Tune-In Tidbits: TNT Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Get ready for Tuesday's TNT doubleheader with five key stats to know about each matchup.
Brian Martin, for NBA.com
Nets (38-19) at Pelicans (25-32)
• The Nets will be without Kevin Durant (thigh contusion) and James Harden (hamstring). Since Harden made his Brooklyn debut on Jan. 16, the Nets are 2-3 in games when Irving plays without Harden or Durant, including the two games in which Harden (April 5) and Durant (April 18) left the game in under five minutes of play due to injury. In those five games, Irving has averaged 27.2 points, 9.6 assists and 4.4 rebounds while shooting 46.9% overall and 28.1% on 3-pointers.
• Brooklyn won the first meeting of the season with New Orleans, 139-111 on April 7, during which they held Zion Williamson to 16 points on 4-for-12 (33.3%) shooting. That ended Zion’s streak of 25 straight games with at least 20 points on 50% shooting or better — tied with Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal for the longest such streak in the shot clock era (since 1954-55). Since that game, Williamson has started a new streak with six straight games, the longest active streak in the league.
• New Orleans enters Tuesday having lost three straight games to fall 3 1/2 games back of San Antonio for the final spot in the Western Conference Play-In Tournament. The last two losses have come in overtime as the Pelicans are just 1-4 in overtime games this season. The Pelicans are 8-11 in games decided by five points or less this season while the Nets are 13-6 in such games.
• Zion Williamson enters Tuesday ranked eighth in the NBA in scoring (26.8 ppg) and eighth in field goal percentage (61.4%). The last player to rank in the top 10 in both scoring and field goal percentage in the same season was LeBron James in 2016-17 as he finished eighth in scoring (26.4 ppg) and 10th in field goal percentage (54.8%).
• Brooklyn ranks third in the NBA in 3-point shooting at 39.1% on 36.2 attempts per game. The Pelicans allow the second-highest 3-point percentage of any team (38.9%) on the fourth-most attempts per game (37.9).
Clippers (40-19) at Trail Blazers (32-24)
• The Clippers look to sweep the season series with the Blazers after winning the first two meetings by an average of 20 points. Paul George has averaged 29.5 ppg on 57.6% shooting from the field, 55.6% from 3-point range and 91.7% from the free throw line against Portland this season. Kawhi Leonard has averaged 28.5 ppg on 54.3%-44.4%-88.2% shooting splits, while adding 7.5 rebounds and a team-high 7.0 assists.
• The Clippers have held Damian Lillard to 15.5 ppg on 17.9% shooting (5-28) from the field and 7.1% (1-14) from 3-point range. It is Lillard’s lowest scoring average and shooting percentage against any team this season, and his second-lowest 3-point percentage after shooting 0-for-6 against Cleveland.
• While Lillard has struggled against LA, CJ McCollum has averaged 24.5 ppg on 53.1% (17-32) shooting from the field and 60% (9-15) from 3-point range in two games against the Clippers. Norman Powell had 32 points during the April 6 meeting with the Clippers — his highest scoring game since joining the Blazers at the trade deadline.
• George saw his streak of 30-point games end at five (tied for the third-longest streak of the season) on Sunday as he finished with 23 points in just 27 minutes of LA’s rout of Minnesota. Over his past six games, George is averaging 32.8 points on 53.4%-51.0%-90.6% shooting splits.
• The Blazers rank second in the league in second-chance points (15.2 per game); they are led by Enes Kanter, who ranks second in the league in both offensive rebounds (4.3 per game) and second chance points (5.0 per game). However, the Clippers allow the fourth-fewest second-chance points (11.6 per game) and give up the third-lowest percentage of offensive rebounds (24.4%).