Deep-shooting Warriors reach first conference finals since 1976 by eliminating Grizzlies

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Stephen Curry is the NBA’s best shooter, maybe ever. He broke his own single-season 3-pointer record this year, and it’d be surprising if he doesn’t break it again. More than anything, that outside shooting made him MVP.

His range seems limitless.

Yet, he’d never made a shot longer from farther 43 feet in the NBA.

In the final moments of the third quarter in Game 6 against the Grizzlies on Friday, Curry picked up the loose ball and fired a 62-footer.

Swish.

Curry and the Warriors are going further than they’ve been in years –  a 108-95  win over Memphis sending them to their first conference finals since 1976.

Golden State will host the Rockets or Clippers – who meet in a Game 7 Sunday – in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals Tuesday.

“We’ve come a long way,” said Curry, who scored 32 points on 8-of-13 3-point shooting and dished 10 assists.

The Warriors got off to a sizzling start, making 11 of their first 14 shots – including 5-of-6 from beyond the arc – to take a quick 15-point lead. The Grizzlies never led, but they cut the deficit to one in the third quarter.

Then, Curry’s long 3 helped Golden State extend its lead back to 15.

“There was a lot of – ‘Big Mo’ we call it – to end that quarter and keep the momentum on our side,” Curry said.

Momentum is definitely with the Warriors. After trailing Memphis 2-1, they won three straight to take the series in six games.

And as far as six-game series go, this was decisive. The Grizzlies won their two games by 7 and 10. Golden State’s wins came by 13, 15, 17 and 19.

This series shouldn’t take away from the Grizzlies’ fine season. They were good enough to advance further under better circumstances. Instead, facing the NBA’s best team, most of the breaks went against them.

Marc Gasol (21 points, 15 rebounds, four assists and five blocks) was exhausted by the time he checked out late in the fourth quarter – perhaps for the final time with Memphis, as he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer. Mike Conley played 39 minutes despite being banged up even beyond his facial injury. A hurting Tony Allen struggled through five first-half minutes and didn’t play in the second half.

It’s impressive Memphis kept up with Curry, Klay Thompson (20 points), Draymond Green (16 rebounds) and the deep Warriors as long as it did.

After the game, Vince Carter hung around even longer. Carter – who played with Stephen’s dad, Dell Curry, on the Raptors –waited until Curry finished his on-court interview and then hugged the Golden State star.

“You got this far, man,” Carter said. “Keep it going.”

Kawhi Leonard has ‘F U symbol’ on championship ring to remember which finger to put it on

Kawhi Leonard
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Following the great tradition of Shane Battier and Andrew Bogut, Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard – who got his Raptors championship ring last night – had a special finger picked for it.

TSN:

Leonard:

I have a logo in there, and it’s on my middle finger. So, it reminds me to put it on my middle finger. So, I have like an F U symbol on there.

Leonard’s hand is filling up. He already earned a championship ring with the Spurs in 2014.

I suspect this ring is also for San Antonio.

Timberwolves’ Jarrett Culver on brother scoring 100 points in college game: ‘It felt like I was dreaming’

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Timberwolves rookie Jarrett Culver, the No. 6 pick in this year’s draft, was the biggest basketball star of his family.

Emphasis on “was.”

Culver’s younger brother, J.J. Culver, scored 100 points in a game for Wayland Baptist University (Plainview, Texas) on Tuesday.

Jarrett, via Kent Youngblood of the Minneapolis StarTribune:

“I left the gym and my phone just blew up,” Jarrett said. “Everyone is texting me, ‘Your brother, your brother.’ So I FaceTimed him. I was like, ‘No way!’ I didn’t know what to say. I was in shock. It felt like I was dreaming.”

“I feel like I dropped 100 the way I was celebrating with him. I was super-excited for him. He deserves it.”

J.J. shot:

  • 22-of-29 on 2-pointers
  • 12-of-33 on 3-pointers
  • 20-of-27 on free throws

Obviously, it’s unconventional for a single player to take 62 of his team’s 77 shots. But it doesn’t seem this was designed in advance. Nor does it seem Wayland Baptist runs a wild scheme. J.J. just got hot early, and his teammates then decided to keep feeding him. Obviously, by the end, he was gunning for records.

How will Jarrett one-up his brother now?

Celtics’ Kemba Walker flips over-shoulder pass to Jaylen Brown, who finishes with spinning dunk

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The Lakers aren’t Showtime 2.

Are the Celtics?

Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown ran one flashy fastbreak last night.

NBC Sports Boston:

Though Walker scored 44 points, Boston fell to the Pacers, 122-117.

Watch Bogdan Bogdanovic hit game-winning 3-pointer for Kings vs. Thunder (video)

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Another game, another Kings game-winning 3-pointer.

After Nemanja Bjelica hit a buzzer-beater against the Rockets on Monday, Bogdan Bogdanovic sunk the go-ahead 3-pointer against the Thunder last night. That stood as the game-winner once Richaun Holmes successfully defended Chris Paul on the other end, clinching Sacramento’s 94-93 victory.

The Kings have won three straight – over the Mavericks, Rockets and Thunder. The schedule softens over the next week and a half, giving Sacramento a real chance to rise in the Western Conference standings.

And if he keeps playing like this, Bogdanovic might find his way into a starting lineup.