Steve Kerr: Michael Jordan and Stephen Curry share similar aura

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After one of the most impressive performances by any team in the NBA all season, next for the Golden State Warriors is a chance to beat the only team they have faced that they’ve yet to defeat.

Having Stephen Curry in the lineup should make things easier this time.

Curry was out when the Warriors lost to the Dallas Mavericks last month, and he’ll try to help Golden State match the second-longest regular-season home win streak in NBA history Wednesday night.

Golden State (41-4) crushed San Antonio 120-90 on Monday in what turned out to be a mismatch between the NBA’s best teams. Curry, averaging a league-high 30.3 points, hit six 3-pointers and scored 37 in 28 minutes.

The comparisons between the Warriors and the 1995-96 Chicago team that won a record 72 games continue to grow. Coach Steve Kerr, who played on that Bulls team, admitted at Tuesday’s practice that the reigning league MVP’s impact reminds him of the legendary Michael Jordan.

“There is an aura that’s similar,” Kerr said. “Steph is obviously a worldwide phenomenon now and you see a thousand people watching him warm up or you see a couple hundred people at the hotel at 2 a.m. trying to get his autograph, that’s similar to the Michael phenomenon.”

Jordan fans may like to point out that he didn’t miss any games that season. Curry has missed two due to a bruised lower left leg, including a 114-91 defeat at Dallas on Dec. 30.

The Warriors have taken seven straight over the Mavericks with Curry in the lineup, although that isn’t the streak that will be on everyone’s minds Wednesday.

Golden State can match the 40-game run in the regular season at home by Orlando between March 21, 1995-March 19, 1996. The only longer streak is the 44-game stretch by Jordan’s Bulls from March 30, 1995-April 4, 1996.

The Warriors’ current four-game win streak includes road victories by 34 over Cleveland and 31 over Chicago, and is a run in which they are averaging 124.8 points on 51.5 percent shooting overall and 42.7 percent on 3-pointers.

“That’s the most exciting part about it is that yeah, we’re 41-4, yeah that’s great, a great start but we’re nowhere near where I know we’re going to get and that’s encouraging,” forward Draymond Green said.

Dallas (26-21) has dropped five straight at Golden State, and it’s not clear who will be available for the Mavericks after they had to work hard for Tuesday’s 92-90 road win over the lowly Los Angeles Lakers on Dirk Nowitzki‘s tiebreaking jumper with 2.1 seconds left.

Nowitzki made 5 of 14 shots for 13 points.

“I didn’t really have touch there the entire night,” he told the Mavericks’ official website. “They did a good job and did some switching on my pick-and-rolls, and they didn’t leave me much.”

Coach Rick Carlisle has twice rested at least four starters in the second game of back-to-back sets, with Dallas going 7-4 overall in such contests. Those two instances came after games that went overtime and nobody logged more than 34 minutes in Los Angeles.

Mavs guard Devin Harris sat out Tuesday with a toe injury and center Zaza Pachulia has missed two straight games with a leg injury.

Stephen Curry cleared for contact, goes through full scrimmage with Warriors

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Stephen Curry is not sitting out the rest of the season. He wants back on the court — he’s targeting the first week of March — and the Warriors are not holding him out.

That got a step closer on Saturday when Curry went through a full scrimmage with the Warriors. Warriors coach Steve Kerr said this after practice, via NBC Sports Bay Area.

“Yeah he scrimmaged today, first day of scrimmaging,” Kerr told reporters at the Chase Center practice facility. “We only had seven other healthy players, so there were two coaches out there scrimmaging too, it was not pretty, but Steph looked great.”

The March return for Curry seems on track. Klay Thompson will not return to the court this season.

The Warriors are not playoff bound, but there is no reason to sit out Curry and tank, either.

First, that’s not the kind of culture the Warriors have built, coming off three titles in five years. Second, the fan base could use the boost of watching Curry drain deep threes after a disheartening season to this point. Third, and maybe most important, what exactly would they need to tank for, better draft position? This is a down draft to begin with, so anyone the Warriors select likely can’t help them much next season anyway (which is why there’s a lot of speculation the Warriors may try to trade the pick). Also, with the flattened out lottery odds, they don’t gain much anyway. The Warriors have the worst record in the NBA, but the three worst teams all have a 14 percent chance at the top pick, and the fourth worst is at 12.5 percent, fifth is 10.5 percent. Curry’s return for a month isn’t lifting the Warriors to the point teams will not want the pick.

