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) Injuries just before the All-Star break suck, just ask Anthony Davis, Chris Paul
All-Star week, for most players a week off to relax with friends, maybe get away to Mexico or Las Vegas, a chance to let their body heal a little after grinding through 70% of the NBA season.
Anthony Davis is going to spend it with ice packs and treatment on his right ankle after he rolls it badly on a play where Malik Monk threw a pass behind him, Davis leapt and spun to get it, Rudy Gobert backing up lightly bumps him (nothing malicious, it was a basketball play) and Davis just came down wrong.
The X-rays were negative, Davis will get an MRI on Thursday, and the Lakers say he will be re-evaluated after the break (ESPN reports he is out at least two weeks). Don’t be surprised if he misses a fair amount of time, this could well be a Grade 2 sprain. For more on how this game ended, skip ahead to No. 2 on our three things.
Chris Paul — slated to play in the All-Star Game Sunday — will undergo an MRI on his injured hand suffered Thursday night.
Phoenix Suns star Chris Paul will undergo an MRI tomorrow morning on his right hand he injured tonight against Houston, league sources tell @YahooSports.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) February 17, 2022
The play happened just before he got ejected — skip ahead to No. 3 on our three things to see that fiasco — when Paul deflected a Dennis Schroder pass and instantly grabbed his hand. Hopefully, it’s nothing serious, but Adam Silver better have an emergency call up in his back pocket for the All-Star Game, just in case.
2) Shorthanded Nets come from 28 back to beat Knicks; Lakers comeback on Jazz
The Knicks were in charge of this cross-town showdown — and should have been. No Kevin Durant (knee), no Kyrie Irving (refusal to get the vaccine), no Ben Simmons (still readying himself after the trade) for Brooklyn. New York led by as many as 28.
And the Nets rallied to win. In Madison Square Garden. Brooklyn dominated the fourth quarter, 38-19 and finished off New York 111-106 behind 20 points from Seth Curry and the fact rookie Cam Thomas is a walking bucket already.
Durant decided to call out Knicks fans — and have some fun with the cross-bridge rivalry — because the Nets fans were the loud ones in the fourth.
Nets fans were loud in the barc….I mean the garden tonight
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) February 17, 2022
Out West, the Lakers lost Davis and were down double digits in the fourth quarter when LeBron James took over with 15 points in the frame (meanwhile, the Jazz mentally left early on vacation). This was vintage LeBron and Lakers fans — desperate for something positive this season — were into it. Meanwhile, Jazz defenders were standing around blaming each other while Austin Reaves was sinking the dagger in them.
3) Watch Chris Paul get ejected because referee runs into him
Fairly early in the third quarter, Chris Paul was grabbing his injured right hand when the Suns were frustrated with an out-of-bounds call. They all complained, but CP3 got in J.T. Orr’s ear specifically and earned a technical for it.
Orr walked over to the scorer’s table, Paul walked with him to continue to complain, Orr made the official call then spun around, got in Paul’s path and bumped into CP3 — then ejected Paul for contact with an official.
What bothers me about this one — and other plays like it — is the “we have to stick up and defend our fellow referee even when he’s wrong” mentality. (Which we too often see from law enforcement and others in positions of power too often in society, but that’s another topic.) What could have happened here is another official coming over to Ott, pulling him aside and saying, “Hey, you spun into him, it’s not something to eject Paul over,” everyone could put their egos aside and get the call right rather than feel insulted and injured. Instead, nobody is going to question that call of another official, so a bad call just goes unquestioned.
That wasn’t my favorite call of the night. That honor went to the official to gave Patrick Beverley and Gary Trent Jr. double technicals before the game even tipped off. (You’ll be shocked, shocked to learn Beverley instigates this.
Highlight of the night: Monte Morris drains game-winner against Warriors
This could have been in the comeback situation as well because the Warriors led all game, but the scrappy Nuggets hung around all game and had a chance to tie or win it at the end, down two. Denver got the ball to Nikola Jokic, who found a wide-open Monte Morris for the game-winning 3-pointer.
Watch that again, and focus on Stephen Curry. He has Morris, but he instead gets sucked into the paint, looking like he might help on Jokic but hesitating — he basically guards nobody through the play. Curry admitted he blew it after the game.
Steph Curry details his defensive mistake on the Denver game-winner pic.twitter.com/S46PxZbAVt
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) February 17, 2022
Atlanta 130, Orlando 109
Detroit 112, Boston 111
Indiana 113, Washington 108
Brooklyn 111, New York 106
Chicago 125, Sacramento 118
Portland 123, Memphis 119
Toronto 103, Minnesota 91
San Antonio 114, Oklahoma City 106
Phoenix 124, Houston 121
Denver 117, Golden State 116
LA Lakers 106, Utah 101