WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR ME LAKELY?
Since we were counting, Kobe Bryant missed 212 shots from the field in 17 games during January. He hadn't missed that many field-goal attempts in one calendar month since March 2006. But he hit his last one - a jumper with 7 seconds to play to give the Lakers a one-point win over the Celtics on Sunday. Which means he ended this calendar month the same way he started it. His last-second field goal on New Year's Day gave the Lakers a one-point win over the Kings. So we enter February with Kobe 29 points shy of breaking the all-time franchise record (sorry, Jerry West). And Phil Jackson one win shy of breaking the all-time franchise record (sorry, Pat Riley). And a game in Memphis tonight (sorry, Grizzlies).
More from The Rundown, including a big night from LeBron, a bigger night from Kevin Durant, and why the Super Bowl is no longer the king when it comes to a TV audience, after the jump.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
The Clippers scored 20 first-quarter points against the Cavs. LeBron James scored 23 first-quarter points against the Clippers all by himself. In all, the Cavs scored 46 in the first 12 minutes. That tied the team record (done two other times, most recently in November 1992). 33 of those points came on 11 three-pointers. That tied the all-time NBA record for threes in a quarter (see also: Milwaukee Bucks, March 28, 2006). Said Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy, "I've got money that I'll put them in the gym naked, nobody else on them, and they probably can't make 11 out of 13 again from the same spots. They hit some shots in that first quarter that I know in 30 years of being in the NBA that I've [never] seen a team make." And after that, they played three more quarters. It didn't end well for the Clippers.
WHAT'S A TENTH OF A POINT BETWEEN FRIENDS?
Kevin Durant threw in a season-high 45 points. It's his fourth 40-point game this season, and his third in three season against the Warriors. (The only other player to do that was Oscar Robertson.) So despite LeBron's big night, Durant (29.6) leapfrogs him for second in the scoring race, .1 point per game behind Carmelo Anthony (29.7).
WHAT'S A FEW MILLION BETWEEN FRIENDS?
For the first time last year, the Super Bowl was not the most-watched annual sporting event. According to a report from Initiative Futures Sports and Entertainment, the UEFA Champions League final in May between Barcelona and Manchester United drew an audience of 109 million. The Steelers and Cardinals drew three million less. Still, round or oblong, the big winner is football. Even in Italian.
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