Breakfast Special: Steph Up to the Mic

Stephen Curry may have been savagely abused in the dying seconds of the All-Star Game by LeBron James and Kevin Durant, but when he’s got KD on his own team, that becomes a whole different story.

The Clippers have designs on the 8 seed in the West and a potential first-round date with the Warriors, but Steph, who canned 44 points on 14-of-19 from the field, 8-of-11 from three, and 8-of-8 from the line, showed LA just what folly it would be to even think that series would go five games.

Golden State won 134-127, shooting 62.7 percent as a team, 56 percent from long range, and 26-of-34 from the line.

The Clippers shot the ball well enough, hitting half their shots and assisting on 32 of their 44 makes, but even with an 8-3 advantage in offensive rebounds and a 13-shot difference (88-75) in field goal attempts, it wasn’t good enough to overcome the overwhelming power thrown against them.

Seriously, Steph just murdered the Clippers:

The Simmons/Embiid 30 Club

Ben Simmons had 32 points, Joel Embiid had 30, and the rest of the Sixers tried their level best to choke away that performance, barely beating Chicago by just a 116-115 margin.

Embiid and Simmons shot a combined 24-of-35 (68.6 percent.) The rest of the Sixers shot 19-of-47 (40.4 percent) and scored fewer points (54) than their big two (62).

Of course, if the Sixers could hit a free throw to save their lives (they were a horrific 21-of-35 out there), they wouldn’t have squeaked by but rather won comfortably.

Then again, if Chicago hadn’t shot the same wretched percentage (60 percent, albeit on just 9-of-15), they’d have stolen this one.

The moral of the story? Make your free throws! And maybe try not turning the ball over, since the Bulls coughed it up 13 times to Philly’s nine.

Man, nice try, Lauri Markkanen:

Embiid was a monster:

And Simmons was clutch:

That’s six in a row for Philly as they’ve started to layer the cement onto the wall they’re building between themselves and the pretenders below the 7 spot in the East.

Cleveland’s Ongoing Not-LeBron Problem

LeBron James shot 13-of-18 and scored 32 points.

Trouble was, the Cavs still can’t play defense or work together as a team, and their three-point shooting also betrayed them as they shot just 22.9 percent from out there, 8-of-35.

Funny thing is, they were aces on two-point shots, hitting 34-of-49 (69.4 percent.) Would’ve been great in the Dark Ages. Not so much now.

Speaking of old-school, Bradley Beal was Iversonian once again, with 18 points on 8-of-19 shooting, but the team overall shot 47.8 percent and 40 percent from three, which was enough to secure the 110-103 win; they simply commanded the arc the way their opponents couldn’t.

They also won the rebounding (43-36) and turnover (13-10) battles and hit only one fewer free throw on nine fewer attempts (10-of-10 for Washington; 11-of-19 for Cleveland.)

Make your free throws. Good things happen when you do.

But Tomas Satoransky (17 points, 6-of-7, eight assists, zero turnovers) is the man of the match:

Lightning Round!

The Knicks are terrible, but the Magic are terrible-er, as New York went to Orlando and beat Frank Vogel’s squad 120-113 behind 26 from Trey Burke off the bench and 23 from Tim Hardaway Jr. in the starting lineup:

Speaking of bad teams, Brooklyn, as entertaining as they are at their lightning pace, are just plain dreadful in execution, and Spencer Dinwiddie, D’Angelo Russell, and Allen Crabbe combined to shoot 16-of-45 (35.6 percent) while the Hornets, who beat them 111-96, shot 48.3 percent overall and 52.1 from three.

Kemba Walker led the way with 31 as Charlotte turned a close game at halftime (55-53) into a laugher:

Oklahoma City is horrid on the road, making it critical that they grab a top four seed if they expect to go to the second round of the playoffs. They ran their road record to 14-16, but needed a 110-107 squeaker in Sacramento to do it.

Russell Westbrook had a triple-double, going for 17 points, 15 rebounds, and 11 assists, but he also shot a wretched 4-of-14 to get his points.

And Terrance Ferguson managed to go minus-30 on the plus-minus…in just 13 minutes.

As for Westbrook, he may have only made four shots…but the fourth one? THE FOURTH ONE STAYED UP!

And you should stay up…as in all up in this here business, reading the most fun basketball coverage out there. So pop on by the home page, catch up on what you missed during the doldrums without any live ball, and thanks for reading!