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Rundown v02.23.20 – Harden & Westbrook Launch 72, Kings Crown Clippers, Bucks Crack Sixers

Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot led Brooklyn to a resounding win, Giannis Antetokuonmpo was his MVP self in Milwaukee's win, and when James Harden and Russell Westbrook combine for 72, it's over.

Seven games in the NBA last night, and no real surprises, unless you expected the Philadelphia-Milwaukee game to be closer.


Sacramento Kings  112
Los Angeles Clippers  103

The Sacramento Kings jumped out to a quick lead and that was all they needed to stave off the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center yesterday afternoon. Kent Bazemore, who spent most of the season getting garbage minutes in Portland, stepped up with a season high 23 points in 30 minutes off the bench for the Kings. Kawhi Leonard led all scorers with 31, and the Clippers were without Patrick Beverley’s and Paul George’s services, while Marcus Morris only had six and two, and newcomer Reggie Jackson only had eight and two. It’s nice when George and Leonard play together, but we’ve seen so little of that – maybe they’re saving it for the stretch run.

KINGS (23-33) 12th in the WestCLIPPERS (37-19) 3rd in the West
Kent Bazemore
23 points – six rebounds – one assist – four steals – one block
Kawhi Leonard
31 points – eight rebounds – five assists – two steals
Bogdan Bogdanovic
20 points – five rebounds – two assists – one steal
Lou Williams
24 points – four rebounds – two assists – one steal
De’Aaron Fox
20 points – four rebounds – eight assists – one steal
Montrezl Harrell
16 points – 10 rebounds – two assists – two steals – one block

Memphis at Los Angeles – Monday
Sacramento at Golden State – Tuesday


Brooklyn Nets  115
Charlotte Hornets  86

Without Kyrie Irving, the Brooklyn Nets had one of their best games to date, defeating the Charlotte Hornets at The Hive by nearly 30 points last night, behind a 33-18 third quarter burst, and eight players in double figures. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot led all scorers with 21 points in a game that saw the Nets devour the Hornets on the boards, 54-45, with Garrett Temple grabbing 11 boards, all defensive. Brooklyn is playing eight of 10 games on the road and are 3-2 halfway through that 10 game span.

NETS (26-29) 7th in the EastHORNETS (19-37) 10th in the East
Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot
21 points – four rebounds
P.J. Washington
16 points – seven rebounds – four assists – one steal
Caris LeVert
17 points – three rebounds – two assists – six steals
Malik Monk
15 points – four rebounds – two assists
Garrett Temple
15 points – 11 rebounds – three assists – one steal
Cody Zeller
14 points – nine assists

Orlando at Brooklyn – Monday
Charlotte at Indiana – Tuesday


Dallas Mavericks  107
Atlanta Hawks  111

You have to wonder if the Atlanta Hawks ever regret trading Luka Doncic to the Dallas Mavericks for Trae Young. After all, Doncic was the No. 3 pick and Atlanta felt Young would be their future. Both ran neck and neck for last season’s Rookie of the Year award, with Doncic coming out on top. But long term, the Hawks love young Rayford. Especially when he combines with John Collins for 60 points in a Hawks home win. That’s right, everybody always overlooks the young kid from Layton, Utah who was drafted at No. 19 a year earlier as the Hawks started laying their foundation for the future. While they’re miles apart in the standings and playoff chances, the Mavs are on the decline right now while the Hawks have been putting some nice wins together. Doncic missed the game to rest an ankle and Kristaps Porzingis sat out to rest his knee. Sad for Atlanta ticket holders who’d hoped to see Young and Doncic compete.

MAVERICKS (34-23) 7th in the WestHAWKS (17-41) 14th in the East
Tim Hardaway, Jr.
33 points – four rebounds – five assists
John Collins
35 points – 17 rebounds – two assists – one steal – two blocks
Seth Curry
22 points – six rebounds – five assists – two steals
Trae Young
25 points – six rebounds – 10 assists
Delon Wright
14 points – four rebounds – two assists – one steal
Cam Reddish
20 points – six rebounds – three assists – three steals

Minnesota at Dallas – Monday
Atlanta at Philadelphia – Monday


Phoenix Suns  112
Chicago Bulls  104

Phoenix outscored the host Chicago Bulls by 13 in the third quarter to pull away and scorch the home team with an eight point win last night. The Suns win spoiled Coby White’s coming out party, as the rookie took the Bulls by the horns and dropped 33 points on the Suns. Zach LaVine added 20 points, but it was all Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton, combining for 57 points, 24 rebounds, and six assists to spoil the party. Ricky Rubio has put a hold on his AARP membership the past couple of games, scoring 18 points, seven rebounds, and dishing out 11 dimes last night.

