Kurt Helin

ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 22:  Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors shoots a three-point basket against Jeff Teague #0 of the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on February 22, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Stephen Curry leads Warriors to 50th win, 102-92 over Hawks

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ATLANTA (AP) — Stephen Curry scored 36 points and the Golden State Warriors became the fastest team in NBA history to 50 wins, beating the Atlanta Hawks 102-92 Monday night after squandering a 23-point lead.

The Warriors (50-5) eclipsed the mark set by the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, who needed one more game to win their 50th. Of course, that’s the team Golden State is chasing, moving another step closer to the record 72-10 mark put up by Michael Jordan & Co. at the height of their six-titles-in-eight-years dynasty.

Curry and the defending NBA champions appeared headed for a rout against the struggling Hawks, pushing out to a 70-47 lead approaching the midway point of the third quarter. Atlanta closed the period on a 28-6 run and grabbed the lead briefly early in the fourth, igniting the sellout crowd.

But the Warriors would not be denied, bouncing back to hand the Hawks their fourth straight home loss.

Klay Thompson added 27 points for the Warriors. Both he and Curry knocked down five shots from 3-point range. Draymond Green didn’t do much offensively, scoring only six points, but he had 14 rebounds and nine assists.

Al Horford led the Hawks with 23 points.

Curry put on a clinic in the first half, thoroughly dominating Hawks point guard Jeff Teague.

Perhaps the best sequence came when Curry swished a towering 3-pointer from the corner, the ball seeming to disappear into the rafters of Philips Arena at the height of its arc. Then, after posing briefly in front of the Golden State bench, he hustled back to the other end to draw an offensive foul on Teague, who looked befuddled by what he was seeing.

At the end of the half, with the clock running down and Teague right in his face, Curry somehow found just enough space to knock down another amazing jumper from the corner, though this one with his foot on the stripe.

Someone on the Golden State bench threw a white towel high in the air – partly to celebrate, partly in disbelief.

The Hawks could’ve thrown in the towel early in the third.

Instead, Atlanta finally showed some fight against the league’s best team, making five 3-pointers and nearly 60 percent of its shots in period.

The Warriors regained control in the fourth, helped by Curry’s 3 that left him wiggling his shoulders in front of the Atlanta bench.

TIP-INS

Warriors: Improved to 45-0 when leading after the third quarter. It looked as though the Hawks would have the lead heading to the fourth, but a video review showed Thabo Sefolosha‘s jumper left his hand a split-second after the clock expired, leaving Golden State ahead 76-75. … Andrew Bogut played 29 minutes with a strained right Achilles, grabbing 11 rebounds. … Newly signed Anderson Varejao watched the game from the Warriors bench but didn’t play. He was signed after being cut last week by Portland. … Golden State had 30 assists in a game for the 29th time.

Hawks: Have lost four straight home games for the first time since March 21 to April 1, 2007, according to STATS. … Tim Hardaway Jr. had some effective spurts off the bench, scoring 12 points. … Atlanta made 10 of 34 from 3-point range and is 19 of 75 from beyond the arc in its last two games.

Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/paul-newberry .

Matthew Dellavedova picks up flagrant foul shoving Andre Drummond mid-air

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Time to fire up the “is Matthew Dellavedova a dirty player” discussion again.

Dellavedova was hustling back to try to break up a Pistons fast break, but in attempt to foul Andre Drummond in the act (he wasn’t going for the block) he pushed an airborne Drummond, who had no defense and went crashing to the ground. That’s a clear Flagrant 1 foul and the refs called it that.

Dellavedova went over and immediately apologized to Drummond. This seemed like another case of Dellavedova playing hard to the point of recklessness rather than being malicious. But if that leads to injuries — hello Kyle Korver — it’s an issue, and other players are not going to be happy. His recklessness puts bodies at risk.

Detroit outplayed and outworked a flat Cavaliers team all night and picked up the win 96-88. Reggie Jackson had 23 points to lead six Pistons in double digits with a balanced attack.

Stephen Curry with spin move then wicked assist for three (VIDEO)

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That’s not fair.

It’s bad enough that Stephen Curry can knock down threes from anywhere inside 30 feet, but it’s his handles and court vision that make things worse. Here he uses the threat of the three to set up the drive past Jeff Teague, gets in the paint, spins, and when Al Horford goes to block, Curry whips a pass to Harrison Barnes in the corner for a three.

To be clear, that’s two All-Stars in Teague and Horford (Teague a year ago, Horford again this year), not some scrubs.

The Warriors are just not fair.

 

Mark Cuban uses expletives to say Dirk Nowitzki would love a Kobe-style farewell tour

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Dirk Nowitzki isn’t a guy hunting out the spotlight, trying to promote his brand, demanding his own signature shoe. He’s humble off the court.

So he wouldn’t want a Kobe Bryant style farewell tour…

Unless you ask Mark Cuban. As Chris Ballar did at Sports Illustrated.

“Bulls—!Bulls—, bulls—, bulls—, bulls—, bulls—, bulls—! Yeah, he loves that little wave when he comes out and passes a milestone. He loves it. LOOOVES IT! I don’t care what he says. ‘I don’t like going to the All-Star Games. I don’t want a farewell tour.’ He loves it!

“I remember his first All-Star Game, we literally told him he had to pack a knapsack, just in case we roadtrip from Philadelphia to Miami, and he packed one. Me, him and Nash…Oh my God…the s— we did. Can’t believe it’s been, what, 16 years.”

Well, if you use the word seven times you must mean it.

Also, I want to know the stories from that road trip.

I wonder if this is part of the joking relationship between Nowitzki and Cuban or not, this sounds like the ribbing Cuban would give his good friend Nowitzki.

Unlike the Spurs and Tim Duncan — I fully expect his retirement to be announced via emailed press release, with no press conference — Cuban is not going to let Nowitzki slide out of the league quietly. There will be a celebration. Whether Nowitzki wants it or not.

Pistons’ Anthony Tolliver out 2-4 weeks with knee sprain

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 18: at the United Center on December 18, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using the photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Tobias Harris was brought into Detroit to play the four — and he is being thrown into the fire.

He started against the Cavaliers Monday night and he’s going to get a lot of minutes the next few weeks because his backup, Anthony Tolliver, will be out for a while, the team announced.

Rookie Stanley Johnson will primarily play the three behind Marcus Morris, according to reports. Part of the reason for bringing in Harris was to put together guys at the two, three, and four who can switch picks defensively and be more interchangeable offensively around the Andre Drummond/Reggie Jackson pick-and-roll combo.

That is all being put to the test quickly.