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Stephen Curry kept calm, carried on and found his shot to beat the Knicks

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With 5:12 remaining in the second quarter of Sunday afternoon’s game between the Golden State Warriors and New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, the shooting slump that has bedeviled Stephen Curry of late officially became ridiculous.

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Sure, Steph entered Sunday mired in the worst deep freeze of his professional life, having made just 37.1 percent of his shots over the previous three games, including a woeful 4-for-31 mark (12.9 percent) from beyond the 3-point arc. But even if you sloughed that off as just a weird blip on the radar screen for the game’s best shooter, after watching Curry — a career 90.4 percent free-throw shooter who has led the NBA in free-throw percentage three times in seven full seasons, and who had missed just 23 freebies in 275 attempts this season — miss both ends of his trip to the stripe, it seemed reasonable to conclude that something might be well and truly amiss. (Maybe it was all that eerie quiet.)

And yet, even as Curry’s accuracy remained AWOL, Warriors coach Steve Kerr insisted that the two-time-reigning NBA Most Valuable Player keep the faith:

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And wouldn’t you know it? After that “Carry on, my son,” Steph ceased being so wayward and started to more closely resemble Stephen Freaking Curry:

After opening Sunday’s game 4-for-13 from the floor and 2-for-8 from beyond the arc in the first half, Curry finally thawed out in the third quarter. Just over a minute into the frame, he ducked behind a screen in transition and knocked down a deep 3 that moved him past Chauncey Billups and into 10th place in NBA history in made 3-pointers. He’d crank up the temperature later in the third, scoring 12 points in the last 4:38 of the period on perfect 5-for-5 shooting, including a whirling drive for a layup and a pair of late 3s to give Golden State an eight-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.

The Dubs would push the advantage to 13 early in the fourth, but the Knicks refused to go away, drawing back within one point on a 3-pointer by Kristaps Porzingis midway through the quarter. But then Curry fed running buddy Klay Thompson — who’d begun his own de-icing earlier Sunday, scoring 14 first-quarter points to shake off three frigid affairs — for a bomb that put Golden State back up by four to stem the New York run.

A few more stops and an evil stepback jumper by Curry over the outstretched arms of Carmelo Anthony later, and the Warriors had held on for a 112-105 win that ended their losing skid at two games, improved their NBA-best record to 51-11, and gave them their first victory since losing Kevin Durant to a Grade 2 sprain of the medial collateral ligament in his left knee last week.

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Curry finished with a game-high 31 points on 11-for-24 shooting, including a 5-for-13 mark from 3-point land, to go with eight rebounds, six assists and two steals — not to mention one huge monkey off his back — in 37 minutes of work. From Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle:

After spending the last few days seeing plenty of great looks simply refuse to fall through the net — including those two second-quarter freebies — they finally did start to drop after halftime, validating Curry’s confidence in continuing to fire, returning him to his familiar role of strafing opposing defenses, and restoring the Warriors’ winning ways.

“We knew we’d be fine,” Curry said after the game, “getting back to who we are.”

Source: sports.yahoo.com

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Basketball

Injured Aminu Out For 2-3 Weeks

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D’Tigers guard, Al-Farouq Aminu, has been ruled out for two to three weeks after he sprained his right ankle, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.

Aminu who missed the Portland Trail Blazers’ 113-110 win over the Los Angeles Lakers Friday morning has suited eight times this season in the NBA.

The 27 year old was on crutches before the Portland Trail Blazers’ win over the Los Angeles Lakers game at the Moda center.

In his place, Noah Vonleh was listed as the starter for the game which was the Portland Trail Blazers’ fifth win in nine games.

Despite his injury setback, Aminu took to Twitter to applaud every fan who wished him well.

“Great win and thank you to everyone that has been wishing me well,” he tweeted.

So far this season Aminu has recorded 75 points, 65 rebound and 14 assists and six steals in 242 minutes for the Portland Trail Blazers.

