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The Rundown w/T-Money … for November 14, 2019

The Nets finished flatter than Kyrie Irving's earth, Kelly Oubre Jr. broke out for the Suns, Jrue Holiday spoiled Paul George's debut, and the Portland Trailblazers have inked Carmelo Anthony to a non-guaranteed contract.

Me: Hey Siri … Who owns the Dallas Mavericks?
Siri: The New York Knicks

The Knicks beat the Dallas Mavericks for the second time this season, the Nets run out of gas in Denver, and don’t turn your back on the Miami Heat … they’re for real.

BREAKING NEWS: The Portland Trailblazers sign Carmelo Anthony to a non-guaranteed deal.

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Young Guns of Miami Take Down Cavs

Miami Heat (8-3)108
Cleveland Cavaliers (4-7)97

Miami has a glut of rookie and young players who can rise up and steal the show on any given night, Jimmy Butler is just the frosting on the cupcake. And the longer that continues, the more confident and dangerous the Miami Heat will be this season.

Heat

  • Kendrick Nunn: 23 points – five rebounds – eight assists
  • Bam Adebayo: 16 points – 15 rebounds – five assists
  • Tyler Herro: 16 points – one rebound – one assist

Cavaliers

  • Kevin Love: 21 points – 10 rebounds – one assist
  • Collin Sexton: 15 points – four rebounds – three assists
  • Larry Nance, Jr.: 14 points – eight rebounds – 0 assists

Last night, the young guns took their show to Cleveland to face the Cavaliers and didn’t disappoint, as the Heat raced out to a pair of 34-22 opening quarters to take a very comfortable lead into the locker room.

Taking a 68-44 advantage into the second half, the Heat were able to withstand anything the Cavaliers threw at them, still walking away with the 11 point edge and win. Butler did hit for 14 points, two rebounds and six assists, Meyers Leonard had 12, seven and three, and Duncan Robinson finished with 11 points.

Kevin Love continues to be a strong leader, but it’s difficult to tell when that will take its toll on a guy who is accustomed to winning and will eventually want to win. Since it’s my hometown team and Love grew up playing sports there (nearby suburb Lake Oswego, actually), I’m going to incessantly campaign for the Portland Trailblazers to make a move for Love, who’s averaging 18.5 points, 12.9 rebounds, and 3.4 assists this season.

Cedi Osman added 12, seven and one, Darius Garland was a solid 11 point night, Jordan Clarkson finished with 10, and it was nice to see Larry Nance, Jr. get back in the mix, though he injured his hand on a dunk in the fourth quarter.

The Cavs came home with a 2-1 road trip under their belt, the only loss to Philadelphia by one point; they’ll get their chance at redemption this weekend.

SIDELINES

  • Miami has the second best record in the Eastern Conference.
  • The Heat jumped out to a 9-0 lead to start the game.
  • Cleveland was 13 of 15 from the line in the first half.

NEXT UP

Pelicans at Heat – Saturday
Sixers at Cavaliers – Sunday

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Load Management Continues to Cost the Clippers

Los Angeles Clippers (7-5)127
New Orleans Pelicans (3-8)132

The argument continues about the use of load management, and I had a friend ask me last night, “is this going to be the new norm?” I think the bigger question is, couldn’t Paul George have scored 33 and nine in an Oklahoma City Thunder uniform with Russell Westbrook sitting out, and still lost the game? I guess the only solace is that George is in his home city … 

Clippers

  • Paul George: 33 points – nine rebounds – four assists
  • Lou Williams: 31 points – two rebounds – nine assists
  • Rodney McGruder: 20 points – three rebounds – two assists

Pelicans

  • Jrue Holiday: 36 points – four rebounds – seven assists
  • Frank Jackson: 23 points – five rebounds – two assists
  • Derrick Favors: 20 points – 20 rebounds – three assists

You’d think that since Kawhi Leonard recruited Paul George to play alongside him in L.A., y’know, he’d at least play alongside him in his Los Angeles Clippers debut. Instead, Leonard left the onus of leadership on George’s shoulders and the New Orleans Pelicans – honestly the tenured Pelicans – took the opportunity to make a statement against the odds-on NBA Finals favorite, and they made it loud and clear.

New Orleans is getting tougher and tougher, despite their three-win record. 

The fact that Jrue Holiday and Frank Jackson took over shows that, despite all the new faces, the guys that have been here a minute can get it done. Factor in the 20/20 double double from Derrick Favors, 19 points from J.J. Redick, and 15 from E’Twaun Moore, and the Pelicans dug in and wanted this more than L.A., despite shooting six percent poorer.

Montrezl Harrell finished with 18 points, seven rebounds, and six assists, as the Clippers head back to L.A. for five straight at home in Staples Center.

SIDELINES

  • Holiday stole the ball from George three times in the games final minutes to seal the win; he also finished with six steals overall.
  • Brandon Ingram (right knee) and Lonzo Ball (groin) were held out last night, as well as Leonard for the Clippers.
  • L.A. is now officially on a skid, having dropped two consecutive games.

