Good morning. Let's basketball.
STEPH WAS HALF RIGHT: A week ago Stephen Curry said he expected "a win and a win," as his Warriors hosted the Thunder the night before his Panthers faced the Broncos in Super Bowl 50. Golden State did its part, holding off a fierce Oklahoma City team. Carolina went Crying MJ into that sweet night, though ...
Even in defeat, the Thunder showed how little they fear the Warriors and anyone else. They absolutely have a role to play in the supposed coronation of Golden State.
MORE SUPER BOWL: Chef Curry was the official Keep Pounding drummer for the Panthers. ... Kevin Durant took photos of the game for The Players' Tribune. ... Festus Ezeli congratulated the wrong Manning brother.
ACTUAL SUPER BOWL COVERAGE: Our NFL team at SBNation.com was marvelous. Check out the StoryStream from Sunday for everything you could possibly need, from Beyoncé's performance to Cam Newton's press conference disapparation to Puppy Monkey Baby.
SCORES GALORE ...
DEN 101, NYK 96
ATL 94, ORL 96 (Vooch!)
SAC 119, BOS 128
LAC 100, MIA 93
YOUR MONDAY MORNING STANDINGS CHECK: Cleveland's lead on Toronto is just two. Boston is hot and now has a one-game cushion for No. 3 with Atlanta, Miami, Chicago, Indiana and Detroit chasing. Charlotte is 1.5 out, and Washington is a further two games out.
Golden State and San Antonio continue to lead the West comfortably. Oklahoma City and the Clippers seem pretty locked in at Nos. 3 and 4, too. Memphis has opened up a 2.5-game cushion for No. 5, and Dallas is feeling some pressure at No. 6 with Houston 1.5 games back, Utah (!) two games back and Portland (!!) three games back. Sacramento looks like toast. More on them momentarily.
KOBE'S ON ONE: Kobe Bryant has a nice little string of performances going as we approach his final All-Star Game. He made San Antonio sweat on Saturday.
OH GREAT: Mavericks franchise owner Mark Cuban, who actually has a say in such matters, is opposed to changing intentional foul rules. He claims people like watching hack sessions and that seeing Andre Drummond clank 20 free throws in a game offer a humanizing teaching moment for children. Ugh. Even LeBron is on the wrong side of history with this one, pulling out the "it's part of the game" argument. Note that neither Cuban nor LeBron have hackable big men on their teams ...
RELATED: I just noticed that Harvard has the lowest free throw percentage in Division I.
#KANGZ: It appears the George Karl era in Sacramento is coming to an end. Reports suggest management is weighing when to dismiss Karl just about a year after he was hired. The dominant narrative will be that the Kings are as dysfunctional as ever, and that's fair. But there are also some legitimate reasons to be seriously disappointed in Karl's work. He hasn't had a very good year.
SWAGGER: Steve Kerr, who knew he was mic'd up, jokes about the Warriors finally getting a close game on Saturday. Rude.
RIDICULOUS PAUL GEORGE SHOT ALERT.
THAT WAS FAST: It appears Greg Monroe is already on the trading block in Milwaukee. Michael Carter-Williams, too.
YEP: The Rudy Gay rumors continue unabated. Now it's Miami in the mix.
[THIS IS ILLEGAL]: Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson with the Four Horsemen-style arm lock clothesline. What in the world, brothers??
OH MAN: The Mavericks were getting destroyed by the Spurs on Friday, but Dallas rookie Salah Mejri was cookin' a bit in garbage time. He taunted the Spurs bench. Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan had a good laugh about it.
ON THE AIR TONIGHT: Magic-Hawks on NBA TV at 8 p.m. ET. Chicago-Charlotte, Toronto-Detroit and Memphis-Portland are good League Pass options.
Happy Monday. See you next time.