Wednesday December 31st, 2014

Sixers rookie K.J. McDaniels blocked a dunk attempt from Warriors forward David Lee during the Warriors' 126-86 win on Tuesday night at Oracle Arena.

With less than two minutes remaining in the first quarter, Golden State guard Stephen Curry dished the ball to Lee near the top of the key.

Lee flipped it back to Curry as he ran past and dribbled into the lane. Nearing the baseline, Curry whipped a behind-the-back pass to Lee, who caught the ball, set his feet and rose for a two-handed dunk. Positioned near the hoop, McDaniels leapt and extended his right arm to deny Lee before he could flush the ball.

McDaniels, a second-round pick out of Clemson, has gained widespread renown for his athleticism and, in particular, his shot-blocking prowess despite playing for one of the worst teams in the NBA.

DOLLINGER: Warriors ranked No. 2 in latest Power Rankings

The most notable example happened in November, when McDaniels forcefully swatted a layup attempt from Raptors guard Greivis Vasquez into the stands. McDaniels later told that his block propelled the ball with such velocity, the woman hit by it suffered a concussion. The rookie added that he sent flowers. 

"I surprised myself," McDaniels said. "There was a lady who got hit by the ball who got a concussion, I believe." McDaniels, upon hearing what happened, sent flowers.

JENKINS: Warriors hit first bout of adversity on Christmas Day

On Tuesday, McDaniels scored seven points, grabbed two rebounds, dished out two assists and recorded two steals in the loss that dropped the Sixers to 4-26, good for last place in the Eastern Conference. Power forward Marreese Speights scored a game-high 23 points for the the West-leading Warriors, which improved to 25-5.

Over 28 games this season, McDaniels has averaged 9.4 points on 41 percent shooting with 3.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists. The 21-year-old has also recorded an average of 1.6 blocks per game, 10th most in the league and a higher number than any player his height or shorter, according to statistics compiled by

• MORE NBA:'s 10 favorite NBA moments of 2014

The Sixers plays visit the Suns on Friday, while the Warriors will host the Raptors on the same day.

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