NBA round-up: Stephen Curry shines as Golden State Warriors march on

Sport360 staff 12/11/2015
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Imperious form: Stephen Curry shoots.

Stephen Curry scored 28 points as the unbeaten Golden State Warriors defeat the Memphis Grizzlies 100-84, equalling a 55-year-old franchise record for the best start to a season in history.

The Warriors victory took the reigning NBA Champions to 9-0, emulating the feat of the 1960-1961 side featuring the legendary Wilt Chamberlain when the franchise was based in Philadelphia.

It was another chastening night for the Grizzlies, who were run ragged by the Warriors last week during a 119-69 defeat.

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Curry, who had been averaging more than 32 points per game prior to Wednesday’s clash, added to his season haul with another sparkling contribution, taking the game away from Memphis with a 17-point blitz in the third quarter.

The 27-year-old talisman said afterwards that the Warriors increasing maturity had allowed them to negate spoiling tactics used by Memphis throughout.

“I think we’ve grown up a lot in that area — it doesn’t matter if it’s an ugly game, an up-tempo game, high-scoring game or low-scoring,” Curry said.

“We always find a way to compose ourselves. We knew they were going to try and dirty up the game and make it a pain game and be physical. But we were able to overcome that.”

The Warriors now stand alone as the only unbeaten team in the NBA this year. However they remain several wins away from the all-time record for the best start of 15-0, shared by the 1948-49 Washington Capitols and the 1993-94 Houston Rockets.

Andre Iguodala, the hero of last season’s NBA Finals victory, finished with 20 points off the bench for Golden State, while forward Harrison Barnes contributed 19 points.

Curry meanwhile had five rebounds, five assists and five steals in addition to his 28-point haul.

Elsewhere Wednesday, New York Knicks’s in-form forward Kristaps Porzingis was denied what would have been a dramatic winning three-pointer on the buzzer in a pulsating contest with the Charlotte Hornets.

Porzingis’s shot was initially ruled good before match officials reversed the call after determining that the clock had expired a fraction before the Latvian rookie released.

The decision meant the Hornets were able to hang on for a 95-93 victory, improving their record to 4-4 after a dismal 0-3 start to the season.

“That’s the way it goes in this league,” Knicks coach Derek Fisher said. “One night the ball bounces your way and you get a favorable call, and the next night it goes the other way.”

The Dallas Mavericks meanwhile won their grudge match against the Los Angeles Clippers in DeAndre Jordan’s first match in Dallas since reneging on a summer free agent deal which would have seen him leave the Clippers for Texas.

Jordan, who was loudly booed and jeered all night, was restricted to just nine points in a 118-108 victory for the Mavericks.

German legend Dirk Nowitzki stole the show for the home side, pouring on 31 points.

The power forward made 11-of-14 shots from the field, including a banked three-pointer with 1:05 left to play which gave the Mavericks a 113-108 lead.

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#360view: Brooklyn Nets have to reboot

Jay Asser 11/11/2015
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Sole asset: Brook Lopez is one the shining light for the Brooklyn Nets.

The NBA is filled with haves and have-nots, from superstar-laden contenders to draft lottery dwellers. There’s no team, though, that’s more depressing at the moment than the Brooklyn Nets.

There was actually a time when the franchise was fresh and exciting after they re-branded themselves with a move to New York’s popular bustling borough in 2012.

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Thanks to deeply-flawed general management and short-sighted moves, however, what was once an up-and-coming franchise has slipped to the lowest depths of the league with very little light at the end of the tunnel.

The Nets are flat-out terrible this season, sitting winless at 0-7 in the weak Eastern Conference.

Joe Johnson, once arguably the face of the franchise, looks washed-up at the age of 34. Their point guard position – the deepest position in the NBA – which was inconsistent with Williams at the helm, has been downgraded all the way to Jarrett Jack, a career sixth-man/role player.

Brooklyn’s most redeemable asset, centre Brook Lopez, is one of the most skilled big men in the league, but is extremely injury-prone and will inevitably miss games at some point.

All of that is bad, but just in terms of the on-court product and present outlook, the Nets aren’t that dissimilar to the lowly Philadelphia 76ers or Los Angeles Lakers.

The difference, other than the 76ers and Lakers having more promising young players, is that being so bad may end up being worth it in the long run for those teams.

That’s because the 76ers and Lakers could end up with a franchise-altering star with their first-round draft picks. Brooklyn has no such chance, due to their unprotected 2016 pick being owed to the Boston Celtics as part of that Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce trade in 2013.

There’s a realistic chance that come June, the Nets could hand over the first overall pick – the most coveted singular asset in the NBA outside of a superstar – to Boston…then surrender it again the next two years because of a pick-swap owed in 2017 and an unprotected first-rounder owed in 2018.

How Nets general manager Billy King still has a job is a whole other conversation, but just because Brooklyn doesn’t own its coming picks doesn’t mean they should do everything possible to decrease the value just to save some face.

The picks are gone regardless. What’s best for the franchise now is to trade Lopez, as well as Thaddeus Young, for whatever future return they can get and start replenishing the barren chest of draft selections.

This team has no present or future at this point, which is why a complete teardown and restart is needed.

But it will be a long, grim road.

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NBA round-up: Curry shines against Sacramento Kings

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The main man: Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry.

Stephen Curry scored 24 points as the unbeaten Golden State Warriors made it seven straight wins from the start of the season with a 103-94 victory over the Sacramento Kings.

Klay Thompson scored 18 points and Andre Iguodala added 14 for Golden State, who were held to a season-low points total.

Marco Bellinelli and Rudy Gay both scored 22 points for the Kings, who are on a five-game losing streak.

Kent Bazemore scored a career-high 25 points and Paul Millsap added 21 points, seven rebounds and six assists to lead the Atlanta Hawks to a 114-99 win over the Washington Wizards.

Kawhi Leonard weighed in with 23 points and LaMarcus Aldridge had 16 as the San Antonio Spurs pulled away for a 114-94 victory over the Charlotte Hornets, while Trey Burke's 24 points led the Utah Jazz to a 89-79 win over the Memphis Grizzlies.

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The New Orleans Pelicans are still looking for their first win of the season after going down to a 107-98 defeat to the Dallas Mavericks.

Deron Williams led the Mavericks with 19 points and Dirk Nowitzki supported him with an 18-point haul.

Greg Monroe had 20 points and eight rebounds as the Milwaukee Bucks handed the Brooklyn Nets a seventh straight loss to start the season.

Jerryd Bayless scored 19 and had 10 assists in that 94-86 triumph.

Elfrid Payton's 20 points helped the Orlando Magic beat the winless Philadelphia 76ers 105-97 and Andrew Wiggins scored 31 points to guide the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 102-93 overtime win over the Chicago Bulls.

James Harden's season-high 46 points helped the Houston Rockets to a 109-105 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.

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