This article is part of our NBA Daily Recap series.
Welcome to Around the Association! Five days per week (Monday through Friday), this article will serve as a comprehensive recap of the previous night's NBA action, taking you through all of the biggest performances, notable box scores, injury updates and any other fantasy-relevant headlines from around the league.
Here is all you need to know from what was a fun, four-game slate:
RJ calls game, completes Knicks' comeback
- One of the best games of the year took place Thursday in Madison Square Garden when the Celtics came to NYC to battle the Knicks. Boston got off to an amazing start and led by as many as 25 points in the first half.
- However, New York would not go away behind an absolutely outstanding performance from Evan Fournier. The first-year Knick exploded for a career-high 41 points (15-25 FG, 10-14 3Pt, 1-3 FT), eight rebounds, two assists, one block and one steal while pushing the Knicks back into the game. It was truly an insane performance out of Fournier as he faced off against his former team.
- With the game all tied up, RJ Barrett was able to hit an impossible. banked-in three-point shot to win the game at the buzzer. Barrett struggled throughout, with just 13 points (4-15 FG, 2-4 3Pt, 3-4 FT), three rebounds and six assists in 33 minutes, but he was able to hit the shot that counted.
- Julius Randle: 22 points (8-20 FG, 2-8 3Pt, 4-6 FT), eight rebounds, two assists, two steals and some beef with Knicks fans
- Jayson Tatum had a really strong game despite the losing effort and even hit a game-tying jumper in the final seconds before Barrett put the nail in the coffin. The Duke product ended with 36 points (12-21 FG, 6-11 3Pt, 6-6 FT), six rebounds, nine assists, one block and two steals over 40 minutes as he continues to find his groove since returning from the league's health and safety protocols.
- Robert Williams was a monster on the defensive end. The tenacious big ended with six points (3-3 FG), nine rebounds, one assist, a season-high seven blocks and two steals across 34 minutes. Williams has swatted away multiple shots in seven straight appearances.
Pelicans survive Curry and Green-less Warriors
- The Golden State Warriors were without both Stephen Curry and Draymond Green when they traveled to New Orleans and in turn, the Pelicans were able to get a 101-96 win. Brandon Ingram had his best game since returning from his Achilles injury, dropping in 32 points (12-20 FG, 1-4 3Pt, 7-8 FT), 11 rebounds and six assists across 35 minutes. In the six games prior to his injury, Ingram had been averaging 28.0 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game, so this performance against the Warriors may be all he needs to get back on track.
- Herbert Jones is really starting to come into his own as of late. The second-round pick ended with 13 points (4-8 FG, 5-6 FT), six rebounds, two assists and a season-high five steals across 37 minutes. Jones is averaging 14.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.3 steals and 1.7 blocks per game over his last six showings.
- With Green and Curry both out, most of the offensive fell into the hands of Andrew Wiggins. The forward finished with a team-high 21 points (7-17 FG, 1-6 3Pt, 6-7 FT), four rebounds and one assist over 31 minutes.
- I was impressed with what I saw out of both of the Warriors rookies: Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody. They both looked aggressive and attacked the hoops strong. Kuminga ended with 13 points (6-14 FG, 0-2 3Py, 1-2 FT), six rebounds, one assist and one block over 20 minutes of play. Moody put in 10 points (3-6 FG, 0-3 3Pt, 4-4 FT) and five rebounds over 23 minutes of action.
Ja pushes Grizzlies over Detroit
- The Memphis Grizzlies will not slow down. They steamrolled the Pistons en route to a 118-88 home win. Ja Morant once again led the way for the Grizzlies, finishing with 22 points (10-19 FG, 0-3 3Pt, 2-2 FT), nine rebounds, six assists and one block across just 25 minutes. Memphis has won 17 of its past 21 contests.
- Dillon Brooks missed the team's last six contests after a lengthy stay in the league's health and safety protocols. The wing ended with 18 points (8-17 FG, 1-4 3Pt, 1-1 FT), three rebounds, five assists, two blocks and three steals over 24 minutes in his first action back.
- This was one ugly game for Detroit as its play the past few games has been quite uninspiring. Saben Lee finished with a team-high 14 points (4-7 FG, 2-2 3Pt, 4-4 FT), two rebounds, five assists and two steals over 16 minutes. The Pistons' 7-30 record ranks second-worst in the Eastern Conference.
- Cade Cunningham: 12 points (5-19 FG, 2-10 3Pt), five rebounds and six assists over 31 minutes.
Suns roll over Clippers
- The Suns hadn't quite looked as strong over the past few weeks compared to earlier in the season, but Phoenix had one of its better outings of the season during Thursday's 106-89 win over the Clippers.
- Chris Paul shined against his former team as the veteran point guard finished with his first triple-double of the season, posting 14 points (5-14 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 2-2 FT), 13 rebounds, 10 assists, one block and two steals in 34 minutes. Paul has now thrown at least 10 assists in three straight games.
- Jalen Smith had yet another productive game as he continues to fill in for Deandre Ayton (COVID). The second-year big ended with 19 points (9-17 FG, 1-2 3Pt, 0-1 FT), 14 rebounds and one assist over 33 minutes. Smith has started the past four games for Phoenix and is averaging 17.3 points and 9.5 rebounds per game over that span.
- Marcus Morris had a solid outing for the Clippers despite the defeat. The veteran forward put in season-best 26 points (8-17 FG, 3-6 3Pt, 7-7 FT), eight rebounds and three assists in 36 minutes. Morris has started to find his scoring touch with Paul George (elbow) sidelined, averaging 21.0 points per game across his six appearances since George has been ruled out.
- Reggie Jackson: 16 points (5-16 FG, 2-8 3Pt, 4-4 FT), eight rebounds and three assists across 31 minutes.
Best and Worst of the Night
- Best of the Night: Evan Fournier - 41 points (15-25 FG, 10-14 3Pt, 1-3 FT), eight rebounds, two assists, one block and one steal in 42 minutes.
- Worst of the Night: Saddiq Bey - Three points (1-9 FG, 1-8 3Pt, 0-2 GT), three rebounds, one assist and two steals across 32 minutes.
- Rookie of the Night: Herbert Jones - 13 points (4-8 FG, 5-6 FT), six rebounds, two assists and five steals across 37 minutes.
A Look Ahead to Friday Night
- The 76ers look for their sixth straight win when the Spurs come into town.
- I am looking forward to the Eastern Conference playoff rematch between the Bucks and Nets in Brooklyn.
- The Bulls put their eight-game winning streak on the line when the Wizards travel to Chicago.
- Does Trae Young (back) return for Atlanta's showdown with LeBron James and the Lakers in LA?
- With Damian Lillard (abdomen) still out for Portland, what will the Anfernee Simons show bring to us when Cleveland travels into town?