Daily Lies & Statistics: Where a rook beomes a king

To say that Stephen Curry’s performance on Wednesday night was “amazing” would do it no justice. Especially not when you consider that the rookie led his team to a 30-point victory over the Clippers with both Monta Ellis and Corey Maggette (the team’s two leading scorers) sidelined with injuries. That’s like winning the Kentucky Derby while riding a horse with only two legs! OK, maybe it’s not that extreme. But when you see a rookie like Curry explode with a LeBron James-type of line — 36 points on 11-of-22 shooting, 7 treys, 13 assists, 10 rebounds and 3 steals — it’s worth equating it to an outlandish analogy. Really, all credit to not only Curry but the rest of the Warriors who chipped in to score 132 points on 62 percent shooting. Had you told me that the Warriors, without Ellis and Maggette, would win on Wednesday night by 30 points there would have been no way I’d believe you. Then once you reminded me they were playing the Clippers I would have been on the same page as you.

Run Duece, Run!!

Anthony Tolliver scored a career-high 29 points on 11-of-16 shooting, while one of my personal favorites, Anthony Morrow, dropped 26 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists on the Clips in 48 minutes of action. I feel safer with Morrow, since we’ve seen him perform at this level before and he’s had 12-team value for the past year. Tolliver, on the other hand, seems more like a 14- or 16-team add. Remember, the Warriors were without their two leading scorers. Both are expected to return to action after the All-Star break.

I have to say that other than the performances I mentioned above in the Warriors-Clippers, there was little notable fantasy-related news on the evening. Here’s some quick hits, though.

The Lakers played without both Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum, which meant that Pau Gasol owners were once again on cloud nine — 22 points on 10-of-16 shooting, 19 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 blocks.  “When does Bynum come back?” asked curious Gasol owners collectively.

Nazr Mohammed posted his first career 20-20 against the Timberwolves. Believe that! He doesn’t even care that Tyson Chandler is back. Then again, who would care.

Derrick Rose fell pretty hard on his back/hip after Dwight Howard took him down. Rose left the game after just two minutes, but the good news is that he was taken for x-rays and they came back… wait for it… negative! This still doesn’t mean he’s out of the clear, but anytime we hear that an x-ray was negative we’re supposed to feel good about that.

Darren Collison outplayed, outwitted, and outlasted Rajon Rondo on Wednesday night. Collison looked more like the All-Star than Rondo did — a game-high 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting, 9 assists and 4 steals (let’s pretend the 10 turnovers never happened). Rondo went for 7 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals. Which one is the rookie point guard?

Ben Gordon went 0-of-8 from the floor. It’s always fun to write something like that about one of the top scorers in the game.

Devin Harris returned after a short one game hiatus to score 27 points and dish 9 dimes against the Bucks. This is good news for Harris’ owners, but you wonder whether or not there is a trade in the works or if — worst case — the Nets continue to trend toward the worst record in the history of the game they might shut down their often ailing point guard. You wonder these things, don’t you?

Tyrus Thomas, speaking of trade bait, had a nice line against the Magic — 16 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and a block in 36 minutes. This was definitely a showcase game. The Bulls would love to get a piece or cap space back for Thomas (coupling him with Kirk Hinrich’s contract).

Ray Allen sat with back spasms. This opened up more minutes and touches for Marquis Daniels. He’s definitely a guy I’m watching post-All-Star break.

Hey, enjoy the All-Star festivities. I’m hearing from a league source that with all the injuries to the current All-Stars, the next man in line to play for the West is D.J. Mbenga. Well deserved.


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