The Miami Heat didn’t get the memo that it was 111 Night in Orlando.
Milwaukee, Houston, and Los Angeles all scored 111 points in defeating the Magic, Thunder, and Blazers, respectively. Miami came up short by a bucket at 109. Damn you, Duncan Robinson.
The Lakers and Bucks got back into the mix last night, both teams winning crucial Games Two. Lose those, and there would have been serious concerns about the teams with the best record in each Conference protecting home bench advantage.
Before the Lakers and Blazers tipped off, the NBA Draft Lottery was announced and it was the Minnesota Timberwolves getting the top pick in the Draft ahead of the Golden State Warriors.
NBA LOTTERY DRAFT ORDER
- Minnesota Timberwolves
- Golden State Warriors
- Charlotte Hornets
- Chicago Bulls
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Atlanta Hawks
- Detroit Pistons
- New York Knicks
- Washington Wizards
- Phoenix Suns
- San Antonio Spurs
- Sacramento Kings
- New Orleans Pelicans
- Boston Celtics (from Memphis Grizzlies)
If I’m Golden State, I make it worth Minnesota’s while and trade the No. 2 pick, Marquese Chriss and either Ky Bowman or Eric Paschall to the Timberwolves for Karl-Anthony Towns. That would give the Timberwolves LaMelo Ball and James Wiseman 1 – 2, or James Wiseman and Anthony Edwards, either a young core to put with D’Angelo Russell and Company to build a Kevin Garnett-Latrell Sprewell-Sam Cassell like tandem for their young future.
Let’s just hope there’s still a Target Center left standing to play in.
NOTE: The Rundown will end today as a daily column. Going forward, it will be populated intermittently as a feature-oriented column rather than a daily rundown of previous days’ scores. Thank you to any that supported my column, as readers, as sharers, and the few that were friends in the process. Though there are numerous mitigating factors in this decision, the main reason is my ongoing battle with scleroderma/lupus is declining and being sorely hampered by doing this at 4 a.m. seven days a week.
Orlando Magic 96
Milwaukee Bucks 111
On a night where the Orlando Magic went into Game Two with a 1-0 advantage, their box score looked eerily similar, the while Milwaukee Bucks came to play and blew this series wide open.
With Nikola Vucevic leading the way once again, the Magic started looking very one-dimensional yesterday, while the reigning MVP looked every bit the part for the first time in four games.
Giannis Antetokuonmpo may not have led all scorers, but he wasn’t too shabby with 28 points on 43.5 percent shooting and he got to the line eight times, connecting on all but one. He was most definitely the best glass cleaner on the floor, clearing 20 rebounds on the night, 15 on the defensive glass.
Designated center Brook Lopez only had three rebounds, but made up for it with 20 points, and shot 50 percent from downtown, where most centers in this era of basketball seem to live. Pat Connaughton was sharp with 15 and 11 on the night, while Eric Bledsoe finished with 13 points and seven assists in the win.
Other than Vucevic, there wasn’t much to cheer about for the team that boasts home court on every game they play in the bubble. Terrence Ross and Evan Fournier had 12 apiece, while Markelle Fultz finished with 11 and D.J. Augustin had 10.
If Milwaukee continues to play like this, moving past the one-win-and-out Magic shouldn’t be any more a problem for the Bucks than it was for the Toronto Raptors in last year’s playoffs.
|ORLANDO MAGIC (1-1)||MILWAUKEE BUCKS (1-1)|
32 points – 10 rebounds – two assists – one block
28 points – 20 rebounds – five assists
12 points – three rebounds – two assists – three steals
20 points – three rebounds – one steal – one block
12 points – one rebound – one assist – one steal – one block
15 points – 11 rebounds – three assists – two blocks
NEXT GAMES (All Times Eastern)
August 18: Magic 122, Bucks 110
August 20: Bucks 111, Magic 96
August 22: Bucks vs. Magic – 1 p.m. – TNT
August 24: Bucks vs. Magic – 1:30 p.m. – NBATV
August 26: Magic vs. Bucks – TBD – TBD
August 28: Bucks vs. Magic – TBD – TBD
August 30: Magic vs. Bucks – TBD – TBD
Miami Heat 109
Indiana Pacers 100
Duncan Robinson, coming to the Miami Heat through the G League and Division III Williams College, is accustomed to playing in practically empty arenas as he came up and into his current situation in the NBA.
So Orlando, with no fans allowed, seems like home sweet home for a guy who lit up the Indiana Pacers yesterday, hitting a game high 24 points at a blistering 87.5 percent pace as the Heat take a two game lead on the Pacers yesterday evening.
While there wasn’t much applause in the literal sense, Robinson is taking in the accolades from his teammates, respect from the Pacers in gracious defeat, and after signing two-way contracts, then a partially guaranteed contract that became fully guaranteed after January 10th, Robinson’s play since – especially and including last night – should have earned him a guaranteed 2020-21 deal, if not with the Heat, with someone on the other 29 teams.
Jimmy Butler and T.J. Warren were practically non-factors as Butler had 18 and Warren has crashed to earth, scoring 14 last night. The Heat were helped by Goran Dragic’s 20, Tyler Herro’s 15 points, and 10 points and eight boards from Jae Crowder.
