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) Maybe it’s not a good idea to trash talk Stephen Curry
To quote a very old song, you don’t tug on Superman’s cape and you don’t spit into the wind.
It’s time to add you don’t trash talk Stephen Curry to the list.
Houston’s Kevin Porter Jr. was chirping at Curry in the third quarter, at one point getting next to him, hands on knees, to do some trash talking.
Steph wasn't fazed by KPJ's chirping 😅 pic.twitter.com/UE0fYloz2W
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 1, 2022
But it wasn’t the only instance.
Steve Kerr’s reaction to the trash talk? “I highly encourage it.”
Curry didn’t answer with words. He responded with 21 points in the fourth quarter (and 40 for the game) to spark the Warriors to a 122-108 win.
Porter Jr. said after the game he wasn’t trash-talking Curry, he was just “locked in.” Sure. If you say so. But the bottom line is Curry took it as trash talk and he has a couple of gears Porter Jr. or nobody else on the court can hit. Don’t make Curry angry, you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.
That’s six straight wins for the Warriors, despite Curry slumping, Klay Thompson still finding his way, and Draymond Green being out with a back/calf issue. They may be the only team in the West that, when healthy, is a threat to the Suns.
2) Joel Embiid gets some rest so Tyrese Maxey takes over with 33
Joel Embiid earned a night off with his run of play recently, but with him out how was Philadelphia going to hang with red-hot Ja Morant and Memphis.
Enter Tyrese Maxey, who finished the night with 33 points, 8 assists and was the guy who closed out the 76ers overtime win against the Grizzlies.
Andre Drummond got the start with Embiid out and had 16 points and 23 rebounds, plus three blocked shots. Desmond Bane had 31 for the Grizzlies, and of course Ja Morant had his highlights (keep on scrolling down).
Elite teams find a way to win without their stars (Miami has been the best at that this season). Philly racking up a victory against a top four team from the West without Embiid is an impressive win.
3) It’s official, Joe Ingles is out for season. What do Jazz do at the deadline now?
This one hurts on several fronts:
• Ingles was a key part of the Jazz rotation, averaging 7.4 points and 3.5 assists per game. Those numbers and his 3-point shooting percentage are well down from last season when he was second in Sixth Man of the Year voting, but he still played an important role. He will not be easy to replace. Look for more run for Danuel House Jr., he is on his second 10-day contract (but Utah is likely to sign him for the rest of the season).
• Ingles will be a free agent this offseason, and this hurts his value. He also will be unavailable to start next season, which may make some teams hesitant.
• Ingles has been mentioned in a lot of trade rumors as the Jazz look to upgrade their perimeter defense. Ingles is still an expiring contract and a team looking to save money going into next season may have interest, but because he can’t play this season the offers coming back to Utah are likely not very impressive. It will be harder for Utah to find the player they are looking for at the deadline now.
Highlight of the night: Ja Morant gave the Philly fans a show
I’ll just keep saying it: Ja Morant is the most entertaining player in the NBA. He put on a show in Philadelphia in the overtime loss. There was the behind-the-back pass in transition.
And the alley-oop finish.
Last night’s scores:
Cleveland 93, New Orleans 90
Indiana 122, LA Clippers 116
Philadelphia 122, Memphis 119 (OT)
Boston 122, Miami 92
New York 116, Sacramento 3
Toronto 106, Atlanta 100
Golden State 122, Houston 108
Oklahoma City 98. Portland 81