Thursday, February 28, 2013

Steph Curry scores career-high 54 points

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry scored a career-high 54 points in a loss to the New York Knicks last night.

Not only did he make 18 of his 28 shots, but Curry knocked down 11 of his 13 three-point attempts.  In addition, Curry added six rebounds, seven assists and three steals to his stellar shooting.

In his past two games, Curry has shot 32-of-48 from the field and has made 18-of-23 three's to score a total of 92 points.

Curry is one of only two players to score 50-plus points in a game this season.  The only other player to reach the mark this year is Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant, who had a triple-double last night.

Kevin Durant records third triple-double of year

Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant recorded another triple-double, his third of the season.

Durant scored 18 points to go along with 11 rebounds and 10 assists in last night's win over the Hornets.

He now has two triple-doubles in his past four games and three double-doubles during that span.

On the season, Durant is averaging 28.6 points, 7.7 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.2 steals per game.  In addition, he is shooting 51.3 percent from the field, 42.6 percent from three-point range and 91.0 percent from the line.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dirk Nowitzki has season-high 20 rebounds in loss

For the first time this season and only the seventh time in his career, Dallas Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki had 20 rebounds in a game.

In last night's loss to the Bucks, Nowitzki scored 21 points and grabbed exactly 20 rebounds.

Nowitzki now has double-digit rebounds in back-to-back games, which are also his first two games with double-digit rebounds this season.

The last time Nowitzki grabbed 20-plus rebounds was in December 2007 and that was the only other time he has had as many rebounds since the 2002-03 season.

In the past six games, he has also become a good source of steals for fantasy owners.  During that span, Nowitzki has a steal in every game and a total of 12.

On the year, Nowitzki is averaging 16.2 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.

Marcus Thornton scores season-high 36 off bench

Sacramento Kings reserve shooting guard Marcus Thornton scored a season-high 36 points off the bench in a double-overtime loss to the Heat last night.

Not only did he make 11 of his 18 shots, but eight of those made field goals were three-pointers.

Both LeBron James (40) and Dwyane Wade (39) scored more than Thornton, but he led the Kings in scoring.

Two seasons ago, Thornton averaged 21.3 points per game.  Last year, he averaged 18.7 points per game.  It was only the seventh time this season that Thornton scored at least 20 points in a game.

On the year, he is averaging 12.4 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Kyrie Irving (knee) won't play vs. Bulls on Tuesday

When the Cavaliers face the Bulls tonight in Chicago, they will be without point guard Kyrie Irving, who is dealing with a hyper-extended right knee.

Not only will he miss tonight's game, he is listed as questionable for tomorrow night's game as well, per Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal.

"It's one of those things that needs rest," coach Byron Scott said. "The last couple of games, I think it's built up. He hasn't been able to have any rest on it, so when you have a knee that's as sore as his is, you need rest and he needs treatment."

Irving initially sustained the injury prior to the team's three-game road trip and Irving has scored less than 20 points in the first two of those games on 10-of-25 shooting. The second-year guard currently leads the team in scoring (23.3 per game), assists (5.6) and steals (1.64).

With Irving out, Shawn Livingston will get the start.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

James Harden scores career-high 46 vs. Thunder

With the NBA trade deadline fast approaching, the Rockets acquired rookie power forward Thomas Robinson, the fifth overall pick in last year's draft, from the Kings earlier tonight (per Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports).

Meanwhile, James Harden, Robinson's new teammate, had a career night against the team that traded him to Houston before the season began.

Despite trailing by 14 points around midway through the fourth quarter, the Rockets mounted a comeback and beat the Thunder by three, 122-119.

In the process, Harden scored a career-high 46 points.  He set his previous career high against the Hawks in his second game as a Rocket.

Not only was he 14 of 19 from the field, Harden made seven of eight three-pointers and 11 of 12 free throws.  On top of his great shooting night, Harden added eight rebounds, six assists, a steal and a blocked shot.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Nerlens Noel out for year with torn ACL

When Kentucky freshman Nerlens Noel left last night's game with a knee injury, it did not look good.

