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Rundown v01.31.20 – Hawks Shock Sixers, Raptors in Line with Last Year, ‘Load Management’ Gifts the Kings

Trae Young and Vince Carter use #MambaMentality to stun the Sixers, De'Aaron Fox is the future in Sacramento, Jordan Clarkson had a nice night but lost, and Pascal Siakam has the Raptors poised and ready for the stretch run.

Six more games last night saw load management taking another win away from the Los Angeles Clippers, the Raptors in second place in the East like this time last year, and the Jazz and Nuggets swapping second and fourth places in the West like they’re trying on each others’ cowboy boots.

Washington kept the Hornets from dropping 150+ on them, Boston handled Golden State (who hasn’t?), and the Hawks shock the Sixers.

Seven games tonight on the ticket …


Toronto Raptors  115
Cleveland Cavaliers  109

While Pascal Siakam drew shades of Kevin Durant comparisons from Cleveland head coach John Beilein on Thursday night, the Toronto Raptors were simply taking care of business against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Cleveland. The Raptors, despite all the injuries this season and lowered expectations without Kawhi Leonard on the roster, are in second place in the Eastern Conference like they were a year ago before winning the NBA Championship. A healthy Siakam, Kyle Lowry, and Serge Ibaka ensured the Raptors their 34th win over the Cavs, though they nearly lost it when Cleveland pulled within 105-104, after an impressive 32-24 third quarter by Toronto.

RAPTORS (34-14) 2nd in the EastCAVALIERS (13-36) 14th in the East
Serge Ibaka
26 points – four rebounds – one assist – one steal – one block
Kevin Love
23 points – five rebounds – four assists – one steal
Kyle Lowry
23 points – five rebounds – five assists – four steals
Collin Sexton
23 points – four rebounds – four assists – one steal – one block
Pascal Siakam
19 points – five rebounds – four assists – two steals – one block
Darius Garland
16 points – five rebounds – eight assists – one steal

Raptors at Pistons – Friday
Warriors at Cavaliers – Saturday


Charlotte Hornets  107
Washington Wizards  121

The Washington Wizards took a break from getting 150+ scored on them last night, came home, and beat the Charlotte Hornets by 14 points in a much needed win. Snubbed by the coaches All Star voting, Bradley Beal would go on to lead the Wizards as he’s done all season long, playing without John Wall. Beal had 34, nine and nine, continuing to play like an All Star, whether coaches think he is or not.

HORNETS (16-32) 12th in the EastWIZARDS (16-31) 11th in the East
Miles Bridges
23 points – six rebounds – three assists – two steals
Bradley Beal
34 points – nine rebounds – nine assists – one block
Terry Rozier
21 points – seven rebounds – three assists – one steal – one block
Thomas Bryant
21 points – eight rebounds – two assists – one block
P.J. Washington
15 points – one rebound – one assist – one steal
Isaiah Thomas
18 points – six rebounds – one assist

Hornets at Spurs – Saturday
Nets at Wizards – Saturday


Philadelphia 76ers  117
Atlanta Hawks  127

The Atlanta Hawks left their #MambaMentality at home in their locker room when they traveled to Toronto earlier this week, but found it again when they returned to State Farm Arena last night, smothering the Philadelphia 76ers with a 10 point win in a game that meant more in the standing for Philly than it did for Atlanta. Trae Young dropped 39 points on 40.9 percent shooting, was 18 of 20 from the free throw line, and had a career high 18 assists in the victory. Young is third in the NBA in scoring and second in the NBA in assists, also a first time All Star. John Collins stood tall against Joel Embiid, scoring 17 points and grabbing 20 rebounds.

