Three things to know: More than postponed game, NBA players frustrated after another shooting


The NBA season is deep into its second half, 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 key moment from the night before in one place.

1) Postponed Nets/Timberwolves game just tip of iceberg

It’s a feeling of helplessness that frustrates many NBA players.

For some, the past 24 hours felt similar to the Jacob Blake shooting that took place during the bubble last August (and led to a stoppage of games for a couple of days) — players have spent a year speaking out, using their platforms, raising awareness and money, and making concrete steps to see change in communities nationwide.

Yet they felt helpless when another unarmed Black man — 20-year-old Daunte Wright — was shot and killed by a police officer during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, just 14 miles from where George Floyd died at the hands of police.

The NBA postponed the Brooklyn Nets at Minnesota Timberwolves game scheduled in Minneapolis Monday night. The league made the move after talking to the players on both teams, and saying it was “in light of the tragic events in the Minneapolis area yesterday.”

It was the right thing to do. The Minnesota Twins also postponed their game Monday against the Boston Red Sox, and the NHL’s Minnesota Wild postponed their matchup against the St. Louis Blues.

There were reactions from around the league to the shooting, with Doc Rivers among those speaking out.

As he tends to do, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich expressed the frustration of many.

Those are all good words, but many NBA players — and a lot of people outside of basketball — are looking for actions and real-world answers. Not just a lot of platitudes until the next shooting.

And they are understandably frustrated that young Black men keep losing their lives at the hands of police officers.

(As for the Timberwolves/Nets game, if it is not made up on Tuesday it will create a back-to-back-to-back for at least one team down the line, but no announcement has been made.)

2) Stephen Curry puts up 53, passes Wilt to become Warriors greatest scorer

It was a vintage Stephen Curry.

He entered the night needing just 19 points to pass Wilt Chamberlain and become the Warriors’ all-time leading scorer — and he did that in the first quarter.

Curry was far from done. He went on to score 53 on the night, hitting 10 threes, to lead the Warriors to an upset win over the red hot Denver Nuggets. This was a night of classic Curry; there is nothing anyone can do to stop him.

After the game, Steve Kerr gave Curry the game ball, and the future Hall of Famer was overwhelmed.

There was one scary moment in the final minute of this game: Nuggets star point guard Jamal Murray went down with a non-contact left knee injury and had to be helped off the court. This looks scary.

The Nuggets are waiting for an MRI to determine what the injury is and what the next steps will be. But if Murray is out for the playoffs, it is a huge blow to a Nuggets team that had looked like contenders.

3) Joel Embiid, 76ers dominate Dallas

That was MVP-level Joel Embiid.

Not just back but now fully healthy, Embiid put up a 36-point, seven-rebound night where he just dominated the Mavericks.

Dallas threw everything at Embiid. Maxi Kleber started at center for Dallas but quickly was in foul trouble. Nicolo Melli took a turn but was overwhelmed. Dorian Finney-Smith got a chance, but he’s just too small. Then came the double-teams, with smaller players, but Embiid just split them. Then Dallas went big with Boban Marjanovic and his goldfish, but he is not quick enough. Willie Cauley-Stein got his chance and shoved Embiid to the ground, but that just made Embiid mad and he came back down and posted Cauley-Stein up and got a bucket.

Dallas had no answer — and 29 other teams may not, either.

Luka Doncic finished the night with 32 points, but with Kristaps Porzingins out the Mavs offense wasn’t the same and wasn’t enough.

Next up for Philadelphia is a showdown with Brooklyn, although we’ll see how many of their stars play in Wednesday’s game.

Milwaukee Bucks reportedly to hire Adrian Griffin as head coach

Detroit Pistons v Toronto Raptors
Vaughn Ridley/NBAE via Getty Images

Buzz had been growing for a week that Raptors assistant coach Adrian Griffin was the favorite Bucks coaching candidate of Giannis Antetokounmpo. Nick Nurse had his backers in the organization, but in a superstar-driven league, the wishes of players like the Greek Freak hold a lot of sway (especially with him up for a new contract in a couple of years).

The Milwaukee Bucks are reportedly hiring Griffin as their next head coach, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

This reaction from Fred VanVleet should tell you all you need to know about how the Raptors players felt about Griffin.

This hire is a gamble by the Bucks, turning the keys of a contender over to a rookie coach, but Griffin is more than deserving of a shot. Griffin spent eight years as a role player in the NBA — after going undrafted out of Seton Hall hand having to play in the Philipines — and then got into coaching, starting as an assistant in Milwaukee from 2008-2010. Griffin is seen as a defensive-first coach with a strong player development background (he worked with Jimmy Butler in Chicago). He’s been at or near the top of the “guys who deserve a shot” list for years and was in consideration for the open Raptors job in Toronto.

Instead, he now takes over a contender, although with a roster that is getting older and more expensive fast (free agent center Brook Lopez turns 35 this year, Khris Middleton is 31 and has a $40.4 million player option, Jrue Holiday is 31 and extension eligible come the fall).

Griffin will replace Mike Budenholzer, who was let go despite winning a championship with this team in 2021. Budenholzer is a process guy and was considered too rigid and slow to make adjustments in the playoffs, and this year’s first-round elimination by the No. 8 seed Miami Heat was seen as the culmination of that (even though Antetokounmpo missed two games due to a back injury). Griffin will bring a different voice and some new looks to a Bucks team still in its championship window.

