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Rundown v01.02.20 – RIP David Stern, Bucks Escape Wolves, Anthony Loses in NY

The world lost an icon yesterday in David Stern, Carmelo Anthony lost in NY, LeBron James hit his eighth triple double, D.J. Augustin led the Magic to a win, and the Bucks almost got nipped by the Wolves.

The world lost one of its best pioneering spirits yesterday with the passing of former NBA Commissioner David Stern.

Stern had been in the hospital since mid-December (Dec. 17) for a brain hemorrhage from which he never fully recovered, and was surrounded by family when he passed.

The NBA as I have known it for the majority of my formative years was not only made better under Stern, but brought to the forefront and then prominence. It no longer languished behind the National Football League in popularity, growth or marketing. 

Basketball without Borders came into fruition, not only as a program in Africa, but literally when the NBA began playing games in Mexico, Europe and Asia during his 30 year tenure.

Stern’s example helped develop current Commissioner Adam Silver, who is taking the Association to new, even higher heights, carrying forth the risk-taking mentality and business acumen he learned from Commissioner Stern.

“For 22 years, I had a courtside seat to watch David in action. He was a mentor and one of my dearest friends. We spent countless hours in the office, at arenas, and on planes wherever the game would take us. Like every NBA legend, David had extraordinary talents, but with him it was always about the fundamentals – preparation, attention to detail, and hard work.” — NBA Commissioner Adam Silver

David Stern was 77 years young.

Rest in Peace. Job well done, sir.

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Portland Trailblazers  93
New York Knicks  117

You would think that the Portland Trailblazers would rebound in the win-loss column with a game versus the New York Knicks. But interim head coach Mike Miller has the Knicks believing in themselves as something other than door mats. Carmelo Anthony made his return to Madison Square Garden as a Blazer and led Portland, but not to a victory, as the Knicks used their forwards to pound the Blazers with a 24 point loss.

TRAILBLAZERS (14-21) 9th in the WestKNICKS (10-24) 14th in the East
Carmelo Anthony
26 points – seven rebounds
Julius Randle
22 points – 13 rebounds – three assists – one steal – one block
Hassan Whiteside
17 points – 12 assists – two assists – three blocks
Mitchell Robinson
22 points – eight rebounds – one steal – one block
C.J. McCollum
17 points – four rebounds – four assists
Marcus Morris
18 points – seven rebounds – three assists

NEXT GAMES
Blazers at Wizards – Friday
Knicks at Suns – Friday

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Orlando Magic  122
Washington Wizards  101

The Orlando Magic used a 60-43 second half performance to make the Washington Wizards disappear last night in the nation’s capital. Bradley Beal came back after being out of the lineup for two games and scored 27 for the Wizards, but the trio of D.J. Augustin, Nikola Vucevic, and Evan Fournier were just too much for Washington, who got next to nothing from Isaiah Thomas and Ian Mahinmi, who had performed well in Beal’s absence.

MAGIC (15-19) 8th in the EastWIZARDS (10-23) 13th in the East
D.J. Augustin
25 points – three rebounds – nine assists – two steals
Bradley Beal
27 points – four rebounds – five assists
Nikola Vucevic
20 points – 12 rebounds – two assists – one steal
#VFL Jordan McRae
15 points – seven rebounds – one assist – one steal
Evan Fournier
18 points – four rebounds – two steals – one block
Troy Brown
14 points – seven rebounds – one assist – one steal

NEXT GAMES
Heat at Magic – Friday
Blazers at Wizards – Friday

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Minnesota Timberwolves  104
Milwaukee Bucks  106

The Minnesota Timberwolves played what was probably their best and most complete game from start to finish last night in Milwaukee, but it wasn’t enough to best the league best Milwaukee Bucks. Milwaukee shot 34 percent in the first half to give the Timberwolves glimpses of hope and took a 52-51 lead into the locker room at the half, but outscored Minnesota 54-53 in the second half as well. The T’Wolves shot a meager 37 percent for the game, leading to their demise without Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Jeff Teague

T’WOLVES (12-21) 12th in the WestBUCKS (31-5) 1st in the East
Shabazz Napier
22 points – six rebounds – three assists – one block
Giannis Antetokuonmpo
32 points – 17 rebounds – four assists – two blocks
Gorgui Dieng
15 points – six rebounds – one assist – one block
Khris Middleton
13 points – eight rebounds – four assists – two steals
Josh Okogie
12 points – four rebounds – one assist – two steals
Brook Lopez
11 points – four rebounds – three assists – one steal – six blocks

NEXT GAMES
Warriors at Timberwolves – Tonight
Spurs at Bucks – Saturday

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Phoenix Suns  107
Los Angeles Lakers  117

A 43-17, 70-percent-from-the-field first quarter burst out of the gate was all the separation the Los Angeles Lakers needed to create last night to distance themselves for an easy win versus the Phoenix Suns. The Suns got within seven, despite L.A.’s big lead, but the Lakers would let them get no closer as LeBron James kicked it into high gear with his eighth triple double performance of the season. It was the Lakers’ third win in a row after their four game skid, while Phoenix was enjoying a two game win streak before last night snapped it.

SUNS (13-21) 11th in the WestLAKERS (27-7) 1st in the West
Devin Booker
32 points – two rebounds – seven assists – one steal
LeBron James
31 points – 13 rebounds – 12 assists – two steals – one block
Kelly Oubre, Jr.
26 points – six rebounds – three assists – three steals
Anthony Davis
26 points – 11 rebounds – two assists – one block
Deandre Ayton
16 points – 14 rebounds – two assists – one steal – one block
Kyle Kuzma
19 points – four rebounds – one assist – one steal

NEXT GAMES
Knicks at Suns – Friday
Pelicans at Lakers – Friday

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THURSDAY’S LINEUP
Charlotte Hornets at Cleveland Cavaliers – 7 p.m. EST – Fox Sports Southeast
Denver Nuggets at Indiana Pacers – 7 p.m. EST – Altitude
Toronto Raptors at Miami Heat – 7:30 p.m. EST – SUN
Utah Jazz at Chicago Bulls – 8 p.m. EST – AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain
Golden State Warriors at Minnesota Timberwolves – 8 P.m. EST – NBATV
Brooklyn Nets at Dallas Mavericks – 8 p.m. EST – YES
Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs – 8:30 p.m. EST – Fox Sports Southwest
Memphis Grizzlies at Sacramento Kings – 10 p.m. EST – Fox Sports Southeast
Detroit Pistons at Los Angeles Clippers – 10:30 p.m. EST – NBATV

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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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