Tommy Beer

Basketball Daily Dose

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Dose: Welcome Back, Curry!

Sunday, December 31, 2017


It was an extremely entertaining Saturday night in the NBA, highlighted by Stephen Curry returning in remarkable fashion and another dominating display by Andre Drummond.


After recapping the activity from Saturday evening, we’ll wrap up the Dose by taking a look at some important players that are facing injury issues for Sunday’s games.


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Nightly Notables:
Aaron Gordon scored 39 points to go along seven rebounds, one assist, two blocks, no turnovers and five 3-pointers in 36 minutes on Saturday. It was his first time eclipsing the 30-point plateau in December. However, if Air Gordon can stay healthy, expect him to deliver plenty of 30 burgers in January, as he will be the focal point of the Magic offense with Nikola Vucevic (hand) sidelined.


Kristaps Porzingis stuffed the stat sheet with 30 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals, two blocks, one 3-pointer and no turnovers on Saturday. KP has been on blocks binge of late. He has 16 rejections over the Knicks past four games.


Andre Drummond was devastatingly dominant in the Pistons impressive victory over the Spurs on Saturday, finishing with 14 points, a game-high 21 rebounds, a game-high six assists and three steals in 38 minutes. Per Basketball-Reference, there have been only three instances this decade in which a player has tallied at least 20 boards, five dimes and three steals - and Drummond has two of those three games this season! Drummond has greatly exceeded even the loftiest expectations thus far in 2017-18.


Tyler Johnson scored a season-high 31 points with four rebounds, three assists, one steal and three 3-pointers in 39 minutes on Saturday. Johnson caught fire in the third quarter when he poured in 22 points on 10-of-11 shooting. Coming into Saturday night, his season-high for a full game was 25 points. He has scored in double figures in five straight games and is averaging 19.6 points, 4.6 boards and 1.8 treys over that stretch.


The Pelicans lost to the Knicks on Saturday, but Boogie and Brow did all they could. Anthony Davis scored 31 points with nine rebounds, one assist and five blocks. It was his second game with at least 30 points and five blocks this week… DeMarcus Cousins finished with 29 points, 19 rebounds, four assists, one steal and three 3-pointers. Cousins already has had three 30-point, 20-rebound games this season (more than the rest of the league combined) and just missed another.


LeBron James celebrated his 33rd birthday on Saturday and was relatively solid, if unspectacular, in a loss to the Jazz. James finished with 29 points, eight rebounds, six assists, two steals and a blocked shot over 37 minutes. It was LeBron’s third straight loss on his birthday and his seventh consecutive loss in Utah.


Donovan Mitchell had another stellar showing in Saturday's much-needed win over the Cavs. Mitchell contributed 29 points (on 10-of-17 shooting), six assists, four rebounds, three steals and a blocked shot. He drove past J.R. Smith for his final bucket of the game, which gave Utah a three-point lead and sealed the victory for the Jazz. Mitchell is the first NBA rookie in over two years with at least 25 points, five assists and three steals in a game.


Stephen Curry had missed 11 straight games before returning to action Saturday night, so it would only be natural if he were a tad rusty, right? For most players, that would be expected. However, Curry isn’t “most players.” He’s arguably the greatest long-range shooter in the history of the sport. Steph exploded for 38 points and 10 3-pointers in just 26 minutes in the Warriors win over the Grizzlies. He also chipped in four rebounds and three assists. He was 13-of-17 from the floor and 10-of-13 from 3-point territory. Amazingly, it was the ninth time in his career that Curry knocked down at least ten 3-pointers in one game. No other player in league history has more than three such games. In fact, only two other players (J.R. Smith and Klay Thompson) have more than one 10-trey game.


Marc Gasol was superbly efficient as well on Saturday, scoring 27 points in just 28 minutes. Gasol was 10-of-13 from the floor, including 4-of-4 from downtown, and he made all three of his free throws. He also added six rebounds, two steals and an assist.


Jamal Murray scored 31 points and added eight rebounds, three assists, one steal, two blocks and one 3-pointer in 40 minutes on Saturday night. It was his third straight game with 20-plus points. Murray is averaging 24.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.0 treys over the past three contests.

 

Editor’s Note: Nobody hit FanDuel’s Golden 5 jackpot this season, meaning the prize has grown to a massive $340,000. And this week, regardless of whether or not someone hits a perfect lineup, they’re giving away that $340K to whoever wins this week’s final contest. Play FREE for your shot at $340,000!

