April 15, 2021 | 10:51 am EDT Update
Justin Kubatko: Stephen Curry has recorded eight consecutive 30-point games. It’s the second-longest such streak in NBA history by a player age 33 years or older, trailing only Kobe Bryant (10). His 311 points over that span are the most in NBA history by a player age 33 years or older. pic.twitter.com/RnjspOLIh7
Extending Mathews is complicated, too, considering the Wizards’ tight salary-cap situation. Washington is over the cap right now, though it has a couple of exceptions it could use to give him more than the minimum if it wanted to offer him a contract that goes beyond this season. But those exceptions are tiny. They could use the midlevel exception to make him a three- or four-year offer, but the starting salary couldn’t be higher than $1.3 million with minimal raises to follow, not far above the minimum, since they already used the majority of their midlevel on Robin Lopez. Mathews is a reliable defender shooting 40 percent from 3. He’ll stick in the league. Would he accept the security of a deal like that when he could plausibly earn more this summer?
Mathews’ efficiency stats are through the roof, thanks to his 3-point success and an ability to get to the line, which shouldn’t complement a jump shooter. It doesn’t seem like Mathews lands in the same place when he shoots a jumper, a habit he developed while scampering in every direction as collegiate defenses chased him around the court. He never did away with the quirks of his form. The coaching staff won’t smoothen the unorthodoxy now. “You don’t mess with a 40-percent shooter,” Brooks advised — especially not when defenders are undercutting him once every game or three. “I think it’s working just fine,” said Mathews, who averages 6.2 points per game and shoots 89 percent from the free throw line. “You see how many times I get fouled on a jump shot.”
After winning on Tuesday, coach Frank Vogel made the kind of face he normally reserves for one of his beloved Dad jokes — a big grin with wide eyes. He’s made this face every time he’s spoken about fans at Staples Center since the Lakers got word that they’d be allowed to have them. “Can’t wait. Man, I can’t wait. The mystique of being in that building with our great fans is a big part of why it’s so cool to be a Laker,” Vogel said. “And it’s just been absent this year. And it’s been missed.”
Duke sophomore Matthew Hurt announced Wednesday that he will declare for the 2021 NBA draft and forgo his remaining college eligibility by hiring an agent. Hurt was named first-team All-ACC and was named the ACC’s most improved player after averaging 18.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game while shooting 44.4% from 3-point range. “I’m so appreciative of Coach K, the coaches and staff at Duke for always trusting and believing in me,” Hurt wrote on social media. “It was always a dream of mine to play at Duke, and it’s also a dream of mine to play in the NBA.”
Diamond Leung: Michele Roberts at Duke Sports Law Symposium on college sports as a multi-billion industry: “It makes me literally ill to be cognizant of the fact that the athletes that generate all of this revenue are supposed to be happy that they are given a scholarship. Are you kidding me?”
Jeff Zillgitt: The NBA/NBPA Social Justice Coalition today announced that James Cadogan has been appointed its first executive director, per league. Cadogan comes from Arnold Ventures, a national philanthropy, where he was a VP overseeing a $90 million grant portfolio on criminal justice reform