Depending on who you ask, Stephen Curry passed Brandon Jennings for second place in the Rookie of the Year race weeks ago. (Tyreke Evans is still in the lead, while Hasheem Thabeet is in a close battle for 47th.) Then last night, Curry might have jacked the “Best Single-Game Performance, Rookie” trophy from Jennings’ mantle, posting a 36-point, 10-board, 13-dime triple-double as the Warriors 30-pieced the Clippers, adding three steals and seven triples for good measure. Even more impressive was that Golden State didn’t have Monta Ellis (knee) or Corey Maggette (finger), so L.A. had no reason not to game plan defensively for Curry. But apparently interim coach Kim Hughes is using Mike Dunleavy‘s old notes, which read something like, “Give him six feet of open space in the halfcourt; in transition, just wave your arms at him and hope he trips over his shoelaces.” … It’s kind of pointless to ask why the Lakers sans-Kobe can’t play with that same balanced efficiency and effectiveness when Kobe is on the court, because Kobe’s game doesn’t allow for that kind of performance from his teammates. And that’s not a knock on Kobe: He’s just in that Jordan area code where his teammates get stuck watching him and waiting for him to save the day so often that only when he’s not around does the sense of urgency rise … The Jazz got a first-hand look, as Pau Gasol (22 pts, 19 rebs, 5 blks) and Lamar Odom (25 pts, 11 rebs, 3 stls) led the Lakers in snapping Utah’s nine-game win streak with an all-around dominant effort. Missing their best perimeter and post defenders (Kobe and Andrew Bynum), the Lakers still held the Jazz to 81 points and didn’t let them get within single-digits in the second half … Not gonna lie, we didn’t think we’d ever mention Dante Cunningham‘s name more than three times after he left Villanova, but thanks to Portland’s parade of injuries, the kid is getting a lot of PT. Cunningham was all over the Blazers/Suns highlight: First he sent a Jason Richardson layup over to the Gorilla in the stands; then Amar’e (24 pts) unfortunately handed him a Lipton Special; but Cunningham got him back later by almost hurdling STAT for a nasty dunk. The Blazers got the win … Late in the fourth quarter of Hawks/Heat, Miami was up nine and trying to hold off an ATL rally. On a crucial possession, Marvin Williams went for a layup and got denied by Dwyane Wade — or as the Hawks’ play-by-play guy screamed, “Oh, Wade fouled him! HE GRABBED HIM ON THE ARM!” No whistle, though, and Wade (18 pts, 11 asts) took the rock coast-to-coast for a bucket. The Hawks seemed to lose their heart after that, and lost by almost 20 … Other big stat lines from Wednesday: Kevin Martin scored 26 to lead Sacramento past Detroit; Chris Bosh put up 23 points and 12 rebounds in Toronto’s win over the Sixers; Andrew Bogut went for 22 points, nine boards and four blocks in Milwaukee’s blowout of the Nets; Darren Collison dumped 25 points, nine dimes and four steals on the Celtics in a Hornets win; Nazr Mohammed put up 21 points and 20 rebounds (like, in one game) as the Bobcats edged the Wolves; and Dwight Howard posted 18 points and 14 boards to beat the Bulls, plus he knocked Derrick Rose out of the game in the first quarter when he fouled Rose going for a layup and Rose landed on his hip … North Carolina played hard, but as expected, Duke’s experience and guard play was just too much down the stretch and the Evil Empire won by 10 at the Dean Dome. Jon Scheyer dropped 24 points and five threes in the win … We’re out like D-Rose …
Smack / Feb 11, 2010 / 4:39 am
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