We’re only three days into the 2013-14 NBA season, which means it’s about time for a dash of overreacting. Today’s topic: the absurd stat lines players have put up this week. Across Wednesday night’s 14 games, the following stat lines stood out:
- Kevin Love: 31 points, 17 rebounds (good to have you back, K-Love)
- Dwight Howard: 17 points, 26 rebounds (tied a career high)
- Klay Thompson: 38 points (on 15/19 shooting)
- Kevin Durant: 42 points (22/24 from the free throw line)
- DeMarcus Cousins: 30 points, 14 rebounds (the DMC we always want)
- And, of course, this guy.
In all fairness, most of those performances came in season openers against teams that likely won’t make the playoffs (hence, overreaction), which makes Chris Paul’s masterful performance Thursday night all the more impressive. (Okay, fine, Michael Carter-Williams had his historic night against the Heat, but that was a scheduled loss for Miami, especially with Dwyane Wade sitting out — remember, Brandon Jennings once scored 55 points in a game early in his rookie year. How’s that working out?).
Anyway, back to Thursday night, and CP3’s line of 42 points, 15 assists and 6 steals, which has been accomplished by exactly one person in NBA history (since steals have been tracked): Chris Paul. That’s it. That’s the list. And the Clippers needed every bit of it against the Warriors — a sexy pick to challenge for the Western Conference crown — as Steph Curry went bonkers beyond the arc, nailing nine three pointers. A performance like Curry’s usually translates to a win, until you factor in his unfathomable eleven turnovers, or, almost half of Golden State’s total of 24.
It must be noted that, unlike Miami’s situation on Wednesday, this was no “scheduled loss” for Golden State. Sure, they played the Lakers the night before, but they coasted to a 30-point win. Thompson put up his 38 points in three quarters, then sat out the final frame. Also, the Warriors hate the Clippers (and vice versa). They got up for this game. Unfortunately (for the Warriors — not for us sitting at home), CP3 activated his God Mode cheat codes and swatted them back down.
It wasn’t the prettiest game in the world — referees whistled 65 personal fouls, and the Clippers attempted 50(!) free throws. That being said, we’re blessed by getting to see this shootout three more times during the regular season (including a Christmas Day showdown), and, if God does exist, also in the playoffs.