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Three things to Know: Durant out weeks, but Curry returns Tuesday

Tom Haberstroh calls in to discuss the outbreak of massive scoring performances by NBA stars this season.

Three Things To Know is NBC’s five-days-a-week wrap-up of the night before in the NBA. Check out every weekday morning to catch up on what you missed the night before plus the rumors, drama, and dunks that make the NBA must-watch.

1) Durant out weeks, but Curry returns Tuesday

Just as one MVP candidate goes down, another returns.

The Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant will be out for at least two weeks — and more likely closer to a month — with a sprained MCL in his right knee. Officially, he will be re-evaluated after two weeks.

The injury occurred late in the third quarter Sunday when Miami’s Jimmy Butler had his shot blocked by Ben Simmons and, when he landed, accidentally fell into Durant’s leg. Durant left the game and did not return.

Durant has been one of the league’s best players all season and at the heart of the Nets’ mid-season turnaround. He’s averaged 30 points a game on an insanely efficient 67.5 true shooting percentage, plus adding 6.8 rebounds and 5.4 assists a night. The Nets have been +8.4 per 100 possessions better with Durant on the court — he will be missed over the coming weeks.

The Warriors missed Stephen Curry while he was out with a shoulder injury, although they still went 6-5. Curry likely is back Tuesday night against the reeling Suns, he has been listed as probable.

While the timing is a little faster than expected, it’s not a huge surprise, Warriors general manager Bob Myers said Curry was close to a return. Curry was playing at an MVP level before the injury, averaging 30 points per game, shooting 43.2% from 3, and adding 6.8 assists and 6.6 rebounds.

2) Jalen Brunson goes off for 44 but Knicks still blow lead to Bucks

Jalen Brunson continued to show he is worth every penny of his new contract, scoring a career-high 44 points for the Knicks Monday night, while adding seven assists.

It wasn’t enough.

The Knicks led 70-53 with five minutes left in the third quarter when the Bucks got hot from behind the arc and hit a dozen 3-pointers the rest of the way to rally for the 111-107 win. It was a balanced attack for the Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 22 points with 10 rebounds, Joe Ingles looks a little better every game and added a season-high 17 points, and Brook Lopez scored 17.

3) Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokic put on show beating shorthanded Lakers

That the Nuggets, one of the league’s hottest teams, beat a Lakers team without LeBron James or Anthony Davis isn’t a shock. Although the Nuggets will gladly take the win.

It’s the show they put on getting there that was interesting.

Jokic had 14 points on 5-of-5 shooting with 16 assists and 11 rebounds. The shorthanded Lakers tried to take him out of the game with doubles, he found the open man.

Jamal Murray is getting his legs under him as the season goes on — coming off a lost season due to a torn ACL — and put up a season-high 34 in the win.

Denver is making its case it will be the team to beat in the West.