SIXERS (31-18) 6th in the EastHAWKS (13-36) 15th in the East
Ben Simmons
31 points – six rebounds – five assists – four steals
Trae Young
39 points – six rebounds – 18 assists – two steals
Shake Milton
27 points – five rebounds – six assists – one steal
John Collins
17 points – 20 rebounds
Joel Embiid
21 points – 14 rebounds – three assists – one block
De’Andre Hunter
15 points – two rebounds – four assists

Sixers at Celtics – Saturday
Hawks at Mavericks – Saturday


Golden State Warriors  104
Boston Celtics  119

A 60 points first half followed by a 59 point second half showed the Boston Celtics played with some consistency last night against the last in the league Golden State Warriors. Jayson Tatum returned and dropped 20, but it was Gordon Hayward leading the Celtics to victory for the second straight game with 25 points and eight rebounds to lead all scorers. The Celtics, when 100 percent healthy, are a very dangerous team – an interchangeable top three on any given night.

WARRIORS (10-39) 15th in the WestCELTICS (32-15) 3rd in the East
D’Angelo Russell
22 points – three rebounds – five assists – three steals
Gordon Hayward
25 points – eight rebounds – three assists – one steal – one block
Alec Burks
18 points – four rebounds – one steal
Marcus Smart
21 points – three rebounds – six assists – one steal – one block
Damion Lee
11 points – seven rebounds – two assists – one steal
Jayson Tatum
20 points – six rebounds – two assists – one steal – one block

Warriors at Cavaliers – Saturday
Sixers at Celtics – Saturday


Utah Jazz  100
Denver Nuggets  106

The Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets keep dos-i-do’ing around the third place Los Angeles Clippers for those second and fourth place positions in the Western Conference. One week it’s Utah in second, the next it’s Denver. And if this continues for the remainder of the season, I’m going to have to tip my hat to Denver, though I think Utah has the right personnel to fare better in the playoffs, even though the Nuggets came back from 11 down last night to preserve the win.

JAZZ (32-16) 4th in the WestNUGGETS (33-15) 2nd in the West
Jordan Clarkson
37 points – two rebounds – two assists – one steal
Nikola Jokic
28 points – four rebounds – 10 assists – three steals
Rudy Gobert
21 points – 11 rebounds – one assist – one steal – three blocks
Will Barton
18 points – five rebounds – one assist – one block
Bojan Bogdanovic
18 points – six rebounds – one assist
Jerami Grant
15 points – five rebounds – one steal

Nuggets at Bucks – Tonight
Jazz at Blazers – Saturday


Sacramento Kings  124
Los Angeles Clippers  103

Me predicting that Kawhi Leonard was going to sit out last night’s contest against the Sacramento Kings was as easy as me predicting that today is the last day of January. I’m no sage. Just watching patterns … and wishing I could follow them. I just wonder how many games out of 15 the Los Angeles Clippers could have won had Kawhi Leonard played instead of taking a ‘load’ off with load management. They’re in third place behind the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers, but could they be neck and neck? Meanwhile, the Kings are becoming De’Aaron Fox’s team with Buddy Hield as the occasional special guest star. Fox led all scorers with a career 34 points last night in the Kings’ 21 point win. The Kings also hit a franchise record 21 three pointers.

KINGS (18-30) 13th in the WestCLIPPERS (33-15) 3rd in the West
De’Aaron Fox
34 points – three rebounds – eight assists – four steals – two blocks
Lou Williams
22 points – six assists – one steal
Buddy Hield
19 points – seven rebounds – one assist – one steal
Montrezl Harrell
21 points – seven rebounds – three assists – three blocks
Cory Joseph
16 points – two rebounds – seven assists – one steal – one block
Landry Shamet
15 points – two rebounds – three assists

Lakers at Kings – Saturday
Timberwolves at Clippers – Saturday


(All Times Eastern Standard Time)

7 p.m.
Toronto Raptors
Detroit Pistons
Fox Sports Detroit
7:30 p.m.
Chicago Bulls
Brooklyn Nets
7:30 p.m.
Dallas Mavericks
Houston Rockets
8 p.m.
Memphis Grizzlies
New Orleans Pelicans
Fox Sports Southeast
9 p.m.
Denver Nuggets
MIlwaukee Bucks
9 p.m.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Phoenix Suns
Fox Sports Arizona
10:30 p.m.
Portland Trailblazers
Los Angeles Lakers


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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