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The Rundown w/T-Money

Rundown 02.22.20 – It’s Bucks, Raptors, Lakers 1-2-3; Keep Your Eye on the Thunder and the Morris Brothers

Boston, Toronto and L.A. are bringing it, but keep your eye on Chris Paul and the Thunder; also, J.B. Bickerstaff gets his first win as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, but has the Miami Heat tonight.

So all the Hollywood drama boils down to this second half cliffhanger – which Morris brother will be the better Morris for which L.A. team?

As you know by now, the Los Angeles Lakers waived DeMarcus Cousins to make room for Markieff Morris, the latest bandwagon passenger to make his way from Detroit to L.A.

Since brother Marcus landed on the Los Angeles Clippers’ roster via a very one-sided trade, Markieff went to the other side of the Staples Center and is expected to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Which begs yet another question – why is no one wanting to play with any of the teams in the Central Division (except Milwaukee and Indiana)? 

The Chicago Bulls have been an ongoing dumpster fire for the past few years, but may be extinguishing their failures by eyeballing Indiana’s Chad Buchanan. Cleveland has always been the ‘mistake by the lake,’ with the exception of its lone championship season and that was with LeBron James.

But what happened to Detroit? They trade Andre Drummond to the Eastern Conference’s worst team for basically a bag of chips and a stale, cigarette butt flavored Diet Coke, and Drummond openly says it’s worse in Cleveland than it was in Detroit. Surely, it can’t be Dwane Casey. Is Detroit going all out tank for James Wiseman? Does Wiseman already have a deal in place there, too?

If they’re dumping stars, why not cut Blake Griffin loose and let him go home to Edmond, Oklahoma and the Oklahoma City Thunder?

Strange things are afoot at the Circle K in Detroit. Stay tuned …


Dallas Mavericks  122
Orlando Magic  106

A 34-18 first quarter and a 31-22 fourth, both in the Dallas Mavericks’ favor, meant the Orlando Magic weren’t any more successful after the All Star Break than Aaron Gordon’s consecutive dunk scores of ‘50’ were on All Star Weekend. Luka Doncic continues to work his magic over the NBA, hitting Orlando for 33 and 10 last night as a warm up to facing Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks tonight. Kristaps Porzingis also had a strong game, with 24 and 10 including five blocks. Evan Fournier and Nikola Vucevic combined for 55 in the loss.

MAVERICKS (34-22) 7th in the WestMAGIC (24-32) 8th in the East
Luka Doncic
33 points – 10 rebounds – eight assists – one steal – one block
Evan Fournier
28 points – two rebounds – one assist – two steals
Maxi Kleber
26 points – three rebounds – one assist – one block
Nikola Vucevic
27 points – 12 rebounds – one assist – four steals – one block
Kristaps Porzingis
24 points – 10 rebounds – five assists – five blocks
Terrence Ross
19 points – five rebounds – one assist – two steals

Dallas at Atlanta – Tonight
Orlando at Brooklyn – Monday


Cleveland Cavaliers  113
Washington Wizards  108

J.B. Bickerstaff has won his first game as the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, using a 32-21 fourth quarter close out as the clincher last night against the Washington Wizards in D.C. It was the first time the Cavs had won back to back games since January 9th and 11th. Bradley Beal finished with 26 points for the Wizards, and had a monster dunk over Andre Drummond (12 points, 12 rebounds) one of the better highlights for an otherwise dismal Washington showing. Collin Sexton led the Cavs with 25 points, Darius Garland had 15. #BeTheFight

CAVALIERS (15-40) 15th in the EastWIZARDS (20-34) 9th in the East
Collin Sexton
25 points – two rebounds – two assists
Bradley Beal
26 points – three rebounds – one assist – three steals
Cedi Osman
16 points – 10 rebounds – two assists – one steal
Rui Hachimura
17 points – seven rebounds – three assists – two steals
Darius Garland
15 points – two rebounds – four assists
Tony Brown, Jr.
11 points – four rebounds – two assists – two steals

Cleveland at Miami – Tonight
Washington at Chicago – Sunday


Indiana Pacers  106
New York Knicks  98

The Indiana Pacers opened up a 65-45 run over the second and third quarters to put away the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden last night. T.J. Warren led all scorers with 27 points for the Pacers, but it was another solid All Star performance from Domantas Sabonis that squashed any thought of a New York upset. Sabonis had 24 and 13 in the game for Indiana, a team that won its second consecutive after losing six straight before the All Star break. With Marcus Morris gone to L.A., the scoring fell on the shoulders of Bobby Portis, who led N.Y. with 19 and six.

