bembry underwent an MRI, which revealed a fracture in his right wrist, the Hawks announced Friday. He will return to Atlanta with the team (the Hawks lost to the Hornets Friday night) and will meet with team doctors at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center on Monday. His status will be updated after that.

“We just may play some other guys more, we may use some of the young guys,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told the AP before Friday night’s game. “We’ll just figure it out tonight and as we move forward. I don’t think there’s anything guaranteed for anybody, it’s unfortunate for DeAndre’ and for us.”