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NBA ICYMI: We Are Witnessing the Brow’s Masterpiece

Anthony Davis hits the half-century mark as his ridiculous stretch continues. Plus, Marcus Smart is looking like the most important Celtic right now, but don’t tell that to one fan’s barber.

NBA: Phoenix Suns at New Orleans Pelicans Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

All the need-to-know info from Monday’s slate.


The Brow Is Playing Breathtaking Basketball

Here’s what you need to know about Anthony Davis’s 53 points on Monday: The Pels center muscled his way to that on the second night of a back-to-back after scoring 27 points in the previous game, and he put up 45 points in the game before that one, after scoring 42 in the game before that, two days after scoring 38 points against Detroit. Oh! And 44 points the game prior to that.

Davis is averaging 41.5 points, 15 rebounds (18 boards on Monday), 3.2 steals, and 3.2 blocks over the Pelicans’ 6-0 win streak. The last time New Orleans won that many in a row, the team was wearing blue and white with Hornets across the chest—January 2011. It was Davis’s fifth 40-point, 10-rebound game in February alone, which, per ESPN Stats & Info, is the most in a single calendar month in the past 35 seasons.

Without DeMarcus Cousins, the Pelicans’ season was considered another wasted—by me, too! They’ll certainly end up worse off than if Boogie was suited up, but pulling for them now is worthwhile for more AD alone. He’s getting to the line like a 6-foot-10 James Harden—21 of his points against the Suns came from the free throw line—while blocking like he’s, well, Anthony Davis. Monday, he finished with five swats. A 50-plus-point, 15-plus-rebound, and five-plus-block line in a single game hasn’t happened in 44 years. And that was the only other time.

The Pelicans, as you may have guessed, beat the Suns, 125-116, despite Devin Booker putting up 40 points of his own. (Maybe the most impressive part of Davis’s 53 is it taking four paragraphs to mention that one of his opponents dropped the second-most points in the NBA that night.) Booker also grabbed 10 boards, and, lucky him, witnessed the hottest player right now in the league.

Jarrett Allen’s Literal Come-up

[Extremely Boston fan voice] HE’S ONLY 19!

That was the first of two L’s for Lauri Markkanen on Monday—the second being the Bulls’ actual 104-87 loss to Brooklyn. Hit me up on Twitter if you want to go in on flowers and a card.

Allen finished with three blocks, nine rebounds, and 18 points in his 11th career start; the rookie had previously replaced Tyler Zeller, who was subsequently traded to the Bucks.

The Day Andre Drummond Learned How to Pronounce Poeltl

Boston Back?

Anyone who hibernated before the All-Star break is still feeling the Celtics as much as the rest of us had before mid-January. Marcus Smart is back on the court after punching a hotel picture frame—

—and so is Boston’s defense, which slipped significantly with him gone. Again, gone because he had to nurse his hand. He had to nurse his hand that he hurt punching a hotel picture frame. (Smart, who finished plus-12, went 1-of-7 from deep on Monday.)

By halftime, the Celtics looked like the Boston of old, leading Memphis by 26 points (tied for their biggest lead at the break all season); Kyrie Irving was again the volume-scoring leader we ogled early on as he put up 21 points on five 3s in 17 first-half minutes. While we’re here, let’s chat about Irving a moment longer and what NBA talent does to the human race.

What is this? Because this is certainly ONE HUNDRED PERCENT NOT KYRIE IRVING. It’s like ordering the SpongeBob-shaped ice cream as a kid only to open it up and see one of SpongeBob’s gum eyeballs melted into his mouth. (I do applaud this man for not going straight for the tattoo; hair is a responsible trial run.)

Boston’s 109-98 victory marked Memphis’s 10th straight loss and the Celtics’ third win following the All-Star break. Back like they never left.

(A Rather Surprising) Shot:

Chaser:

Isaiah Thomas’s Brink’s Truck Has Taken a Sharp U-turn

Thomas is actually shooting better in Los Angeles than he did in Cleveland. Entering L.A.’s 123-104 win over Atlanta on Monday, he was shooting 39 percent overall and connecting on 33 percent from deep. (On second thought, shooting better isn’t really saying much.) But his rough stint since coming back from a hip injury is, nonetheless, continuing with the Lakers.

Even when Lonzo Ball was out—Monday was the rookie’s second game back after missing more than a month with a knee injury—IT came off the bench. That continued against the Hawks, as did Thomas’s poor shooting. He finished with 13 points, hitting just one of five 3s. Ball, who isn’t known as an effective shooter either, connected on all of his shots (three 3s, four field goals overall, and two free throws) off the bench. After the game, Thomas celebrated his teammate’s success by describing Ball’s shot.

“It’s ugly as hell,” Thomas said. “It’s an ugly shot but he’s been successful with it his whole life so you get to the highest level, there is no need to change it.”

Cover Your Kids’ Eyes

Paul George Just Disrespected You From Your Couch