Three Things To Know 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 that make the NBA must-watch.
1) During 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.
Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant has been diagnosed with an isolated MCL sprain of the right knee. The injury occurred during the third quarter of last night’s game at Miami. Durant will be reevaluated in two weeks.
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) January 9, 2023
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.
The Nets say that Kevin Durant is OUT for the remainder of Nets-Heat due to a right knee injury after Jimmy Butler fell on his knee on this play.
Prayers up to KD 🙏 pic.twitter.com/v0PPP9Hfe1
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) January 9, 2023
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.
Steph swishing at practice 🤌 pic.twitter.com/tiOyxkRBzA
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) January 9, 2023
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.
Jalen Brunson scored a career high on Monday night:
44 points (career high)
—NBA (@NBA) January 10, 2023
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 MurrayNikola Jokic put on show beating shorthanded Lakers
It’s the show they put on getting there that was interesting.
WHAT THE HELL IS THIS JOKIC pic.twitter.com/aWNRj59h51
— Steve Jones Jr. (@stevejones20) January 10, 2023
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 two to a torn ACL — and put up a season-high 34 in the win.
Jamal Murray dropped a season high in the Nuggets win 🔥
34 PTS (season high)
—NBA (@NBA) January 10, 2023
Denver is making its case it will be the team to beat in the West.