VIDEO: Highlights from Tuesday’s games
NEWS OF THE MORNING
No. 1: Curry likes how Warriors are handling chase for 73 wins — The Golden State Warriors have just 20 games left in their regular-season campaign and need just 17 wins in that stretch to surpass the all-time, single-season wins mark held by the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls. From a 24-0 start to today, the buzz has grown about whether or not the Warriors could pass that 73-win mark and Golden State’s coaches and players have done their best to address those questions without letting the chase for 73 overtake the season too much. Warriors star Stephen Curry talked on SportsCenter yesterday about how he is pleased with the team’s approach to chasing such a historic mark:
Stephen Curry likes how his team has handled the pressure that goes along with trying to catch Michael Jordan‘s 1995-96 Bulls team, which went 72-10 on its way to a championship.
“When you go 24-0 your imagination just kind of goes crazy after that — how many wins can we get? But I think we’ve done a very good job of — and this is very cliché obviously — but taking it one game at a time and that’s how we’ve gotten to this point,” Curry said Tuesday on SportsCenter. “Twenty-four and 0 was a crazy, remarkable start that set NBA history. The way we’ve played at home, not having dropped a game and just our overall level of play — we like where we are. We feel like we can get better; we haven’t really played our best of late and that’s a good challenge for us to find our A-plus game as we finish off this season.”
Entering Tuesday’s games, ESPN’s Basketball Power Index gave the Warriors a 35.6 percent chance of winning 73 games. Although they have to face the San Antonio Spurs three more times, the Warriors play 14 of their final 20 games at Oracle Arena, where they have gone 66-2 over the past two regular seasons, including an NBA-record 45 straight wins, set Monday against the Magic.
“Last year we were 67-15 and we played at a pretty high level all year. … Even if we didn’t get to 67 wins there was still the potential for us to have a better season and be a better team,” Curry said. “But right now with 20 games left we obviously know what’s at stake. We’ve just got to stay in the moment and enjoy it. This is a fun time and we’re chasing history so we’ve got to be confident in who we are.”
VIDEO: Warriors.com looks at what makes the ‘Splash Bros.’ so special
On Tuesday, Durant was asked about the report after the Thunder’s practice. Here is a quick transcript of his response:
There’s a report out there that you have a Finals or bust ultimatum for the Thunder free agency wise. Is that the case?
Kevin Durant: “If it didn’t come from me or anyone I know, like I said in the summer time, I don’t know where it came from. Everybody makes up rumors around this time of year and everyone wants clicks for their stories, so that’s a part of it. I have nothing to do with that. I can’t control it. I’m just focused on playing better each and every day.”
With no context (of what will happen) or ability to read the future, would an ultimatum that you have to get here, or I’m leaving, do and I’m not, would that even make sense?
Kevin Durant: “To me, it doesn’t. You put too much pressure on everybody if you say something like that. Especially my teammates and this organization, they don’t deserve that. So I never said that, I never thought about that. But like I said, I can’t control rumors from people who sit behind their desk every day and think of stuff to say. I’m worrying about coming out here every day and staying healthy and trying to battle against the best players in the world while rumors are getting written up about whatever and I have no control over it. That’s their job and my job is to play. I never said that.”
No. 3: Anthony looking forward to playing in 2016 Olympics — Indiana Pacers star Paul George has been iffy at best about his commitment to Team USA for the 2016 Olympic Games. The same can be said for Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James. But to New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, the only question is when the planes leave for Brazil this summer. Al Iannazzone of Newsday reports that Anthony is fully committed to the 2016 Games in Rio:
Carmelo Anthony has visions of winning an unprecedented third Olympic gold medal this summer in Brazil, and isn’t concerned that his knee will prevent him from playing.
Anthony, who has had soreness in his surgically repaired left knee this season, believes he will be fine and will be able to commit to playing in a record fourth Olympics for the men’s national team.“I want to go,” Anthony said. “I look forward to being a part of that.
“Not too many people can say they played in four Olympics and have a chance to win three gold medals. Not too many people can say that. To me, that’s the way I look at it and the way I approach the Olympics.”Anthony and LeBron James would be the first four-time Olympians for men’s basketball and would be the only men’s players to win three gold medals if Team USA pulls it off in Rio de Janeiro.
SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: Dwight Howard may be interested in signing with the New York Knicks this summer … Cleveland Cavaliers big man Channing Frye is trying to remain patient with his new team … Mark Wahlberg to produce a movie about Caron Butler‘s life … Chandler Parsons is having a great post-All-Star break run and could be in line for a big payday …