NBA Weekly Recap 12/13-12/19
Steph Curry Writes His Name Into The Record Books
Stephen Curry stole the headlines this week as he broke the record for the most 3-point makes of all time during the Warriors’ visit to New York. We also had some great games with a couple of overtime finishes as well, so let’s get into it.
Golden State Warriors @ New York Knicks
Final Score: 105 – 96
Steph Curry is now the all-time leader in 3-pointers but, the 2-time MVP wished he could’ve set the record in front of his home fans.
However, Curry got the second-best option, scoring the record-breaking shot in front of his family, previous record-holders Ray Allen and Reggie Miller, and passionate Knicks fans at Madison Square Garden.
“If you can't do it at home, this is definitely a great Plan B,”
Curry put up 22 points, with the record being broken with 7:33 left in the first quarter, Warriors coach Steve Kerr called a timeout giving the opportunity for the point guard to celebrate with his parents, team, and Ray Allen who held the record for the past 10 years.
Jordan Poole scored 19 points mainly thanks to his 13 free throws, as he struggled to knock down shots during live play, going 3-11 from the field. Andrew Wiggins was better on the shooting end, shooting above 50% for 18 points.
Julius Randle led the Knicks with 31 points on 37 minutes and shot 5-8 on deep. Derrick Rose was the second-highest scorer for the Knicks with 15 points and led the team in assists with six off of 34 minutes.
The Warriors took the lead 60-59 with 3:49 remaining in the third and continued to build their lead through the fourth as they looked to cap off Steph Curry’s night with a win. With 2:09 left in the game, Golden State created a 12-point deficit, which was their largest lead of the game. The Knicks were able to close the gap to six but weren’t able to get any closer.
The Warriors had a travel problem when trying to head to New York for the Tuesday night game. Typically, teams arrive the night before to rest up and prepare however, the Warriors left their hotel in Indiana at 9:30 Tuesday morning, which could partly explain why they struggled during their game.
Phoenix Suns @ Portland Trail Blazers
Final Score: 111 – 107
The Phoenix Suns scraped past the Portland Trail Blazers, with a 4-point win in overtime at the Moda Center.
Deandre Ayton and Chris Paul continued their stellar run while Devin Booker is still on the sidelines with a hamstring strain. Ayton had a team-high 28 points and 13 rebounds while Paul had 24 points and 14 assists with both stars spending more than 40 minutes on the court. Suns leader Chris Paul gave comment:
“That's a big-time win for us. We've got a lot of guys down. Deandre Ayton being back in the line-up was huge for us”.
Damian Lillard spent 47 minutes on the court, scoring a game-high 31 points but struggled from the field shooting 11-31 and picked up a team-high 10 assists.
The Suns were able to close down a 6-point deficit in the final period but still trailed by two with seconds remaining in regulation. Chris Paul proved to be vital down the stretch, knocking down an 11-foot jumper to send the game to overtime. Portland scored the first points in overtime but wasn’t able to lead the game again as Cameron Payne knocked down two free throws to ice the game with 10 seconds remaining.
Deandre on the way:
Ayton missed two games through illness, where he lost 10 pounds. It was difficult for the center to get through the extended minutes, but it was vital for the Suns to bounce back after their loss to the Clippers in the game before.
Los Angeles Lakers @ Dallas Mavericks
Final Score: 107 – 104
Austin Reaves proved his worth in the clutch by giving the Lakers a 107-104 overtime win over the Mavericks at the American Airlines Center.
The Lakers trio of Russell Westbrook, Lebron James, and Anthony Davis all chipped in on the scoring end with each scoring over 20 points. Austin Reaves had a near-perfect shooting game, attempting six 3-pointers and hitting five of them.
Jalen Brunson led the Mavericks with 25 points and nine assists, Kristaps Porzingis put up 23 points with 12 rebounds as well, but the sharpshooting big man struggled from deep making only one of his seven attempts.
The Lakers shot out to a 12-point lead early in the second quarter but from there it was relatively even with the two sides trading baskets and leads. Porzingis gave the Mavs a 3-point lead with 56.7 seconds remaining in the game as they looked to take the win. However, Wayne Ellington had other ideas, knocking down a 3-pointer with two seconds remaining to send the game to overtime.
The Lakers and Mavs played out a tight overtime and it looked destined to go to a second period after a Maxi Kleber jumper tied the game for the Mavericks. But once again the Lakers clutch shooting came to play, with Austin Reaves knocking down the game-winning 3-pointer with 0.9 seconds remaining.
Lebron James had this to say:
"We've got a lot of trust in whoever's on the floor, including the rook, obviously, it showed on that last possession,”
Lakers road fortunes changing?
The tight win took the Lakers to 6-6 on the road, which is a crucial win especially when they’re missing assistant coaches David Fizdale for personal reasons and Phil Handy to the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocol.
Los Angeles Clippers @ Utah Jazz
Final Score: 103 – 124
The Utah Jazz dominated the LA Clippers in the second half to take a blowout win at the Vivint Arena.
Donovan Mitchell knocked down 66% of his shots, putting up 27 points. Rudy Gobert and Bojan Bogdanovic both had 20 points, Gobert was also able to rake in 17 rebounds.
Clippers coach Tyronn Lue commented on Donovan Mitchell’s performance:
“I didn't blitz him soon enough. He had already got in a rhythm, but I thought with their shooters we could just play them 2-on-2 like we did in the first half and we'd be fine. But like I said, he's a great player, he took over the game.”
