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Rundown v01.29.20 – Middleton Gets 51, Raptors in Second, Doncic’s Stats Going Downhill

Khris Middleton hung 51 of 151 on the Wizards, Joel Embiid called "Kobe!" on one of his fadeaways, Jrue Holiday posted Zion Williamson like numbers, and Gordon Hayward helped Boston beat the Heat.

Khris Middleton and Joel Embiid honored Kobe Bryant’s memory in their individual ways last night with wins in Milwaukee and Philadelphia, Bryant’s hometown. 

Embiid even goes so far as to say he yelled, “Kobe!” as he shot one of Bryant’s signature fadeaways.

Eight games scheduled in the NBA last night, but only seven were played as the Clippers-Lakers game was postponed to respect the Bryant family, the Lakers, and offer all some time to absorb the loss of one of the greatest players and human beings we’ve been blessed to know.


New York Knicks  92
Charlotte Hornets  97

The Charlotte Hornets overcame a 26-15 run out in the first quarter by the New York Knicks to get their 16th win of the season through 48 games last night in Charlotte. Terry Rozier led the charge with a double double of 30 points and 10 assists, leading the Hornets to a 32-24 run in the second to recover and then outscoring the Knicks by five in the second half for the game winning margin. The win snaps an eight game skid for the Hornets.

KNICKS (13-35) 13th in the EastHORNETS (16-31) 11th in the East
Julius Randle
24 points – five rebounds – two assists – one steal
Terry Rozier
30 points – 10 rebounds – one assist
Marcus Morris
23 points – four rebounds – one assist – one steal
Miles Bridges
15 points – four rebounds – one block
Elfrid Payton
10 points – eight rebounds – eight assists – one steal
Malik Monk
13 points – two rebounds – two assists

Grizzlies at Knicks – Tonight
Hornets at Wizards – Thursday


Golden State Warriors  104
Philadelphia 76ers  115

Philadelphia ran away with the game in the second quarter, as Kobe Bryant’s hometown team paid homage to his memory with an 11 point win last night in Philly. Joel Embiid returned, wearing No. 24 in Kobe’s honor and scoring 24 to boot. D’Angelo Russell led all scorers with 28 points as the Warriors had a slight advantage after one. But Philadelphia outscored Golden State every quarter after that to win their 31st game. 

WARRIORS (10-38) 15th in the WestSIXERS (31-17) 5th in the East
D’Angelo Russell
28 points – five rebounds – seven assists – two steals
Joel Embiid
24 points – 10 rebounds – one assist – one block
Glenn Robinson III
20 points – five rebounds three assists – one steal
Raul Neto
19 points – two rebounds – two assists – one steal
Marquese Chriss
15 points – five rebounds – two assists
Ben Simmons
17 points – four rebounds – five assists – one steal

Sixers at Hawks – Thursday
Warriors at Celtics – Thursday


New Orleans Pelicans  125
Cleveland Cavaliers  111

The Cleveland Cavaliers got jumped on by the New Orleans Pelicans at the outset and could never recover last night at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. Zion Williamson scored 14 points and had nine rebounds in his first road game, while teammate Jrue Holiday had a stat line that looks more like it should have been Williamson’s. Cleveland’s young guys helped them hang around, but inexperience caught up with the Cavaliers.

PELICANS (19-29) 12th in the WestCAVALIERS (13-35) 14th in the East
Jrue Holiday
28 points – two rebounds – eight assists – three steals – four blocks
Collin Sexton
24 points – three rebounds – four assists – two steals – one block
Brandon Ingram
24 points – one rebound – six assists – two steals
Kevin Porter, Jr.
21 points – two rebounds – two assists – one steal
J.J. Redick
15 points – three rebounds – three assists – one steal
Larry Nance, Jr.
17 points – 11 rebounds – seven assists – two steals

Raptors at Cavaliers – Thursday
Grizzlies at Pelicans – Friday


Atlanta Hawks  114
Toronto Raptors  130

The reigning NBA champions raced out to a 10 point first quarter advantage and took a 12 point lead into the locker room at halftime and that was all they needed to get by the Atlanta Hawks, who toned their game down to 114 after scoring 152 on Sunday night. Their frontcourt of Pascal Siakam and Serge Ibaka scored 24 points apiece and the Toronto Raptors had six score in double digits. It was Toronto’s eighth straight win, which puts them back in second place in the Eastern Conference, solidly with Miami losing last night. Kyle Lowry also became the franchise leader in assists last night, finishing with 11 and passing Jose Calderon.

HAWKS (12-36) 15th in the EastRAPTORS (33-14) 2nd in the East
John Collins
28 points – 12 rebounds – one block
Serge Ibaka
24 points – 10 rebounds – two steals
Cam Reddish
18 points – six rebounds – one assist – one steal – one block
Pascal Siakam
24 points – nine rebounds – two assists – one block
Trae Young
18 points – two rebounds – 13 assists
Fred VanVleet
19 points – one rebound – three assists – one steal

Sixers at Hawks – Thursday
Raptors at Cavaliers – Thursday


Boston Celtics  109
Miami Heat  101

The Miami Heat had their chance, but blew it in the first quarter by allowing the visiting Boston Celtics to set the tone for the night in their own crib, despite Jayson Tatum missing his third consecutive game for the Celtics. Gordon Hayward led all scorers with 29 points and it was the first loss in 14 games against Eastern Conference opponents that the Heat has suffered this season at home.

