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Basketball Daily Dose

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Dose: Chef Curry is Cooking

Sunday, January 7, 2018


It was another entertaining Saturday in the NBA, highlighted by an epic scoring binge from Stephen Curry, the glorious return of Victor Oladipo, and another brilliant all-around performance courtesy of LeBron James.


After recapping the essential storylines from Saturday, we’ll wrap up the Dose by taking a quick look at some important players facing injury issues for Sunday’s games.


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Nightly Notables:
Stephen Curry, in a truly awe-inspiring performance, exploded for 45 points in just 30 minutes against the Clippers on Saturday afternoon. According to Basketball-Reference, he is only the fourth player in the last the last 50 years to score 45-plus points in 30 or fewer minutes. Curry, who did all his damage in just three quarters, also added six rebounds, three assists, three steals and eight 3-pointers. Steph is averaging 36.0 points and seven treys while shooting 58 percent from the floor and 54 percent from downtown in the four games he’s played since returning from his ankle injury. He’s scored 144 points on just 77 total field goal attempts during that four-game stretch. In addition, Curry has scored at least 29 points and knocked down at least four 3-pointers in each of his last six games. He’s made at least three triples in 13 straight. We’ll all tell our grandkids one day about Curry’s incredible marksmanship.


Aaron Gordon scored a team-high 30 points and added eight rebounds, two steals and an assist across 32 minutes Saturday vs. Cleveland. Air Gordon had only six points at halftime, but kicked it into high gear in the second half… Elfrid Payton tallied 20 points (on 8-of-13 shooting), seven rebounds and five assists in 27 minutes. It’s his tenth straight game with either double-digit assists or points. He’s also shot 50 percent or better from the floor in nine of his last 11 contests.


Giannis Antetokounmpo refuses to slow down, producing prodigious stat lines night after night. The Greek Freak was back at on Saturday, tallying 34 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists, two steals, a block and a 3-pointer. He was an efficient 12-of-17 from the floor and 9-of-10 from the free-throw stipe. Amazingly, it was the 21st straight game in which Antetokounmpo has recorded at least 20 points, five boards and three dimes. Per Basketball-Reference, that’s the NBA’s longest such streak dating back to 1983-84, Over the last week, Giannis passed a few guys you may have heard of: Michael Jordan (18 games), LeBron James (17 games), Russell Westbrook (17 games) and Larry Bird (16 games).


Pacer fans and ‘Dipo owners were delighted to see Victor Oladipo back in action on Saturday night. Oladipo, who had missed four consecutive games, did not show any signs of rust and finished with 23 points (on 9-of-11 shooting), six rebounds, nine assists, five steals and two 3-pointers. He only played 24 minutes, but that had more to do with the fact that Pacers were up 30-plus points in the second half. Encouragingly, coach Nate McMillan said that Oladipo would not have any minutes restrictions. If he can avoid any injury setbacks, ‘Dipo should continue to post top-20 value the rest of the season.


LeBron James was everywhere in Saturday’s win over Orlando. King James scored 33 points, grabbed ten rebounds and dished out nine assists. Oh, and he also knocked down four 3-pointers, blocked a shot and registered six steals. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the 38th time in his storied career in which LeBron has finished with one assist or one rebound shy of a triple-double. That’s the fifth most such games in NBA history.


DeMarcus Cousins stayed hot on Saturday, finishing with 23 points, 15 rebounds, five assists, three blocks, seven turnovers and two 3-pointers. The turnovers are a bit of a buzzkill, but Cousins is crushing it in just about every other statistical category. Over his last five games, Boogie is averaging a mind-boggling 26.0 points (on 51.2 percent shooting), 15.8 boards, 4.6 assists, 2.4 triples, 1.2 steals and 2.0 blocks.


Chris Paul scored a team-high 16 points and dished out a game-high 13 assists on Saturday. He also chipped in seven rebounds, two steals and three 3-pointers. CP3 hasn’t been as prolific as hoped with James Harden (hamstring) sidelined, but Paul still has at least another week to rack up plenty of numbers while running Mike D’Antoni’s fantasy-friendly offense sans Harden.


While not quite as impressive as his 25-point, 23-rebound masterpiece from Friday, Karl-Anthony Towns “only” had 21 points and 16 boards on Saturday night. Towns rounded out his line by adding three assists, one steal, one block and three 3-pointers.