Indiana was led by Victor Oladipo, who finished with 22 points despite a scratched eye in Game One. Myles Turner and Malcolm Brogdon combined for 34, at 17 apiece. Turner had eight rebounds, Brogdon had nine assists. Aaron Holiday added 12 points, while brother Justin finished with half of that.
|MIAMI HEAT (2-0)||INDIANA PACERS (0-2)|
24 points – two rebounds – two assists – one steal
22 points – one rebound – four assists – two steals
20 points – three rebounds – six assists
17 points – eight rebounds – one steal – five blocks
18 points – seven rebounds – six assists – two steals
17 points – five rebounds – nine assists
NEXT GAMES (All Times Eastern)
August 18: Heat 113, Pacers 101
August 20: Heat 109, Pacers 100
August 22: Pacers vs. Heat – 3:30 p.m. – TNT
August 24: Pacers vs. Heat – 6:30 p.m. – TNT
August 26: Heat vs. Pacers – TBD – TBD
August 28: Pacers vs. Heat – TBD – TBD
August 30: Heat vs. Pacers – TBD – TBD
Oklahoma City Thunder 98
Houston Rockets 111
The Oklahoma City Thunder are on the brink of elimination from the NBA Playoffs.
How is that, you ask, if they are only down 0-2 to the Houston Rockets? Because the Thunder team that we’ve seen open everyone’s eyes all season long hasn’t even shown up yet. By all accounts, they would have looked more consistent if they’d just forfeited Games One and Two.
Aside from that, the Rockets own the Thunder – physically, mentally and intellectually. It would take a monumental collapse by the Rockets for Oklahoma City to come back and win this series, if they win a game at all.
Remember, the Rockets haven’t even let Russell Westbrook off his chain yet and they’ve enjoyed two very comfortable wins, last night being no exception.
You know Houston is hitting on all cylinders when James Harden only needs to shoot 31.3 percent and score 21 points for the Rockets to win. Seven players rang up double figures for Houston.
Danuel House, Jr. went 19 and nine, Eric Gordon and Jeff Green scored 15 points apiece, P.J. Tucker arrived in the series with 14 points, Austin Rivers flowed with 11, and Robert Covington finished with 10 points.
The Thunder’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander got going in this series, leading all scorers with 31 points and six rebounds. Danilo Gallinari hung out in the neighborhood of his season average with 17 points as he often does, and Chris Paul added 14, but ran out of gas in the second half, leaving Oklahoma City searching for answers after a second game.
Dennis Schroder went for 13, five and five off the bench in the loss. The Rockets shot an NBA record 56 three point attempts. Game Three is Saturday.
|OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER (0-2)||HOUSTON ROCKETS (2-0)|
31 points – six rebounds – two assists – one steal
21 points – five rebounds – nine assists – three steals – one block
17 points – five rebounds – one assist
|Danuel House, Jr.|
19 points – nine rebounds – three assists
14 points – six rebounds – two assists – one block
15 points – seven rebounds
NEXT GAMES (All Times Eastern)
August 18: Rockets 123, Thunder 108
August 20: Rockets 111, Thunder 98
August 22: Rockets vs. Thunder – 6 p.m. – ESPN
August 24: Rockets vs. Thunder – 4 p.m. – TNT
August 26: Thunder vs. Rockets – TBD – TBD
August 28: Rockets vs. Thunder – TBD – TBD
August 30: Thunder vs. Rockets – TBD – TBD
Portland Trailblazers 88
Los Angeles Lakers 111
The Los Angeles Lakers had the Portland Trailblazers over a barrel from the get-go. Actually, they had them since the final buzzer at the end of Game One.
Anthony Davis went off, scoring as many points as Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum combined last night, and the rest of the Lakers held the Portland duo in check, along with Carmelo Anthony and Jusuf Nurkic, as Los Angeles evened the series at a game apiece.
Twenty-one of Davis’ points were in a decisive first half, where the Lakers made Portland a slow-rolling half court team, while they themselves executed quite a number of fast break opportunities of McCollum misses, turning them into JaVale McGee dunks early on.
L.A. got some help from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s 16 points, 11 from J.R. Smith, and 10 apiece from McGee and LeBron James. James also finished with six rebounds and seven assists.
Portland’s top three scorers (see below) were it. The other eight Blazers who played couldn’t get out of single digit territory, including starters Carmelo Anthony (two points) and Jusuf Nurkic (nine and eight), while bench players Hassan Whiteside (six and nine) and the usual hot shooting Gary Trent, Jr. (eight points) were easily contained.
Lillard dislocated his left index finger in the third quarter, and while head coach Terry Stotts said he was unsure of Lillard’s status for Game Three, Lillard insists he will play.
|PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS (1-1)||LOS ANGELES LAKERS (1-1)|
18 points – 13 rebounds – one assist – one steal
|Anthony Davis |
31 points – 11 rebounds – three assists – one steal – one block
13 points – five rebounds – three assists
16 points – two rebounds
11 points – one rebound – two assists – one steal
11 points – two assists
NEXT GAMES (All Times Eastern)
August 18: Blazers 100, Lakers 93
August 20: Lakers 111, Blazers 98
August 22: Lakers vs. Trailblazers – 8:30 p.m. – ABC
August 24: Lakers vs. Trailblazers – 9 p.m. – TNT
August 26: Trailblazers vs. Lakers – TBD – TBD
August 28: Lakers vs. Trailblazers – TBD – TBD
August 30: Trailblazers vs. Lakers – TBD – TBD
TOMORROW’S LINEUP (All Times Eastern)
Los Angeles Clippers
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
- Boise (G League)
- San Antonio
- Oklahoma City
A corporate trainer by day, he currently resides in SEC Country near Knoxville, Tennessee.
Reach him on Twitter at @RealTMoneyMedia
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