Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Three things to Know: Let the scoring continue, Giannis drops 55 on Wizards

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) Let the scoring continue, “boring” Giannis drops 55 on Wizards

There have been 14 50+ point games in the NBA this season, and the league is on pace to have about 34-35 such games this season — the most since the early 1960s, when Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor were warping NBA record books (they both had 50+ in the same game once).

The latest contributor to the fun? Giannis Antetokounmpo drove and dunked his way to a career-high 55 Tuesday on what had been a red-hot Wizards team (winners of five straight before this).

“I want to get in a position ... that my game is boring,” Antetokounmpo said after the game, via the Associated Press. “I just do what I do and people don’t talk about it because it becomes boring - I do it every single night. That’s what I want to do. I want other people to feel like my game is boring. But I don’t get bored. The greats - the best players - never get bored. They go out there and they always give their best any given night.”

Antetokounmpo has been boring to the tune of three straight 40+, 10+ rebound, 5+ assist games in a row. The only other players to have three straight or more of those games are the aforementioned Chamberlain and Baylor, as well as Russell Westbrook back in 2016.

It’s a quality win for a Bucks team that — even with Antetokounmpo playing at a level that has him in the MVP conversation — has gone 15-13 after a hot 9-0 start. Injuries have played a role in that (Khris Middleton is out again, Jrue Holiday has battled a series of non-COVID illnesses) but the Bucks have looked like a team that is a little bored with the regular season. The focus and energy are not there every night.

But Antetokounmpo is starting to change that — he’d just be happy if you were still bored with it.

2) Light the beam: Fox scores 22 in fourth leading Kings past Jazz

The Kings are legitimately good — playoff good. Which was the goal all along and fueled the Tyrese Haliburton/Domantas Sabonis trade (which worked out for both teams) and other moves like getting Kevin Huerter and Malik Monk in the offseason. The Kings have missed the playoffs for a record 16 straight seasons and the goal was not to slowly try and build a team that could beat the Warriors in the playoffs, it was to get to the playoffs.

It helps to have De’Aaron Fox when you’re trying to do that. He scored 22 of his 37 in the fourth quarter and got the game-winner in a dramatic ending that almost wasn’t a Kings’ win until the referees went to the video replay.

The Kings hunted mismatches all through the fourth (and the Jazz gave up the switch too easily at times), putting the lightning-quick Fox on defenders like Lauri Markannen who couldn’t stop him from getting to the rim without sagging off him so much they gave up an open jumper. Pick your poison against a hot Fox.

Markannen had 28 points for the Jazz while Jordan Clarkson added 24.

“I thought I had it off in time,” Markannen said of his almost game-winner. “Right from the moment it left my hand, it felt good. ... It’s tough. Obviously, everyone remembers the ending but there’s a lot of things that we did early, we fix and win this ball game.”

With the win the Kings sit fifth in the West — out of the play-in fray — but the margins are thin in the tight West, they are still just a game up on the 7/8/9 seed Trail Blazers, Suns and Warriors. The Kings need to keep getting wins like this to reach their goal.

But today, they look like a playoff team.

3) Two highlights you need to see

Two fun highlights from last night that are NBA-adjacent.

First, check out Scoot Henderson — the projected No.2 pick in next June’s NBA Draft — and think about how much fun he will be in the league.

Then watch this Thunder fan with $20,000 with this half-court shot.