Jayson Tatum stuffed the stat sheet on Saturday to the tune of 14 points, six rebounds, three steals, six blocks and two 3-pointers in 32 minutes. Per Basketball-Reference, he is the first player in Celtics franchise history with at least six rejections, three steals and two treys in the same game. In addition, he carried the Celtics home in the clutch, scoring seven of his 14 points in the fourth quarter including a crucial dunk and the game-winning 3-pointer in the final minute. The 19-year old Tatum has exceeded even the most optimistic of expectations this season.


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On The Radar:
Draymond Green tallied nine points, a game-high 12 rebounds, seven assists and a steal in 29 minutes on Saturday. Other than Steph Curry’s 45, no other Warrior scored more than 11 points, but the Dubs still easily dispatched the Clippers, 121-105.


Lou Williams scored 23 points and chipped in two rebounds, three assists, one steal, one block and two 3-pointers in 24 minutes. The Clippers were already shorthanded before losing Blake Griffin to a concussion (see below), which means L.A. has no choice but to continue to lean heavily on Lou Will… DeAndre Jordan tallied 15 points, 11 rebounds, one assist and one block in 25 minutes. Jordan should see his rebound numbers tick upwards while Griffin is sidelined.


Spencer Dinwiddie scored 20 points and added three rebounds, three assists, one steal and one 3-pointer in 37 minutes on Saturday. It was the ninth time this season that Dinwiddie has eclipsed the 20-point plateau, which is remarkable considering he scored 20-plus points just once over his first three NBA seasons. Dinwiddie has been a very pleasant surprise, and those GM’s that scooped him up continue to reap the rewards. He is definitely in the running for ‘Best Waiver Add of the Year.’... Jahlil Okafor showed some signs of life on Saturday, scoring a season-high 12 points and adding five rebounds, two blocks and one turnover in 13 minutes. It’s the first time he’s scored more than 10 points since last March.


Kyrie Irving struggled with his shot once again, but still put up 21 points, six rebounds, four assists, one block and two 3-pointers on Saturday. This marks the third straight game Irving has shot below 38 percent from the floor. However, Kyrie is still finding ways to keep fantasy owners smiling. Over his last five games, including this cold spell, Irving is averaging 20.4 points, 7.2 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.6 triples.


Domantas Sabonis had another solid effort off the bench on Saturday. He scored 22 points and chipped in five rebounds, one block and one 3-pointer in 27 minutes. Sabonis was fresh off a career-high 24 points in Wednesday’s loss to the Bucks… T.J. Leaf was a perfect 6-of-6 from the floor and finished with 15 points, six rebounds, one turnover and three 3-pointers… Due to the return of Victor Oladipo, Lance Stephenson was bumped back to the bench and was limited to four points, six rebounds, four assists and one steal in 24 minutes.


Kris Dunn came back down to earth a bit in the Bulls blowout loss to the Pacers. Dunn had eight points, eight dimes, four boards and four turnovers in 28 minutes… Nikola Mirotic (illness) played on Saturday but contributed just eight points, two rebounds and two 3-pointers in 23 minutes… Bobby Portis scored a team-high 15 points and added four rebounds, two assists, three blocks and one 3-pointer in 22 minutes, but much of that came in garbage time.


Kevin Love (ankle) suited up on Saturday and tallied 27 points, five boards and six 3-pointers in 28 minutes… Isaiah Thomas (rest) started his first game as a Cavalier and registered 19 points, four assists, two boards and two treys across 21 minutes. IT is just getting warmed up for the wine and gold… Dwyane Wade had another productive night as a reserve, finishing with 16 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals in 25 minutes.


Anthony Davis disappointed on Saturday, registering just 16 points, nine rebounds, two assists, one steal and two blocks in 36 minutes. It’s the first time all season that he’s had fewer than 17 points and fewer than ten rebounds in the same game. Expect him to bounce back on Monday vs. the Pistons.


Gerald Green launched 12 3-point attempts on Saturday, finishing with 15 points, three boards and four treys in 29 minutes. Green finally cooled off after a torrid three-game stretch, shooting just 5-of-14 from the floor. However, he clearly has a green light and should continue to see plenty of playing time with James Harden (hamstring) out of action… Eric Gordon tallied 15 points, three rebounds, three 3-pointers and matched a season-high with seven assists.


Tobias Harris torched the Rockets for 27 points on Saturday, adding eight rebounds, one assist, one steal and three 3-pointers in 33 minutes. Harris came into Saturday night in a bit of slump, averaging 15.0 points, while shooting 42 percent from the floor and 10 percent from downtown over his last three games, so it was nice to see him bust out in a big way… Dwight Buycks scored a career-high 16 points with two rebounds, two assists, one block and four 3-pointers in 22 minutes. On a related note, Langston Galloway was smacked with a DNP-CD.


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