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The Rundown v110721 – This Was the NBA Finals I Wanted to See, Fantastic Finishes in Dallas and Denver

Hawks-Suns would've been a great NBA Finals to see ...

Last night’s game between the Atlanta Hawks and Phoenix Suns was one of those games that I didn’t mind staying up for – not because it was the late game and I knew I was going to get an extra hour of sleep from the fall back time change – but because these are the two teams I wanted to see in the NBA Finals last spring.

They didn’t disappoint as both teams fought tooth and nail to the finish of a 121-117 Phoenix win. 

Again, two teams I like so well that no matter who won, I wasn’t disappointed as long as it was a competitive game.

The Hawks, however, ended up disappointed and fell as flat as Bogdan Bogdanovic’s air ball three point attempt (there’s no way that head coach Nate McMillan drew that play up, thought the way Trae Young walked out of that final time out shaking his head, maybe McMillan did).

I would binge watch a whole season of these two teams playing (and the New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers on the Eastern side of things).

Twenty ties and 13 lead changes, with the Hawks having led by double digits, and the Suns never having a lead more than six points, this game was fun. Devin Booker and Trae Young showing up and out with 38 and 31 points, respectively. Young dishing 13 dimes with Chris Paul matching.

I really couldn’t have asked for more …

Except Luka Doncic driving in the dagger with an epic fadeaway jumper from downtown to send the squabbling Boston Celtics packing … presumably to even more finger pointing.

Or the Denver Nuggets all but handing the Houston Rockets an upset win … until Nikola Jokic stuffed those hopes with an epic last second block on JaeSean Tate.

It’s always the little things – even one play, as Bogdanovic, Doncic, and Jokic proved last night – that matter the most. Sometimes, it’s the little things that make you happy. Little strokes that fall great oaks.

Things are heating up this NBA season, and if you’re not noticing the small moments that go huge, you’re missing out.


Houston Rockets   94 Daniel Theis – 18 points

Christian Wood – 17 rebounds

Kevin Porter, Jr. – 4 assists

Denver Nuggets   95 Nikola Jokic – 28 points
Nikola Jokic – 14 reboundsWill Barton – 6 assists

Rockets at Warriors – Tonight
Heat at Nuggets – Monday


Utah Jazz   115 Donovan Mitchell – 37 points

Hassan Whiteside, Rudy Gobert – 8 rebounds

Donovan Mitchell, Mike Conley – 7 assists

Miami Heat   118 Tyler Herro – 29 points

Kyle Lowry – 12 rebounds

Kyle Lowry – 10 assists

Jazz at Magic – Tonight
Heat at Nuggets – Monday


Philadelphia 76ers   114 Joel Embiid – 30 points
Joel Embiid – 15 reboundsTyrese Maxey – 8 assists
Chicago Bulls   105 DeMar DeRozan – 25 points

Nikola Vucevic – 11 rebounds

Lonzo Ball – 5 assists

Knicks at Sixers – Monday
Nets at Bulls – Monday


Boston Celtics   104 Jayson Tatum – 32 points

Jayson Tatum – 11 rebounds

Dennis Schroder, Marcus Smart – 6 assists

Dallas Mavericks   107 Luka Doncic – 33 points

Luka Doncic – 9 rebounds

Jalen Brunson, Luka Doncic – 5 assists

Pelicans at Mavericks – Monday
Raptors at Celtics – Wednesday


Atlanta Hawks   117 Trae Young – 31 points

Clint Capela – 13 rebounds

Trae Young – 13 assists

Phoenix Suns   121 Devin Booker – 38 points

Jae Crowder – 8 rebounds

Chris Paul – 13 assists

Hawks at Warriors – Monday
Suns at Kings – Monday


Los Angeles Lakers   90 Malik Monk – 13 points

DeAndre Jordan – 9 rebounds

Russell Westbrook – 6 assists

Portland Trailblazers   105 Damian Lillard – 25 points

Jusuf Nurkic – 17 rebounds

Damian Lillard – 6 assists

Hornets at Lakers – Monday
Trailblazers at Clippers – Tuesday


Tracy Graven is the Senior NBA Analyst for
He has written the NBA, done NBA Radio, and appeared as a guest for the last 21+ years for HoopsWorld, Swish Magazine, HoopsHype, the Coach Scott Fields Show,, and is also tackling the NFL, NCAA, and will be pinch-hitting on some Major League Baseball coverage for BackSportsPage.
He’s spent 21 years in locker rooms in Orlando, Boise (CBA, G League), San Antonio, Phoenix, Denver, Oklahoma City, and 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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