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Around The League

Shootaround (Nov. 8) -- Stephen Curry adds another record to his NBA lore

NBA.com Staff

Nov 8, 2016 8:56 AM ET

 

Curry his record 13 3s vs. Pelicans | Wade wants Heat fans to embrace new era | Walker enjoying Hornets' success | Report: Lack of triangle bothers Jackson | Beal says Wizards have 'no toughness, no swag'

No. 1: Curry makes history, but Warriors still have issues to fix -- Reigning MVP and Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry already holds the NBA record for 3-pointers made and attempted in a season. Entering last night, he was tied with Kobe Bryant and Donyell Marshall in NBA lore for most 3-pointers made in a single game (12). That record went Curry's way, too, as he nailed 13 3s in a 116-106 win that was historic, but also telling about these Warriors. Anthony Slater of The Mercury News has more:

Twenty-six feet from the hoop, Kevin Durant stone-walled Stephen Curry’s man on a screen. Curry was dodging and weaving and searching for any pocket of air to fire up any semi-reasonable 3-point shot.

Everyone in the building knew what was coming, except, apparently, the Pelicans defense. Anthony Davis, Durant’s man, sagged back into the paint, 15 feet from Curry’s curl. Durant set a sturdy screen, Draymond Green delivered the pass and Curry, springing open, caught, turned and fired. Bang. It was Curry’s 13th made 3, an NBA record for a single game.

During an otherwise underwhelming 116-106 Monday night win over the 0-7 Pelicans, Curry’s greatness was needed. And it came just one game after it couldn’t be found.

In a blowout loss to the Lakers on Friday night, Curry went 0-of-10 from deep, snapping his NBA record streak of 157 straight games with a made 3-pointer.

“I was hard on myself in practice the last two days,” Curry said. “Had pretty good shooting sessions…I’ve had a new level of focus the last two days trying to get my rhythm back.”

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But no other Warrior could find a rhythm from the outside. Andre Iguodala clanged all four of his 3s. Klay Thompson’s deep struggles continued. He was 9-of-13 inside the line — nailing a batch of smooth mid-range jumpers — but went 2-of-7 from deep. Outside of Curry, the Warriors went 3-of-18 from 3, many of those far more wide open than many of Curry’s 17 attempts.

But the two-time MVP was clearly feeling it. So he started letting them fly from awkward angles amidst a sea of bodies. After fumbling the ball ahead while breaking a double-team in transition, Curry regathered control and, in one motion, let go an off-balance, one-footed leaner with 19 seconds still left on the shot clock. It was an outrageous shot attempt. It went in.

By halftime, he’d hit six. By late in the third quarter, he’d hit eight. But an NBA record didn’t seem plausible. Or at least it didn’t seem to be on anyone’s mind in the building.

Late in the third quarter, Curry pump-faked a 3 and Davis went flying. But the league’s scariest shot-blocker couldn’t help himself. Davis reached back in search of a no-look swat. Curry caught him, swept his arms through Davis’ left hand in a shooting motion. Three free throws were surely coming. But the whistle never blew.

Curry went ballistic. The mouthguard went flying. A technical was called — only the 10th of Curry’s career.

“That play was actually a lot of frustration because I’m trying to be coachable,” Curry said. “Coach Kerr talked to us about pump-fakes and seeing if we can guys to fly by. I thought about it in the moment, did it, got AD to fly by and he obviously fouled me…I thought it was a pretty blatant call.”

Moments later, still riled up, Curry seem determined to get back the three points he was just stripped. He dodged through a screen, fired over a contest and popped his ninth, then let out a roar that seemed directed at the nearest referee. Moments later, Curry nailed his 10th, this off one of Golden State’s better plays of the night.

Isolated in the mid-post, Kevin Durant pulled the defense his direction. As he backed toward the hoop and they collapsed toward him, Durant fired it cross-court to Thompson. The Pelicans, apparently unaware of who’s hot and who’s not, ran Thompson off the line and left Curry room to breathe. A swing pass led to his 10th 3 in the final minute of the third quarter.

