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 …
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 East||CAVALIERS (10-27) 14th in the East|
24 points – three rebounds – seven assists – one steal
30 points – nine rebounds – four assists – one steal
23 points – 20 rebounds – five assists – one steal – two blocks
20 points – two rebounds – two assists – one steal
18 points – four rebounds – two assists
17 points – one rebound – two assists – one steal
Cleveland at Detroit – Thursday
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 West||RAPTORS (24-13) 4th in the East|
28 points – seven rebounds – one assist – two steals
24 points – four rebounds – 10 assists
20 points – four rebounds – nine assists – two blocks
17 points – 11 rebounds – two assists
14 points – 16 rebounds – four assists – seven blocks
12 points – nine rebounds – three blocks
Raptors at Hornets – Tonight
Blazers at Timberwolves – Thursday
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 West||NETS (16-20) 8th in the East|
28 points – six rebounds – three assists – two steals
21 points – eight rebounds – one assist – one steal – one block
22 points – four rebounds – two assists – two steals
20 points – six rebounds – three assists
14 points – four rebounds – five assists – one steal
14 points – five rebounds – six assists
Rockets at Thunder – Thursday
Heat at Nets – Friday
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 West||GRIZZLIES (16-22) 9th in the West|
24 points – five rebounds – one assist – two steals
28 points – three rebounds – one steal
18 points – six assists – two steals
25 points – four rebounds – seven assists – one steal
17 points – six rebounds – two assists – one steal
|Jaren Jackson, Jr.|
21 points – seven rebounds – two assists – one steal – three blocks
Blazers at Timberwolves – Thursday
Spurs at Grizzlies – Friday
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 West||SUNS (14-23) 13th in the West|
27 points – four rebounds – six assists – one steal – one block
34 points – four rebounds – seven assists – one steal
19 points – seven rebounds – one assist – three steals
21 points – nine rebounds – two assists – one block
16 points – three rebounds – two assists
|Kelly Oubre, Jr.|
17 points – six rebounds – one assist – one block
Bucks at Kings – Friday
Magic at Suns – Friday
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 East||LAKERS (30-7) 1st in the West|
19 points – five rebounds
31 points – five rebounds – five assists – two steals – one block
15 points – 10 rebounds – two assists – two blocks
16 points – six rebounds – one assist
12 points – eight rebounds – four assists – three steals – one block
15 points – one rebound – one steal
Knicks at Jazz – Tonight
Lakers at Mavericks – Friday
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
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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