PACERS (33-23) 6th in the EastKNICKS (17-39) 13th in the East
T.J. Warren
27 points – eight rebounds – three assists – two steals – one block
Bobby Portis
19 points – six rebounds – one assist – one block
Domantas Sabonis
24 points – 13 rebounds – three assists – one steal – one block
R.J. Barrett
17 points – four rebounds – two assists
Doug McDermott
14 points
Frank Ntilikina
14 points – two rebounds – two assists – two steals

Indiana at Toronto – Sunday
New York at Houston – Monday


Phoenix Suns  101
Toronto Raptors  118

The reigning NBA champions went on a tear to open the game, 67-43, to put the Phoenix Suns away early. Devin Booker couldn’t do enough to get the Phoenix Suns back in the game, losing their seventh game in nine outings. Pascal Siakam was on fire, shooting 63.2 percent from the field, and over 55 from downtown en route to his 37 point, 12 rebound evening. The win was Toronto’s 16th win in 17 games, and their the Raptors’ eighth consecutive win at home. 

SUNS (22-34) 13th in the WestRAPTORS (41-15) 2nd in the East
Devin Booker
21 points – five rebounds – eight assists
Pascal Siakam
37 points – 12 rebounds – three assists – three blocks
Deandre Ayton
17 points – 10 rebounds – one assist – one block
Serge Ibaka
16 points – six rebounds – one block
Ricky Rubio
13 points – three rebounds – nine assists – four steals
Fred VanVleet
14 points – seven rebounds – seven assists – two steals

Phoenix at Chicago – Tonight
Indiana at Toronto – Sunday


Boston Celtics  127
Minnesota Timberwolves  117

The point margins were incremental each quarter, as the Boston Celtics methodically picked apart the Minnesota Timberwolves last night in a game featuring two teams going in polar opposite directions. Gordon Hayward had the touch, leading all scorers with 29 points and hitting 70.6 percent of his shots. Jayson Tatum threw in another 28, and Daniel Thies had a big night in the middle, with 25 points and 16 rebounds. Kemba Walker sat out with back soreness, leaving no defense for Minnesota newcomer Mailk Beasley to lead the T’Wolves with 27 points. Karl-Anthony Towns was out with a wrist fracture – he is expected to be out at least a couple of weeks.

CELTICS (39-16) 3rd in the EastTIMBERWOLVES (16-38) 14th in the West
Gordon Hayward
29 points – five rebounds – six assists – two steals
Malik Beasley
27 points – four rebounds – one assist – one block
Jayson Tatum
28 points – 11 rebounds – three assists – one steal – one block
Naz Reid
19 points – nine rebounds – one assist – three steals
Daniel Thies
25 points – 16 rebounds – one block
D’Angelo Russell
18 points – six rebounds – 13 assists

Boston at Los Angeles – Sunday
Minnesota at Denver – Sunday


Denver Nuggets  101
Oklahoma City Thunder  113

A 10 point jump in the first and an 11 point thumping in the fourth quarter earned the Oklahoma City Thunder a nice home win over the Denver Nuggets. How well are the Thunder playing? Only four games and .72 percentage points separate the second place Nuggets and sixth place Thunder. Chris Paul dropped 29 points, and Steven Adams came alive in the middle with 19 and 17 to lead the Thunder to their 34th win, 12 games above .500, a number hardly anyone expected them to reach all season long. Denver didn’t go down without a fight from Nikola Jokic, who led all scorers with 32 points. But the Nuggets have a target on their back from the Thunder’s perspective the rest of the season – they’d like that second place honor. One bite at a time, boys.

NUGGETS (38-18) 2nd in the WestTHUNDER (34-22) 6th in the West
Nikola Jokic
32 points – seven rebounds – five assists – one steal – one block
Chris Paul
29 points – four rebounds – two assists
Jamal Murray
21 points – six rebounds – four assists – one steal – one block
Steven Adams
19 points – 17 rebounds – two assists – four steals – two blocks
Will Barton
16 points – nine rebounds – five assists – one steal
Danilo Gallinari
15 points – three rebounds – two assists – one steal

Minnesota at Denver – Sunday
San Antonio at Oklahoma City – Sunday


San Antonio Spurs  113
Utah Jazz  104

That moment when you can’t get the tune to come out right, can’t build a crescendo? That was the Utah Jazz in the first half last night, as Dejounte Murray and the visiting San Antonio Spurs used their vaunted defense to mute the Jazz, 65-46, in the opening half. It was Murray’s second consecutive 20+ point game for the Spurs, while the Jazz were flat and listless. You know that’s the case when people like Jordan Clarkson and Donovan Mitchell score 15 and 12, respectively. LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan combined for 33 to support Murray.

