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The Rundown w/T-Money

Rundown v01.08.20 – Big Runs, Last-Minute Shots, and a Big Scare in L.A.

The Lakers got a big scare, but not from the Knicks; Chris Paul showing his value in OKC, Carmelo Anthony downs the Raptors, and The Grizzlies are awakening from Western Conference hibernation.

The Rundown is back with six games from last night’s slate of action.

I had to step away for three days for a family emergency, but I’m back and saw some great last minute action last night as well as some big fourth quarter runs.

Let’s take a look …

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Detroit Pistons  115
Cleveland Cavaliers  113

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Last night, that rose was Derrick Rose, who hit a game winner with 27 seconds remaining last night in Cleveland to close out their most recent road trip with a victory over the hapless Cleveland Cavaliers. Rose led the Pistons to their 14th win of the season, despite 30 points from Kevin Love, who seemed to understand that it’s he and the other Cavaliers that dictate wins, losses, and frustrations, not Koby Altman. A 31-18 fourth quarter surge by the Pistons put them in the position for Rose to hit the game winning bucket. These two teams square off again on Thursday in John Beilein’s first return to the state of Michigan since he was hired as the Cavs’ head coach.

PISTONS (14-24) 10th in the EastCAVALIERS (10-27) 14th in the East
Derrick Rose
24 points – three rebounds – seven assists – one steal
Kevin Love
30 points – nine rebounds – four assists – one steal
Andre Drummond
23 points – 20 rebounds – five assists – one steal – two blocks
Collin Sexton
20 points – two rebounds – two assists – one steal
Tony Snell
18 points – four rebounds – two assists
Cedi Osman
17 points – one rebound – two assists – one steal

NEXT GAMES
Cleveland at Detroit – Thursday

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Portland Trailblazers  101
Toronto Raptors  99

Six … five … four … splash! That’s what the Toronto Raptors saw and heard as Carmelo Anthony hit the game winning shot last night up North as the visiting Portland Trailblazers stole a win at ScotiaBank Arena with Anthony’s bucket the lone margin. The Blazers are 5-3 when Anthony score 20+ points. Anthony also seems to be having an influence on Hassan Whiteside, who had another impressive double double after being talked about as trade bait.

BLAZERS (16-22) 10th in the WestRAPTORS (24-13) 4th in the East
Carmelo Anthony
28 points – seven rebounds – one assist – two steals
Kyle Lowry
24 points – four rebounds – 10 assists
Damian Lillard
20 points – four rebounds – nine assists – two blocks
Serge Ibaka
17 points – 11 rebounds – two assists
Hassan Whiteside
14 points – 16 rebounds – four assists – seven blocks
Chris Boucher
12 points – nine rebounds – three blocks

NEXT GAMES
Raptors at Hornets – Tonight
Blazers at Timberwolves – Thursday

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Oklahoma City Thunder  111
Brooklyn Nets  103 (OT)

There are 160M reasons that Chris Paul is in Oklahoma City at the twilight of his playing career. And while he can count all of those reasons at the bank, the intangibles are why Oklahoma City is paying him those countable reasons. Not only is he giving Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Dennis Schroder stellar mentorship, but he can also drop 20 of his 28 total points in the fourth quarter and overtime to put the Brooklyn Nets away. In fact, after he broke a 103-103 tie, the Nets never scored again.

THUNDER (21-16) 7th in the WestNETS (16-20) 8th in the East
Chris Paul
28 points – six rebounds – three assists – two steals
Taurean Prince
21 points – eight rebounds – one assist – one steal – one block
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
22 points – four rebounds – two assists – two steals
Caris LeVert
20 points – six rebounds – three assists
Dennis Schroder
14 points – four rebounds – five assists – one steal
Spencer Dinwiddie
14 points – five rebounds – six assists

NEXT GAMES
Rockets at Thunder – Thursday
Heat at Nets – Friday

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Minnesota Timberwolves  112
Memphis Grizzlies  119

Though he was the No. 3 guy last night for the Memphis Grizzlies, Jaren Jackson Jr. is developing nicely for Memphis in his second year in the league. Oft teams the team leader, but humble enough to let guys like Dillon Brooks and Ja Morant take the lead, like last night when the trio combined for 74 points overall and pulled a 37-28 fourth quarter run that gave the team its 16th win of the season and has them within reach of a possible playoff spot if they keep playing like they have the past couple of weeks.

