The NBA: Position Battle: The Best Shooting Guards Right Now

Most of the heavy-hitters like Dwyane Wade, Manu Ginobili, Joe Johnson, and Jamal Crawford aren’t on this list, but at least the heaviest hitter of ‘em all still reigns supreme.

5) Jordan Crawford (WAS) - 20.2ppg, 5.4rpg, 5.6apg, 1.0spg, 19.2 EFF
Remember when he claimed he could be better than a certain other Jordan? He still WON’T be able to do that, but at least he’s putting up great numbers in the continued absence of John Wall.

4) OJ Mayo (DAL) – 23.4ppg, 6.0rpg, 4.4apg, 1.6spg, 22.4 EFF
Mayo is another guy benefitting from the absence of his team’s top player, but, unlike the Wizards, who are languishing at the very bottom of the East, the Mavs are still in the thick of the fight out West.  Mark Cuban’s crew would love to have Dirk back ASAP, but as long as Mayo puts up these stats, Dallas might just keep its head above water.

3) Klay Thompson (GSW) - 20.0ppg, 4.8rpg, 3.6apg, 1.2spg, 1.0bpg, 23.2 EFF
After a slow start, Klay Thompson is finally showing why this was supposed to be, and is slowly shaping up to be, his breakout season. He’s scoring and shooting with the best the league has to offer, and the Warriors, despite their most recent loss to Orlando, are really reaping the rewards.

2) James Harden (HOU) - 28.5ppg, 5.8rpg, 5.5apg, 2.5spg, 27.3 EFF
Harden’s production continues to be strong despite the Rockets losing 3 of their last 5. They did, however, win back-to-back games against the Wizards and the Celtics to stop their losing skid. Harden remains to be the top shooting guard outside of California and an All-Star spot should be in the offing. Anything less would be travesty.

James Harden slams one on the break as the
Rockets beat the visiting Celtics.
(image by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
1) Kobe Bryant (LAL) - 34.2ppg, 4.8rpg, 4.4apg, 1.8spg, 28.8 EFF
Kobe has really been doing well of late. Too bad the same can’t be said of his team. When Kobe puts up these kinds of numbers, the Lakers usually win, but, strangely enough, even with the best center in the world in the lineup, they just can’t seem to string up the Ws with any consistency this season. They did win their latest game, but, heck, that was against Washington. WASHINGTON.

Honorable Mention: Monta Ellis (MIL), Rodney Stuckey (DET), Manu Ginobili (SAS)

Game Recaps (courtesy of the Sports Network):
Indiana 95, Philadelphia 85
George Hill registered a triple-double with 15 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds as the Indiana Pacers posted a 95-85 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night. Paul George donated 28 points and six rebounds while Roy Hibbert added 19 points and 14 rebounds for the Pacers, who have won their past two games and four of six overall. Evan Turner had 22 points and 10 rebounds while Spencer Hawes gave 18 points for the Sixers, who have lost five of their last seven games. Thaddeus Young gave 12 points and seven rebounds in the loss. Philadelphia played the game without guard Jrue Holiday, the team's leading scorer at 18.4 points per game, with a sprained left foot.

Orlando 99, Golden State 85
J.J. Redick was one of six Magic players in double-figures, scoring a team-high 16 points as Orlando halted Golden State's five-game winning streak with a 99-85 victory. Redick knocked down 4-of-7 from 3-point range in helping the Magic to their second victory of the season over Golden State. Nikola Vucevic and Jameer Nelson each recorded double-doubles, with Vucevic tallying 12 points and a career-high 17 rebounds. Nelson chipped in with 10 points and 11 assists for Orlando, which snapped a four-game home losing streak. The Warriors have lost just twice in their last 10 games, both to the Magic. Stephen Curry scored 25 and David Lee put forth 24 points and 15 rebounds, but Golden State got little help from the rest of the team.

Toronto 95, Dallas 74
Linas Kleiza drained five 3-pointers en route to a game-high 20 points as the shorthanded Toronto Raptors pounded the Dallas Mavericks, 95-74, on Friday at Air Canada Centre. Kleiza shot 7-of-13 from the floor overall and added five rebounds, while Terrence Ross contributed 18 points for the Raptors, who were without two key contributors in Andrea Bargnani and Kyle Lowry. Bargnani, the team's second leading scorer, is out indefinitely due to a ligament tear in his right elbow and a strained right wrist, while Lowry has a partial tear in his right triceps muscle. Jose Calderon and DeMar DeRozan added 14 points apiece as the Raptors snapped a six-game losing streak. Chris Kaman scored a team-high 15 points, while Brandan Wright went 6-of-6 from the floor for 13 points for Dallas, which has lost two straight since a three-game winning streak. Former Raptor Vince Carter shot just 1-of-8 from the field for four points in the setback. Dallas also shot 0-for-13 from beyond the arc, ending an NBA record streak of 1,108 consecutive games with at least one 3-pointer made dating back to Feb. 27, 1999.

LA Lakers 102, Washington 96
Kobe Bryant racked up 30 points and got some needed support from Jodie Meeks as the Los Angeles Lakers stopped a four-game losing streak with a 102-96 decision over the Washington Wizards at the Verizon Center. Meeks scored a season-high 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting -- including 4-of-7 from 3-point range -- to offset an off-target night from Bryant and help the Lakers avoid their first five-game slide since April of 2011. Bryant finished just 9-of-29 from the field and an ugly 1-of-8 from beyond the arc, but knocked down 11-of-13 free throw attempts to reach the 30- point mark for the 13th time this season. Los Angeles had been 1-11 when Bryant hit that number thus far in 2012-13. Dwight Howard contributed a double-double to the win, amassing 12 points and 14 rebounds. Cartier Martin poured in a season-best 21 points off the bench in the loss, Washington's fourth in five games.

