Gordon Hayward, Stephen Curry and Kurtis Blow? What do these three have in common? These are The Breaks …
Celtics Lose Hayward, Tie Lakers for NBA Best .875
|Boston Celtics (7-1)||135|
|San Antonio Spurs (5-4)||125|
If there was any doubt that the Boston Celtics were for real, then yesterday afternoon’s throttling of the San Antonio Spurs should have erased any doubts in that train of thought.
- Jaylen Brown: 30 points – seven rebounds – three assists
- Kemba Walker: 26 points – five rebounds – eight assists
- Jayson Tatum: 19 points – seven rebounds – four assists
- DeMar DeRozan: 22 points – two rebounds – two assists
- Patty Mills: 20 points – one rebound – two assists
- Bryn Forbes: 14 points – one rebound – two assists
However, since it’s 2019 and we’re talking Lakers-Celtics again like it’s 1988, if there was ever any doubt as to which team God is a fan of, then I’m going to have to assume – once again, like 30 years ago – that it’s the Los Angeles Lakers.
Why else, then, would He allow Gordon Hayward to suffer a fractured hand in the early part of the season? Wasn’t it already enough suffering for Hayward, the Celtics, and their fans when he went down in his first game as a Boston Celtic and spent a year out recovering from a horrific leg injury?
And then the punishment of spending a year with Kyrie Irving as he was trying to reassimilate himself with the NBA game after a year’s absence?
The Lord really has it in for Gordon Hayward.
But Hayward’s team stepped up against one of the best coached and best run franchises in all of sports, and left the San Antonio Spurs just one game above .500 after they started the season unblemished through their first four.
Hmmm … God … a LeBron James fan … who’d have thought it?
- Hayward fractured his left hand after making contact with LaMarcus Aldridge while setting a pick in the second quarter. An x-ray confirmed the fracture. He will see a specialist on Monday to determine if he will require surgery on the fractured hand and if surgery is required, it will be performed that day. A recovery timeline cannot be determined until that time.
- The Celtics own their seventh straight game. They also set season highs in total points, first quarter scoring with 39, and first half scoring with 72.
- Boston has not lost since dropping the season opening game versus the Philadelphia 76ers; the Sixers are now 5-3 and fifth in the conference after dropping their last three in a row.
- The Spurs’ last home loss to the Celtics was to Boston’s Big Three back then – Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Rajon Rondo – back on March 31, 2011.
Mavericks at Celtics – Monday
Grizzlies at Spurs – Monday
Ingram Leads Pelicans to Second Win of the Season
|New Orleans Pelicans (2-7)||115|
|Charlotte Hornets (4-5)||110|
Despite a fantastic performance from Devonte’ Graham, the New Orleans Pelicans got their second win of the season at the expense of the poor-shooting Charlotte Hornets, and a nice outing from Brandon Ingram. Again.
- Brandon Ingram: 25 points – nine rebounds – four assists
- J.J. Redick: 22 points – five rebounds – 0 assists
- Kenrich Williams: 15 points – five rebounds – three assists
- Devonte’ Graham: 24 points – five rebounds – 10 assists
- Terry Rozier: 18 points – five rebounds – six assists
- Miles Bridges: 12 points – eight rebounds – one assist
Graham’s heroics shot the Hornets out to a 61-55 first half performance, but the Hornets lulled themselves into a near coma in the second half, outscored 60-49 by the Pelicans with no epi pen in sight.
Forty percent shooting in their own hive while the Pelicans dove in and hit 53 percent of their 75 shots (13 attempts fewer than Charlotte) is what killed the Hornets.
New Orleans also had six players his double figures, including all five starters and Josh Hart off the bench. In addition to the top three, Jrue Holiday hit for 12, five and 11, while it was 10 apiece for Hart and Derrick Favors, who went 10 and 10. Kenrich Williams shot 75 percent and Ingram was at 66.7 percent on the night
Charlotte also had six in double digits with Dwayne Bacon also serving up 12 points, Cody Zeller and P.J. Washington chipping in 10 apiece.
- New Orleans won despite 26 turnovers; the Hornets had 22.
- Graham entered the game ranked third among all bench players in the league with seven assists per game.
- It was a homecoming of sorts for Ingram, who grew up three and a half hours to the east in Kinston, North Carolina.
Hornets at Sixers – Tonight
Rockets at Celtics – Monday
Rockets Launch on Bulls in Second Half
|Houston Rockets (6-3)||117|
|Chicago Bulls (3-7)||94|
The game between the Houston Rockets and the Chicago Bulls was a virtual wash after the first half of play. But the Rockets turned on the afterburners in the second half with a 67-45 blast off that left the Bulls and their fans feeling like they’d just gone for an unexpected flight in the vomit comet.
- James Harden: 42 points – 10 rebounds – nine assists
- Russell Westbrook: 26 points – seven rebounds – two assists
- Clint Capela: 16 points – 20 rebounds – one assist
- Wendell Carter, Jr.: 13 points – 16 rebounds – two assists
- Lauri Markkanen: 13 points – six rebounds – one assist
- Thaddeus Young: 13 points – five rebounds – three assists
It didn’t help that the Bulls underwhelmed once again in their own crib, shooting 10 percent less than Houston’s 47 percent night. They also got outrebounded 55-46 thanks to a stellar night from Clint Capela’s 20 rebounds (15 defensive) and James Harden flirting with a triple double like he thinks he’s some bearded version of Russell Westbroook.
Harden added 10 rebounds (nine defensive) and shot a respectable (for Harden) 44.4 percent on the night. He got help from Westbrook’s 26 points on 10 of 20 shooting, and Danuel House, Jr., who had 11 points and six steals.
