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Rundown v01.03.20 – Nine Games, Three SnoozeFests, Could Towns Change to The City?

The Oklahoma City guard corps does it again, Michael Porter Jr. emerges, the Jazz stifle the Bulls, L.A.'s bench stalls the Pistons, Luka Doncic cuts down the Nets, and what a lineup the Golden State Warriors would have if they could snare the KAT.

Word on the street is that the Golden State Warriors are drooling over Karl-Anthony Towns’ unhappiness in Minnesota …

What would a lineup possibly look like in Golden State as they tip off the 2020-21 season later this year?

With a healthy Stephen Curry, healthy Klay Thompson, a possibly draftee in LaMelo Ball, Draymond Green, and Karl-Anthony Towns, you’d almost have to pencil the Golden State Warriors back in for another championship consideration, if not certainty. Hell, use a Sharpie instead of a pencil.

Though Anthony Davis is living his best life in L.A., he still has a lingering desire to play in Chicago. But even if he stayed, with the Warriors’ fluidity in offense and everyone healthy, Towns might end up being the better Wildcat when all is said and done. Plus, Davis and LeBron James will be another year older.

Let the Lakers get theirs this year, then bring it back to the Bay.

Of course, this is conjecture, maybe even fantasy, at this point. But …

Thoughts? 

Hit me in the comments, on Facebook or on Twitter here.

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Charlotte Hornets  109
Cleveland Cavaliers  106

Despite shooting 50 percent to the Charlotte Hornets’ 44, despite outrebounding the Hornets, and despite having more assists, more blocks and more steals, the Cleveland Cavaliers found a way to lose last night’s game at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. The formula was 14 turnovers and giving their guests 10 more trips to the free throw line with their 22 personal fouls. Someone do a welfare check on John Beilein, please. 

HORNETS (14-23) 9th in the EastCAVALIERS (10-24) 13th in the East
Terry Rozier
30 points – six rebounds – three assists – one steal
Collin Sexton
21 points – one rebound – two assists – one steal
Devonte’ Graham
16 points – one rebound – 11 assists – one steal
Kevin Love
18 points – eight rebounds – four assists – one block
Dwayne Bacon
15 points – four rebounds – two assists – one steal
Cedi Osman
17 points – one rebound – two assists – one steal

NEXT GAMES
Thunder at Cavaliers – Saturday
Hornets at Mavericks – Saturday

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Denver Nuggets  124
Indiana Pacers  116

The Indiana Pacers had the Denver Nuggets where they wanted them going into the half, up two, and a competitive game. Then it became The Silence of the Lamb, as the Denver defense squoze Jeremy Lamb and the Pacers in the second half, 62-52, with a defensive effort that start with a 35-27 second quarter that set the tone for the rest of the game. Michael Porter, Jr. didn’t start last night, but was the Nuggets’ team leader nonetheless, dropping 25 while Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray kicked in 22 apiece for the team’s 24th win of the season.

NUGGETS (24-10) 2nd in the WestPACERS (22-13) 6th in the East
Michael Porter, Jr.
25 points – five rebounds – one assist
Jeremy Lamb
30 points – six rebounds – two assists – one steal
Nikola Jokic
22 points – seven rebounds
Myles Turner
21 points – five rebounds – one assist – one block
Jamal Murray
22 points – five rebounds – seven assists – one steal
T.J. Warren
20 points – five rebounds – two assists – two steals

NEXT GAMES
Pacers at Hawks – Saturday
Nuggets at Wizards – Saturday

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Toronto Raptors  76
Miami Heat  84

There have been a couple of real lackluster games in the NBA this season, and the Toronto Raptors have been a part of both of them, and each time, they’ve lost. The first was the Raptors’ visit to Kawhi Leonard’s Los Angeles Clippers, which was a cure for insomnia back on November 11th, 98-88. Last night in Miami was worse as the teams combined for 160 points and Serge Ibaka was the high scorer with 19 points. Miami put just enough together to eke out an eight point win.

RAPTORS (23-12) 4th in the EastHEAT (25-9) 3rd in the East
Serge Ibaka
19 points – 10 rebounds – two blocks
Bam Adebayo
15 points – 14 rebounds – two assists – one block
Kyle Lowry
15 points – four rebounds – eight assists – one block
Tyler Herro
13 points – four rebounds – three assists – one steal
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
13 points – seven rebounds – one assist – one steal – one block
Goran Dragic
13 points – two rebounds – one assist – one block

NEXT GAMES
Heat at Magic – Tonight
Raptors at Nets – Saturday

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Utah Jazz  102
Chicago Bulls  98

If you thought the Toronto Raptors-Miami Heat game was long and arduous, the Utah Jazz-Chicago Bulls wasn’t far behind. The Jazz had five players in double figures to Chicago’s three, and used a 29-19 third quarter as a catalyst for moving past the Bulls for the four point win.

JAZZ (22-12) 6th in the WestBULLS (13-22) 10th in the East
Bojan Bogdanovic
19 points – six rebounds – one assist – one steal
Zach LaVine
26 points – four rebounds – five assists – one steal – one block
Rudy Gobert
17 points – 12 rebounds – three blocks
Wendell Carter, Jr.
18 points – 13 rebounds – four assists
Donovan Mitchell
17 points – four rebounds – seven assists
Lauri Markkanen
18 points – eight rebounds – two assists – one steal

NEXT GAMES
Jazz at Magic – Saturday
Celtics at Bulls – Saturday

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Golden State Warriors  84
Minnesota Timberwolves  99

Going for the hat trick on a slate of insomnia cure games, the Minnesota Timberwolves protected home court last night from the threat of the Golden State Warriors, who showed up in one of their most lackluster games this season, injuries aside. The effort just wasn’t there for a Warriors team that had handled these same Timberwolves, 113-104, a couple days before Christmas as part of their four game win streak over the holidays.