SPURS (24-31) 10th in the WestJAZZ (36-19) 4th in the West
Dejounte Murray
23 points – seven rebounds – four assists – four steals
Rudy Gobert
18 points – 14 rebounds – two assists – one block
DeMar DeRozan
18 points – five rebounds – seven assists – one block
Emmanuel Mudiay
18 points – five rebounds – three assists – one steal – one block
LaMarcus Aldridge
15 points – eight rebounds – four assists – one steal – one block
Bojan Bogdanovic
15 points – six rebounds – one assist – one steal

Houston at Utah – Tonight
San Antonio at Oklahoma City – Sunday


Memphis Grizzlies  105
Los Angeles Lakers  117

LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers made the Memphis Grizzlies look like Pooh in the second quarter of last night’s game, outscoting the hibernating visitors, 32-19. No, make that ‘look like poo.’ Alex Caruso accentuated that with a slam dunk put back on an Anthony Davis missed free throw. The Grizz just weren’t in it, still lumbering from All Star. James put on an All Star performance with 32, three and seven, while Davis stole the show in the second half with 24 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks in the final 24 minutes after halftime. He had 14 points, seven rebounds, and four of those blocks in the fourth quarter alone. The Lakers are working back toward being one of the top two teams in the league – they’re currently behind the Milwaukee Bucks and the reigning champion Toronto Raptors as it stands today.

GRIZZLIES (28-28) 8th in the WestLAKERS (42-12) 1st in the West
Josh Jackson
20 points – three rebounds
LeBron James
32 points – three rebounds – seven assists – two blocks
Ja Morant
17 points – one rebound – three assists
Anthony Davis
28 points – 13 rebounds – four assists – one steal – seven blocks
Brandon Clarke
14 points – 10 rebounds – four assists – one steal – one block
Avery Bradley
14 points – five rebounds – one assist – three steals – one block

Boston at Los Angeles – Sunday
Memphis at Los Angeles – Monday


New Orleans Pelicans  128
Portland Trailblazers  115

The New Orleans Pelicans still have that voodoo curse on the Portland Trailblazers. All Portland has really gotten from playing the Pelicans lately is a couple of highlights between Carmelo Anthony and Zion Williamson, but Zion’s gotten the last laugh. The Tuesday before All Star, Portland visited New Orleans and walked out with a sore behind after getting whupped, 138-117. New Orleans took it a little easier last night in Portland, scoring only 128 in their win over the Blazers, who were without Damian Lillard (groin). Williamson has now become the youngest player in the NBA to score 20+ in seven consecutive games. Anyone still think the jury’s still out on this kid’s potential?

PELICANS (24-32) 11th in the WestTRAILBLAZERS (25-32) 9th in the West
Zion Williamson
25 points – four rebounds – three assists – one steal
C.J. McCollum
27 points – six rebounds – 10 assists
Jrue Holiday
20 points – two rebounds – nine assists – four steals
Carmelo Anthony
20 points – five rebounds – one assist – one steal – one block
Brandon Ingram
16 points – four rebounds – six assists
Hassan Whiteside
19 points – 12 rebounds – two assists – six blocks

New Orleans at Golden State – Sunday
Detroit at Portland – Sunday


(All Times Eastern)

3:30 p.m.
Sacramento Kings
Los Angeles Clippers
NBC Sports California
7 p.m.
Brooklyn Nets
Charlotte Hornets
7:30 p.m.
Dallas Mavericks
Atlanta Hawks
Fox Sports Southwest
8 p.m.
Phoenix Suns
Chicago Bulls
NBC Sports Chicago
8 p.m.
Cleveland Cavaliers
Miami Heat
Fox Sports Ohio
8:30 p.m.
Philadelphia 76ers
Milwaukee Bucks
9 p.m.
Houston Rockets
Utah Jazz
AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain


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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