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The Tip Off – December 22, 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: 12/22/2019 as reported by Sam Shin, video by Jerin Varghese

Honor Roll

  • Jayson Tatum continues to emerge as one of the young star players moving forward in the league, as he absolutely torched the Hornets for a career-high 39 points (15/29 shooting, 4/9 from behind the arc, and a perfect 5/5 from the line) in addition to 12 rebounds and 3 blocks. Tatum scored 22 of those 39 points in the fourth quarter, as the Celtics outscored the Hornets 35-16 en route to a dominating 119-93 win.
  • There was no “load management” for Anthony Davis on Sunday night, as he had to shoulder most of the offensive burden with LeBron James out due to rest injury. Davis’ put up a valiant effort with 32 PTS (13/23 FG, 5/6 FT), 11 REBS, and 4 BLKS in the Lakers’ 3rd consecutive loss in a row, this time a 128-104 defeat to the visiting Denver Nuggets.
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander revenge game? It certainly seemed like it, as Shai matched his career-high with 32 points on 12/25 shooting and a perfect 6/6 from the charity stripe as the Thunder pulled out a narrow 118-112 victory over the Clippers. 
  • You’ve seen Serge Ibaka’s cooking show. Have you seen Kyle Lowry’s? If you haven’t, just watch the rerun of the Toronto Raptors vs. Dallas Mavericks game on December 22nd because Lowry was absolutely COOKIN’, scorching the Mavs for 32 PTS (12/23 FG, 5/13 3PT), 8 REBS, and 10 ASTS. Tonight’s main dish: D’orian De Finney-Smith.
  • At this point, does Giannis Antetokounmpo deserve a spot on the Honor Roll, or is it just “expected” if he’s doing this every game? Giannis delivered another spectacular performance, recording 18 PTS (8/17 FG), 19 REBS, 9 ASTS, 2 STLS, and 2 BLKS in just 31 MINS as he barely missed a triple-double in the Bucks’ 117-89 demolition of the Pacers.

Quirks of the Night

  • The Toronto Raptors stormed back from a 30-point deficit against the visiting Dallas Mavericks, outscoring the Mavs 47-21 in the decisive fourth quarter. The comeback turned out to be the Raptors’ largest comeback in team history, as well as the NBA’s first 30-point comeback since the Sacramento Kings beat the Chicago Bulls on December 21, 2009, almost exactly 10 years ago.
  • As previously mentioned, Jayson Tatum scored 22 of his career-high 39 points in the fourth quarter on Sunday night against the Hornets; Tatum’s scoring output not only was enough to outscore the Hornets as a team in the last quarter, but also would have been enough to outscore 2/4 of the remaining losing squads on Sunday night in the fourth quarter (Dallas Mavericks and Indiana Pacers).

Needs Improvement

  • After throwing some low-key shade at the Milwaukee Bucks for not “valuing” him as much as the Indiana Pacers did, Malcom Brogdon went out and showed absolutely none of the said-value, finishing with 10 points on 5/19 shooting from the field and 5 turnovers. I think it’s fair to say this probably wasn’t how he had this planned out…
  • There was some subtle reverse-psychology being used in Oklahoma City in the game between the Thunder and the Clippers, as the Thunder fans gave a loud cheer for Paul George during pregame introductions. It seemed to work, as PG shot 6/17 from the floor with 5 turnovers and a plus/minus of -16, to finish with 18 points.
  • Lakers starters not named Anthony Davis: 23 PTS, 8/26 FG, 11 PF, and a whole lot of ugly basketball.

NBA Twitter Table Talk

  • When Kristaps Porzingis is hitting these, it’s game over (except for when a team outscores your team 47-21 in the final quarter and climbs back from a 30-point deficit).
  • Isaiah Thomas was suspended 2 games by the league for approaching a fan who was aggressively cursing him out for a frosty (though he handled the situation better than anyone could’ve asked for). Thoughts on this?

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