Stephen Curry says he, Warriors not fazed by power shift to West

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LeBron James is a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, taking a 35-win team and making them a threat in a deep West. Carmelo Anthony is joining the Rockets. DeMar DeRozan has been added to the Spurs. It’s not just them, literally every team in the Western Conference got better this off-season — even bottom two Phoenix Suns and Sacramento Kings should be noticeably improved.

How does Stephen Curry feel about that? He said this was to be expected and the Warriors will be ready for it, speaking to Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area about this coming season.

“If you go through history, there’s has been blockbuster moves and trades every year, or most years,” he said. “Every team is trying to beat the champs, so nothing is really surprising. You just sit back and survey the league, survey what’s going on, and how we can get back on top this coming year and three-peat.

“There’s been some big names, obviously, with LeBron (James) and other guys moving. We need to control what we can control and be a better team this year. We have a couple new additions, so we’ve got to hit the ground running in September, in training camp. As every year is, chasing a championship, a different year and you can’t just carbon copy what you did last year and be successful.”

The Warriors big-name move this summer was adding DeMarcus Cousins, although he likely will not be back until Christmas or later. The Warriors can bring him along slowly because when they really need him is the playoffs — even a slowed and lessened Cousins is an upgrade over Zaza Pachulia. That said, when the game is on the line late, Cousins will be on the bench watching the “death lineup” with Draymond Green playing the five. That will remain the Warriors’ best lineup.

This weekend Curry will be playing in the Ellie Mae Classic at TPC Stonebrae — a stop on the Web.com tour (the secondary tour, behind the PGA Tour). Curry played in it last year and despite being near a scratch golfer he missed the cut by 11 strokes. That said, this is a course he plays a lot and he believes he can do much better.

“As a true golf nut, whether I can execute it or not is another question. But I feel like I can shave off 11 shots. Who knows what the cut will be this year? But that’s my goal.

“I feel like I could use the experience last year and the few chances I get to play tournament golf to my advantage and see what happens. I’ve just got to get off to a better start and not hit it into a cupholder or a golf cart on the first shot.”

 

James Harden’s 19-game 30-point streak surpassed by only Wilt Chamberlain

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On Feb. 24, 1962, the Celtics held Wilt Chamberlain to just 26 points, ending his streak of 30-point games at 65. The next day, he score 67 to start a 31-game streak of 30-point games.

Chamberlain was on a different level. He also had 25- and 20-game streaks of 30-point games. His numbers just warp so many statistical achievements.

Otherwise, James Harden would get even more credit for his scoring binge. The Rockets star has scored 30 points in 19 straight games, the longest such non-Chamberlain streak of all-time.

Here are the longest 30-point-game streaks in NBA history:

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Harden will attempt to continue his run against the 76ers tonight.

He has been clearing a much higher bar lately. In his last three games, Harden has scored 57, 58 and 48 points.

So, maybe “just” 30 points will be easy. But definitely not as easy as Chamberlain made it look.

Myles Turner with monstrous block of Marvin Williams dunk (video)

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Pacers center Myles Turner leads the NBA with 2.8 blocks per game.

Few were better than this one of Marvin Williams in Indiana’s win over the Hornets last night.

Though Williams was slightly losing control of the ball before Turner got to it, the Charlotte forward still went up for a big dunk. But that wasn’t happening on Turner’s watch.

Watch Derrick Rose nail game-winner as Timberwolves beat Suns 116-114

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Derrick Rose and the Minnesota Timberwolves needed this one.

With 30 seconds left, Rose missed the first of two free throws and was kicking himself for failing to give his team the lead.

“I kept saying, `You’re going to get another shot,” Taj Gibson said he told his long-time teammate. Twenty-nine seconds later, Rose proved Gibson prophetic.

Rose hit an 18-footer with 0.9 seconds left to give the Wolves a 116-114 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Sunday night.

He carried his team by scoring 29 of his 31 points in the second half to help Minnesota overcome an 11-point deficit.

Gibson dunked to pull Minnesota within one with less than a minute to play. Karl-Anthony Towns intercepted a bad pass from Booker, and Rose hit the second of two foul shots to tie it at 114 with 30.5 remaining.

After giving Rose his pep talk, Gibson grabbed the loose ball after Devin Booker lost it on Phoenix’s next possession. With the shot clock off and the crowd on its feet, Rose calmly dribbled down the clock against Mikal Bridges before pulling up and hitting the final shot.

“I missed a lot. it was all up to my teammates and the coaches for giving me that confidence, putting the ball in my hands and just believing in me,” Rose said.

It was a good confidence boost for both the oft-injured guard, and a team that had lost two of its last three home games by a combined seven points.

“He needed that shot, you know what I’m saying?” Gibson said. “He’s been putting in so much work in, we’ve been in that situation a couple times this year and it didn’t go his way.”

Rose picked up the slack for Towns, who had 30 points but only two after halftime. He went 13 of 13 from the free-throw line in the half, but struggled against Phoenix’s double teams in the second.

“We just stepped it up in the second half,” said Dragan Bender, the main man charged with defending Towns. “We came out, tried to double him, try to get the ball out of his hands and make the other players make plays.”

With Towns struggling against double-teams in the second half, Rose kept the Wolves in the game on 11-for-18 shooting in the half.

 

Report: Dennis Smith Jr. rejoins Mavericks after reconciling with Rick Carlisle

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Second-year guard Dennis Smith Jr. has been rumored to be on the trade block. The Dallas Mavericks guard hasn’t seen eye-to-eye with coach Rick Carlisle, and several teams have expressed interest in Smith. It appeared that Smith was all set to join another team as part of a swap as we approach the trade deadline.

A report on Sunday on the latest from Dallas has changed all that. According to The Athletic, Smith and Carlisle have had productive talks and the 21-year-old is set to rejoin the team for their game on Tuesday.

Via Twitter:

Smith hasn’t made the kind of leap the Mavericks were hoping for. Despite an offensive explosion across the league, he hasn’t seen his advanced numbers experience a significant bump. Smith’s flaws are that of a young player — shooting and decision-making — so any additional communication with coaches will be a good thing for him.

Who knows is he and Carlisle can ever heal the wound fully, but it felt too soon to press the eject button on a Top 10 pick like Smith for Mavs fans.