The theme of the night in the NBA was that some of the game’s top stars sat, as Stephen Curry was out with a bruised leg, Derrick Rose missed a game with hamstring tendinitis and Tim Duncan rested a sore knee.
Warriors get routed
The Warriors could not handle Curry’s absence, as they were victims to the Mavericks’ biggest victory of the season. It was the largest margin of defeat for the Warriors within the last three seasons.
The Warriors have outscored opponents by 482 points in the 1,043 minutes that Curry has been on the court this season. In the 460 minutes he’s been out, they’ve been outscored by 101 points.
In particular, Klay Thompson misses Curry’s presence. Thompson is shooting 49 percent from the field when he’s on the court with Curry and 27 percent when he’s on the floor without Curry.
Butler great when Rose is out
Jimmy Butler had the game-winning tip-in with 1.2 seconds left in the Bulls’ win over the Pacers, capping a 28-point night. In the three games Rose has missed (against the Suns, Warriors and Pacers), Butler is averaging 29.3 points and shooting 50 percent from the field. He’s shooting 44 percent in all other games.
The Bulls have actually been better this season when Rose isn’t on the floor. They’re outscoring opponents by 3.5 points per 100 possessions when he’s not on the court and have been outscored by 0.9 points per 100 possessions when he does play.
Spurs thriving when Duncan sits
The Spurs not only won, they won easily, drubbing the Suns, 112-79. In the six games Duncan has missed, the Spurs have won by an average of 22.5 points and held opponents to 83.8 points per game. In fairness, that’s partly because those six games all came against sub-.500 teams.
This was the 15th time this season the Spurs have held their opponents under 85 points. No other team has done it more than five times.