WARRIORS (9-27) 15th in the WestT’WOLVES (13-21) 11th in the West
Glenn Robinson III
16 points – six rebounds – one assist
Robert Covington
20 points – 10 rebounds – two assists – two steals – two blocks
Eric Paschall
13 points – seven rebounds
Shabazz Napier
20 points – three rebounds – seven assists – two steals – one block
Omari Spellman
10 points – five rebounds – one assist
Naz Reid
13 points – six rebounds – one assist – one block

NEXT GAMES
Pistons at Warriors – Saturday
Timberwolves at Cavaliers – Sunday

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Brooklyn Nets  111
Dallas Mavericks  123

The Brooklyn Nets had seven players in double digit scoring last night against the host Dallas Mavericks. Of course, none of that means much when your seven are outscored 94-87 by Dallas’ top five double digit scorers, and one of those is Luka Doncic, who missed his 10th triple double of the season by three dimes, but dropped 15 points in the fourth quarter. The Mavericks’ win helped them avoid a three game losing streak. Kristaps Porzingis (sore right knee) did not play, but then again, neither did Kyrie Irving. Again. But Caris LeVert may return as soon as Saturday.

NETS (16-17) 7th in the EastMAVERICKS (22-12) 5th in the West
Spencer Dinwiddie
19 points – two rebounds – five assists – one steal
Luka Doncic
31 points – 13 rebounds – seven assists – one block
Dzanan Musa
14 points – three assists
Seth Curry
25 points – two rebounds – one assist – one steal
Taurean Prince
11 points – six rebounds – two assists – one steal
Maxi Kleber
18 points – four rebounds – one assist – three blocks

NEXT GAMES
Raptors at Nets – Saturday
Hornets at Mavericks – Saturday

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Oklahoma City Thunder  109
San Antonio Spurs  103

They’ve done it again … and on the road, in one of the most pristine environments in the NBA. The guard corps from the Oklahoma City Thunder continues to defy odds, completing the Texas Two Step with style – defeating the Dallas Mavericks at Oklahoma City on New Years Eve and then traveling to the hallowed hardwood of the AT&T Center and stuffing the San Antonio Spurs, who remain four and a half game behind the Thunder in the Western Conference.

THUNDER (19-15) 7th in the WestSPURS (14-19) 8th in the West
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
25 points – seven rebounds – five assists – one steal – two blocks
DeMar DeRozan
30 points – four rebounds – three assists
Dennis Schroder
19 points – one rebound – three assists – one steal
LaMarcus Aldridge
22 points – 11 rebounds – three blocks
Chris Paul
16 points – eight rebounds – five assists – two steals
Lonnie Walker IV
16 points -seven rebounds – one assist

NEXT GAMES
Thunder at Cavaliers – Saturday
Spurs at Bucks – Saturday

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Memphis Grizzlies  123
Sacramento Kings  128

The Memphis Grizzlies went on the road and roared out to a commanding 42-26 first quarter lead. The Kings responded with a 37-18 second quarter to take a three point lead into the locker room at the half, then pounded the Grizzlies again in the fourth, 38-26, to salt away the win. At the end of the night, both teams were at 13-22, neck and neck for the title of King of the Western Conference Basement Club. Dilly Dilly.

GRIZZLIES (13-22) 13th in the WestKINGS (13-22) 12th in the West
Ja Morant
23 points – one rebound – seven assists
De’Aaron Fox
27 points – four rebounds – nine assists – five steals – two blocks 
Jae Crowder
19 points – four rebounds – six assists
Buddy Hield
26 points – seven rebounds – three assists – one block
Jonas Valanciunas
18 points – 12 rebounds – two assists
Richaun Holmes
18 points – seven rebounds – two blocks

NEXT GAMES
Grizzlies at Clippers – Saturday
Pelicans at Kings – Saturday

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Detroit Pistons  112
Los Angeles Clippers  126

The Los Angeles Clippers led 69-63 at the half, but caught the right wind in the third quarter, outscoring the sputtering Detroit Pistons, 37-16. To sail away with the easy 14 point win last night in L.A. The Clippers’ bench came in and scored 68 points, while Detroit had nine players in double digits to no avail. Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams combined for 45 off the bench to give Kawhi Leonard and Paul George a night of semi-load management. The duo only had to put up 30 together.

PISTONS (12-23) 11th in the EastCLIPPERS (25-11) 3rd in the West
Bruce Brown, Jr.
15 points – two rebounds – six assists – one steal
Montrezl Harrell
23 points – four rebounds – three blocks
Christian Wood
14 points – six rebounds – one assist
Lou Williams
22 points – five rebounds – five assists – one steal

Derrick Rose
14 points – two rebounds – six assists
Kawhi Leonard
18 points – six rebounds – five assists – two steals – one block

NEXT GAMES
Grizzlies at Clippers – Saturday
Pistons at Warriors – Saturday

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FRIDAY’S LINEUP
Atlanta Hawks at Boston Celtics – 7 p.m. EST – NBC Sports Boston
Miami Heat at Orlando Magic – 7 p.m. EST – Fox Sports Florida
Portland Trailblazers at Washington Wizards – 7 p.m. EST – NBC Sports Washington
Philadelphia 76ers at Houston Rockets – 8 p.m. EST – ESPN
New York Knicks at Phoenix Suns – 9 p.m. EST – Fox Sports Arizona
New Orleans Pelicans at Los Angeles Lakers – 10:30 p.m. EST – ESPN

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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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