SUNS (23-34) 13th in the WestBULLS (19-38) 11th in the East
Devin Booker
29 points – five rebounds – five assists – one steal
Coby White
33 points – three rebounds – two assists – one steal
Deandre Ayton
28 points – 19 rebounds – one assist – three blocks
Zach LaVine
20 points – four rebounds – five assists – one steal – one block
Ricky Rubio
18 points – seven rebounds – 11 assists – two steals
Ryan Arcidiacono
13 points – five rebounds – three assists – one steal

Washington at Chicago – Tonight
Phoenix at Utah – Monday


Cleveland Cavaliers  105
Miami Heat  124

It’s tough for anyone to guide the Cleveland Cavaliers to a win when they allow a 44-20 second quarter to happen. So keep your chin up, J.B. Bickerstaff. Besides, Miami needed to win one – they’d lost six of their previous 10 games. The Heat seemed inspired and motivated by the presence of Dwyane Wade and the opportunity to see his No. 3 retired at halftime. Cleveland seemed more inspired by load management, maybe resting up for the encore performance back in Cleveland on Monday night. Last night, it was the kids leading the way, with Kendrick Nunn leading all scorers with 24 points, Duncan Robinson added 19, Bam Adebayo had 15, and the guy with a forever asterisk by his name – alleged Slam Dunk champion Derrick Jones, Jr. – finished with 13 points. Andre Drummond only went for six and six.

CAVALIERS (15-41) 15th in the EastHEAT (36-20) 4th in the East
Cedi Osman
19 points – seven rebounds – seven assists
Kendrick Nunn
24 points – two rebounds – eight assists – two steals – one block
Collin Sexton
17 points – two rebounds – nine assists – one steal
Duncan Robinson
19 points – one rebound – three assists
Tristan Thompson
16 points – seven rebounds – one assist
Kelly Olynyk
17 points – two rebounds – two assists – two steals – one block

Miami at Cleveland – Monday


Philadelphia 76ers  98
Milwaukee Bucks  119

In a game that was purported to be the marquee matchup of last night’s schedule, you’d have had better entertainment value if you’d re-watched Rocky IV. The Philadelphia 76ers were Apollo Creed and the Milwaukee Bucks were Ivan Drago. But do the Sixers have enough Rocky Balboa in them to come back in the second half? No, not last night – they got hammered 63-48 in the second half. Of the season? That remains to be seen. The team seemed more together when they had Jimmy Butler last year. Head coach Brett Brown had better push these boys hard the last 25 games or they might be in the same boat as the Dallas Mavericks – near the bottom of their conference.

SIXERS (35-22) 5th in the EastBUCKS (48-8) 1st in the East, NBA
Joel Embiid
17 points – 11 rebounds – four assists – one steal – one block
Giannis Antetokuonmpo
31 points – 17 rebounds – eight assists – one block
Furkan Korkmaz
17 points – five rebounds – one assist
Khris Middleton
25 points – nine rebounds – two assists
Shake Milton
17 points – two assists
Eric Bledsoe
12 points – four rebounds – eight assists

Atlanta at Philadelphia – Monday
Milwaukee at Washington – Monday


Houston Rockets  120
Utah Jazz  110

The Utah Jazz could have gained some important ground on the visiting Houston Rockets last night, but let a 58-44 second half get in their way and instead finished with the same 36-20 record as the Rockets, with Houston having a slight edge in the seeding. James Harden and Russell Westbrook put together a 72 point clinic in Salt Lake City, combining for 55.2 percent shooting from the field and 52.2 from downtown. Harden hit six three pointers and Westbrook was perfect from the free throw line. Eric Gordon came off the bench for 12, a far cry from the 50 he dropped on Utah last month. Jordan Clarkson and Donovan Mitchell looked much better than their last outing, but a combined 53 wasn’t enough to defeat Houston’s GQ Magazine cover boys.

ROCKETS (36-20) 4th in the WestJAZZ (36-20) 5th in the West
James Harden
38 points – five rebounds – seven assists – two steals – one block
Donovan Mitchell
31 points – seven rebounds – three assists
Russell Westbrook
34 points – six rebounds – four assists – one steal
Jordan Clarkson
22 points – seven rebounds – one assist – one steal
Ben McLemore
12 points – four rebounds
Mike Conley
13 points – seven rebounds – seven assists

New York at Houston – Monday
Phoenix at Utah – Monday


(All Times Eastern)

3:30 p.m.
Boston Celtics
Los Angeles Lakers
6 p.m.
Minnesota Timberwolves
Denver Nuggets
6 p.m.
Indiana Pacers
Toronto Raptors
Fox Sports Indiana
7 p.m.
San Antonio Spurs
Oklahoma City Thunder
Fox Sports Southwest
7 p.m.
Washington Wizards
Chicago Bulls
NBC Sports Chicago
8:30 p.m.
New Orleans Pelicans
Golden State Warriors
9 p.m.
Detroit Pistons
Portland Trailblazers
Fox Sports Detroit


Tracy Graven is a Senior NBA Analyst for
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, 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
  • Denver
  • Oklahoma City
  • Atlanta 

A corporate trainer by day, he currently resides in SEC Country near Knoxville, Tennessee.
Reach him on Twitter at @RealTMoneyMedia

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