Top Stories

Tune-In Tidbits: TNT Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021

Get ready for Tuesday's TNT doubleheader with five keys stats to know about each matchup.

Brian Martin, for

Luka Doncic is on pace to join James Harden as the only players with three seasons over 35% usage, dating back to 1997-98.

Brooklyn (16-7) at Dallas (11-11), 7:30 p.m. ET, TNT

• Brooklyn has the second-best road record in the league at 8-2 so far this season. The Nets average 5.9 more points per game on the road, due in part to their 3-point shooting. Brooklyn shoots a league-best 41.2% from 3-point range and average 4.1 more 3-pointers per game on the road (14.5) than they do at home (10.4).

• Dallas allows the fifth-highest 3-point percentage (36.5%) of any team in the league. Opponents make an average of 3.9 corner 3-pointers on 46.4% shooting against the Mavericks – the seventh-most corner 3s made and second-highest percentage allowed. The Nets average 3.4 corner 3s per game on 39.5% shooting on the season.

• Luka Doncic leads the NBA in usage rate (35.8%); he is on pace to set a career-high in usage rate with this being his third consecutive season at 35% or higher. Dating back to the 1997-98 season, James Harden (2017-18 through 2019-20) is the only other player with three seasons with a usage rate of 35% or higher.

• James Harden shot just 23.8% from the field in Brooklyn’s most recent loss to the Bulls. Harden is shooting 40.3% on the season, his lowest since finishing his rookie season in 2009-10 shooting 40.3% in 76 games. However, the other two times that he’s shot less than 29% from the field this season, he’s bounced back to shoot at least 50% the next game.

• The Nets (39.5 ppg) and Mavericks (40.4 ppg) rank 29th and 30th in points in the paint so far this season as it accounts for 36.9% and 37.8% of their respective points per game. The Nets rank second in percentage of points from free throws (16.0%) while Dallas ranks 28th (13.3%). Both teams rank in the top five in percentage of points from mid-range (13.7% for Brooklyn, 11.7% for Dallas). The Mavericks are much more dependent on the 3-point shot (43.5% of points, 6th in league) compared to the Nets (38.7% of points, 20th).

Los Angeles (12-12) at Boston (13-11), 10:00 p.m. ET, TNT

• The Celtics won the first meeting of the season with the Lakers behind a combined 80 points from Jayson Tatum (37), Marcus Smart (22) and Dennis Schroder (21). Talen Horten-Tucker defended Tatum for a team-high 5:27 (39.2% of Tatum’s matchup time) and allowed just six points (16.2% of Tatum’s total points) on 2-5 shooting. Tatum scored five points apiece when matched up against Russell Westbrook (2-3 FG), LeBron James (2-3 FG) and Dwight Howard (1-1 3P, 2-2 FT).

• The Lakers (80) and Celtics (72) have played the most clutch minutes of any two teams in the NBA so far this season. Los Angeles is 9-7 in clutch games compared to 5-8 for Boston. Jayson Tatum ranks second with 50 clutch points; he is shooting 38.5% (15-39) from the field, 16.7% (2-12) from 3-point range and a perfect 18-18 at the free-throw line. Anthony Davis ranks fourth in the NBA with 47 clutch points; he is shooting 60% (18-20) from the field, missed all five of his 3s and is 11-13 from the free-throw line.

• The Celtics have gone 6-3 in their last nine games, ranking fifth in offensive efficiency with 114.7 over the stretch (compared to their middle-of-the-pack 108.3 rating on the whole season). Boston is led by Jayson Tatum, who has averaged 26.8 ppg over that nine-game stretch, tied with Kevin Durant for fourth in the league during that time.

• The Lakers rank second in the league in pace (101.42 possessions per 48 minutes), while the Celtics rank 21st (97.73). Los Angeles averages 23.2 transition points per game (second in NBA), according to Synergy play type data, compared to just 15.3 ppg for the Celtics (27th in NBA). LeBron James ranks second among all players in transition scoring at 6.4 ppg.

• Of the 99 players that average at least 50 touches per game, Jaylen Brown ranks fifth with 0.397 points per touch, trailing only Devin Booker, DeMar DeRozan, Kevin Durant and Zach LaVine. Brown ranks 24th in the NBA in scoring (21.4 ppg) and 32nd in field goal attempts per game (16.8). Boston’s Jayson Tatum ranks 10th in scoring (25.2 ppg) and tied for first in field goal attempts (21.7).