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Sunday NBA grades: Stephen Curry finds his groove and the Clippers find trouble

Apr 28, 2014, 3:20 AM EDT

Stephen Curry Stephen Curry

Our quick look around the NBA, or what you missed while mocking the new look Ronald McDonald….

source:  Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors. Nobody could slow Stephen Curry on Sunday… well, Joey Crawford did for a possession. But nobody on the Clippers. At the start of the game a distracted Clippers team gave Curry more space than he has seen this postseason, and he knew what to do with it — Curry started 5-of-5 from three. Once he gets going like that it’s over. And it was pretty early for the Clippers. When this Curry shows up the Warriors can beat anybody, the question is will he be there for a now crucial Game 5 Tuesday?

source:  Trevor Ariza, Washington Wizards. The Washington Wizards wanted to make the playoffs and made some moves in recent years that were not about building for the long-term but winning more now. Like trading for veteran Trevor Ariza — he earned a ring with the Lakers in 2009 and had some big postseason games back then. None, however, bigger than Sunday — Ariza dropped 30, shooting 6-of-10 from three, leading the Wizards, who went up 3-1 on the Bulls Sunday. To be fair it wasn’t all Ariza, both John Wall and Bradley Beal had “watch us mature before your eyes” games playing well at both ends. But Ariza was knocking down shots and making plays at both ends. He was huge and the Wizard got a win without Nene.

source:  Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors. He didn’t put up the most gaudy numbers on the Raptors (that would be DeMar DeRozan, but he struggled in the second half when the Nets trapped him) but Kyle Lowry did it all. He had 22 points, including six in a row in a key stretch late in the third. He has looked good at the point, he has adjusted to playing the two next to Greivis Vasquez. He even helped defend on Joe Johnson on a key possession late. Whatever has been asked of him this series he’s done it and done it well.

source:  LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers. After struggling in Game 3 he was back and again was destroying the Rockets from the midrange — 6-of-11 from there on his way to 29 points. He did a lot of his damage in the third quarter (13 points) when he sparked the start of the Blazers comeback, which eventually became an overtime win. He continues to be impressive at both ends of the floor. The minus is for those missed free throws late that gave the Rockets hope they wouldn’t otherwise have had.

  1. canadatude - Apr 28, 2014 at 6:53 AM

    Lowry played like that on one leg. His knee is in a brace and he had to have work done on him every time he left the court.

    • chicagosports2014 - Apr 28, 2014 at 12:01 PM

      Clippers are the new Miami of the NBA? 👎

  2. saint1997 - Apr 28, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    Gotta agree with Magic and Bill Simmons – this is the best first round of playoffs I’ve ever seen. Such parity and great matchups across the board

    • ProBasketballPundit - Apr 28, 2014 at 4:01 PM

      Agreed. I always get hyped for the playoffs before round 1 but typically my hype languishes by the end of the first week when all the contenders & top seeds are up 3-0. This is awesome.

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