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.
— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) April 13, 2021
NBPA Statement on the Shooting of Daunte Wright
— NBPA (@TheNBPA) April 13, 2021
As he tends to do, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich expressed the frustration of many.
Pop on latest Mpls. tragedy:
"It just makes you sick to your stomach. How many times does it have to happen? But as sick to our stomachs as we might feel, that individual is dead. His family and friends are grieving, and we just keep moving on as if nothing is happening."
— Tom Orsborn (@tom_orsborn) April 12, 2021
Pop: "We need to find out who funds these people. I want to know what owners in the NBA fund these people who perpetrate these lies. Maybe that’s a good place to start, so it’s all transparent." 👀 https://t.co/mMTifb4x9b
— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) April 12, 2021
Pop: "How many young black kids have to be killed for no fricking reason? How many? So that we can empower the police units? We need to find out who funds these people. I want to know what owners in the NBA fund these people who perpetrate these lies."
— Tom Orsborn (@tom_orsborn) April 12, 2021
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.
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.
— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) April 13, 2021
Jamal Murray left the game after an injury to his left knee pic.twitter.com/ddEEMg9A4c
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) April 13, 2021
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.
Embiid just crushed Boban with that Euro step: pic.twitter.com/ERyDQelCWK
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) April 13, 2021
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.