Three Things is NBC’s five-days-a-week wrap-up of the night before in the NBA. Check out NBCSports.com every weekday morning to catch up on what you missed the night before plus the rumors, drama, and dunks going that make the NBA great.
1) Stephen Curry closes in on Ray Allen, history with six 3-pointers
Just 10 more.
When Stephen Curry drains 10 more 3-pointers — something he has done in one game 22 times in his career — he will pass Hall of Famer Ray Allen at 2,973 for most 3-pointers made in NBA history. And Curry will do it in 514 fewer games (or 513, or 512, depending upon when it happens).
It will cement Curry’s legacy as the greatest shooter the NBA has ever seen.
Curry had six 3s at the Chase Center on Wednesday night against a Portland team intent on chasing him off the arc and not letting him set the record on them. Curry still finished with a team-high 22 points and was 6-of-17 from 3 (35.3%).
Curry’s next three games are Saturday night in Philadelphia, Monday in Indianapolis, then Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden against the Knicks.
Curry is the greatest shooter ever and changes the game for a couple of reasons. First, he is equally dangerous knocking down a 3 off the dribble or on the catch-and-shoot. Most sharpshooters can do one or the other at an elite level and are just okay at the other skill, but for Curry it doesn’t matter how he gets into the motion; once he’s into his quick release there is little defenders can do.
3-pointer No. 6️⃣ for Steph pic.twitter.com/k3ndUzE9O0
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) December 9, 2021
Secondly, it’s his unprecedented shooting range, which leads to the highlights and warps opposing defenses. The success of the Warriors offensive system starts with the fact teams have to send a defender (or two) at Curry 30 feet from the rim. Make Curry a pick-and-roll ball-handler and defenses focus on him, then Curry is a good passer who can find Draymond Green on the short roll, suddenly Green is at the nail in a 4-of-3 and dishing the ball to open shooters in the corner or cutters going to the rim. But it all starts with how Curry and his shooting range warps the opposing defense.
Curry passing Allen is a chance to celebrate one of the game’s greats, to appreciate his talent. Curry has inspired a generation, and there may be a 13-year-old out there wearing his Curry jersey and practicing threes at the park who will someday pass him, but Curry is the original, the legend.
And about to become the greatest 3-point shooter in NBA history.
2) Rockets win streak hits seven with upset of Nets
The six-game Rocket’s win streak was a good story, but this is where it was going to end, right? The East-leading Brooklyn Nets, led by former Rocket James Harden, were coming to town. Even without Kevin Durant (rest), LaMarcus Aldridge (rest), Joe Harris (ankle), and Kyrie Irving (who knows), the Nets are the better team, right?
Not Wednesday night.
Houston won 114-104, extending their win streak to seven.
Another balanced Rockets attack — six players in double figures scoring — was led by Eric Gordon with 21. On defense, the Rockets held the Nets to a 107.4 net rating, 3.6 below their season average.
The Rockets did play a tribute video to Harden, who played for eight full seasons in Houston, and although it ended poorly, there were tremendous years and the Houston fans showed him his love following a tribute video — and he showed it right back.
The Rockets now face the Milwaukee Bucks Friday night. I’d say that’s when the streak ends… but will it?
3) Jokic big night, 11 in OT 39 pt triple-double
Denver is shorthanded and struggling, but Nikola Jokic is playing as well or better this season than he did last year when he won MVP.
The latest evidence of that: His 39-point triple-double Wednesday against New Orleans, where he had 11 rebounds and 11 assists.
Jokic scored 11 of Denver’s 15 points in overtime.
He may not repeat as MVP, especially if Denver finishes middle of the pack in the West, but he still has to be on many MVP ballots if Jokic keeps playing like this.
Highlight of the Night: Obi Toppin between the legs slam
The Knicks Obi Toppin thought he was in the dunk contest.
— NBA (@NBA) December 9, 2021
The Knicks’ bench is just so much fun to watch.
Last night’s scores:
Philadelphia 110, Charlotte 106
Cleveland 115, Chicago 92
Washington 119, Detroit 117
Indiana 122, New York 102
Miami 113, Milwaukee 104
Oklahoma 110, Toronto 109
Houston 114, Brooklyn 104
Dallas 104, Memphis 96
Utah 136, Minnesota 104
Denver 120, New Orleans 114
Golden State 104, Portland 94
Sacramento 142, Orlando 130
LA Clippers 114, Boston 111