The Bulls featured seven people in double digit scoring, but it doesn’t help that your high scorer scores 13 and three others follow suit. Chandler Hutchison started and also jumped into the ‘13’ crowd, while Zach LaVine scored 11, and it was 10 apiece for Coby White and Tomas Satoransky.
The Bulls have a shot at redemption against the Knicks this next Tuesday night.
- Houston made 19 shots from downtown; Chicago made only four.
- Eric Gordon returned from a sore hamstring to score nine points.
- Otto Porter, Jr. sat out the game, still nursing the left foot sprain he suffered in the win against Atlanta on Wednesday night.
Rockets at Pelicans – Monday
Knicks at Bulls – Tuesday
OKC’s 60-Point First Half is Enough
|Golden State Warriors (2-8)||108|
|Oklahoma City Thunder (4-5)||114|
D’Angelo Russell was coming off a 54 point overtime game (loss) versus the Minnesota Timberwolves; he had to be tired. Nope, Russell led all scorers last night in Oklahoma City. So how did Golden State lose its eighth game in 10 tries?
- D’Angelo Russell: 30 points – three rebounds – seven assists
- Alec Burks: 23 points – five rebounds – four assists
- Glenn Robinson III: 18 points – two rebounds – 0 assists
- Danilo Gallinari: 21 points – five rebounds – three assists
- Dennis Schroder: 16 points – six rebounds – six assists
- Chris Paul: 16 points – five rebounds – nine assists
Depth. Consistency. Healthy players. All things the Oklahoma City Thunder had and Golden State doesn’t.
Russell’s fatigue was prevalent and obvious as the Warriors couldn’t keep up with the Thunder, who ripped off a 60-43 first half.
Golden State responded with a stronger second half – outscoring OkCity 63 to 54 behind Russell scoring 17 of his 32 points in the third quarter – but by then it was already over, even though the Warriors led the Thunder by two at one point in the fourth.
The Warriors also got 10 apiece from Willie Cauley-Stein and Marquese Chriss. Cauley-Stein had six rebounds, Chriss four.
For the Thunder, in addition to the top three, Steven Adams went for 13 and eight, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 12, five and three.
Oklahoma City shot 54 percent, outrebounded the Warriors by eight, and had eight more assists. It doesn’t get any more basic than that. Just outdone by consistency.
- It was the second win from the Thunder over the injury-depleted Warriors.
- Last night’s victory was the third win in four games for the rebuilding Thunder.
- In one bright spot, the Warriors went 17 of 17 from the line in their run to the finish line; it’s what kept them relevant in the game.
Bucks at Thunder – Tonight
Jazz at Warriors – Monday
Grizzlies Outclassed, Outdone, and Outplayed
|Dallas Mavericks (6-3)||138|
|Memphis Grizzlies (2-7)||122|
Everything that has gone awry in the Memphis Grizzlies first 10 percent of their 2019-20 campaign could be summed up by everything that went right for the visiting Dallas Mavericks in last night’s game at FedEx.
- Luka Doncic: 24 points – 14 rebounds – eight assists
- Tim Hardaway, Jr.: 20 points – 0 rebounds – one assist
- Justin Jackson: 17 points – four rebounds – 0 assists
- Jaren Jackson, Jr.: 23 points – four rebounds – two assists
- Jae Crowder: 18 points – four rebounds – four assists
- Marko Guduric: 14 points – three rebounds – four assists
Memphis lost the three point shooting battle by almost 10 percent, they were outrebounded despite having the big men like Jaren Jackson Jr. and Jonas Valanciunas, and committed way too many fouls by not playing proper defense.
As I’ve said a couple of time, the key to containing the Dallas Mavericks is to let Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis get theirs, and shut everyone else down. Shouldn’t be hard to do, since many of the Mavericks players are either aging veterans or people who didn’t live up to expectations elsewhere.
Yet six teams have been unable to stop Dallas, is leading the Southwest Division along with the Houston Rockets and are only tied with the Rockets due to strength of schedule, otherwise the Division would be Dallas’.
A huge part of that is people underestimating Rick Carlisle’s ability to coach and get the most out of players.
The problem with not shutting down the Mavericks is that the wins give those other players on the roster confidence, aging or not.
For Memphis, this would have been as big a win as the 137-121 carnage in this very arena last Wednesday night.
Despite the Grizzlies having seven score in double digits last night, Ja Morant (load management) and Brandon Clarke (sore back) sat out, resulting in zero and zero. The rookie duo combined for 44 versus Minnesota Timberwolves.
Dillon Brooks also had a team high 31 against Minny, but only a nickel last night.
- Dallas’ reserves were responsible for 67 of Dallas’ 138 points, nearly half.
- Porzingis took the night off to recover from a lingering knee injury.
- Eight Mavericks players scored in double digits; it was Dallas’ highest scoring game this season.
Mavericks at Celtics – Monday
Grizzlies at Spurs – Monday
Denver Nuggets at Minnesota Timberwolves – 3:30 p.m. EST – Altitude
Indiana Pacers at Orlando Magic – 6 p.m. EST – Fox Sports Midwest-Indiana
Charlotte Hornets at Philadelphia 76ers – 6 p.m. EST – NBC Sports Philadelphia
Milwaukee Bucks at Oklahoma City Thunder – 7 p.m. EST – Fox SportsNet Oklahoma
Cleveland Cavaliers at New York Knicks – 7:30 p.m. EST – Fox Sports Ohio
Brooklyn Nets at Phoenix Suns – 8 p.m. EST – YES
Atlanta Hawks at Portland Trailblazers – 9 p.m. EST – Fox Sports Southeast
*** GAME OF THE NIGHT ***
Toronto Raptors at Los Angeles Lakers – 9:30 p.m. EST – Spectrum SportsNet
*** 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