Curry starts 2017 as Western Conference Player of the Week

Curry starts 2017 as Western Conference Player of the Week

NEW YORK, Jan. 9, 2017The Chicago Bulls’ Jimmy Butler and the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry Monday were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Jan. 2 through Sunday, Jan. 8.

Butler led the Bulls to a 3-0 week, averaging a league-leading 38.0 points to go with 9.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists. He opened the week by scoring 52 points in a 118-111 win over the Charlotte Hornets, the second 50-point game of his career and the first by a Bull at the United Center since Michael Jordan in April 1997. Butler was prolific at the free throw line, making 21-of-22 against the Hornets and closing the week by shooting 18-for-20 from the stripe on his way to 42 points in a 123-118 overtime win over the Toronto Raptors on Jan. 7.

Curry led the Warriors to a 3-1 week behind averages of 31.8 points (third in the West), 5.5 assists and 4.5 rebounds. He scored at least 30 points in three of his four games and logged his second 40-point outing of the season when he finished with 40 points in a 128-119 overtime loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Jan. 6. Curry, who became just the seventh player in Warriors history to score 12,000 career points, shot 50.0 percent from the field, 89.5 percent from the free throw line and 39.1 percent from three-point range.

Here is a recap of the week for Butler and Curry:

Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls

Jan. 2 vs. Charlotte: Scored a season-high 52 points and added 12 rebounds and six assists in a 118-111 win over the Hornets.

Jan. 4 @ Cleveland: Tallied 20 points, eight assists and six rebounds in a 106-94 victory against the Cavaliers.

Jan. 7 vs. Toronto: Finished with 42 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and three steals in a 123-118 overtime win over the Raptors.

Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

Jan. 2 vs. Denver: Registered 22 points and five assists in a 127-119 victory against the Nuggets.

Jan. 4 vs. Portland: Recorded 35 points, seven rebounds and five assists in a 125-117 win over the Trail Blazers.

Jan. 6 vs. Memphis: Scored 40 points, dished out six assists and grabbed four rebounds in a 128-119 overtime loss to the Grizzlies.

Jan. 8 @ Sacramento: Finished with 30 points, six assists and four rebounds in a 117-106 victory against the Kings.

Other nominees for the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Atlanta’s Dennis Schröder, Boston’s Isaiah Thomas, Cleveland’s LeBron James, Houston’s James Harden, Indiana’s Paul George and Jeff Teague, the LA Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan and Austin Rivers, Memphis’ Mike Conley and Zach Randolph, Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, Phoenix’s Eric Bledsoe, Portland’s C.J. McCollum and San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge.

NBA media services

Instant Replay: Warriors surge in second half to take down Magic

Instant Replay: Warriors surge in second half to take down Magic

BOX SCORE

After an understandably drowsy first half, the Warriors snapped awake after intermission Sunday and raced off with a 118-98 win over the Orlando Magic.

It was the seventh consecutive win for the Warriors, who lifted their record to an NBA-best 38-6.

Clearly affected by the noon tipoff (9 a.m. Pacific) at Amway Center, the Warriors committed 12 turnovers in the first half before settling in and totaling seven giveaways in the second.

Six Warriors scored in double figures, with Stephen Curry pouring in 27 points in three quarters to lead the way. Klay Thompson finished with 21 points, Kevin Durant 15 and Zaza Pachulia 15. JaVale McGee added 12 and Pat McCaw put in 10.

Orlando (18-28) lost for the ninth time in 11 games. Guard Elfrid Payton was the Magic’s leading scorer, with 23 points.

STANDOUT PERFORMER

Nearly all of the Warriors eventually woke up, but none did so with the energy and enthrallment of Curry.

Curry’s line: 27 points (8-of-15 from the field, including 7-of-13 from deep, 4-of-4 from the line), six assists and three rebounds. He played 30 minutes and finished plus-32 for the game.

With his seven 3-pointers, Curry (1,763) passed Peja Stojakovic (1,760) to move into 13th place on the all-time list. Next up is Rashard Lewis (1,787).

TURNING POINT

Trailing 55-50 with 10:30 left in the third quarter, the Warriors perked up and roared back with a 19-2 run punctuated by a Curry 3-point bomb to go up 69-57 with 6:54 left in the quarter.

The Warriors outscored the Magic 42-24 in the quarter, taking a 92-74 lead. Orlando got no closer than 18 in the fourth.

INJURY UPDATE

Warriors: G Shaun Livingston (rest) was a healthy inactive. F/C David West (L thumb fracture) was listed as out.

Magic: G Evan Fournier (R foot soreness) was listed as questionable and downgraded to out. G Jodie Meeks (R thumb sprain) and G C. J. Wilcox (L Achilles tendinitis) were listed as out.

WHAT’S NEXT

The Warriors go back to work Monday, when they face the Heat at American Airlines Arena in Miami. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

NBA Gameday: Warriors must summon intensity for early start vs Magic

NBA Gameday: Warriors must summon intensity for early start vs Magic

Having destroyed three highly regarded opponents in their toughest week of the season, the Warriors on Sunday face an altogether different kind of challenge.

This time, it’s simply waking up.

The Warriors will pursue their seventh consecutive win, facing the Orlando Magic at Amway Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 9 a.m Pacific., the earliest game of the season for the Warriors.

The last time the Warriors (37-6) played such an early game in the Eastern Time Zone was March 26, 1995, also in Orlando.

The Magic (18-27) will want to be on alert for Warriors star Stephen Curry, who torched Orlando for 51 points last Feb. 25, his last visit to Amway Center.

BETTING LINE:
Warriors by 12.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH:
Kevin Durant vs. Aaron Gordon: It’s the most efficient high-producer on offense (Durant) vs. one of the top five athletes in the league (Gordon). Durant is taking apart all defenders, and Gordon isn’t known for his D. No, the South Bay native is most known for his ability to fly. Durant’s task will be to minimize lob attempts while keeping him off the offensive glass for easy put backs.

INJURY REPORT:
Warriors: F/C David West (L thumb fracture) is listed as out. G Shaun Livingston (rest) is listed as out.

Magic: G Evan Fournier (R foot soreness) is listed as questionable. G Jodie Meeks (R thumb sprain) and G C. J. Wilcox (L Achilles tendinitis) are listed as out.

LAST 10:
Warriors: 9-1. Magic: 3-7.

SERIES HISTORY:
The Warriors have swept the Magic in each of the past three seasons, compiling a six-game win streak during which they’ve won by an average of 10.8 points per game.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH:
EARLY FOCUS: After such astonishing success in a grueling week, with three emotional games, the Warriors may be susceptible to a letdown against inferior competition. Will they be able to summon the intensity from the start?

THE BIG MEN: Zaza Pachulia will have his hands full with Nikola Vucevic, the USC product who is one of the league’s more skilled scorers in the paint. Vucevic is not much of a defender, though, so Pachulia may find a few opportunities via the back cut or the pick-and-roll.

INSIDE D: If ever there were an offensive team begging to be defended by a zone, it is the Magic, who are 25th in field-goal percentage and, even worse, 28th in 3-point shooting percentage. The Warriors should be in good shape if they limit penetration.