Kurt Helin

Blazers’ Terry Stotts thinks Warriors can reach 72 wins

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At 34-2, the Golden State Warriors are on pace to go 77-5 this season.

That has a lot of fans asking “can they break the Michael Jordan/Bulls record of 72-10?”

The Warriors dodge that question when asked. But after his team became the latest Warriors victim, Trail Blazers’ coach Terry Stotts answered it for them — yes they can. Via Sean Michael Meagher (hat tip Eye on Basketball):

If they can stay relatively healthy, the Warriors have a chance — but things are going to get harder as the season wears on.

The Warriors have the fourth easiest schedule in the NBA so far — they have played the Cavaliers once (Christmas Day) and have yet to face either the Thunder or Spurs. They have eight games still ahead against those other serious contenders. Also, the Warriors trust the body/health monitoring analytics gear that players wear during practices, and at some point later this season it will tell them to rest guys like Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson for nights, making the Warriors more vulnerable.

The Warriors have the point differential of a team 30-6, according to Basketball-Reference.com, meaning the Warriors have been a little bit lucky so far. That kind of luck tends to balance out over the course of a season.

The Warriors to a man say they are not focused on the outcome yet, just the process. But this is also a team trying to establish its legacy up their with some of the great squads of all-time, and breaking the win total would be another significant step on the way to doing just that. My guess is that if the Warriors get to mid-march, with a month to go in the season, and they have a good shot at the record it will become more of a priority.

But for now, they know their ultimate legacy will be determined by rings more than regular season accomplishments.

Kobe Bryant picks up assist with pass through Kevin Durant’s legs

Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant, left, yells to his team as Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant stands by during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016, in Los Angeles. The Thunder won 117-113. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Associated Press
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Kobe Bryant has his moments — he put up 19 points on the Thunder Friday night. Sure, it took 20 shots, but he had his moments and the Lakers were scrappy. Lou Williams dropped 44, and the Lakers made a fourth quarter run, but the Thunder made enough plays to get the 117-113 win.

But maybe the play of the game — if not Russell Westbrook‘s missed dunk — was when Kobe picked up an assist to Julius Randle with a pass through Kevin Durant‘s legs.

Suns sign guard Lorenzo Brown to 10-day contract

Lorenzo Brown, K.J. McDaniels
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PHOENIX (AP) — The Phoenix Suns signed guard Lorenzo Brown to a 10-day contract Friday.

The 6-foot-5 Brown averaged 16.4 points, 6.1 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 1.9 steals in 16 games this season for the Grand Rapids Drive in the NBA Development League.

The former North Carolina State player averaged 4.2 points in 29 games last season for Minnesota. He averaged 2.5 points in 26 games for Philadelphia as a rookie in 2013-14.

On Thursday, the Suns waived guard Bryce Cotton and forward Cory Jefferson.

Former NBA player Jordan Crawford scores 72 in Chinese league game

Jordan Crawford, Jodie Meeks
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The Chinese Basketball Association has a reputation for a few things, among them: Nobody plays defense.

As the latest evidence (outside the fact Stephon Marbury still has an active career) comes via former NBA fringe player Jordan Crawford (he was in camp with the Bulls this preseason). We last saw him a couple of years ago on Mark Jackson’s Golden State teams.

Crawford scored 72 points in a game in China, according to multiple reports. He is playing for the Tianjin Ronggang Golden Lions in the Chinese Basketball Association. He shot 21-of-40 for the game, including 4-of-12 from three, he added 16 rebounds/

Despite all that Gold Lions lost the game, falling to 5-23 on the season.

Crawford may be best remembered as a high school player who dunked on LeBron during a summer pickup game. The video of that got out despite Nike trying to confiscate the cameras in the gym that day.

Cavaliers’ Mo Williams has partially torn thumb ligament, will keep playing

CLEVELAND - MARCH 28:  Mo Williams #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers dribbles against the Sacramento Kings during the game at Quicken Loans Arena on March 28, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio.  The Cavs won 97-90.  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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2010 NBAE (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Mo Williams was touted as an off-season acquisition for Cleveland, but he is barely seeing the court anymore. He’s been a DNP-CD three of the last five games and played just more than 26 minutes total in the other two.

Now when he does get on the court, he will be limited thanks to a torn ligiment in his hand. From Chris Haynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Kyrie Irving and Matthew Dellavedova are soaking up the vast majority of point guard minutes for Cleveland, Williams is a bit of an insurance policy at this point. Which is to say, his injury isn’t much of an issue for the Cavs in general. And Williams is a team player, so don’t expect him to complain about the minutes cut.