 

On The Radar:
Very little went right for the Spurs on Saturday, as they scored a season-low 79 points in an embarrassing loss to the Pistons. However, one encouraging development was Kawhi Leonard logging a season-high 28 minutes and finishing with 18 points, two rebounds, three assists, one steal, one block, four turnovers and one 3-pointer. Still, the Spurs play a back-to-back on Tuesday and Wednesday, so Kawhi will very likely sit out one of those two contests.


Luke Kennard scored a career-high 20 points with one rebound, one assist, three steals and four 3-pointers in 30 minutes off the bench on Saturday… Reggie Bullock also registered his career-high with 22 points and added one rebound and four 3-pointers in 34 minutes.


Goran Dragic had 25 points (on 11-of-22 shooting), four rebounds, eight assists, two steals, one block and two 3-pointers on Saturday… Hassan Whiteside scored nine points with 13 rebounds and four assists in 29 minutes… Josh Richardson closed out a strong month by tallying 11 points, four rebounds, five assists, two steals, one block and one 3-pointer in 41 minutes. Over 15 games in December, J-Rich averaged 17.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.9 blocks and 1.9 treys, while shooting 54.6 percent from the field and 88.9 percent from the charity stripe.


Evan Fournier delivered 23 points, six rebounds, three assists, one block and three 3-pointers in 37 minutes on Saturday… Bismack Biyombo double-doubled (10 points and 10 rebounds) and blocked four shots in 33 minutes. Biz has given owners what they were hoping for while he fills in for Nikola Vucevic (hand). Biyombo has at least 10 rebounds in each of his three starts and is also averaging 3.3 blocks over that stretch... Elfrid Payton matched his season-high with 13 assists and also chipped in eight points, two rebounds, one block and six turnovers.


Jarrett Jack had just two points at halftime, but finished with 15 points, four rebounds, seven assists, one steal and one 3-pointer in 24 minutes in Saturday’s win over the Pelicans… Michael Beasley had 15 points and five boards in 20 minutes off the bench.


Dennis Schroder was dealing with a quad contusion, but scored a game-high 22 points and added one rebound, eight assists, one steal and one 3-pointer on Saturday… Taurean Prince, fresh off his career-high 30-point explosion on Friday, only took eight shots on Saturday, but contributed across the board, finishing with 12 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and four 3-pointers in 31 minutes.


C.J. McCollum has been surprisingly inefficient of late, and that trend continued on Saturday. McCollum, who scored 18 points with four rebounds and two assists, was just 8-of-21 from the floor. It was the fifth straight game he’s shot 45 percent or worse. He is shooting just 34.6 percent from the field and 22.2 percent from downtown over this five-game stretch. He’ll look to get back on track Monday at Chicago.


Kevin Love registered 20 points, 10 rebounds, three triples and an assist on Saturday. However, he was just 6-of-16 from the floor and 3-of-10 from deep… Jeff Green provided a nice spark off the Cleveland bench, finishing with 22 points, five rebounds, four treys and two blocked shots across 27 minutes… Dwyane Wade tallied nine points, seven rebounds, four assists and two 3-pointers in 25 minutes.


Tyreke Evans was at it again on Saturday, finishing with 22 points (on 9-of-16 shooting), nine assists, three rebounds and three 3-pointers in 31 minutes. Over the Grizzlies last five games, Evans is averaging a jaw-dropping 26.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, 7.4 assists, 2.8 treys, 1.2 steals and just 1.4 turnovers. Simply can’t ask for anything more from this dude… JaMychal Green (knee) was questionable, but was able to play and finished with 12 points, eight rebounds and two assists… Kobi Simmons scored a career-high 17 points and added one rebound, three assists, two steals and three 3-pointers in 31 minutes. Simmons is on his way to securing an increased role in the rotation.


Ricky Rubio just missed a triple-double on Saturday, finishing with 16 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in 32 minutes… Thabo Sefolosha turned in his second straight solid game, tallying 10 points, 12 rebounds, one assist and three steals across 31 minutes. The only negative was Thabo shot just 3-of-11 from the floor… Derrick Favors finished with 19 points (on 8-of-11 shooting), six rebounds, three steals, an assist and a blocked shot.


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