And it wasn't.

The results of Noel's MRI shows that he has a torn ACL and he will miss the remainder of the college season.  He will have surgery in the next two to three weeks and the rehab will take at least six to eight months.

While it's certainly unfortunate that he has suffered the injury, he appears to have the right attitude.

Noel tweeted earlier today,"Minor setback for a MAJOR comeback! I love you all and can't thank y'all enough for the prayers."

Projected as the top pick in my NBA mock draft before the injury, it's less clear if he will enter June's NBA draft.  If he does, however, he won't be able to participate in any of the pre-draft workouts and it's highly unlikely that he would be ready for the start of the 2013 NBA season.

Before last night's game, Noel had three consecutive double-doubles and he finishes the season averaging 10.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 4.4 blocks per game.

James Harden (ankle) to miss Clippers game?

After stepping on Golden State's David Lee's foot last night, Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden (ankle) left the game but later returned.

Harden finished the game with 27 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals.  In six games this month, one of which includes a triple-double, Harden is averaging 27.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 2.0 steals per game.

Per Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports, "Harden will miss Wednesday's game at Clippers with ankle injury but will be ready for Sunday's All-Star Game."

That said, Harden has not yet ruled himself out for Wednesday night's matchup against the Clippers, according to  Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.

I’m tough enough,” Harden said. “My main focus is on tomorrow, getting the right treatment, icing as much as possible, try to get my ankle ready and my knee ready. My whole body hurts.”

Houston is hosting this weekend's All-Star game and activities. After tonight's game against the Clippers, the Rockets won't play a regular-season game again until February 20th when they host Harden's former team, the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Nerlens Noel left tonight's game with a knee injury

Kentucky freshman power forward Nerlens Noel left tonight's loss to the Florida Gators with a potentially serious knee injury.

Noel landed awkwardly after a blocked shot attempt, screamed in pain and had to be carried off the court by teammates.

Coming into tonight's game, Noel was nearly averaging a double-double (10.6 points and 9.6 rebounds per game) in addition to 4.5 blocks per game, which leads the country.

Before tonight's loss, the Wildcats had won five consecutive games and made their way back into the AP Top 25 for the first time since November 26th.

In my latest NBA mock draft, Noel is the top overall pick going to the Bobcats.  While he is not the consensus top choice, he will certainly be a top-five pick depending on the status of his knee injury.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

James Harden gets first triple-double of career

Since James Harden was drafted third overall in the 2009 NBA Draft, 51 players have recorded a triple-double.

Make that 52.

For the first time in his career, Harden finished with a triple-double as the Rockets beat the Bobcats, 109-95.  Harden had 21 points, a career-high 11 rebounds and 11 assists.

It was the third time this season that Harden had double-digit assists and the third time he has had double-digit rebounds.

On the season, Harden is averaging 25.8 points, 5.5 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game, all of which are career highs.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Dirk Nowitzki doubtful for Friday's game vs. Suns

Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki unexpectedly missed last night's game against the Warriors and it's doubtful that he plays tonight against the Suns.

"It's possible but doubtful," coach Rick Carlisle said, per ESPN Dallas. "We don't want to risk anything right now."

"I don't know. I need that good deer antler spray," Nowitzki jokingly added. "I don't know if 24 hours will change it much. Obviously we've got a tough back to back. I'm on the anti-inflammatories and we'll see if they kick in more until tomorrow, but I doubt it. We'll see what happens tomorrow night. We'll see if I even try to go. But hopefully Monday -- we'll see how it responds this weekend."

Nowitzki suffered the injury (right adductor strain) in Tuesday's loss to the Blazers.

In that loss, Nowitzki scored a season-high 26 points and it was his first game with 20-plus since January 7th.  In fact, he has only three games with 20 points or more and is averaging only 14.8 points per game (almost eight points below his career average).