Don’t be surprised if the Bucks hire a former NBA head coach to be Griffin’s lead assistant, to give him a veteran voice as a sounding board.

Nurse had been considered one of the frontrunners for this job, but now looks like someone destined to land in Philadelphia or Phoenix.

Heat guard Gabe Vincent reportedly to play in Game 6


Officially, Heat guard Gabe Vincent is listed as questionable for a critical Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday night. He missed Game 5 due to a sprained ankle suffered late in Game 4 but was a partial participant in Saturday’s shootaround, according to Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.

However, a report from Ben Rohrbach of Yahoo Sports points to what everyone expects: Vincent will play in Game 6.

Miami needs him back if they are going to win Game 6 at home and end this series (the Heat lead the series 3-2).

Not just because Vincent has averaged 17.5 points per game this series, but because of his ball handling and shot creation. In the second half of Game 4 and through Game 5, the Celtics changed their defensive game plan, becoming aggressive at jumping passing lanes, bringing doubles on drivers, and trying to force turnovers. During the regular season the Celtics were a bottom-five team in forcing turnovers by design — they bet that their impressive one-on-one defenders could make shots difficult and so off-ball defenders largely stayed home on guys off the ball and didn’t take risks. That changed and Miami struggled to adjust in Game 5, with Kyle Lowry — starting in place of Vincent — having three costly early turnovers.

Vincent back in the lineup could help counter the Celtics’ defense. Miami also needs great games from Jimmy Butler (who looked tired in Game 5) and Bam Adebayo, who also had an off game in Boston.

The Heat want no part of a Game 7, they need to close this series out Saturday night. They need Vincent to do that.

Coaching carousel update: Nick Nurse has strong, not universal, support in Milwaukee


Five open coaching jobs remain around the NBA: Phoenix Suns, Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Raptors and Detroit Pistons.

Here is the latest on the searches to fill those openings.

• Nick Nurse may be the first domino to fall with him having drawn interest from the Suns, Bucks and 76ers. Nurse has strong support in Milwaukee, but it’s not universal, reports Ian Begley of

So it’s worth noting that, as of earlier this week, Nick Nurse’s candidacy had strong support within the organization. Though not all key stakeholders in Milwaukee were aligned on Nurse, per SNY sources.

• Nurse has interviewed in Phoenix as well. Their top target was current Clippers coach Tyronn Lue, according to multiple reports, but Begley reinforces what has been reported here at NBC Sports and other places: The Clippers are not expected to part ways with Lue. Even if they do, the Clippers will not let their coach walk to a division rival in Phoenix.

• Momentum appears to be building behind Suns’ assistant coach Kevin Young getting a promotion in Phoenix, with Marc Stein reporting he got a key endorsement.

Word is Young, who has also interviewed for the head coaching vacancies in Milwaukee and Toronto, has received a strong endorsement from Suns star Devin Booker.

• It would be risky to put a first-time head coach in charge of a contender in Phoenix. If new owner Mat Ishbia goes that route, look for the Suns to get a former NBA head coach to be his assistant (don’t be surprised to see that in Boston next season as well, where Joe Mazzulla is expected to remain as coach).

• Nurse, former Nets’ head coach and current Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson, and Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin remain the finalists for the Bucks head coaching job. Stein reports Giannis Antetokounmpo is “intrigued” by Griffin.

• Toronto’s coaching search could be influenced by which direction team president Masai Ujiri decides to take the roster, something else up in the air. From ESPN’s Brian Windhorst on the Hoop Collective podcast (hat tip Real GM).

“In talking to folks that have been in touch with the Raptors recently, the Raptors don’t seem to know which direction they’re going to take. Whether or not they are going to focus on re-signing Fred VanVleet, extending Pascal Siakam, potentially making other roster upgrades. Or whether or not they’re going to send Fred VanVleet in a sign-and-trade, maybe investigate moving other players be it OG Anunoby or Pascal Siakam.”

• Multiple reports have Bucks’ assistant Charles Lee and former UConn coach Kevin Ollie as the frontrunners to be the next head coach in Detroit. Pistons’ ownership reportedly backed the Brinks truck up to Monty Williams’ house but he was not interested, Stein reported. The buzz has been that GM Troy Weaver is backing Ollie.

• The only coaching vacancy filled so far this offseason is Ime Udoka taking the job as the Rockets’ head coach.

Karl Malone pulls in $5 million with auction of 1992 Dream Team memorabilia

USA Men's Basketball Team vs Croatia, 1992 Summer Olympics
Richard Mackson /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images

At one of Karl Malone’s car dealerships in Utah, the Hall of Famer used to display some of his memorabilia from the 1992 Dream Team — game-worn jerseys from Larry Bird and Michael Jordan, among other items.

Wednesday night, Malone auctioned off 24 pieces of that memorabilia, netting him a cool $5 million, something reported by Darren Rovell at the Action Network.

The biggest seller was a game-worn Michael Jordan jersey from the USA’s 127-76 thrashing of Lithuania in the medal round, it went for more than $3 million.

Other items sold include $360,000 for a Larry Bird game-worn jersey and $230,400 for a Charles Barkley uniform.