NEXT UP

Hawks at Clippers – Saturday
Pelicans at Heat – Saturday

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Bucks Win I-94 Battle

Chicago Bulls (4-8)115
Milwaukee Bucks (8-3)124

The Chicago Bulls are putting together quality games, the second consecutive of which Coby White has led the team in scoring, straightening the learning curve for the young North Carolina rookie and showing Bulls fans that – despite the eight losses – the future is in White’s capable hands. 

Bulls

  • Coby White: 26 points – five rebounds – three assists
  • Zach LaVine: 25 points – three rebounds – seven assists
  • Wendell Carter, Jr.: 14 points – six rebounds – one assist

Bucks

  • Giannis Antetokuonmpo: 38 points – 16 rebounds – four assists
  • Eric Bledsoe: 31 points – four rebounds – eight assists
  • Brook Lopez: 15 points – six rebounds – 0 assists

Sounds nice, but a tough pill to swallow when you end up within nine of the team that is an Eastern Conference favorite to be in the NBA Finals this year. Especially since, with the exception of the third quarter, your team outscored with the Milwaukee Bucks, 95-92, the other three periods.

But that third quarter. Oh so costly.

The teams were tied at 82-82 halfway through the third, when the Bucks turned it around on the catalyst of a Giannis Antetokuonmpo dunk. The crowd got into it and the Bucks created their distance from that point on to outscore the Bulls, 32-20.

Lauri Markkanen and Thaddeus Young added 11 points apiece for the Bulls, Tomas Satoransky finished with 10, four and five.

Wesley Matthews added 15 for the Bucks, on the foul line, Eric Bledsoe shot at an 85.7 percent clip, and while Khris Middleton sat with a thigh bruise injury expected to keep him out 3-4 weeks, Donte DiVincenzo started in his place and wrapped with a modest four points.

SIDELINES

  • The Bucks have won seven straight over the Bulls dating back to 2017.
  • White is the youngest player in NBA history to hit five three pointers in consecutive games; he had five again last night. 
  • Milwaukee only hit six three pointers, four of 18 in the first half; Chicago had 18 overall.

NEXT UP

Nets at Bulls – Saturday
Bucks at Pacers – Saturday

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Knicks Complete Sweep of Porzingis, Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks (6-5)103
New York Knicks (3-9)106

Me: Hey Siri … Who owns the Dallas Mavericks?
Siri: The New York Knicks
(Mark Cuban cringes)

Mavericks

  • Luka Doncic: 33 points – 10 rebounds – 11 assists
  • Kristaps Porzingis: 20 points – 11 rebounds – one assist
  • Dwight Powell: 12 points – four rebounds – two assists

Knicks

  • Marcus Morris: 20 points – five rebounds – 0 assists
  • Julius Randle: 17 points – 10 rebounds – three assists
  • Mitchell Robinson: 16 points – eight rebounds – 0 assists

For the second time in the last week, the New York Knicks have live by their credo of beating Kristaps Porzingis and the Dallas Mavericks, completing a season sweep of the heavily-booed forward-center.

In what was a raucous Madison Square Garden and a decibel level like it was March Madness in the Garden, the Knicks played to the cheers of their rabid fans, while Porzingis overcame the emotion and cavalcade of boos everytime he touched the ball to score 20 on his former team.

Luka Doncic also had his fifth triple double of the season, but it wasn’t enough as the Knicks rode the wave of emotion to their third win of the season. Two of their three wins have come at the expense of the Mavericks.

Ownership and management may have given up on the season after 10 games, but the Knicks players themselves are far from laying down and waiting for a LaMelo Ball, James Wiseman, or Anthony Edwards type player to save them next year.

That’s been the mentality in New York for about two decades now. The Knicks haven’t look this competitive since the lockout shortened season under former head coach Jeff Van Gundy.

If they could only bottle last night – what a game. Great choice, TNT.

Instant classic, as the network showed the game two more times overnight last night.

SIDELINES

  • Marcus Morris hit a three pointer that broke the tie and put the Knicks up for good with 13.2 seconds remaining in the game.
  • Porzingis missed his first four shots in the first four minutes of the game.
  • Mitchell Robinson cleared concussion protocol to come in and knock out 16 points and eight rebounds.

NEXT UP

Raptors at Mavericks – Saturday
Hornets at Knicks – Saturday

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Oubre Outdoes Young, Parker

Atlanta Hawks (4-7)112
Phoenix Suns (7-4)128

When you play the Phoenix Suns, you double down on Devin Booker, hoping to keep him under 40 percent shooting from the field and under 20 points at best. You also have to contain Aron Baynes, but then you forget that Phoenix acquired Dario Saric this past summer, too. That’s exactly what people like Kelly Oubre, Jr. lie back and wait for …

Hawks

  • Jabari Parker: 24 points – seven rebounds – one assist
  • Alex Len: 21 points – 10 rebounds – one assist
  • Trae Young: 21 points – one rebound – 13 assists

Suns

  • Kelly Oubre, Jr.: 30 points – seven rebounds – three assists
  • Devin Booker: 27 points – two rebounds – seven assists
  • Dario Saric: 23 points – six rebounds – one assist

Oubre took the mantle last night in Phoenix, facing off with one of the league’s youngest scoring machines in Trae Young, and Jabari Parker, who’s in the midst of a career resurrection.

