NBA in Threes: Warriors struggle; Morant and Kyrie battle it out

NBA Brooklyn Nets Kyrie Irving(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NBA Brooklyn Nets Kyrie Irving(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /
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NBA Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

Welcome to NBA in Threes where we rundown some notable happenings in the league and recent games three days at a time

NBA in Threes has been designed to be flexible in its delivery of NBA news.

  • NBA Box Scores
    • Think of the box scores like free throws. They’re quick, easy and they give you a little sumpin’ sumpin’.
  • NBA Tidbits
    • Tidbits are your field goals inside the arc. You’re going to get a little more info and some Tweets relevant to the day. It’ll have a little more substance than the box scores.
  • NBA Game Analyses
    • Game analyses are like shots from range. It’s still a quick read individually but it will be a better value.

*October 25 NBA Box Scores

NBA Game Analyses

Boston Celtics vs. Toronto Raptors

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Utah Jazz

NBA Tidbits

Phoenix Suns‘ center Deandre Ayton has been suspended 25 games after he tested positive for a diuretic more commonly known as a water pill. The NBPA is already preparing an appeal. According to the NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement, “if a player proves by clear and convincing evidence that he bears no significant fault or negligence for the presence” of a drug, the penalty can be reduced or rescinded by and Arbitrator.

Ayton opened his season with the Suns with an 18 point, 11 rebound double-double performance on 65 percent shooting from the field plus four blocks. For a team struggling to find it’s footing in the league that’s a pretty huge loss.

Although the Suns lost their first game without Ayton to the Denver Nuggets, the way they lost and who they lost to says good things. The Nuggets are a team expected to do well in the Western Conference this year. Being able to take them to overtime and then only lose by one point should to feel good for the Suns’ organization.

•The Battle of New York kicked between the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets and the air is tense in a way that only rivalry brings. It looks like fans of both teams could have lots of reasons to cheer this season. The Nets edged out the Knicks with a final score of 113-109.

Although the Nets are the obvious favorites in the matchup, even without Kevin Durant this season, I like what I’ve seen of the Knicks so far. I have to agree with Dwyane Wade. The Knicks are a tough young team with plenty of talent. Let’s just hope Dolan manages to avoid doing what he does best. Mess it up.

•The New Orleans Pelicans have lost their second game of the season this time in their home opener against the Dallas Mavericks. They’re setting up a perfect situation for Zion Williamson to come out and prove his value.

*October 26 NBA Box Scores

NBA Game Analyses

Chicago Bulls vs Toronto Raptors

NBA Tidbits

•The Los Angeles Clippers were handed their first loss of the 2019- 20 season. But that they lost to the Phoenix Suns…? If you bet on the Clippers the odds were absolutely in your favor but I hope you bet small. I’m still as surprised now as I was at the time of this tweet.

The Clippers and Kawhi Leonard specifically have got off to slow starts in two of the three games they’ve played this season and it’s never an ideal situation for a team to be trailing going into the second half. Realistically, it was only a matter of time before that first-half deficit would be too much for the Clippers to overcome.

Even so, I would have thought it would be someone like the Milwaukee Bucks or the Portland Trail Blazers who took down the Clippers for the first time. But with the starting five for the Suns combining for 36 first-half points and the Clippers’ starters only scoring 19 points through the first two quarters not hard to see where things went awry for LA.

I’d be surprised if Doc Rivers’ team isn’t looking a lot more intense to start their next game against the Charlotte Hornets on Monday.

•Also, this happened last night. I don’t know what’s funnier; the fact that James Harden hit himself in the face with the ball or Josh Hart‘s reaction. Expect to see this on a certain weekly NBA blooper installment.

•What is going on with Trae Young!? What a start to the season he’s had! Yes, it’s early. The Atlanta Hawks have only played two games so far. But that doesn’t make numbers like this not worth mentioning.

*October 27 NBA Box Scores

NBA Tidbits

•It was another rough night for the Golden State Warriors and their fans. the Oklahoma City Thunder dropped Golden State 120-92 and frankly, the Warriors were never even in this game. Expectations need to be adjusted for this team this season. That’s just reality. The sooner GSW fans accept that the easier their season will be.

Kyrie Irving‘s statement-making early season continued.

•I did not have access to the matchup between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday but oh how I wish I did. This matchup was interesting to me for a couple of reasons.

Reason number one is Jonas Valanciunas. JV is my favorite NBA player. No, not LeBron James or James Harden. Solid, reliable, infinitely likable, often has a double-double in 20 minutes or less, Jonas Valanciunas. What can I say? I’m an out of the box NBA fan.

JV had started the season a little slowly so I was happy to see him return to his familiar 16 points, 11 rebounds in less than 20 minutes form. Oh, and he shot 3-5 from range.

The other reason this game was of interest was who doesn’t love an underdog story? I know I do. Based on seeing how the scores progressed online, this had to be a wildly entertaining game to watch, even if you didn’t have a horse in the race. And thanks to the play-by-play breakdown on, I have a pretty good feel for how it went.

Rookie Ja Morant put on a show holding his own against Kyrie Irving. He reminded me once again that the Rookie of the Year short-list will not be all that short this season.

Memphis took a 29-28 lead at 1:36 in the first quarter and held it all the way into third. This game stayed fairly close until about the 9:30 mark in the fourth quarter where Brooklyn started to pull away. At 9:13 the Grizz went on a 9-2 run to retake the lead by one point. With 0:07 to play, Ja Morant got a lay-up to send the game into OT.

With 0:03 left to play in overtime the game… well, let me just show you.