Three things to know: Draymond finds time stone, Curry scores 41, Warriors climb standings
The NBA regular season has two weeks remaining, 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) Draymond Green finds time stone, Curry scores 41, Warriors climb standings
New Orleans needed this one. The Pelicans entered Monday night 2.5 games back of the Spurs for the last play-in spot in the West and three games behind the Warriors — but New Orleans had three remaining games against Golden State. There was hope in the Big Easy, slim though it was.
Then came the Marvel game.
In a shameless bit of Disney cross-promotion, ESPN2/streaming of the game was turned into a piece of the Marvel universe past and present… and it was okay. Not sure anyone over the age of 14 loved it, but it wasn’t a disaster (like, say, Ironman 2).
Draymond Green seems to have found the time stone because he had a throwback night with 10 points, 13 rebounds, 15 assists, and solid defense on Zion Williamson much of the game. If Green didn’t turn back time, how do you explain this:
It doesn’t matter what universe we are in, Stephen Curry is an unstoppable force and scored 41, leading the Warriors to a comfortable win.
With the victory, the Warriors move up to eighth in the West on a night Memphis lost to the Knicks and the Spurs fell to the Jazz. If the Warriors can hold on to the eighth seed it is huge, it means that come the play-in they just have to win one of two games to advance to the playoffs (as opposed to having to win both games as the 9 or 10 seed).
The Pelicans’ postseason hopes are slim, and their back-to-back game Tuesday against these same Warriors becomes must-win in practical terms.
2) Anthony Davis looks like himself again, Lakers beat Nuggets
Among the many concerns out of the Lakers’ lackluster loss to Toronto Sunday was this: Anthony Davis was not right. He was not moving well and not looking anywhere near his All-NBA self. After missing nearly half the season with a calf/Achilles issue, his legs had just not been under him in the games since his comeback.
Until Monday night against Denver.
Davis was all the way back, with 25 points while taking on more of the shot creation duties, plus grabbing seven boards. However, the best sign he was back was the block on Facundo Campazzo to seal the win.
Nikola Jokic was MVP-like — 32 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists — but Denver’s offense sputtered for the night against a good Lakers defense. It happens.
The Lakers’ list of problems is still a long and concerning one. LeBron James sat out Monday night with ankle soreness and is day-to-day, and the Lakers need him at 100% come the playoffs. Starting point guard and probably third-best player this season Dennis Schroder is out 10-14 days due to league health and safety protocols (hopefully he is healthy and nothing lingers into the playoffs). And the Lakers are still in a fight to avoid the seven seed and play-in tournament, and their next three games are the Clippers, Trail Blazers, and Suns.
But if they have vintage Davis in those games, their odds get a lot better.
3) Russell Westbrook making history, Wizards may be play-in threat
There had been two 20+ assists, 20+ rebound games in NBA history. Wilt Chamberlain had one because, well, he has a piece of every scoring record. Russell Westbrook had the other.
Now Westbrook has two.
He finished the night with 14 points, a career-high 21 rebounds, and career-high-tying 24 assists.
More importantly, the Wizards beat the Pacers 154-141 in a shootout. Washington is now just half a game back of Indiana in the standings (one game in the loss column) and the Wizards have the tiebreaker. Washington may move up in the East standings before this is all over. Washington is red hot and may come out of the play-in games out East.
BONUS THING TO KNOW: Carmelo Anthony moves into the top 10 in NBA scoring all time.
With a 3-pointer early in the second quarter Monday night, Carmelo Anthony moved past Elvin Hayes into 10th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
We will be doing this again soon — Anthony is just 95 points behind Moses Malone for ninth on the all-time list.