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Then the Warriors otherwise lackluster effort came into effect. Normally in past seasons, if Curry has anywhere near 10 3s, Golden State is smashing the victimized opponent. That allows Curry to sit the fourth and the record stays intact. But the Warriors defense was a step behind in the third quarter, allowing the Pelicans to climb back from a 14-point halftime deficit and no one else could deliver a knockout blow.

So the lead hovered around single digits and Curry returned with 6:48 left. With 3:33 left, he was still at 10. The Pelicans were within five. Then he exploded, sealing the game and setting the record with three 3s in a 70-second flurry, capped by that straight-away bullet, set up by the Durant screen and Davis’ laziness, which forced a Pelicans timeout.

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No. 2: Wade calls for Heat fans to embrace new era -- For a generation of Miami Heat fans, Dwyane Wade was not only a great player for the franchise, but also a link to the team's greatest successes. From 2003-04 to last season, Heat fans saw Wade and his various band of cohorts (Shaquille O'Neal, LeBron James and Chris Bosh, to name a few) rack up 11 playoff appearances, five Finals trips and three championships. While Wade now stars for the Chicago Bulls, he says he doesn't want Heat fans longing for the past anymore. ESPN.com's Nick Friedell has more:

"If you're not in this business, it's hard to understand," Wade said Monday, three nights before his first game against the Heat since his departure. "But I don't even want them to understand -- I want them to appreciate what we accomplished together. I want them to cheer for their team that they have, support those players over there that's giving their all. Support the future of the organization and be thankful that we all was able to experience an unbelievable ride together. That's all you can do."

Wade surprised many around the league by opting to sign with Chicago on a two-year deal for $47 million -- which includes a player option -- after contract talks stalled with Heat president Pat Riley.

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Wade is hopeful he will be cheered by many at American Airlines Arena, but he isn't sure exactly how the reception will be.

"You never know," he said. "You never know how you're going to be received. But I did everything possibly right in my time there. So hopefully I'm received [for] what I've given to the franchise, organization. But at the same time you never know. You might hear a boo or something at some point. Everybody don't like you. You got to understand that. But I think overall it will be positive."

Wade said he wasn't sure if he would get goosebumps or shed a tear, but he knows Thursday will be an emotional night for him.

"I think I'll definitely be appreciative of the moment," he said. "I think it's going to be cool just to see familiar faces. I think it's going to be cool to see love and support and [people] just being thankful for what you did. Unless you're just cold-blooded, everybody's going to feel something with that. At the same time, it's not like my retirement ceremony where I can get a chance to get real emotional. I'm trying to come in there and beat their butt. And they're going to try and beat our butt, so we got to get to the competitive part of the game as well."

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Wade sounded truly appreciative of how fans embraced him during his time in Miami. It should make for one of the most interesting scenes in the NBA this year when he is introduced for the first time as a Bull in Miami.

"My message to them is what it's been all summer: Thank you," Wade said. "Thank you for supporting me in the great times. Thank you for supporting me in the bad times for 13 years. On and off the court. Allowing me to have my privacy away from the game and supporting me in everything I did in the community. They supported me when I did good in the season, they supported me when I played bad. The biggest word I can say to them is that I appreciate it and just thank them."

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No. 3: Walker enjoying these days in Charlotte -- Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker is the lone remaining link to the team's worst-ever season, a 7-59 finish during the 2011-12 season (which was a lockout-shortened 66 games long). Since then, Walker has watched and played a key role in Charlotte's rise form Eastern Conference doormat to playoff contender. In an interview with Michael Scotto of BasketballInsiders.com, Walker surveys the land in Charlotte now that things have improved:

Last season, Walker averaged a career-high 20.9 points on a career-best 43 percent from the field and 37 percent from beyond the arc.