Kobe Bryant flashes a grin as the Lakers break a 4-game slump by
beating the Washington Wizards.
(image by Ned Dishman/Getty Images)

Brooklyn 107, Detroit 105 (2-OT)
Joe Johnson hit the winning jumper at the buzzer of the second overtime to lift the Brooklyn Nets to a dramatic 107-105 win over the Detroit Pistons. Johnson scored 28 points and a physical Gerald Wallace totaled 25 points and 10 rebounds to help the Nets win on a night they got Brook Lopez back in the lineup. Lopez, who had missed the previous seven games due to a mild sprain of his surgically repaired right foot, had nine points. Deron Williams, who sustained a left quadriceps contusion in the first quarter, returned and had 17 points. Brandon Knight scored 22 for the Pistons, who lost their third in a row.

Milwaukee 90, Cleveland 86
Monta Ellis scored 20 of his season-high 33 points in the second half, as the Milwaukee Bucks held off the Cleveland Cavaliers, 90-86, for their fourth straight victory. Brandon Jennings, who beat the Cavaliers on Nov. 3 with a buzzer-beating 3- pointer, shot just 5- of-20 from the field for 16 points, but had eight assists and three of Milwaukee's 16 steals. The Bucks also blocked seven shots and forced 27 turnovers in beating their Central Division rivals for the ninth straight time. Kyrie Irving paced Cleveland with 26 points, while C.J. Miles added 17 in the setback.

Houston 101, Boston 89
James Harden netted a game-high 21 points to go with five rebounds and five assists as the Houston Rockets knocked off the Boston Celtics, 101-89, on Friday at Toyota Center. Greg Smith drained 8-of-9 from the floor for 20 points to go with six rebounds, while Chandler Parsons added 15 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for the Rockets, who have won back-to-back games since a three-game slide. Toney Douglas chipped in with 11 points in the victory. Paul Pierce dropped in a team-high 18 points with seven rebounds, while Rajon Rondo added 15 points and 13 assists for the Celtics, who were coming off a double-overtime home win over Dallas on Wednesday. Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry donated 14 and 12 points, respectively, in the setback.

Minnesota 113, New Orleans 102
Nikola Pekovic scored a season-high 31 points and the Minnesota Timberwolves kept the Hornets reeling with a 113-102 victory at New Orleans Arena. Pekovic converted on 14-of-18 from the field to help Minnesota capture its fifth victory in its last six games. Andrei Kirilenko and Luke Ridnour each notched double-doubles, with Kirilenko tallying 21 points and 11 rebounds while Ridnour finished with 15 points and 10 assists in the win. Kevin Love totaled 14 points and nine boards for the T'Wolves, who also received 13 points and eight assists from Alexey Shved. Rookie Austin Rivers had his best game as a pro, scoring a career-high 27 points, but the Hornets suffered their sixth straight setback. Ryan Anderson followed with 20 points and seven boards and Greivis Vasquez totaled a double- double with 15 points and 17 assists.

Oklahoma City 113, Sacramento 103
Kevin Durant poured in 31 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder kept on rolling by posting a 113-103 victory over the Sacramento Kings at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Durant finished a scorching 10- of-14 from the field and 9-of-9 from the foul line to enable Oklahoma City to remain red-hot as well. The win was the Thunder's 10th in a row, the franchise's longest streak since moving to Oklahoma City from Seattle during the 2008-09 season. The result also improved the Thunder to an NBA-best 19-4, a record surpassed only than the 1993-94 SuperSonics' 20-3 mark as the best after 23 games in club history. Kevin Martin and Serge Ibaka each added 18 points for Oklahoma City, with Ibaka pulling down 11 rebounds on the night. Russell Westbrook also registered a double-double, accumulating 13 points and 13 assists. Isaiah Thomas scored a season-high 26 points on 10-of-13 shooting in the loss, Sacramento's third straight following a string of three straight wins. Tyreke Evans hit 8-of-12 shots en route to 21 points for the Kings, who also received 15 points from Jason Thompson.

Phoenix 99, Utah 84
Jared Dudley totaled a season-high 22 points and Marcin Gortat tallied 12 points and 14 rebounds, as the Phoenix Suns pulled away in the final quarter for a 99-84 win over the Utah Jazz. Goran Dragic chipped in 17 points, as the Suns, building off an 82-80 win over Memphis two nights prior, captured back-to-back contests for the first time since Nov. 21-23. Al Jefferson had 14 points and 11 rebounds for Utah, which had a four-game winning streak snapped.

Denver 99, Memphis 94
Andre Miller netted 18 points off the bench, including four big free throws down the stretch, as the Denver Nuggets held off the Memphis Grizzlies, 99-94, on Friday night at Pepsi Center. Andre Iguodala led the Nuggets with 20 points, seven assists and five steals, while Danilo Gallinari chipped in 14 points in the victory, Denver's second in its last three games. Rudy Gay poured in a game-high 21 points, but missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer with under 10 seconds remaining to send the Grizzlies to their third straight loss.

Top 10 Plays of the Night:

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