We could all use to be reminded just how special Curry is as a player. Hopefully, we get to see that in a couple of weeks.

Kings return to Staples Center, beat Clippers for second time in a month

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kent Bazemore scored a season-high 23 points, Bogdan Bogdanovic added 20 and the Sacramento Kings beat the Los Angeles Clippers on the road for the second time in less than a month, winning 112-103 on Saturday.

De’Aaron Fox had 20 points and eight assists for the surging Kings. They have won two straight out of the All-Star break and eight of 12 overall.

Sacramento blew a 14-point lead in the second half to a Clippers lineup missing injured stars Paul George and Patrick Beverley. But the Kings then shut out Kawhi Leonard and the Clips for more than five straight minutes down the stretch, making a decisive 10-0 run capped by Harry Giles’ percussive dunk with 58 seconds left.

Leonard scored 31 points in his return from his MVP performance in Chicago, but the Clippers returned from the All-Star break with their first three-game losing streak of the season. Lou Williams added 24 points, and Montrezl Harrell had 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Sacramento had a big lead late in the third quarter, but the Clippers took their first lead of the day on Harrell’s leap-and-lean bucket with 8:30 to play.

The Kings reclaimed the lead on Harry Giles’ putback score with 4:17 left, and Bogdanovic hit a clutch 3-pointer two minutes later.

With the Clippers comfortably in third place in the Western Conference, George and Beverley are both getting extra time off to rest persistent injuries.

Reggie Jackson scored eight points in his Clippers debut two days after the Pistons bought him out, while Marcus Morris had six points and five turnovers in 32 minutes in his home debut nearly two weeks after the Clippers acquired him in a three-way trade.

With George and Beverley sidelined, Clippers coach Doc Rivers used his 28th starting lineup in 56 games, putting newcomers Morris and Jackson in the mix. Perhaps unsurprisingly, these unfamiliar Clippers returned from eight days off and missed 13 of their first 14 shots on their way to a 4-for-24 first quarter with five turnovers.

Sacramento wasn’t much better, but Bazemore scored 15 points in the first half. Los Angeles had more turnovers than field goals until late in the half, but Jackson’s first basket for the Clippers was a 3-pointer in the final second before halftime.

Tonight Miami retires Dwyane Wade’s number, time to watch some career highlights

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Next stop: The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

But first, the Miami Heat will retire Dwyane Wade’s No. 3 jersey tonight, the highlight of a weekend-long celebration.

That seems like a good reason to sit back and watch some vintage Wade highlights. His best play from every one of his NBA seasons is above.

Or, here are the top 35 plays of his career.

Also, just a reminder that Wade’s influence in Miami goes well beyond the court.

Miami’s No. 3 deserves every bit of love he will get from the Miami crowd.

No tanking for Wolves, Karl-Anthony Towns wants to return to court this season

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Karl-Anthony Towns will be sidelined a couple of weeks, at least, with a fractured left wrist. When he returns, there will be 15-17 games left in the season, at most (and the Timberwolves are not headed to the playoffs).

Time to shut him down and tank for a lottery spot?

Not in Minnesota. Towns wants back on the court when healthy,  sources told Jon Krawczynski at The Athletic, plus it’s the right move for the franchise.

“When he’s healthy enough, we’ll be able to make those decisions, but make no mistake, we’re a group that is competing,” coach Ryan Saunders said before a 127-117 loss to the Boston Celtics on Friday night. “You get better and you grow by doing the right things. That’s by, (no matter what) your record is, you’re not looking at the record.”

The translation: The Wolves don’t plan to let their place in the standings dictate their decision with Towns. League sources told The Athletic that Towns desperately wants to return to the court this season to play with Russell, Malik Beasley and the rest of a completely revamped Wolves roster.

There are a few reasons this is the right move for Minnesota.

• It has been a frustrating season for Towns, he is the franchise player, he wants to play, it’s best to keep him happy (and not dreaming of greener pastures elsewhere).

This is not a draft with elite talent at the top of it, so what exactly are the Timberwolves tanking for?

• Towns and Russell could use the time on the court to become more accustomed to each other’s games.

• The coaching staff and front office could use the time to evaluate the fit of players they have around Towns and Russell.

There are times that tanking makes sense, although the viability of that as a strategy has decreased some with the flattened out lottery odds. However, considering this draft and the value of having Towns and Russell on the court together, it doesn’t make sense for Minnesota.