Charlotte is off to a blistering 5-1 mark so far this season, as Walker has carried the scoring load. He is averaging a career-high 24.3 points on a career-best 49 percent from the field and 42.7 percent beyond the arc. Walker ranks fifth in scoring, eighth in field goal percentage and 10th in three-point percentage among all NBA point guards.

With that in mind, Walker discussed his NBA journey with Basketball Insiders and what the future holds for the Hornets this season.

“It’s been fun,” Walker told Basketball Insiders. “From winning a national championship to coming into the league and not being on a good team, at all. We lost. We only won seven games. My first two years were pretty rough, but looking back at it now, it’s prepared me for days like this. It’s humbled me, it taught me not to take things for granted.”

After making the playoffs last season and bursting out of the gate to begin this season, where does Charlotte rank in the East now?

“I’m not sure,” Walker replied. “We’re just trying to take it one game at a time right now. But, you know, we’re just trying to get back to the playoffs and really just trying to go from there. I don’t really know, you can never really tell; we just play and we just try to win as much as possible. That’s the plan right now.”

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For Charlotte to remain on this blistering pace, Walker will need to continue playing at an All-Star level. According to Walker, the best way for him to earn his first All-Star nomination is for the team to continue to succeed.

“Just win,” Walker said. “That’s what it’s all about. The more we win, the better things that happen for me and my teammates. Really, that’s really it, just have to win.”

Charlotte’s roster is loaded with proven college players who have become solid NBA role players such as Marvin Williams, Frank Kaminsky, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Cody Zeller, Roy Hibbert and Jeremy Lamb. Nicolas Batum has also become a consistent 14-point-per-game scorer in his time with Charlotte. What makes Walker so valuable for Charlotte is his willingness to take the game’s biggest shots down the stretch and carry the weight of the offense on his shoulders when it matters most.

“I’ve been blessed to take big shots in my career as I went along and been able to make them,” Walker said. “Starting from college, even high school, I’ve been in those kind of situations. [I appreciate] the people around me allowing me to take the shots and trusting me to take them, regardless of the outcome. That’s really what it is.

“Of course, when you’re able to make them, sometimes it gives you confidence. But like I said, for the most part, the thing that gives me the most confidence is my coaching staff and my teammates because they’re the ones who want me to take those big shots in those big moments. They kind of just make things easier upon me.”

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No. 4: Report: Jackson unhappy with Knicks' limited use of triangle -- The New York Knicks are off to a 2-4 start and are trying to make sense of a roster that features several new players and a new coach. That new coach, Jeff Hornacek, was hired over the summer by team president Phil Jackson with the understanding he'd be able to run his offense as well as Jackson's favored attack, the triangle offense. As Ian Begley of ESPN.com reports, though, Jackson is upset with how little the triangle is being run: 

Phil Jackson hasn't been pleased with the New York Knicks' performance on offense -- particularly with the amount of times the team has run the triangle offense -- during their 2-4 start, league sources told ESPN.

New Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek has tried to speed up the offense this season and hasn't run much of the triangle in the first six games. After watching the Knicks' win over the Chicago Bulls last Friday, one Eastern Conference scout said the Knicks ran something out of a triangle set only a handful of times.

Hornacek has said that he's implementing "principles of the triangle" offense into the Knicks' half-court offense. But he also wants his club to try to generate offense early in the shot clock in transition, where pick and roll would be employed.

Players say that they've primarily run the triangle offense after dead balls so far this season, which is much less frequently than it was run during Jackson's first two full seasons as team president.

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Jackson isn't the only member of the organization who has been upset over the triangle.

According to sources, some Knicks players have expressed their displeasure over the offense because they feel it doesn't suit their personnel, particularly point guard Derrick Rose, who has traditionally thrived when using pick and rolls.

