DeAndre Jordan can't miss, and has Chamberlain in his sights
MIAMI (AP) Wilt Chamberlain, your record is in jeopardy.
No, not the 100-point one.
DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers - who has made 25 of his last 28 shots from the field - very quietly made a run at Chamberlain's shooting-percentage record last season and is doing it again.
Jordan has made 149 of his 205 shots this season, putting him just a hair behind the league's all-time mark in that department. Chamberlain holds the record, set in the 1972-73 season.
How close is Jordan to the mark? He's at 72.683 percent. Chamberlain's record is 72.696 percent. If Jordan makes his next shot, he would be on pace to supplant Chamberlain on top of that list. And he's been a huge key to the Clippers' current six-game winning streak, all while star forward Blake Griffin has been out with a partially torn left quad tendon.
''We're learning to play without Blake and everyone's picking it up,'' Jordan said. ''So when he does come back, we'll be a lot better.''
Jordan shot 71 percent last season, making him the only other member of the league's 70-percent-for-a-season club. Only two other players - Miami's Hassan Whiteside and Houston's Dwight Howard - are shooting better than 60 percent this season.
JOEY'S LAST CALL
The jersey number 17 isn't exactly one of the most storied in NBA history.
But perhaps the biggest NBA star today with 17 on his back is Joey Crawford.
The longtime referee told the Delaware County Daily Times over the weekend that this season will be his last blowing the whistle. Knee problems have limited him to five games this season, though he's planning to return for the stretch run and work some playoff games.
It wasn't unexpected news; Crawford is 64 and has been in the NBA for nearly 40 years. And while some of his most memorable moments weren't of the stellar variety - his conduct while ejecting San Antonio's Tim Duncan in 2007 earned him a suspension - even the biggest Crawford critics would probably say the league is about to lose one of its true personalities.
Plus, most in the league would say that Crawford was one of the better refs, period.
''He's obviously been an iconic figure,'' Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said, ''for a long time.''
THE WEEK AHEAD
Here's some of the games to keep an eye on this week:
- Utah at San Antonio, Wednesday: The Jazz have already been to San Antonio once this season, and trailed by as many as 46 in an 118-81 loss.
- Cleveland at Minnesota, Friday: Wolves star Andrew Wiggins has 33 and 27 points in two games against the Cavs, who drafted him No. 1 in 2014.
STAT LINES OF THE WEEK
- Tim Duncan, San Antonio: 0 points vs. Houston. After scoring at least a point in each of his first 1,600 NBA games, Duncan went scoreless for the first time. The irony here was that the Spurs scored a season-high 121 points in the game.
- Jimmy Butler, Chicago: 42 points vs. Toronto. Butler had two points in the first half, 40 in the second half. The last time an NBA player had 40 points in a half was March 4, 2012, Deron Williams doing it for the Nets (when they were still in New Jersey) against Charlotte (when they were still called the Bobcats).
- Stephen Curry, Golden State: 23 points, 14 rebounds, 10 assists vs. Sacramento. Not just a triple-double, but notable because all 14 of Curry's rebounds (a skill of his overshadowed by all his other skills) were defensive. According to STATS, only one other point guard has grabbed that many defensive boards in a game in the last five seasons; Portland's Damian Lillard had 17 against the Clippers last March 4.