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The Rundown w/T-Money

Rundown v12.27.19 – Wolves End 11 Game Skid, Nets Set New Low, Dončić Returns

Utah and Memphis keep the Blazers and Thunder humbled, Luka Doncic returns, New York wins 'big,' and Minnesota ends its 11 game losing streak.

Just six games in the NBA last night as we ease back into the schedule, most of us still with a full belly and just the right amount of NBA action every night the next few nights.

Portland and Oklahoma City have yet to turn the corner, Minnesota ends its 11 game skid, and TNT wisely replaces the Chocolate Pudding Emoji Game of the Night with a tilt between Dallas and San Antonio.

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Washington Wizards  102
Detroit Pistons  132

When you look at the starting lineup for the Washington Wizards, you have to wonder if head coach Scott Brooks had his clipboard upside down when prepping for last night’s game against the Detroit Pistons. Brooks started players like #VFL Admiral Schofield, Germany’s Isaac Bonga, Latvian G League player Anzejs Pasecniks, and veteran journeyman Ian Mahinmi alongside Bradley Beal. The results were as you might expect – four starters totalling 16 points, 11 rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one block. Former Washington Wizard Tim Frazier outscored those four, as the Pistons outdid the Wizards in every quarter, cruising to the 30 point win, and squashed their own losing streak.

WASHINGTON (9-21)DETROIT (12-20)
Anzejs Pasecniks
17 points – six rebounds – one assist – two steals
Christian Wood
22 points – seven rebounds – three assists – one block
Bradley Beal
15 points – two rebounds – two assists – one steal
Tim Frazier
17 points – two rebounds – six assists
Jordan McRae
15 points – two rebounds – two assists – one block
Derrick Rose
15 points – two rebounds – six assists – one steal

NEXT GAMES
Knicks at Wizards – Saturday
Pistons at Spurs – Saturday

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New York Knicks  94
Brooklyn Nets  82

According to Elias Sports Bureau, the Brooklyn Nets put one up for the books last night. They, now, are the team with the fewest two point field goals in a game since 1950. They made eight two pointers. The result was an NBA season low shooting percentage of 27 percent for the Nets. As you might guess, New York made more, shot better, and won the Battle of the Boroughs behind magnificent play from their glut of power forwards, more specifically, Julius Randle and Marcus Morris, the latter of which might have been the best free agent pick up of the summer between the two teams.

NEW YORK (8-24)BROOKLYN (16-14)
Julius Randle
33 points – eight rebounds – two assists
Spencer Dinwiddie
25 points – eight rebounds – three assists
Marcus Morris
22 points – eight rebounds – two assists
Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot
10 points – two rebounds – one assist – two steals – one block
Elfrid Payton
13 points – seven rebounds – four assists – one steal
Joe Harris
Eight points – six rebounds – two assists

NEXT GAMES
Knicks at Wizards – Saturday
Nets at Rockets – Saturday

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Memphis Grizzlies  110
Oklahoma City Thunder  97

Oklahoma City’s guard corps continues to improve, but the Memphis Grizzlies went big last night and capitalized on the improving play of second year big man Jaren Jackson, Jr., who had a solid all around game last night in Oklahoma City as the Grizzlies won their 12th game of the season. The Thunder beat Memphis on this very floor eight days ago, 126-122, behind 31 points from Dennis Schroder (20 last night) and 20 from Danilo Gallinari. Gallinari didn’t play last night due to a left ankle issue that kept him out of the game against the Clippers and will keep from traveling to the Thunder’s next two games. With Portland’s loss last night, too, the Thunder maintain seventh in the Western Conference standings for now, despite dropping to .500.

MEMPHIS (12-20)OKLAHOMA CITY (15-15)
Jonas Valanciunas
21 points – four rebounds – one assist
Chris Paul
23 points – six rebounds – 11 assists – three steals
Jaren Jackson, Jr.
20 points – four rebounds – four assists – two steals – three blocks
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
21 points – three rebounds – one assist – three steals
Tyus Jones
15 points – two rebounds – two assists
Dennis Schroder
20 points – three rebounds – three assists – one steal

NEXT GAMES
Thunder at Hornets – Friday
Grizzlies at Nuggets – Saturday

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San Antonio Spurs  98
Dallas Mavericks  102

Luka Doncic returned to the Dallas Mavericks lineup last night, and if you saw the game, you saw the kid just having fun. No pressure. Just smiling and having a blast. Maybe that’s all there is to the secret of Doncic’s success in the NBA. Of course, the Mavericks were playing the San Antonio Spurs, who have struggled with consistency after starting the season 4-0. Though the Spurs scored the game’s final 13 points, the Mavericks were comfortably ahead thanks to Doncic’s reinsertion into the game in the second quarter, which gave the Mavericks a 52-47 lead, and enough of a shot in the arm to carry them to the win.