T’WOLVES (14-22) 12th in the WestGRIZZLIES (16-22) 9th in the West
Jarrett Culver
24 points – five rebounds – one assist – two steals
Dillon Brooks
28 points – three rebounds – one steal
Jeff Teague
18 points – six assists – two steals
Ja Morant
25 points – four rebounds – seven assists – one steal
Robert Covington
17 points – six rebounds – two assists – one steal
Jaren Jackson, Jr.
21 points – seven rebounds – two assists – one steal – three blocks

NEXT GAMES
Blazers at Timberwolves – Thursday
Spurs at Grizzlies – Friday

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Sacramento Kings  114
Phoenix Suns  103

How do you counter a 21 point deficit, and a 34 point – 57 percent shooting performance from Devin Booker? You put the ball (and a little faith) in the more-than-capable hands of De’Aaron Fox and watch the Sacramento Kings run up a 36-16 fourth quarter performance on the road and head home with a little more confidence as you prepare for the NBA’s best team on Friday night, that’s how. And that’s how the Sacramento Kings left Phoenix last night after cooling off the Suns.

KINGS (15-23) 11th in the WestSUNS (14-23) 13th in the West
De’Aaron Fox
27 points – four rebounds – six assists – one steal – one block
Devin Booker
34 points – four rebounds – seven assists – one steal
Nemanja Bjelica
19 points – seven rebounds – one assist – three steals
Deandre Ayton
21 points – nine rebounds – two assists – one block
Buddy Hield
16 points – three rebounds – two assists
Kelly Oubre, Jr.
17 points – six rebounds – one assist – one block

NEXT GAMES
Bucks at Kings – Friday
Magic at Suns – Friday

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New York Knicks  87
Los Angeles Lakers  117

This was arguably one of the most predictable outcomes of the NBA schedule. The Los Angeles Lakers got a scare last night, but it wasn’t from the New York Knicks, who folded to the tune of 30 points. No, it was when Anthony Davis went down in the third quarter with a bruised lower back (did I not predict injury would be the only thing to slow this team?). X-rays proved to be negative, so good news there. Also (ironically), Dwight Howard’s contract became fully guaranteed for the remainder of the season, something I felt he earned long before Carmelo Anthony earned his in Portland. The Lakers will be alright – unless LeBron James suffers an injury (knock on wood). But Julius Randle’s return to L.A. as a New York Knick did not go well … and no one expected it to.

KNICKS (10-27) 13th in the EastLAKERS (30-7) 1st in the West
R.J. Barrett
19 points – five rebounds
LeBron James
31 points – five rebounds – five assists – two steals – one block
Julius Randle
15 points – 10 rebounds – two assists – two blocks
Kyle Kuzma
16 points – six rebounds – one assist
Elfrid Payton
12 points – eight rebounds – four assists – three steals – one block
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
15 points – one rebound – one steal

NEXT GAMES
Knicks at Jazz – Tonight
Lakers at Mavericks – Friday

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WEDNESDAY’S LINEUP
San Antonio Spurs at Boston Celtics – 7 p.m. EST – NBC Sports Boston
Miami Heat at Indiana Pacers – 7 p.m. EST – Fox Sports Midwest-Indiana
Washington Wizards at Orlando Magic – 7 p.m. EST – NBC Sports Washington
Toronto Raptors at Charlotte Hornets – 7 p.m. EST – Fox Sports Southeast
Houston Rockets at Atlanta Hawks – 7:30 p.m. EST – AT&T SportsNet Southwest
Denver Nuggets at Dallas Mavericks – 7:30 p.m. EST – ESPN
Chicago Bulls at New Orleans Pelicans – 8 p.m. EST – NBC Sports Chicago
New York Knicks at Utah Jazz – 9 p.m. EST – AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain
Milwaukee Bucks at Golden State Warriors – 10 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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