The last night of the three night, seven games a night package dropped with New Orleans Pelicans celebrating right alongside the Louisiana State Tigers in wins on Monday evening.
Indiana controlled its own destiny against a conference rival, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander pulled his first triple double but has a long way to go to fill Russell Westbrook’s WhyNot0.3 shoes, and we witnessed the return of an old friend in Dwight Howard.
New Orleans Pelicans 117
Detroit Pistons 110 (OT)
If you thought Lonzo Ball was a slouch when it comes to playing basketball, you haven’t seen how he’s resurrected himself in New Orleans. Ball scored almost a third of his 17 points in the overtime period to help the New Orleans Pelicans overcome a 16 point deficit and take a victory home to The Big Easy as the Pelicans prepare to face the Utah Jazz on Thursday night in what is expected to be Zion Williamson’s NBA season debut. Former Pelican Christian Wood had a good showing versus his former squad with 18 points and nine rebounds, while Jahlil Okafor came out of nowhere to lead the Pelicans along with Ball and Nicolo Melli.
|PELICANS (15-26) 14th in the West||PISTONS (14-27) 11th in the East|
25 points – 15 rebounds – four assists – three blocks
23 points – four rebounds – eight assists – one block
20 points – three rebounds – two assists – two steals
18 points – nine rebounds – one assist – two steals – three blocks
17 points – 12 rebounds – nine assists – three steals
16 points – eight rebounds – one assist – one steal – one block
Pistons at Celtics – Wednesday
Jazz at Pelicans – Thursday
Philadelphia 76ers 95
Indiana Pacers 101
Back on New Years Eve, the Indiana Pacers closed out 2019 by KO’ing the Philadelphia 76ers, 115-97. In 2020, things haven’t changed, though the blow was much softer last night than NYE, as the Pacers pulled out another on against Philadelphia to move past the Sixers in the Eastern Conference standings and take over fifth place with the win.
|SIXERS (25-16) 6th in the East||PACERS (25-15) 5th in the East|
24 points – 14 rebounds – three assists – one steal
21 points – seven rebounds – nine assists – one steal
|#VFL Josh Richardson|
23 points – four rebounds – three assists
21 points – one rebound – two assists – two steals – two blocks
|#VFL Tobias Harris|
15 points – 11 rebounds – three assists – one steal
14 points – 10 rebounds – one assist – three blocks
Nets at Sixers – Wednesday
Pacers at Timberwolves – Wednesdat
Chicago Bulls 101
Boston Celtics 113
The Chicago Bulls have lost seven of their last eight games after last night’s loss to the Boston Celtics. One might question about last night as I have all season – where the heck is Lauri Markkanen? The guy looks like he hit the weight room in the offseason, but his production number suck this year compared to last. His production numbers are down off his career averages after 40 games, and against Boston, he only put up nine points, six rebounds, and two steals in 25 minutes of play, shooting 44.4 percent and nothing from downtown.
|BULLS (14-27) 10th in the East||CELTICS (27-11) 2nd in the East|
30 points – five rebounds – two assists – one steal
21 points – six rebounds – two assists – one steal – two blocks
17 points – two rebounds – one assist
|Jaylen Brown |
19 points – three rebounds – three assists – two steals
12 points – one rebound – seven assists – one steal
15 points – nine rebounds – one steal – one block
Wizards at Bulls – Wednesday
Pistons at Celtics – Wednesday
Oklahoma City Thunder 117
Minnesota Timberwolves 104
Last night was a career night for Oklahoma City’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Not only did he hit career bests in rebounds and assists, but he notched his first career triple double as the Oklahoma City Thunder quieted the howl of the Minnesota Timberwolves with a 13 point road win. The Thunder have won six of their last seven on the road, and 12 of their last 15 games overall.
|THUNDER (23-17) 7th in the West||TIMBERWOLVES (15-24) 12th in the West|
30 points – four rebounds – one assist – one steal
20 points – one rebound – one assist – one block
20 points – 20 rebounds – 10 assists – one block
18 points – four rebounds – two assists – three steals – one block
|Terrance Ferguson / Dennis Schroder14 points – three rebounds – one assist (each)||Shabazz Napier|
16 points – five rebounds – four assists
Raptors at Thunder – Wednesday
Pacers at Timberwolves – Wednesday
Charlotte Hornets 112
Portland Trailblazers 115
The Portland Trailblazers had lost four in a row at the Moda Center in the Rose Garden. That was enough. Time to reset their clocks to Dame Time. Damian Lillard dropped 30 points last night to stop that skid, while C.J. McCollum, Carmelo Anthony, and Anthony Tolliver put their best efforts forward to help vanquish the Charlotte Hornets. Tolliver finished with a season high 16 points, all of them in the fourth quarter to fend off a Hornets team that poured out an impressive 43 points in the third quarter to remain relevant in the game.
|HORNETS (15-28) 9th in the East||BLAZERS (17-24) 10th in the West|
27 points – three rebounds – 10 assists – one steal
30 points – three rebounds – nine assists
25 points – seven rebounds – three assists
27 points – four rebounds – four assists – one block
20 points – 11 rebounds – three assists – two steals – two blocks
17 points – six rebounds – eight assists – one steal
Hornets at Nuggets – Wednesday
Blazers at Rockets – Wednesday
Orlando Magic 114
Sacramento Kings 112
The Orlando Magic overcame a Herculean effort by Sacramento’s Nemanja Bjelica last night in Sacramento with a little bit of Casper. Aaron Gordon hit for the three point play with 1.1 seconds left in the game to lift Orlando to its 19th win of the season, after Bjelica dropped 34 points on the Magic, shooting 81.3 percent from the floor and 80 percent from beyond the arc, all for naught. The Magic won despite shooting considerably poorer from the field (ORL 43% to SAC 51%), three point territory (ORL 31% to SAC 38%), and the line (83% to 90%) on the night.
|MAGIC (19-21) 7th in the East||KINGS (15-25) 13th in the West|
26 points – 15 rebounds – two assists – three blocks
34 points – seven rebounds – two assists – two steals
25 points – six assists – one steal
31 points – eight rebounds – 10 assists – one steal – one block
19 points – nine rebounds – two assists – one block
|Marvin Bagley III|
18 points – six rebounds – two blocks
Magic at Lakers – Wednesday
Mavericks at Kings – Wednesday
Cleveland Cavaliers 99
Los Angeles Lakers 128
You knew when Anthony Davis went down that Dwight Howard was going to get more minutes. What we didn’t know is that we’d get the old Dwight Howard – as in the Orlando Magic Dwight Howard. LeBron James may have scored 23 of his 31 points in a second half that saw the Los Angeles Lakers drown James’ former Cavaliers with 81 points, but it was nice to see the recently guaranteed Howard put up the numbers he did, shooting 81.8 percent from the field, two of three from the line and hit his only three point attempt. You keep going, DH.
|CAVALIERS (12-28) 13th in the East||LAKERS (33-7) 1st in the West|
21 points – 11 rebounds – three assists
31 points – two rebounds – eight assists – one steal
17 points – 10 rebounds – two assists – one steal
21 points – 15 rebounds – two assists
16 points – three rebounds – four assists
12 points – three rebounds
Cavaliers at Clippers – Tonight
Magic at Lakers – Wednesday
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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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