SAN ANTONIO (12-18)DALLAS (20-10)
DeMar DeRozan
21 points – five rebounds – four assists – one steal
Luka Doncic
24 points – 10 rebounds – eight assists – one steal
Rudy Gay
18 points – eight rebounds – two assists – two steals – two blocks
Tim Hardaway, Jr.
17 points – three rebounds
LaMarcus Aldridge
17 points – seven rebounds – one assist – one steal – two blocks
Kristaps Porzingis
13 points – eight rebounds – three assists – one steal – one block

NEXT GAMES
Pistons at Spurs – Saturday
Mavericks at Warriors – Saturday

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Minnesota Timberwolves  105
Sacramento Kings  104 (2OT)

Andrew Wiggins may have shot a mere 21.1 percent last night in Sacramento, but he hit when it mattered, scoring the first bucket in the second overtime and assisting teammate Robert Covington on another, and the Minnesota Timberwolves escaped Sacramento with a one point, double overtime win that keeps the Sacramento Kings at bay, much as they were last season. The 11 game losing streak is over for the Timberwolves, who looked relieved leaving the court after the elongated affair.

MINNESOTA (11-19)SACRAMENTO (12-19)
Gorgui Dieng
21 points – 15 rebounds – two steals – one block
Richaun Holmes
20 points – 18 rebounds – three assists – two steals – two blocks
Robert Covington
19 points – eight rebounds – one assist – two blocks
Bogdan Bogdanovic
19 points – seven rebounds – two assists – one steal – three blocks
Andrew Wiggins
18 points – 10 rebounds – seven assists
Marvin Bagley III
18 points – four rebounds – one steal

NEXT GAMES
Cavaliers at Timberwolves – Saturday
Suns at Kings – Saturday

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Portland Trailblazers  115
Utah Jazz  121

Most games between these two Western Conference teams are up and down, wild rollercoaster rides, and last night’s was no different in Salt Lake City. Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz with 28 of his 35 points in a second half that saw the Jazz outdo the Blazers in the third quarter, before Portland answered with a 39-25 fourth. Thanks to Joe Ingles’ performance in the first half, the Jazz already had a nice pad heading into the locker room at halftime, due to a 37-22 opening quarter that they just had to protect throughout the game, and, especially at the end when defensive specialist Rudy Gobert’s hustle plays. The loss means Portland gained no ground on Oklahoma City, nor did they move any closer to surpassing the .500 mark, which has been elusive much of this early season. Jordan Clarkson scored nine points and had one steal in his Jazz debut.

PORTLAND (14-18)UTAH (19-12)
Damian Lillard
34 points – four rebounds – eight assists
Donovan Mitchell
35 points – three rebounds – seven assists
C.J. McCollum
25 points – four rebounds – two assists – one steal
Joe Ingles
26 points – five rebounds – four assists – one steal
Anfernee Simons
15 points – 10 rebounds
Rudy Gobert
16 points – 15 rebounds – two assists – one block

NEXT GAMES
Lakers at Blazers – Saturday
Jazz at Clippers – Saturday

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FRIDAY’S LINEUP
Cleveland Cavaliers at Boston Celtics – 4 p.m. EST – NBC Sports Boston
Philadelphia 76ers at Orlando Magic – 7 p.m. EST – NBATV
Oklahoma City Thunder at Charlotte Hornets – 7 p.m. EST – Fox Sports Southeast
Milwaukee Bucks at Atlanta Hawks – 7:30 p.m. EST – Fox Sports Southeast
Indiana Pacers at Miami Heat – 8 p.m. EST – Fox Sports Midwest-Indiana
Phoenix Suns at Golden State Warriors – 10:30 p.m. EST – NBATV

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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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