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Oladipo Named NBA Eastern Conference Player Of The Week

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Indiana Pacers Nigerian forward, Victor Oladipo, has been named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week in the NBA, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.

The former Oklahoma City Thunders guard and former Indiana University All-American, Oladipo led the Pacers to a 101-83 rout of the Sacramento Kings Wednesday morning – their fourth win of the NBA season.

Oladipo becomes the 12th player in franchise history to earn Player of the Week honor. He added 14 points and four rebounds in the encounter.

So far this season, Oladipo has led the Pacers in scoring in each of their first seven games this season. He currently ranks eighth in the NBA with a scoring average of 28.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.7 assists over the last three games.

New Orleans’ Pelican star DeMarcus Cousins, was also named Western Conference Player of the Week.

The 25-year-old Oladipo praised his compatriot Ike Anigbogu, the youngest player in the NBA for scoring his first career points in the NBA after five games.

19-year-old Anigbogu who was the Pacers second-round pick scored four points in the five minutes he played.

Anigbogu scored his first points of his professional career on a pair of free throws. He later knocked down a jumper, then sent the Pacers’ veterans on the bench into hysterics with an emphatic block of Kings guard Frank Mason in the closing seconds.

“I’m proud of him (Anigbogu),” Oladipo told the Pacers official website.

“A lot of guys do a lot of the cheering. (The starters) got to do the cheering today. It’s an awesome feeling.

The Pacers travel to Cleveland for a clash against the LeBron James led Cavaliers on Thursday morning.

Completesportsnigeria.com

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Occansey excited about giving Cote d’Ivoire supporters the opportunity to watch national team at home

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ABIDJAN (FIBA Basketball World Qualifiers) – Cote d’Ivoire head coach Hugues Occansey feels his team will do everything in its power to reach the second round of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualifiers.

If they do, their supporters will have a chance of watching their heroes play home (and away) games in a battle for one of the five spots for African countries for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 in China.

Occansey, who played for France’s national team in the 1980s and 1990s before turning his hand to coaching, looks forward to the challenge Cote d’Ivoire are set to embark on.

« We are happy to be one of the 16 African nations to compete in the World Cup Qualifiers. This is a good opportunity for us to get closer to our fans throughout Qualifiers and I really want to congratulate FIBA for this great initiative. »

It’s been over four years since Cote d’Ivoire last played a major tournament on home soil, as the country staged FIBA AfroBasket back in 2013. Occansey would like nothing better than to give local supporters an opportunity to relive a magical atmosphere like the one displayed on that occasion.

As hosts of FIBA Africa’s premier competition, Ivorian fans not only sold out the Palais des Sports de Treichville each time the « Elephants » stepped out onto the court but they also celebrated the game of basketball with choreographed dances, traditional chants and an impressive spirit of fair play after Cote d’Ivoire fell short to Angola in the Semi-Finals.

s part of FIBA’s new calendar and over a four-year cycle from 2017 through 2021, national teams will play regular official games to qualify for the China 2019 and the FIBA Continental Cups 2021 starting in November.

It is not lost on Occansey what it would mean for Cote d’Ivoire to reach the second round of Qualifiers for China 2019.

« It would be great to play official games at home. For us as coaches, every (Qualifiers) window is an opportunity to give our talented players based around the world the chance to represent the national team. That was not possible under the previous system. »

In order to advance to the second round of the World Cup Qualifiers, Cote d’Ivoire would need to finish in the top-three of Group D, which includes Senegal, Mozambique and the Central African Republic.

While Cote d’Ivoire did hosted the second round of FIBA Africa Zone 3 Qualifiers for the FIBA AfroBasket 2017 against Benin and Burkina Faso, there is nothing like the prospect of taking on the continent’s powerhouses in Abidjan.

The « Elephants » last played at the FIBA Basketball World Cup seven years ago in Turkey, where they defeated Puerto Rico to return home with a 1-4 record.

Source: Fiba basketball

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