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Stephen Curry says it’s “comical that people were saying I’m having a down year”

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Last season Stephen Curry averaged 30.1 points, 6.7 assists, and 5.4 rebounds a game, hit 45.4 percent from three,, with a PER of 31.5, and the Warriors were 22 points per 100 possessions better when he was on the court.

This season, Curry is averaging 25.2 points, 6.5 assists, and 4.5 rebounds a game, is hitting 40.4 percent from three, with a PER of 24.3, and the Warriors are 15 points per 100 possessions better when he is on the court.

So is Stephen Curry having a down year?

Don’t tell him that. Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report asked him the question.

“I think it’s comical that people were saying I’m having a down year,” Curry said. “To go black and white and say I’m not having as good a season as I was having last year based on just five points a game or shooting percentage or whatnot…there are other things that you try to do other than just the eye test to try and help your team win. This year has taught me that, for sure. The accolades and the attention and all that stuff, the hype is cool. But it’s really how you feel about your own game.

 “And I can wake up every day and be like, ‘I know what I’m trying to accomplish; I know I’m going to get better.’ I know when I don’t play well and how mad I get at myself. I know when I do play well and how I want to keep that going. Same approach as I had last year.

“Just five fewer points a game. Who cares?”

Curry unquestionably had to adjust his game to fit with Kevin Durant and that led to some rough patches early in the season, they played next to each other more than with each other. They figured it out, and before Durant went down with a knee injury (he’s expected back this weekend) the Warriors were looking like the team every other team feared before the season. However, Curry is right (earlier in that story) that sometimes narratives get set before Christmas that are hard to break after even if they are not true.

Curry’s numbers this season are impressive — not the superhuman numbers of his previous two seasons, but still incredible. One could make a legitimate case that Curry deserves one of the five spots (the fifth, frankly) on an MVP ballot. As pointed out at ProBasketballTalk earlier today, this is a team that plays at the level of a 36 win team when he is off the court (there’s a lot of noise in that stat, but you get the idea).

So it’s hard to argue he’s having a down year.

And if the Warriors go on to win a title this year, you can call his season whatever you want and Curry will not care.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook go head-to-head, literally (video)

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This sure didn’t look like just another game for Kevin Durant – and not only because the Thunder beat the Warriors for the first time since he left.

The 108-91 Oklahoma City victory didn’t look like just another game for Russell Westbrook (34 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and four steals), either.

Harrison Barnes banks in game-winning, buzzer-beating 3-pointer (video)

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With the shot clock off in the fourth quarter and the game tied, Grizzlies big JaMychal Green put back Tyreke Evans‘ miss with a clutch flush. There’s a very fine line between ensuring the last shot and leaving time for an offensive rebound, and Memphis threated it almost perfectly.

Emphasis on “almost.”

The Grizzlies left the Mavericks 0.5 seconds, which Harrison Barnes used to bank in a 3-pointer – off a pinpoint bounce pass by Dennis Smith Jr. – to give Dallas a 95-94 win.

Heat snap Celtics’ 16-game winning streak

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
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The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.

After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.

The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.

Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.

The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.

Serge Ibaka gets dunked on by Enes Kanter, hit in face by ball (video)

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Is Enes Kanter mad Serge Ibaka rifted with his family?

(No, not this family. That family.)