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Rundown v02.03.20 – Nuggets Lose, Harden Gets 40, Bucks Back on Track, Toronto Takes Care of Chicago

James Harden drops another 40 last night, Serge Ibaka playing like he wants more than just one ring, Giannis Antetokuonmpo and Khris Middleton outplay Devin Booker and the Suns, and is this Andre Drummond's last week as a Detroit Piston?

While the world watched the Kansas City Chiefs score 21 points in six minutes to snag Super Bowl LIV from the San Francisco 49ers, four games in the NBA had already been played beforehand.

Detroit shocked Denver, Houston soared past the Pelicans, Milwaukee got out of the headlights and blinded the Suns, and Toronto took care of business with the visiting Chicago Bulls.

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Denver Nuggets  123
Detroit Pistons  128 (OT)

After Denver jumped out to a 44-30 first quarter, the Detroit Pistons revved their engines and pulled it to a 111-111 tie by the end of regulation, forcing an overtime where they shifted into overdrive and skirted past the Denver Nuggets by five, despite a nice triple double from Nikola Jokic. Will Barton and Monte Morris combined for another 39 points, matching Jokic, but the Pistons finished with seven players in double figures, led by Andre Drummond’s 21 and 17.

NUGGETS (34-16) 3rd in the WestPISTONS (18-33) 11th in the East
Nikola Jokic
39 points – 10 rebounds – 11 assists – three steals – two blocks
Andre Drummond
21 points – 17 rebounds – four assists – two blocks
Will Barton
20 points – nine rebounds – five assists
Reggie Jackson
20 points – three rebounds – six assists
Monte Morris
19 points – seven rebounds – seven assists – one steal
Bruce Brown
19 points – 10 rebounds – eight assists

NEXT GAMES
Detroit at Memphis – Tonight
Portland at Denver – Tuesday

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New Orleans Pelicans  109
Houston Rockets  117

The New Orleans Pelicans have been soaring gracefully lately, but nose dived in their jaunt out west on I-10, crashing in Houston with a 16 point fourth quarter while the Houston Rockets scored 25 to take the eight point win last night. James Harden missed a triple double by one assist, scoring 40 to lead all scorers. Russell Westbrook and Ben McLemore combined for 44 more (22 apiece) while Danuel House, Jr. posted a 12 and 12 evening in the win. Brandon Ingram led the Pelicans, as he and Zion Williamson failed to exploit Houston’s 6’6” and under lineup.

PELICANS (20-30) 12th in the WestROCKETS (31-18) 5th in the West
Brandon Ingram
28 points – 12 rebounds – three assists
James Harden
40 points – 10 rebounds – nine assists – two blocks
Zion Williamson
21 points – 10 rebounds – one assist – one steal – one block
Russell Westbrook
22 points – six rebounds – seven assists – one steal
Josh Hart
16 points – 10 rebounds – one assist – one steal
Ben McLemore
22 points – two steals

NEXT GAMES
Milwaukee at New Orleans – Tuesday
Charlotte at Houston – Tuesday

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Phoenix Suns  108
Milwaukee Bucks  129

Not wanting to suffer a second consecutive loss, the Milwaukee Bucks scored at least 30 points in each period last night while the Phoenix Suns never touched 30 points in any period, giving the Bucks a 21 point win going away. Brook Lopez made sure of that, with nine blocks in the game, to go along with 17 points. He was up against Deandre Ayton, who finished with 20 points and 14 rebounds, but only one block. Devin Booker turned in an All Star performance for naught, as Giannis Antetokuonmpo and Khris Middleton combined for 55 points, 27 rebounds, and 15 assists.

SUNS (20-29) 11th in the WestBUCKS (42-7) 1st in the East, NBA
Devin Booker
32 points – seven rebounds – six assists
Giannis Antetokuonmpo
30 points – 19 rebounds – nine assists – one steal – one block
Deandre Ayton
20 points – 14 rebounds – two assists – one steal – one block
Khris Middleton
25 points – eight rebounds – six assists – one block
Kelly Oubre, Jr.
15 points – 10 rebounds – two assists – one steal
Brook Lopez
17 points – four rebounds – one assist – nine blocks

NEXT GAMES
Phoenix at Brooklyn – Tonight
Milwaukee at New Orleans – Tuesday

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Chicago Bulls  102
Toronto Raptors  129

The Toronto Raptors doubled up the Chicago Bulls in the second half last night at ScotiaBank Arena, 69-39, to run away with what had looked to be a semi-competitive game in Chicago’s favor going into the locker rooms at the half. Chicago was up three, but deflated in the second half to lose yet another winnable affair. Terence Davis matched his career high with his 31 point night rising to the occasion as Thaddeus Young did for the Bulls, with 21 and seven on the night. 

BULLS (19-33) 9th in the EastRAPTORS (36-14) 2nd in the East
Thaddeus Young
21 points – seven rebounds – one assist – two steals (fouled out)
Terence Davis
31 points – four rebounds – one assist
Zach LaVine
18 points – seven rebounds – seven assists – three steals
Pascal Siakam
17 points – nine rebounds – five assists
Chandler Hutchison
17 points – five rebounds – one assist – one steal
Serge Ibaka
16 points – six rebounds – one assist – three blocks

NEXT GAMES
Indiana at Toronto – Wednesday
New Orleans at Chicago – Thursday

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MONDAY’S LINEUP
(All Times Eastern Standard Time)

7 p.m.
Orlando Magic
Charlotte Hornets
Fox Sports Florida, Fox Sports Southeast
7 p.m.
New York Knicks
Cleveland Cavaliers
MSG Network, Fox Sports Ohio
7 p.m.
Dallas Mavericks
Indiana Pacers
Fox Sports Southwest, Fox Sports Indiana
7 p.m.
Golden State Warriors
Washington Wizards
NBC Sports Bay Area, NBC Sports Washington
7:30 p.m.
Boston Celtics
Atlanta Hawks
NBC Sports Boston, Fox Sports Southeast
7:30 p.m.
Phoenix SunsBrooklyn Nets
Fox Sports Arizona, YES
7:30 p.m.
Philadelphia 76ers
Miami Heat
NBATV
8 p.m.
Detroit Pistons
Memphis Grizzlies
Fox Sports Detroit, Fox Sports Southeast
10 p.m.
Minnesota Timberwolves
Sacramento Kings
Fox Sports North, NBC Sports California
10:30 p.m.
San Antonio Spurs
Los Angeles Clippers
NBATV

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WESTERN CONFERENCEEASTERN CONFERENCE
Los Angeles Lakers   (37-11) .771Milwaukee Bucks   (42-7) .857
Los Angeles Clippers   (34-15) .694Toronto Raptors   (36-14) .720
Denver Nuggets   (34-16) .680Boston Celtics   (33-15) .688
Utah Jazz   (32-17) .653Miami Heat   (33-15) .688
Houston Rockets   (31-18) .633Indiana Pacers   (31-18) .633
Dallas Mavericks   (30-19) .612Philadelphia 76ers   (31-19) .620
Oklahoma City Thunder   (30-20) .600Brooklyn Nets   (21-27) .438
Memphis Grizzlies   (24-25) .490Orlando Magic   (21-28) .429

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Tracy Graven is a Senior NBA Analyst for BackSportsPage.com.
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 NBARadioShow.com, 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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