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Rundown v02.12.20 – Zion’s Career Night, Celtics’ Streak Ends, Sixers 2-0 Versus L.A. Teams

Last night, Ben Simmons helped hold another L.A. team in check, Zion Williamson had a career night against Portland, and James Harden and Russell Westbrook doubled down to end the Celtics' seven game win streak.

Los Angeles Clippers  103
Philadelphia 76ers  110

If the Philadelphia 76ers end up meeting either of the L.A. teams in the NBA Finals, they have a fighting chance of being an NBA Champion. The Sixers are 1-0 thus far against each of the L.A. teams, both games at Wells Fargo. But there’s a lot of work to be done before that happens. Last night the Sixers mastered the Clippers with an impressive triple double from Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid matched Simmons’ point output, and #VFL Josh Richardson has bounced back nicely from his injury. Kawhi Leonard led all scorers, but Paul George shot only 20 percent on the night and Marcus Morris had 13 points in his second game as a Clipper, shooting 41.7 percent on the night. Neither team plays like they did last night consistently, which gives hope to both sides, especially for the Sixers to build on.

CLIPPERS (37-17) 3rd in the WestSIXERS (34-21) 5th in the East
Kawhi Leonard
30 points – four rebounds – nine assists – one steal – two blocks
Ben Simmons
26 points – 12 rebounds – 10 assists – one steal
Landry Shamet
19 points – one rebound
Joel Embiid
26 points – nine rebounds – two assists – one block
Marcus Morris
13 points – five rebounds – one assist – one block
#VFL Josh Richardson
21 points – five rebounds – two assists – one block

Los Angeles at Boston – Thursday
Brooklyn at Philadelphia – Thursday, February 20th


Chicago Bulls  114
Washington Wizards  126

Just a week ago, the Chicago Bulls had inched up to ninth place in the Eastern Conference standings, begging the question: Do you want to make the playoffs and get a moderate pick in a draft that gets weaker after the first three picks or should Zach LaVine come up with a nagging hip injury that drops your record and leads you to chose James Wiseman in the draft? After watching last night’s game, I’m leaning toward Wiseman, though LaVine was far from a hip pointer at a game leading 41 points and nine rebounds. He didn’t get as much assistance, though, as the Wizards gave Bradley Beal. Head coach Scott Brooks got double digit scoring out of seven of his players, a 10 point run in the first quarter, and an 11 point run in the third to seal the 12 point win.

BULLS (19-36) 10th in the EastWIZARDS (19-33) 9th in the East
Zach LaVine
41 points – nine rebounds – four assists – two steals
Bradley Beal
30 points – four rebounds – seven assists – one steal
Tomas Satoransky
19 points – two rebounds – eight assists
Rui Hachimura
20 points – four rebounds – three assists – two steal – two blocks
Coby White
14 points – five rebounds – seven assists – four steals
Ian Mahinmi
15 points – six rebounds

Washington at New York – Tonight
Cleveland at Chicago – Thursday, February 20th


Portland Trailblazers  117
New Orleans Pelicans  138

Only 1.5 games separate the Portland Trailblazers and the New Orleans Pelicans in the Western Conference standings, as both teams make a push for a spot in the postseason. The Pelicans seem to want it a little bit more as they blew out the Blazers and are tied with the San Antonio Spurs right behind Portland. Last night was the game people have been waiting for with Zion Williamson having his career best night, the Pelicans having a 41-21 third quarter, and the Pelicans still having that voodoo curse over the Blazers that dates back to the Pels bouncing Portland out of the playoffs two seasons ago. New Orleans’ defense limited Portland’s backcourt to just 40 points, an average that Damian Lillard was having on his own the last 15 games.

TRAILBLAZERS (25-30) 9th in the WestPELICANS (23-31) 11th in the West
Damian Lillard
20 points – five rebounds – six assists
Zion Williamson
31 points – nine rebounds – five assists – one steal
C.J. McCollum
20 points – one rebound – three assists
J.J. Redick
20 points – two rebounds – two assists
Carmelo Anthony
18 points – one rebound – one assist – one steal
Josh Hart
17 points – six rebounds – three assists – one steal

Portland at Memphis – Tonight
Oklahoma City at New Orleans – Thursday


San Antonio Spurs  114
Oklahoma City Thunder  106

If the Oklahoma City Thunder had a better showing in the first quarter, we might be talking about a different storyline here. But San Antonio outscored the Thunder 25-14 in the opening period, and kept them at bay with a six point margin in the fourth quarter to steal a win at Chesapeake Energy Arena last night, and hold off the New Orleans Pelicans from advancing to the 10th spot outright. LaMarcus Aldridge and Dejounte Murray combined for 50 points in the absence of DeMar DeRozan, who sat again with back spasms and now has the All Star break to mend. 

SPURS (23-31) 10th in the WestTHUNDER (32-22) 6th in the West
LaMarcus Aldridge
25 points – 14 rebounds – three assists – one steal – one block
Chris Paul
31 points – two rebounds – seven assists – one steal – one block
Dejounte Murray
25 points – nine rebounds – three assists – one steal
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
17 points – five rebounds – two rebounds – one steal
Patty Mills
20 points
Danilo Gallinari
15 points – eight rebounds – three assists – one steal

Oklahoma City at New Orleans – Thursday
San Antonio at Utah – Friday, February 21st


Boston Celtics  105
Houston Rockets  116

A lethargic third quarter cost the Boston Celtics last night in Houston, where the Rockets took advantage and went to the line 17 more times than the Celtics, ensuring the Houston win, as the Rockets went 88 percent from the line on the night and had four fewer turnovers than Boston. James Harden and Russell Westbrook combined for 78 points, 18 rebounds, 12 assists, and three steals to vanquish the Celtics’ seven game win streak. Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown, and Jayson Tatum were only able to muster 54, with Brown and Tatum unable to match even Westbrook’s output. Robert Covington finished with 12 and seven in his fourth game as a Houston Rocket.

CELTICS (37-16) 3rd in the EastROCKETS (34-20) 5th in the West
Gordon Hayward
20 points – eight rebounds – six assists – one block
James Harden
42 points – eight rebounds – seven assists – one steal – one block
Jaylen Brown
19 points – three rebounds – one assist – one steal – one block
Russell Westbrook
36 points – 10 rebounds – five assists – two steals 
Jayson Tatum
15 points – nine rebounds – four assists – four steals – one block
Danuel House, Jr.
17 points – nine rebounds – one assist

Los Angeles at Boston – Thursday
Houston at Golden State – Thursday, February 20th


(All Times Eastern Standard Time)

7 p.m.
Atlanta Hawks
Cleveland Cavaliers
Fox Sports Ohio
7 p.m.
Detroit Pistons
Orlando Magic
Fox Sports Detroit
7:30 p.m.
Milwaukee Bucks
Indiana Pacers
7:30 p.m.
Toronto Raptors
Brooklyn Nets
7:30 p.m.
Washington Wizards
New York Knicks
NBC Sports Washington
8 p.m.
Charlotte Hornets
Minnesota Timberwolves
Fox Sports Southeast
8 p.m.
Portland Trailblazers
Memphis Grizzlies
Fox Sports Southeast
8:30 p.m.
Sacramento Kings
Dallas Mavericks
NBC Sports California
9 p.m.
Golden State Warriors
Phoenix Suns
NBC Sports California
9 p.m.
Miami Heat
Utah Jazz
AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain
10 p.m.
Los Angeles Lakers
Denver Nuggets


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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