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The Rundown w/T-Money

Rundown v01.09.20 – Harden and Young Duel to 40+ Point Triple Doubles, Jazz Win Big, Wizards Lose Bigger

James Harden and Trae Young put on a show in Atlanta last night, Nikola Jokic and Luka Doncic had the best TV game, and things got testy between T.J. Warren and Jimmy Butler after a Heat win.

With nine games on the slate last night, we were treated to some tight competitive games with playoff positioning a factor as we approach mid-season.

There were also a good number of blowouts from teams you might not have expected to see do that, and we got to see a Washington team fully implode as their starters combined for 28 points …

Let’s take a look:

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San Antonio Spurs  129
Boston Celtics  114

The San Antonio Spurs jumped out with a purpose on the Boston Celtics last night in Beantown, scoring 30+ points in all four quarters to snuff the Celtics with a 15 points win. Kemba Walker must have still been affected from flu-like symptoms, because his judgment on whether to challenge NBA officiating got him tossed with double techs after returning from a three game absence. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined for 30, as much as DeMar DeRozan put up on his own.

SPURS (16-20) 8th in the WestCELTICS (25-10) 3rd in the East
DeMar DeRozan
30 points – six rebounds – four assists – one steal
Gordon Hayward
18 points – three rebounds – three assists – one steal – one block
Lonnie Walker IV19 points – three rebounds – one assist – one stealJaylen Brown
16 points – three rebounds – two steals
Bryn Forbes
15 points – three rebounds – six assists – two steals
Daniel Thies
15 points – five rebounds – one assist – one block

NEXT GAMES
Celtics at Sixers – Tonight
Spurs at Grizzlies – Friday

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Miami Heat  122
Indiana Pacers  108

Miami spent the first three quarters running the score up on the Indiana Pacers that the Pacers’ 36-22 fourth quarter simply made the final score look palatable for the home team last night. The Heat ended up with seven players in double digits, led by rookie Tyler Herro. Indiana had an impressive game from Domantas Sabonis, but other than 28 combined points from the Holiday Brothers (Aaron, Justin), he got little help.

HEAT (27-10) 2nd in the EastPACERS (23-15) 6th in the East
Tyler Herro
19 points – seven rebounds – two assists
Domantas Sabonis
27 points – 14 rebounds – six assists
Bam Adebayo
18 points – nine rebounds – four assists – one block
Justin Holiday
14 points – four rebounds – two assists – one steal 
Derrick Jones, Jr.
18 points – seven rebounds – two assists – two blocks
Aaron Holiday
14 points – five assists – one block

NEXT GAMES
Heat at Nets – Friday
Pacers at Bulls – Friday

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Washington Wizards  89
Orlando Magic  123

If you thought the Orlando Magic making the Washington Wizards disappear on New Years Day (122-101) was a nice trick, you should have seen the vanishing act they performed last night in front of 16,013 at the Amway Center. Orlando dusted the Wizards in every quarter to glide to an easy 34 point win, with Washington’s starting lineup combining for a meager 28 total points.

WIZARDS (12-25) 12th in the EastMAGIC (18-20) 7th in the East
Troy Brown, Jr.
18 points – 11 rebounds – five assists – two steals
Nikola Vucevic
29 points – nine rebounds – two assists – two steals – one block
#VFL Admiral Schofield
18 points – six rebounds – two assists
Evan Fournier
19 points – two rebounds – five assists – two steals
Anzejs Pacecniks
16 points – five rebounds – three assists – two blocks
D.J. Augustin
18 points – two rebounds – three assists

NEXT GAMES
Hawks at Wizards – Friday
Magic at Suns – Friday

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Toronto Raptors  112
Charlotte Hornets  110 (OT)

The Charlotte Hornets gave it everything they had against the reigning NBA champions last night, in what was arguably their best team performance of the season. Things got testy at the end of the overtime period, one in which Terence Davis had two three point hits to help the Raptors to the win. He and Terry Rozier had to be separated as both teams tried to head to their respective locker rooms. If the Hornets can only keep that intensity the rest of the season.

RAPTORS (25-13) 4th in the EastHORNETS (15-25) 9th in the East
Terence Davis
23 points – 11 rebounds – five assists – one steal
Terry Rozier
27 points – three assists – three steals
Serge Ibaka
23 points – 11 rebounds – two assists – two blocks
Miles Bridges
26 points – nine rebounds – one assist – one steal – one block
O.G. Anunoby
19 points – seven rebounds – one assist – one steal
Cody Zeller
14 points – eight rebounds – two assists

NEXT GAMES
Hornets at Jazz – Friday
Spurs at Raptors – Sunday

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Houston Rockets  122
Atlanta Hawks  115

Trae Young did his best to outdo James Harden … and he did. Unfortunately, the rest of the Atlanta Hawks didn’t step up as well as Harden’s teammates did on a night when Russell Westbrook took the night off. Clint Capela was spectacular with 22 points and 22 rebounds, while the Rockets took flight early on, blasting off with a 45-29 first quarter that set the tone for the entire night last night. Young and Harden were the first players to have 40 point triple doubles in the same game.