During his time as Knicks president, Jackson has on occasion said he'd want his teams to run the triangle. But there have been occasions where he's said he just wants his team to have a system to operate out of half-court sets.

Hornacek has said that Jackson told him he'd have the freedom to tweak the offense how he saw fit, as long as he ran a system to space the floor in half-court settings.

"We talked a lot about it over the summer. Phil [Jackson's] given us the ability to run it anyway we want, how we set it up," Hornacek said during training camp. "We talked what we feel is a good working way to run it with different options. We'll get to all those as the year progresses, but it should be pretty easy."

Jackson's teams in Chicago and Los Angeles, of course, won a combined 11 NBA titles while running the triangle offense. Last month, though, Jackson noted that today's players may not be suited to run that particular system.

No. 5: Wizards miffed over slow start to season -- The Washington Wizards awake this morning to find themselves at the bottom of the Southeast Division after a home loss to the Houston Rockets last night. The Wizards had designs on making a playoff push and staying in the mix in the East to open 2016-17 -- all of which are still possible, mind you. But another letdown loss -- one marked by an ejection of star point guard John Wall -- has the Wizards in a bad mood. Candace Buckner of The Washington Post has more: 

On Monday night, Wall became the franchise all-time leader with 3,287 career assists, moving ahead of Hall of Famer Wes Unseld. Also, in the waning moments of the frustrating 114-106 loss, Wall appeared to bump official Marc Davis, then directed inappropriate language at him and earned a second technical foul of the game.

Wall was ejected, and though after the game he spoke about “letting it go,” the league may not be as ready to forget.

According to the NBA rule book, intentional physical contact with a game official will result in a one-game suspension without pay. In a statement to a pool reporter, Davis said he “felt that there was contact . . .” but “wasn’t certain of [Wall’s] intent. I told him to watch himself. He looked over his shoulder and used vulgarity and inappropriate language and was ejected on his second technical foul.”

If the NBA reviews the video and deems the contact intentional, then Washington’s best passer in franchise history will not be allowed inside the arena for the team’s next game against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night.

That’s how strange things have become at Verizon Center, where the 1-5 Wizards say they’re in the middle of executing a “plan” but the early returns show a team in the throes of an unbreakable funk.

“We did not expect it to be like this,” Bradley Beal said.

“We got to get our toughness back, our identity back,” Beal continued. “We’re playing with no toughness, no swag. We got to pick each other up. We’ve got to get something going.”

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Wizards’ opponents have scored 28.3 points in the fourth quarter and of course, this statistic ranks as one of the highest averages the league.

“By this point everybody got to look themselves in the mirror and come back and go to the drawing board [to see] what we got to do to get wins and get stops,” Otto Porter Jr. said. “We’ve got to find some way to get over that hump.”

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When the defense can’t stand up and the offense doesn’t run effectively enough, this is what happens: Five losses by the second week of the season and the “f” word floating around the locker room.

“We don’t want to be 1-5 right now. Everybody’s frustrated. Everybody’s mad,” Beal said.

Beal’s comments seem to have shifted from his Saturday night observations when he ascribed to Brooks the state of being “pretty fed up” and ready “to start playing guys who want to play and guys who want to show up.” Similar to Porter, Beal now suggested the self-evaluation.

“We all got to look at ourselves individually first before we start pointing fingers,” Beal said, “and just try to figure out how we can get better. We’ve all got to play hard individually, all one through 15 and that’s just a matter of us putting it all together.”

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SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: The Boston Celtics are uncertain when center Al Horford (concussion protocol) will return to action ... Paul George says his Indiana Pacers are 'just kind of lifeless' after their loss Monday ... Chicago Bulls guard Dwyane Wade isn't looking for a rest day, not with a return trip to Miami looming ... For the record, Klay Thompson says his shooting slump has 'nothing to do' with Kevin Durant ... Round of congratulations for Washington Wizards point guard John Wall, who became the team's all-time leader in assists last night ... 


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