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3 NBA things to know for March 5
Some key storylines and NBA tidbits to know for the day ahead
Jeff Case, NBA.com
For a myriad of reasons, Warriors fans likely won’t be in a big hurry to relive the 2019-20 season. Still, tonight will stand out as one of the moments they likely will reflect on as Stephen Curry is back after a 58-game absence to face to Toronto Raptors (10:30 ET, TNT). The Warriors’ pathway for the season seems more or less set, but the return of Curry and his dazzling shooting and dribbling skills provide some new intrigue to a Golden State season that has lacked that. As for Toronto, it can wrap up a playoff berth with a win tonight. Additionally, the Raptors are just 1 game ahead of the Boston Celtics for the Eastern Conference’s No. 2 seed.
Juicy matchups of superstars have been the norm this week in the NBA and it shows no sign of letting up. The Clippers host the Rockets (8 ET, TNT) in another such showdown that will have LA’s Paul George and Kawhi Leonard taking on Houston’s Russell Westbrook and James Harden. Add in that Houston is 2 1/2 games behind the Clippers for No. 2 in the West (and 1-2 so far vs. LA this season) and there’s another level of intrigue to take note of. There’s a good chance these teams could square off come playoff time, so don’t miss out on this one tonight.
The Pelicans, Blazers and Spurs are starting to falter in the chase for No. 8 in the West. The Grizzlies have gotten a better hold of that spot of late, but don’t sleep on the Kings making a serious push down the stretch. Sacramento is 6-1 since the All-Star break and has a soft schedule, too (48.3% opponent win percentage) that could help its cause. A home date with the Sixers is up next (10 ET, League Pass) another Kings win would pull them ahead of Portland for the No. 9 spot.