ROCKETS (25-11) 3rd in the WestHAWKS (8-30) 15th in the East
James Harden
41 points – 10 rebounds – 10 assists – two steals – three blocks
Trae Young
42 points – 13 rebounds – 10 assists – one block
Clint Capela
22 points – 22 rebounds – two steals – two blocks
John Collins
17 points – 14 rebounds – one steal – four blocks
Ben McLemore
18 points – three rebounds – one assist
Alex Len
14 points – 10 rebounds – one block

NEXT GAMES
Rockets at Thunder – Tonight
Hawks at Wizards – Friday

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Denver Nuggets  107
Dallas Mavericks  106

In the most competitive game of the night, Nikola Jokic got the best of Luka Doncic as the Denver Nuggets edged the Dallas Mavericks in their own crib. Jokic led all scorers with 33 points overall, but scored 26 of those in the second half, where the Nuggets outscored the Mavericks, 51-47, to take the win and keep themselves four places and three games ahead of Dallas in the Western Conference standings.

NUGGETS (26-11) 2nd in the WestMAVERICKS (23-14) 6th in the West
Nikola Jokic
33 points – six rebounds – seven assists – one steal – one block
Luka Doncic
27 points – nine rebounds – 10 assists
Jerami Grant
15 points – five rebounds – two assists – one steal – three blocks
Dwight Powell
16 points – eight rebounds – three assists – one steal – two blocks
Jamal Murray
14 points – three rebounds – five assists
Tim Hardaway, Jr.
15 points – two assists

NEXT GAMES
Lakers at Mavericks – Friday
Cavaliers at Nuggets – Saturday

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Chicago Bulls  108
New Orleans Pelicans  123

The irony in last night’s game in New Orleans is that both the Pelicans and the Chicago Bulls ended the night at 13-25, with the Bulls at 11th in the East and New Orleans at 14th in the West. But it’s Chicago languishing with little to no more direction than they had a year ago, while the Pelicans see light at the end of the tunnel. New Orleans has gone 7-3 in their last 10 games with Zion Williamson very active in five-on-five scrimmages in practice and a possible January debut.

BULLS (13-25) 11th in the East PELICANS (13-25) 14th in the West
Zach LaVine
32 points – five rebounds – six assists – two steals
Brandon Ingram
29 points – eight rebounds – 11 assists – two blocks
Thaddeus Young
18 points – six rebounds – two assists – three steals
J.J. Redick
24 points – four rebounds – four assists – one steal
Kris Dunn
15 points – four rebounds – seven assists – five steals
Jaxson Hayes
14 points – 12 rebounds – four blocks

NEXT GAMES
Pelicans at Knicks – Friday
Pacers at Bulls – Friday

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New York Knicks  104
Utah Jazz  128

Julius Randle was called to the coaches offices and was visibly upset when he walked out of said office; you knew then that things weren’t going to look good for the New York Knicks, if you even had a sniff that they might pull an upset in Salt Lake City last night. Randle had a DNP for personal reasons. Instead, Jazz fans were treated to a guard battle between former New York guard Emmanuel Mudiay and his former understudy, Frank Ntilikina, which Mudiay and the Jazz won handily. Utah outscored the Knicks in every quarter but the fourth, where the game was already out of reach.

KNICKS (10-28) 14th in the EastJAZZ (25-12) 5th in the West
Frank Ntilikina
16 points – four rebounds – three assists – one steal
Emmanuel Mudiay
20 points – three rebounds – four assists – one steal – one block
Bobby Portis
13 points – 13 rebounds – six assists
Bojan Bogdanovic
20 points – three rebounds – three assists – one block
Elfrid Payton
13 points – two rebounds
Rudy Gobert
16 points – 16 rebounds – four assists – one steal – one block

NEXT GAMES
Pelicans at Knicks – Friday
Hornets at Jazz – Friday

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Milwaukee Bucks  107
Golden State Warriors  98

Since their Christmas Day loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, which halted an 18 game win streak, the Milwaukee Bucks once again look unstoppable, winning their sixth game in their last seven (the only other loss was to a hungry and frustrated San Antonio Spurs team on Monday night, avenging a loss to Milwaukee two nights earlier). The NBA’s best team did “just enough” to beat the Golden State Warriors in the Chase Center last night in front of 18,064 that are accustomed to seeing their Warriors with a 33-6 record at this time of year, not the visiting team.

BUCKS (33-6) 1st in the EastWARRIORS (9-30) 15th in the West
Giannis Antetokuonmpo
30 points – 13 rebounds – four assists – one steal
Alec Burks
19 points – five rebounds – seven assists – one block
Khris Middleton
21 points – seven rebounds – six assists – one steal
Glenn Robinson III
15 points – seven rebounds – one assist – one steal
Eric Bledsoe
16 points – three rebounds – two assists – three steals – one block
Damion Lee
15 points – four rebounds – four assists – one block

NEXT GAMES
Bucks at Kings – Friday
Warriors at Clippers – Friday

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THURSDAY’S LINEUP
(all times Eastern)

7 p.m.
Cleveland Cavaliers
Detroit Pistons
Fox Sports Detroit
7 p.m.
Boston Celtics
Philadelphia 76ers
TNT
8 p.m.
Portland Trailblazers
Minnesota Timberwolves
FSN
9:30 p.m.
Houston Rockets
Oklahoma City Thunder
TNT

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Tracy Graven is a Senior NBA Analyst for BackSportsPage.com.
He has written the NBA, and done NBA radio, for the last two decades for HoopsWorld, Swish Magazine, and HoopsHype, the Coach Scott Fields Show and NBARadioShow.com, and is also tackling the NFL, NCAA, and will be pinch-hitting on some Major League Baseball coverage for BackSportsPage.
He’s spent 20 years in locker rooms in Orlando, Boise (G League), San Antonio, Phoenix, and Oklahoma City.
A corporate trainer by day, he currently resides in Tennessee.
Reach him on Twitter at @RealTMoneyMedia 

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