What is a stranger story: The current state of the presidential race (with 11 months to go) or the man in Florida arrested for driving 110 mph while naked with three women in the car? One is more serious, but weirder? It’s a toss up. In the meantime, here’s what you need to know out of the NBA from Tuesday night.
1) Another hurdle cleared, the Warriors’ machine keeps right on rolling. I feel like I’ve run out of new, positive things to say about Golden State — they faced another test on Tuesday night and handed a good Pacers team their heads. The game was all but over in the first quarter when the Warriors went on a 22-0 run. But while I’ve run out of words I haven’t grown weary of them — the Warriors remain a joy to watch play the game. They move the ball and move without the ball, they are smart and unselfish, and they defend. They play the game the way coaches around the globe try to teach it. Stephen Curry is the best player on the planet right now. We should savor all of that. Teams like this on runs like this do not come around often.
2) Klay Thompson was brilliant, then rolled his ankle and may miss time. Tuesday night was Klay Thompson’s turn to go off — he hit 10 three pointers, had 39 points overall, and was basically within range when he crossed the White River. It would have been his best night of the season, until he (and Curry and Draymond Green) had to re-enter the game in the fourth quarter because the bench couldn’t hold enough of the 28-point lead it was given. In the final minute of the game he went up and then came down on Shaun Livingston‘s ankle, rolling his own. Thompson had a noticeable limp after the game, but X-rays were negative, and he said he hoped to be ready to go against Boston on Friday.
3) Rajon Rondo is a magician with the ball. Rondo had been putting up wild passing highlights lately but this move on Trey Burke is going to get shown in highlight clips for a while now. (By the way, the Kings went on to beat the Rudy Gobert-less Jazz 114-106,
4) Damian Lillard and LeBron James put on a show, but the Cavaliers came out on top. In the first half it looked like the Cavaliers, losers of three straight coming in, could be in trouble again. Lillard dropped 12 first-quarter points (he had 33 for the game) and Portland led by 18 at one point. But in the third quarter Kevin Love sparked an 18-5 Cavaliers run that made it a game. In the fourth Lillard had another dozen points but he couldn’t match LeBron’s 14 (33 for the game) and the Cavaliers got the 105-100 win. But Lillard and LeBron put on a show.
5) Houston blows chance to get to .500 with loss to Brooklyn Nets. This is the part of the schedule where the Rockets are supposed to get right, a couple of weeks of games against sub. 500 team. The Rockets had the chance to get level on Tuesday night but found the Brooklyn Nets the better team (again, the Nets sweep the season series). Brooklyn’s 105-100 win came on a night when James Harden was just 2-of-9 shooting for 10 points, plus he had seven turnovers. Houston turned the ball over one in five trips down the court as a team. Trevor Ariza suffered a bruised back after a first quarter fall and never returned. The Rockets’ super-small lineup in the fourth helped cut the lead down, but the Rockets could not get over the hump. The Rockets didn’t look like a .500 team on Tuesday, and so they are not.