Three things to Know: Back home, Tatum breaks out of slump, outduels Mitchell PBT Podcast: Durant with Suns, Lillard with Blazers, song for Bulls Kevin Durant drops 23, looks like seamless fit in Suns debut Ja Morant allegedly punched, flashed gun at teen during pickup game More whispers free agent James Harden could return to Houston this summer

“Three Things You Need to Know” is NBC’s five-day coverage of last night in the NBA. Check Every weekday morning for what you missed the night before, plus the gossip, drama, and dunks that make the NBA a must-watch.

1) Returning home, Tatum breaks out of depression and scores 41 points, beating Mitchell (44) in a duel.

Jason Tatum there was a slight slump in shooting that seemed to infect everyone on the team, losing to the Knicks on Tuesday. On the big stage at Madison Square Garden, Tatum was 1 of 9 of 3 and the Celtics overall threw 21.4% from deep.

They needed homemade food. Tatum scored 41 points and hit 4-of-6 from deep, and the Celtics hit 50% from 3-point throughout the night.

Al Horford added 23 points and 11 rebounds, and Jaylen Brown scored 16 points for the Celtics.

Boston needed all this because Donovan Mitchell went for 44. This included a stretch in the third quarter when it looked like he was injured from a slip on the wet floor, but he stayed in the game and scored the Cavaliers’ next 10 points.

It’s a March win that’s good for the Celtics’ ego (not that they need it). It’s a potential second-round matchup in the East if Boston gets past the red-hot Milwaukee again for first place, and Cleveland won the first two meetings and built up confidence. Boston could use this victory and the problems they created for the Cavaliers if those teams met in the postseason.

2) Kevin DuranFit looks flawless in Suns debut

The Suns chose a soft landing to bring in Kevin Durant, a Hornets-fighting team now without Lamelo Ball for the rest of the season.

However, Durant’s debut couldn’t have gone much better: he scored 23 goals on 10 of 15 shots. His form couldn’t have looked smoother in Phoenix’s comfortable win. Deandre Ayton scored 16 points and 16 rebounds Chris Paul played for the general and gave 11 assists.

What’s best for Suns fans is that it looks like a team made for the playoffs – Durant and Booker can make their shot effortlessly, setting up a pick and bringing in a second guard, and they can both destroy the opposition. from mid-range (shots that most teams give up in the postseason).

It’s just one game, it’s too early to jump to conclusions about the Suns. But it was a damn good game.

3) Jayden Ivey calls a timeout when the Pistons don’t have one, they keep losing

Two trailing with 9.7 seconds remaining, the Pistons were only 15.7% likely to come back to defeat the Bulls (according to Inpredictable Win Probability Calculator). But the Pistons were picking up the ball in center court, they were going to get a chance in overtime or win it.

Then Jaden Ivey had a moment.

Ivey called a timeout when the Pistons didn’t have one – a game that always evokes images of Chris Webber – and that meant free throws and a ball for the Bulls. Game over.

It’s a learning process for a young team in Detroit, put it down to that. Still, someone will drink Dwayne Casey.

Chicago needed a win as they sit 11th in the East, two behind Washington in the losing column and last in the game.

Kevin Duran there’s a game that would suit any team, but how will his presence affect the rest of the Phoenix Suns?

Does Devin Booker get better matchups and more open views? Will Chris Paul be more passers-by and shoot less? Will Deandre Ayton be happy in your new role?

Corey Robinson and Kurt Helin of NBC Sports dive into it all, followed by Jukebox Corey with Marvin Gaye for the Chicago Bulls and a bit of George Frideric Handel for the Suns.

Finally, the duo discuss loyalty in the NBA and why Damian Lillard this is a bit of an anomaly.

You can always watch videos of some of the podcasts above (Christmas games segment) or listen to the entire podcast below. listen and subscribe via iTunes at via fantastic stitcher appcheck us out on Google gamesor anywhere else you get your podcasts.

We need your questions for future podcasts and your comments, so please email us at

Kevin DuranThe Suns debut couldn’t have gone much better. They looked like a team that should strike fear into the hearts of every other team in the West.

There are many caveats in the Suns’ 105-91 victory over the Hornets: It’s just one game; hornets are not very good and now without Lamelo Ball for the rest of the season; Durant has a limited number of minutes and is returning to form.

However, so many things looked good for Phoenix:

• Kevin Durant looked like he never quit, scoring 23 on 10-of-15 shooting. His shot is still effortless.

Devin Booker scored 37 points and seemed to have more room to work.

Chris Paulwho struggled with his shot for most of this season and was 1 for 8 on Wednesday, was able to focus on the game and made 11 passes while playing on the court.

Deandre Ayton played his part with 16 points and 16 rebounds.

• It’s only one game, but you could see how Durant and Booker are made for the playoffs because they can hit without a big pick setup and a second defenseman.

• Durant and Booker together scored 10 of 18 in the middle distance (out of the paint and inside the arc). Their ability to take those shots down is another reason why the Suns can be a dangerous playoff team.

Going into the postseason, Suns coach Monty Williams also spoke of Durant as a reliable under-the-rim guard, meaning they can allow Ayton to be more aggressive on pick-and-rolls knowing there is quality support when needed.

Kelly Obre Jr. went up with 26 points for Charlotte, while Terry Rozier added 20.

But this evening was dedicated to Kevin Durant, and he fit perfectly into this lineup of the Suns. It’s just one game in the soft spot, but it’s about as good a debut as KD and Phoenix could hope for.

All-Star Memphis Grizzlies I am Morant accused of hitting a 17-year-old boy more than a dozen times and pointing a gun at him. According to disclosed police reports, on another occasion he allegedly threatened a mall security guard. Molly Hensley-Clancy of the Washington Post.

These incidents have been known for a long time because the youth filed a lawsuit against Moran, but the police reports contain more details.

The alleged incident with the teenager took place last summer at Morant’s home in Shelby County, Tennessee, of which Memphis is a part. The victim who filed the complaint, a local schoolboy, said that Morant hit him 12 or 13 times during the game, and the police report says the youth had a large knot on his head and was knocked down. by mail.

The youth then claims that Morant entered his house and returned with a gun in his belt. Morant told the police that he struck first, but did so in self-defense after the boy stabbed…


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