Tune-In Tidbits: ESPN Friday, April 23, 2021
Get ready for Friday's ESPN doubleheader with five key stats to know about each matchup.
Brian Martin, for NBA.com
Celtics (32-27) at Nets (39-20)
7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
• The Celtics beat the Suns 99-86 on Thursday for their seventh win in last eight games. So far this season, the Celtics are 5-6 on the second night of back to back – averaging 114.4 ppg, which is 2.2 ppg higher than their season average.
• During this eight-game stretch, Jayson Tatum is averaging team-highs of 28.1 points and 9.8 rebounds; Jaylen Brown has added 27.5 points on 58.0% shooting from the field and 44.4% from 3-point range while appearing in six of the eight games.
• Brooklyn leads the season series 2-0, both double-digit wins, with Kyrie Irving averaging 38.5 points on 63.6% (28-44) shooting from the field and 66.7% (12-18) from 3-point range. Kyrie’s top two scoring averages this season come against his two former teams – 38.5 ppg vs. Boston and 37.5 ppg vs. Cleveland.
• Boston has played in a league-high 38 games that have featured clutch time (scoring inside five points in the final five minutes of fourth quarter or overtime) and have a 16-22 record in those games. Brooklyn is tied for second with 34 clutch games, but have fared much better at 24-10 (0.706) – the second-highest win percentage behind Philadelphia. Jayson Tatum is tied for seventh in the league in clutch scoring with 99 points; he is shooting 43.1% from the field and 33.3% from 3-point range but is 30-32 (93.8%) at the line. With James Harden (98 pts) sidelined, Kyrie Irving is Brooklyn’s top clutch scorer with 87 points (14th in NBA) on 49.1%-44%-87% shooting splits.
• Joe Harris ranks second in the league in 3-point percentage (48.2%), connecting on 186 of his 386 3-point attempts. The last player to shoot at least 48% while attempting at least 350 3-pointers was Kyle Korver in 2014-15 when he shot 49.2% on 449 3-point attempts.
Nuggets (38-20) at Warriors (29-30)
10 p.m. ET, ESPN
• After falling to Golden State and losing Jamal Murray to a season-ending injury on April 12, the Nuggets have won four straight games entering Friday. Nikola Jokic is averaging 29.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 7.8 assists, while shooting 60% from the field during this stretch. Michael Porter Jr. has aded 21 ppg on 61.5% shooting from the field and 52% (13-25) from 3-point range.
• The Nuggets and Warriors have split their first two meetings of the season with each team successfully defending home court. The Warriors are 17-10 at home this season compared to 12-20 on the road. The Warriors have a 112.5 offensive rating at home (13th in NBA) compared to 106.8 on the road (26th in NBA). The disparity is far less on the defensive end as they rank sixth at home (108.7) and 12th on the road (110.7).
• Stephen Curry is averaging 44.0 points per game against the Nuggets this season, scoring 35 in the loss on Jan. 14 and exploding for 53 in the win on April 12. Curry’s recent scoring outburst helped him surge to the league lead at 31.1 ppg. He owns three of the league’s top six scoring performances this season and has eight games with 40 points or more. Denver’s Nikola Jokic is tied with Bradley Beal, Damian Lillard and Joel Embiid for second place with five 40-point games apiece.
• The Nuggets rank second in the league in first-quarter scoring (31.1 ppg), first in true shooting percentage (63.0%) and lead by a league-high average of 3.4 points after the game’s first 12 minutes. The Warriors rank 17th in first-quarter scoring (28.2 ppg) and trail by an average of 1.2 points heading into the second quarter.
• Stephen Curry is averaging a league-high 5.1 3-pointers made this season, including six games with at least 10 3-pointers made – more than any other player has made in their entire career. Curry is on pace to post his third season averaging more than five 3-pointers made per game (2015-16, 2018-19). No other player has hit that mark once.