CELTICS (31-15) 4th in the EastHEAT (32-15) 3rd in the East
Gordon Hayward
29 points – nine rebounds – two assists – one steal
Goran Dragic
23 points – two rebounds – four assists – two steals
Jaylen Brown
25 points – three rebounds – five assists – one block
Jimmy Butler
20 points – six rebounds – two assists – three steals
Kemba Walker
16 points – four rebounds – eight assists – one steal
Bam Adebayo
16 points – 10 rebounds – one assist – one steal – one block

Warriors at Celtics – Thursday
Heat at Magic – Saturday


Denver Nuggets  96
Memphis Grizzlies  104

The Memphis Grizzlies mauled the Denver Nuggets out of the gate, outscoring Denver 31-18, and the Nuggets spent the other 36 minutes licking their wounds. Memphis has won 10 of their last 13 games, pairing a seven game win streak with their current three game streak, sandwiched around two losses. Not only has it been a breakout rookie year for Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson, Jr. in his second season, but Dillon Brooks has evolved nicely and has carried the team as much as Morant or anyone else this season. And they’re doing a better job of inching toward .500 than the San Antonio Spurs or the Portland Trailblazers.

NUGGETS (32-15) 4th in the WestGRIZZLIES (23-24) 8th in the West
Nikola Jokic
25 points – 13 rebounds – five assists – one block
Dillon Brooks
24 points – one rebound – three assists – one steal – one block
Jerami Grant
21 points – four rebounds – four assists – two steals – one block
Jonas Valanciunas
23 points – 12 rebounds – three assists – one steal – one block
Gary Harris
10 points – three rebounds – one assist – one steal
Ja Morant
14 points – six rebounds – seven assists – four steals

Grizzlies at Knicks – Tonight
Jazz at Nuggets – Thursday


Washington Wizards  131
Milwaukee Bucks  151

The Washington Wizards must really be gluttons for punishment. After having the worst team in the Eastern Conference pour 152 points on them in Atlanta on Sunday night, the Wizards let it happen again, with the NBA’s best team dropping 151 on them last night in Milwaukee. And that was without Giannis Antetokuonmpo, who did not play due to a right shoulder injury. Khris Middleton picked up the slack, scoring a career high 51 points and then dedicating his game to the memory of Kobe Bryant. Eric Bledsoe added 34 as the Bucks scored a franchise best 88 points in the first half. Atlanta hung 78 points on the Wizards in their first half on Sunday night.

WIZARDS (15-31) 12th in the EastBUCKS (41-6) 1st in the East, NBA
Bradley Beal
47 points – six assists – one steal – one block
Khris Middleton
51 points – 10 rebounds – six assists
Thomas Bryant
18 points – 10 rebounds – six assists – one steal – one block
Eric Bledsoe
34 points – six rebounds – 10 assists – one steal
Troy Brown, Jr.
16 points – seven rebounds – five assists
Donte DiVincenzo
16 points – seven rebounds – two assists

Hornets at Wizards – Thursday
Nuggets at Bucks – Friday


Phoenix Suns  133
Dallas Mavericks  104

They shoot horses, don’t they? Phoenix was all over the Dallas Mavericks, smothering the Mavs with a 32-19 first quarter barrage, and then doing it again by 26 (48-22) in the third quarter to steal a win in Big D. Judging by the decline in Luka Doncic’s stats lately, his numbers declining seem to indicate he’s wearing thin on carrying the load in Dallas. Willie Cauley-Stein debuted and went four, three, one and two in 12 minutes of action. Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton and Kelly Oubre, Jr. combined for 82 of Phoenix’s points to run away with the road win. Booker became the youngest guard in NBA history to reach 7,000 points.

SUNS (20-27) 11th in the WestMAVERICKS (29-18) 6th in the West
Devin Booker
32 points – six rebounds – nine assists – two steals
Luka Doncic
21 points – six rebounds – two assists – one steal
Deandre Ayton
31 points – nine rebounds – one assist – two steals – one block
J.J. Barea
15 points – two rebounds – seven assists
Kelly Oubre, Jr.
19 points – six rebounds – one assist – one steal
Jalen Brunson
15 points – two rebounds – one assist – one steal

Mavericks at Rockets – Friday
Thunder at Suns – Friday


Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Lakers

Kings at Clippers – Thursday
Blazers at Lakers – Friday


(All Times Eastern Standard Time)

7 p.m.
Chicago Bulls
Indiana Pacers
NBC Sports Chicago
7:30 p.m.
Detroit Pistons
Brooklyn Nets
7:30 p.m.
Memphis Grizzlies
New York Knicks
Fox Sports Southeast
8:30 p.m.
Utah Jazz
San Antonio Spurs
AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain
10 p.m.
Houston Rockets
Portland Trailblazers
10 p.m.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Sacramento Kings
NBC Sports California


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, and Oklahoma City.
A corporate trainer by day, he currently resides in Tennessee.
Reach him on Twitter at @RealTMoneyMedia

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