All the need-to-know info from Tuesday’s slate.
The Brow Boogies in Boston
Boston tried to overcome the Pelicans frontcourt by steering clear of it altogether: The Celtics took 50 3-point attempts in their 116-113 loss to New Orleans, which is almost 20 more than their average.
But it was a finish inside from Kyrie Irving, who ended with 27 points and seven rebounds, that sent the game into overtime.
Kyrie Irving finishes over Anthony Davis to send the game to OT! pic.twitter.com/NHxuGPJjDl— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) January 17, 2018
Irving got the best of the Brow then, but Davis dropped 45 points, grabbed 16 rebounds, blocked two shots, and snapped Boston’s seven-game winning streak. One might wonder if AD—who received quite the warm reception in TD Garden—was showing off for his (maybe) future home crowd …
Arron Afflalo Has Always Been Better From Midrange
In Tuesday’s NBA-WWE crossover, Arron Afflalo swung on a guy 5 inches his superior just to be flattened into a reverse headlock:
Bjelica told Afflalo Kendrick Lamar isn't jealous of him anymore pic.twitter.com/QEp4bAx6LK— The Ringer (@ringer) January 17, 2018
He threw the punch at Timberwolves forward Nemanja Bjelica with 7:28 left in the second quarter after Afflalo shoved Bjelica as he positioned for the rebound. (The two had received double technicals for going at it just four minutes earlier.)
Both were ejected, but the scales of fault weren’t evenly tipped. Afflalo threw a shot that was so wild that it’s all but extinct in today’s NBA. A suspension could be headed his way. Bjelica dodged a blow and locked up the guy trying to fight him.
(By the way, don’t mind me asking, but … is there a secret tunnel connecting the locker rooms in Amway Center?)
The Joker and the Dunker
Nikola Jokic walked away with the line of the night in Denver’s 105-102 win over Dallas: 29 points, 18 boards (including nine offensive rebounds), seven assists, two steals, and one block in 33 minutes.
As always, cherish every non-defensive-related bit of him:
But don’t forget Dennis Smith Jr.! The Mavs had shaved their 23-point third-quarter deficit down to eight with 3:02 remaining when Smith made his first shot of the quarter. He followed it with this:
Dennis. Smith. Jr. ELEVATE pic.twitter.com/tKPpykm6nR— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) January 17, 2018
(When are we going to take the Jr. off of his name?)
Smith put up 11 of his ultimate 25 points in the final three minutes.
Devin Booker Has the Third 40-Point Night of His Three-Season Career
Phoenix has lost fix of its last six. Aw. OK. Let’s talk about Devin Booker. Booker, who finished with 43 points, eight assists, six rebounds, two steals, and one block, is good. Booker, who made the last quarter shot practice, and had 21 straight Suns points in the fourth, is fun. Booker, whose final 18 points came in the last six minutes, is reason to watch to the Suns.
118-111, Portland. (Damian Lillard’s 31 points want a word, I know. But Booker!)
You Have to Learn to Walk …
First, this happens to Jayson Tatum... pic.twitter.com/Fo6gK0bZeZ— Yahoo Sports NBA (@YahooSportsNBA) January 17, 2018
… Before You Can Juke the Ever-Living Heck Out of Jrue Holiday
Jrue Holiday, you got shook, son.— The Ringer (@ringer) January 17, 2018
—Jayson Tatum pic.twitter.com/7qJUNinOfI
Evan for the People
The Magic have two reasons to be pleased with Fournier: His career-high 32 points beat Minnesota, 108-102, ending Orlando’s seven-game losing streak, AND the performance came at just the right time for good impressions, as the team is reportedly trying to shop the 25-year-old.
The Totalitarian Truth
There will be no tribute video for Isaiah Thomas in Boston on February 11, upon his own request:
I'd like to thank the Celtics for their gracious offer to play a video tribute on Feb 11th celebrating my 3yrs in Boston. But since it appears this has caused some controversy w/ Paul Pierce's night I'd ask the Celtics instead to focus all of their attention on #34's career.— Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) January 17, 2018
Just kidding—it’s all Paul Pierce.
The Truth, whose jersey retirement is the same night as the Cavaliers return to Boston, doesn’t want to share his shine. He said as much when Thomas first revisited TD Garden, after IT requested that the Celtics wait for his tribute video—Thomas was still sidelined with a hip injury, and wanted his family to be present.
“I’m not saying Isaiah shouldn’t get a tribute video,” Pierce said on ESPN’s The Jump the day after the January 3 game. “But on February 11, the night I get my jersey retired, I’m not sure I want to look up at the Jumbotron and see Isaiah highlights.”
Pierce told ESPN on Tuesday that he and Danny Ainge had agreed to cut Thomas’s video; after ESPN reached out to the Celtics to confirm, Thomas sent his tweet.
I look forward to coming back and playing in Boston on Feb 11th and see all of the great fans whom I will always remember for their love and incredible support the past few years.— Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) January 17, 2018