NBA Bulletin: Thunder rolling, Steph Curry ruling, Clippers clickingPosted by Inside Hoops
THUNDER ROLLS: That Kevin Durant is leading the NBA in scoring (28.1 ppg) isn’t exactly front-page news. Having captured three scoring titles in four seasons, and well on his way to a fourth in five, Durant has cemented his place as one of the elite scorers in the history of the NBA. Like many greats that came before, Durant has continued to expand his game, averaging career highs in rebounds (8.1 rpg), assists (4.7 apg) and steals (1.6 spg) this season, as the Thunder – which had a nine-game winning streak snapped last night against Toronto — has raced out to a 22-5 start. Hardly a one-man show, Oklahoma City is getting its usual gaudy production from Russell Westbrook – 23.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 7.4 assists over his last five games – and steady bench production from super sixth man Reggie Jackson, who’s averaging 12.3 points in a breakout third NBA season. OKC visits the New York Knicks on Christmas Day on ABC (2:30 p.m.).
CURRYING FAVOR: The Warriors have come back to earth a bit after a brisk 7-2 start, thanks in large part to the absence of do-it-all forward Andre Iguodala. That hasn’t stopped Stephen Curry from fashioning one of the best individual starts to a season in recent memory, averaging 24.3 points, 9.2 assists and 4.2 rebounds, while shooting 46 percent from the field, 42 percent from distance and 89 percent from the free throw line. Curry, the NBA’s fourth-leading scorer and second-best assist man, is on pace to become the first player to average at least 24 points and nine assists since Michael Adams during the 1990-91 season. It would be a major surprise if Curry didn’t play in his first All-Star Game this February. Curry and the Warriors host the L.A. Clippers on Christmas Night (10:30 p.m.) on ESPN.
CLIPPERS STARTING TO CLICK: Since Doc Rivers inserted super-sub Jamal Crawford into the starting lineup, the Clippers have won five straight – including a 115-92 dismantling of the Spurs on Dec. 16 — with Crawford averaging 20.0 points and 3.2 assists. Los Angeles has also welcomed back Matt Barnes, who’s been out with an eye injury since Nov. 18. The usual suspects continue to do their thing. Blake Griffin is one of only three players (Kevin Love, DeMarcus Cousins) in the NBA averaging at least 20 points, 10 rebounds and three assists. Chris Paul leads the NBA in assists (11.2 apg), while averaging 19.2 points, up from 16.9 in 2012-13. DeAndre Jordan is third in the NBA in rebounding (13.1 rpg) and fourth in blocks (2.17 bpg). Enjoy the Clip-Show on Christmas Night against Golden State on ESPN.
– NBA Broadcasters Bulletin