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3 NBA things to know for Dec. 12

Some key storylines and NBA tidbits to know for the day ahead

Jeff Case, NBA.com

1. What’s the word on Hayward?

The Celtics host the Sixers tonight (8 ET, TNT) in a showdown between two Eastern Conference contenders. Two games after getting back in the mix for Boston following a one-month layoff, Gordon Hayward’s status could be in doubt tonight. He took a shot to the nose in the fourth quarter of last night’s 122-117 loss to the Pacers. Hayward went back to the locker room after that and missed the rest of the game, but told Celtics.com he is hopeful he’ll play against Philadelphia. This game is also Al Horford’s first one back in Boston, but he is questionable for it because of left knee soreness and left hamstring pain.

2. Mexico City gets a taste of Luka-mania

For the fourth straight season, the NBA is back in Mexico for some regular-season games. Adding a bit more excitement to these games is the play of Kia MVP contender Luka Doncic as his Mavs take on the Pistons (9 ET, League Pass). He is in the midst of a 20-5-5 streak that recently surpassed the mark set by Michael Jordan. It should be interesting and worth watching how the fans in Mexico take to someone who has been one of the top figures to watch in 2019-20.

3. Last leg of the reunion tour

Carmelo Anthony is 1-1 so far against his former teams, notching a win vs. the Knicks on Dec. 9 (following a loss to the Thunder on Dec. 8). He’s got a trip to Denver up next (10:30 ET, TNT) in what could be a semi-emotional moment for him. After all, who knows how much NBA he has left in his system and Denver was the place he enjoyed the longest playoff run of his career. He seems to get up for this game, too, as he averages 23.7 ppg vs. Denver in his career (14 games).