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The Tip Off – December 20, 2019 Recap

Miss your NBA fix last night? In three minutes or less, TDC’s The Tip Off gives you the brief rundown of the standout stat lines, exciting finishes and some rarities that went down on the hardwood last night. On a busy evening where you miss the live action and/or the scintillating thrill of NBA Twitter scrolling, we have done the work for you and compiled notable lines and events.

Spend three minutes reading this every day to keep up with the Association and have enough knowledge and nuggets to be in the loop with casual fans as well as the ability to toss out a few specific stats and oddities an avid fan may have missed.

B-ball Date: 12/20/2019 as reported by Sam Johnson, video by Joe Tevelowitz 

Honor Roll

  • The Oklahoma City starters shot 67% from the field last night as they cruised past the Suns 126-108. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander poured in a career-high 32 as OKC climbed back to .500 and are sitting firmly in the playoff picture at 7th in the West. 
  • Tim Hardaway Jr. splashed 5 triples in the first quarter on his way to 19 points on just 8 shots to set the tone for the Mavericks. Dallas went on to win by 19 over Philadelphia in their second very impressive Luka-less win, after the Monday victory over Milwaukee.
  • Blazers stars CJ and Dame combined for 67 PTS, 10 AST and 11 3PTS in Portland’s victory over Orlando. They have now both scored 30+ in a game 15 times. Without Klay and Steph really in the fold this season, the Blazers backcourt might be the top shot-making guards in the League. 
  • John Henson had 7 blocks in 16 minutes for Cleveland last night. SEVEN. It felt necessary to point this out when the league leaders in blocks per game is 2.6. I also feel it necessary to recommend that the Grizz try out a pump fake when they meet again in January.

Quirks of the Night

  • The Celtics cruised to an easy victory over the Pistons on Friday, but it came without a field goal from their star point guard Kemba Walker, who finished with 2 points on 0/6 shooting and had 7 turnovers. He did have 11 assists and was still +18 in the game, however.
  • Enes Kanter managed to grab 18 rebounds in just 21 minutes of action. This was just the second time in the past 20 years someone amassed 18+ rebounds in that few minutes per Basketball Reference. 
  • Ish Smith: The Perfect Game! Smith took 9 FG’s 4 FT’s and made them all on his way to 26 points. He also had 0 turnovers. There have only been 3 players in NBA history who have scored 25+ points without missing a shot nor committing a turnover (Steven Adams and Brad Miller) per Basketball Reference.

Needs Improvement

  • RJ Barrett went 1/10, 2 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0 BLK and a -24 in the Knicks blowout loss. Does the rookie wall ever come in December?
  • 76ers not named Embiid. Embiid had 33-17 and was +5 in a game Philly lost by 19.  Nobody else had over 12 points and they shot 26% from behind the arc combined (without Embiid). Among the preseason title favorites, the scuffling 76ers are now 6th(!) in the East.

NBA Twitter Table Talk                                                                                                    

  • Derrick Jones Jr. can grace his way through the air in a way most humans cannot. He had FOUR highlight reel dunks you are going to want to check out. Bonus points if you can figure out what Meyers Leonard was doing on the bench after DJJ’s 2nd quarter dunk.
  • Not often are missed dunks passed around quite this excitedly, but take a peep at this near-fatality. Kevin Love was extremely glad to dodge this Olympic Vince recreation attempt by Ja Morant.

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