The NBA season is in full swing, and we will be here each weekday with the NBC Sports daily roundup Three Things to Know — everything you might have missed in the Association, every pivotal moment from the night before in one place.
1) Stephen Curry lets “game speaks for itself” with MVP-like 40 points, 10 threes
The NBA is just so much better — and so much more entertaining — when MVP-level Stephen Curry lets his game do the talking.
Curry put up 40 points, including shooting 10-of-19 from three in another one of those “you better mention me in the MVP conversation” games from him this season. Curry couldn’t seem to miss — even after the buzzer sounded Curry was hitting ridiculous shots, like an underhanded three.
Curry is getting down-ballot mentions for MVP, although the Warriors will need more wins like this and to be much higher than their current eighth seed in the West for the talk to really heat up. For his part, Curry said postgame he isn’t worried about it (from the Associated Press).
“The game speaks for itself. I really try not to get distracted by that because it kind of taints the moment. If I do my job, I’ll be there at the end of the season.”
He’s going to be there in the middle of the conversation with more games like this.
2) Philadelphia loses on a Robert Covington deflection. That’s stings.
Robert Covington spent four-and-a-half seasons in Philadelphia being a disruptive defender who also shot 35.9% from three — he won the Sixers a lot of games with defensive deflections and smart plays.
Like the one he had for his new team, Portland, to beat Philadelphia on Thursday night.
It was an entertaining ending. Joel Embiid hit a pull-up to get the game close, then a Seth Curry three tied it all up at 114-114 with 22 seconds left. Carmelo Anthony — more on him later — made a smart read when Tobias Harris made sure Damian Lillard didn’t get a late shot, ‘Melo cut hard to the basket, got the ball, and the recovering Harris tripped and fouled him. Anthony hit the free throws, but with 3.1 seconds left the 76ers still had a chance.
RoCo breaks up the pass to 🔒 the @trailblazers W! pic.twitter.com/CvDEtGHNCZ
— NBA (@NBA) February 12, 2021
Ben Simmons needs to do a better job recognizing Covington can see the play and disrupt it, but it’s still a smart play by the Portland defender to seal the win.
Covington and Portland were in a position to get the win because Anthony came out of a soak in the Hot Tub Time Machine and took over, scoring 16 in the fourth quarter.
Blazers coach Terry Stotts : “He really got on a roll and he was vintage Melo. Hitting threes, hitting some off-balance shots, just in a real rhythm and he provided points when we needed them.”
Sixers coach Doc Rivers: “Once Carmelo gets it going, he’s still Carmelo. He reminded us of that tonight.”
As for the marquee names, Damian Lillard was hot early and finished with 30 points, although Simmons did a respectable job on him in the second half. Joel Embiid continued to play like an MVP with 35 points and nine rebounds.
3) Can you ever get enough Tacko Fall highlights?
Boston pulled away late to get a comfortable 120-106 win over Toronto Thursday night. There was enough garbage time at the end that Tacko Fall got some run — and the Raptors had no idea how to slow him.
Tacko wasn’t the only guy having a good night in green.
Semi Ojeleye (6-8 3-PT) and Payton Pritchard (6-8 3-PT) are the first pair of teammates in Celtics franchise history to both make at least six 3-pointers in the same game
(Confirmed by @EliasSports)
— Celtics Stats (@celtics_stats) February 12, 2021