Marcus Morris Sr. led a depleted Clippers with 24 points in 32 minutes of playing time, Eric Bledsoe was huge, scoring 21 points off the bench at 80% shooting from the field.
The Clippers were able to build a 7-point lead in the second quarter, but it was the Jazz who were able to control the lead 65-59 at halftime. Utah controlled the game for the second half and built a 22-point lead with 3:49 remaining in the game after a 13-2 run.
Not only did the Jazz spark a run to take their biggest lead in the fourth, but they went on a 12-0 run in the second quarter, thanks to Bogdanovic knocking down 4-4 from deep which gave the Jazz a half time lead and the spark to take the game by the neck.
Philadelphia 76ers @ Brooklyn Nets
Final Score: 105 – 114
Kevin Durant carried his depleted Nets squad to a 9-point win over the Philadelphia 76ers at the Barclays Center. Durant who is arguably the best player in the world currently led the way for the Nets with 34 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists. Blake Griffin and Nic Claxton both had 17 points in the win.
Claxton spoke about what he thought was a team effort:
“We can all hoop, a lot of attention is going to KD so we're just making plays.
Joel Embiid had a team-high 32 points off 33 minutes, while Seth Curry in the absence of Ben Simmons has stepped up as the Sixers’ second star, putting up 29 points.
Brooklyn led for the majority of the game and created a deficit as big as 20 points. The Nets took a 16-point lead into halftime, but The Sixers were able to rally through the third quarter and trailed by six heading into the final period. They eventually tied the game at 103 with 1:55 remaining in the game but the Nets kicked into gear, going on an 11-3 scoring run to end the game.
Shooting struggles in the Atlantic:
3-point shooting was the costly factor for Philly as they shot 29.4%, meanwhile, the Nets shot a fantastic 47.8%. The Nets now have a 6-0 record against teams in their Atlantic division while the Sixers are the reverse at 0-6.
Golden State Warriors @ Boston Celtics
Final Score: 111 – 107
Steph Curry helped the Golden State Warriors to a third straight win, as he hit five threes against the Boston Celtics in The Garden.
Curry and Andrew Wiggins starred for the Warriors, Steph picked up a game-high 30 points off 35 minutes, while Wiggins put up 27 off 36 minutes, he also shot 11-20 from the field in a solid performance.
Jayson Tatum led the way for the Celtics with 27 points, eight rebounds, and six assists in 42 minutes. Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown also had solid scoring performances with 19 and 20 points. Smart dished the rock well with eight assists while Brown was able to pull in nine boards.
The Warriors poured on 68 points in the first half to lead by 14 at the break. The Celtics fought back in the third and eventually took the lead with 11:25 left in the fourth, but it was once again the Warriors’ Day as they took a 10-point lead with 4:25 remaining, giving the Celtics almost no time to reply.
400 wins for Kerr:
The win marked the 400th for Warriors coach Steve Kerr who has been in the position since the 2014-15 season sits third on the franchise’s coaching wins list.
“It means I'm incredibly lucky to coach a bunch of talented guys, who won the NBA championship in his first season and two more in the next three years. "From my first game coaching in the NBA until now, I've had nothing but talented teams”
Los Angeles Lakers @ Minnesota Timberwolves
Final Score: 92 – 110
Karl Anthony-Towns and the Timberwolves took a blowout win over the Lakers at the Target Center.
Towns played 32 minutes and dropped in 28 points and 10 rebounds while shooting above 50% in the win. D’Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley both added 17 points to help Minnesota across the line as they close in on a .500 record. Towns spoke about his current mindset for games:
“I'm going to let people make their assumptions and make their judgment. I just know that every day when I come here, I play the game with a tremendous amount of confidence.”
The Lakers struggled in the scoring department, their team-high came from Isaiah Thomas off the bench with 19 points, while Lebron James led the starters with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
The Lakers took their only lead with the first basket of the game. From then on everything went the Timberwolves way, they took a 9-point lead into the halftime break and kept building from there. Minnesota built their biggest lead of 26 with 3 minutes to go in the game, the Lakers rallied with a quick 10 points, but were unable to threaten the lead.
The Lakers were heavily depleted entering the Target Center, missing Avery Bradley, Talen Horton-Tucker, Dwight Howard, Malik Monk, Kendrick Nunn, Austin Reaves to health and safety protocols, and Trevor Ariza through an ankle injury. At least the men in purple and gold saw the return of Russell Westbrook after he missed their last game.
Denver Nuggets @ Brooklyn Nets
The Brooklyn Nets announced their game at the Barclays Center vs the Denver Nuggets was postponed along with games on December 21st after players and staff members had to enter the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols. A new date is still yet to be set by the NBA.
Next Week’s Games:
Phoenix Suns @ Los Angeles Lakers
Washington Wizards @ Brooklyn Nets
Atlanta Hawks @ Philadelphia 76ers
Christmas Day Schedule:
Atlanta Hawks @ New York Knicks
Boston Celtics @ Milwaukee Bucks
Golden State Warriors @ Phoenix Suns
Brooklyn Nets @ Los Angeles Lakers
Dallas Mavericks @ Utah Jazz
Matt Skilton is a multimedia sports journalism graduate and covers all of your NBA needs at ThePyrrhic.com. Keep watching for recaps, analysis, trade news, and more!
Follow Matt on Twitter @MSkilton16
Want more great content from The Pyrrhic? Check out these:
Show your love for thepyrrhic.com with this sweet branded t-shirt