But it was the shooting of Oubre, Booker and Saric that gunned down the Hawks, an unprotected species with the way they’ve nosedived since their quick and encouraging start three weeks ago.

The Suns show 48 percent in their own house, with Saric hitting 75 percent, Oubre hitting 55.6 percent, and Booker right at 50 percent for a combined 60.2 percent among the trio. Frank Kaminsky also hit 66.7 percent for 19 points and six rebounds, while Cam Johnson chipped in a 15 point night off the bench.

Young and Parker were impressive as usual, shooting 46.0 percent between them, but average when it comes to their typical game(s). DeAndre Hunter and Damian Jones kicked in with 14 apiece in the Hawks’ effort. Cam Reddish had nine on a rough shooting night, and a later ejection.

It doesn’t get any easier with the Los Angeles Clippers up next this weekend, they themselves coming off a two game skid.

SIDELINES

  • Former Suns center Alex Len came back to Talking Stick Resort Arena with a solid 21/10 game.
  • Kevin Huerter (left shoulder), Evan Turner (left Achilles pain) and Vince Carter (personal reasons) didn’t play.
  • Reddish was given two flagrant fouls and an ejection after throwing elbows in the faces of Suns players.

NEXT UP

Hawks at Clippers – Saturday
Celtics at Suns – Monday

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The 18s Beat the 17s

Brooklyn Nets (4-7)93
Denver Nuggets (8-3)101

Most of the Denver Nuggets seemed to align with scoring at least 18 points to lead the team to a win over the Brooklyn Nets, who seemed to align with their top three scoring 17 points apiece.

Nets

  • Jarrett Allen: 17 points – 10 rebounds – 0 assists
  • Kyrie Irving: 17 points – six rebounds – nine assists
  • Spencer Dinwiddie: 17 points – one rebound – four assists

Nuggets

  • Nikola Jokic: 18 points – 10 rebounds – three assists
  • Paul Millsap: 18 points – nine rebounds – two assists
  • Will Barton: 17 points – six rebounds – four assists

That led to the top three of the Nuggets outscoring the top three of the Nets, 53-51, leaving the rest of the eight point win in the hands of supplementary players.

But the biggest number for Denver was 52 and holding the Brooklyn Nets to 32, in the second half. Brooklyn only scored 18 points in the third and 14 in the fourth to fall to their seventh loss of the season. The Nets had scored more than that in their 35 point opening quarter as they raced out to a 61-49 halftime lead before falling flatter than Kyrie Irving’s earth in the second half.

Taurean Prince finished with 12 and eight, and Dzanan Musa added 10 points off the bench for Brooklyn. Irving was the team leader, despite playing with shoulder soreness. (He had treatment before the game).

Denver had seven players finish with double digit scoring. Jerami Grant added 12 and six, while it was 10 apiece for Gary Harris, Mason Plumlee and Monte Morris.

SIDELINES

  • It was the Nets’ fourth road game in seven nights.
  • Brooklyn was 0 for 17 from downtown in the second half.
  • DeAndre Jordan had 11 rebounds, but scored 0 points.

NEXT UP

Nets at Bulls – Saturday
Nuggets at Grizzlies – Sunday

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TONIGHT’S LINEUP
San Antonio Spurs at Orlando Magic – 7 p.m. EST – Fox Sports Southwest
Detroit Pistons at Charlotte Hornets – 7 p.m. EST – Fox Sports Detroit
Indiana Pacers at Houston Rockets – 8 p.m. EST – Fox Sports Midwest-Indiana
Washington Wizards at Minnesota Timberwolves – 8 p.m. EST – NBC Sports Washington
Philadelphia 76ers at Oklahoma City Thunder – 8 p.m. EST – NBC Sports Philadelphia
*** GAME OF THE NIGHT ***
Utah Jazz at Memphis Grizzlies – 8 p.m. EST – ESPN
Boston Celtics at Golden State Warriors – 10:30 p.m. EST – ESPN
Sacramento Kings at Los Angeles Lakers – 10:30 p.m. EST – NBC Sports California

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*** The Rundown w/T-Money is a daily column “all things NBA” that will run through the entirety of the season, and the playoffs through the NBA Finals ***

Tracy Graven is a Senior Analyst for BackSportsPage.com. He has written the NBA for the last two decades and is also tackling the NFL, NCAA, and 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. He currently lives in Knoxville, Tennessee with his wife and five children.
Reach him on Twitter at @RealTMoneyMedia

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