It’s been a while since we did one of these, so let’s go over the ground rules.
Lions are fierce. They hunt, they kill and they eat raw meat because that’s what animals do, apparently. So, naturally, if someone or something gets a lion face, it means they’ve done something good. Lemons, on the other hand, are the work of the devil. They’re bitter, sour and just generally terrible. They don’t go with, well, anything, and for that reason, you don’t want a lemon face next to something you’ve done. It’s a lowlight of all lowlights.
With those in mind, let’s take a gander at what happened in the Association last night, highlighting all the good and bad moments with the help of Lion Face and Lemon Face.
Lion Face: Kevin Durant is in a scoring class of his own
In a loss to the Indiana Pacers last night, Kevin Durant notched his 46th 30-point game of the season. While that number sounds impressive enough, there’s something else that is noteworthy: no team in the NBA has had that many 30-point games over the last several months. The Houston Rockets have done it 36 times, the Miami Heat 35 and the Minnesota Timberwolves 33, but that’s the closest any team has gotten, according to Reddit. It’s a somewhat silly stat considering Durant is averaging 31.9 points per game on the season and not every team has a scorer that can go off for 30-plus on any given night, but it’s still impressive, especially when you consider that a team like the L.A. Lakers has reached that mark just six times this season. (Nick Young was responsible for half of those, by the way).
We already knew that Durant was a one-man wrecking crew, but this is just further proof.
Lemon Face: Kyle Singler learns a lesson the hard way
Kyle Singler has blocked a total of 38 shots in 81 games this season; not a terrible number for a small forward who makes a living knocking down corner threes. But why he thought it would be a good idea to try and swat DeMar DeRozan’s tomahawk dunk, as he was in full stride going to the basket, makes no sense to me. I mean, kudos for trying and at least he didn’t pick up a foul and send DeRozan to the line, I guess. Either way, I’m sure he has now learnt his lesson to pick-and-choose his battles. If he hasn’t, godspeed, Kyle.
Lion Face: Nick Young gets some revenge
Earlier in the season, Nick Young made his way onto Shaqtin a Fool thanks to a 360 layup that didn’t touch rim and went right over the backboard. But in the swaggiest way possible, he got some revenge last night by unleashing this beauty on the Memphis Grizzlies:
Lemon Face: Roy Hibbert had a weird night
Roy Hibbert scored 0 points in 27 minutes against the Oklahoma City Thunder on 0-for-9 shooting from the field. To add to that, he only grabbed six rebounds and blocked one shot, which, let’s be honest, is terrible. But on the other hand, he finished with the second best plus/minus on the team (+7), and the Pacers’ defensive rating was 89.5 with him on the court compared to 124.2 when he was on the bench. So, basically, he was awesome defensively and terrible offensively. The Pacers are a weird team now nowadays.
Lion Face: Stephen Curry is a three-point, history breaking machine
Steph Curry broke the record for three-pointers made in a season last year with 272, and last night, he made history again. Although, it was in a slightly different way. Sadly, he won’t be breaking his own single-season record unless he makes 19-threes in the Warrior’s final two games (in which case we should just give him the MVP), but by making his 250th trey last night, he became the first person in NBA history to reach that mark in back-to-back seasons, per Eye on Basketball. To put it into perspective, only three other players have ever made 250 threes in a season and Steph Curry has done it twice…already…at 26 years old. I’m wondering if Ray Allen hears the song “I Knew You Were Trouble” when he sees Curry walk into the gym.
Oh, and Steph scored 47 points in a loss to the Trail Blazers last night, by the way. He also missed a wide-open layup and made a contested three in the same possession because he’s Steph Curry and that’s what he does.
Lemon Face: “I got it, I got it!”
The Orlando Magic’s 2013-2014 season summed up in 13 seconds:
Lion Face: Kevin Love is good at basketball. The Timberwolves are not
Kevin Love finished with 43 points and 11 rebounds against the Sacramento Kings last night (his fifth 40-point game of the season), but the Timberwolves lost, 106-103. Kevin Martin and Ricky Rubio combined for two points on 0-for-12 shooting and Corey Brewer didn’t have another 50-something point performance. Shocker, I know. The Timberwolves are now 40-40 with two games remaining on their schedule. If they can wrap up the season over .500, that would be a nice accomplishment, even though they missed the playoffs. But the silver lining in all of this is that Kevin Love has had an MVP-type year in wake of an injury-ridden, 18-game season. He’s good at basketball.
Lemon Face: #WhoWoreItBetter?
After the Memphis Grizzlies took care of business last night, beating the L.A. Lakers at the Staples Center by 12 points, Mike Conley and Nick Calathes were seen fleeing the arena sporting the same look. But, according to Conley, it was all Calathes’ fault because he’s the backup point guard and the younger one is always to blame.
Lion Face: Joakim Noah continues to unleash his inner point guard
Let’s talk about Joakim Noah for a second. Against the Knicks on Sunday night, he flirted with another triple double with totals of 13 points, 17 rebounds and nine assists. Sure, the Bulls lost and Iman Shumpert stole Noah’s lunch money before slapping him in the face, but don’t worry about that because Noah is averaging 11.3 points, 14.0 rebounds and 9.6 assists over his last three games. He also has four triple-doubles this season, the second most in the NBA. He almost makes you forget about that Derrick Rose fellow. Oh. No, wait. Never mind. He doesn’t.
Lemon Face: Russell Westbrook is the destroyer of fun
We can blame Kevin Garnett for this: