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: 1/20/2020 as reported by Sam Shin, video by Jerin Varghese
- With his team as depleted as ever (but don’t tell the Warriors that), Damian Lillard absolutely carried the Portland Trail Blazers to a thrilling 129-124 victory over the visiting Golden State Warriors. Lillard set a career-high, finishing with 61 PTS (17/37 FG, 11/20 3PT, 16/16 FT), 10 REBS, and 7 ASTS. Opposing him was Alec Burks, who didn’t quite put up a 60-spot but put up 33 PTS (11/23 FG, 9/9 FT), 7 REBS, 8 ASTS, and 2 BLKS of his own in what turned out to be the most exciting matchup of the entire MLK national TV slate. In case you’re wondering, yes – you read all of the above correctly.
- Trae Young was just filthy on Monday afternoon against the Raptors, pouring in 42 PTS (11/20 FG, 18/21 FT), 6 REBS, and 15 ASTS. “First-time All-Star” is starting to become a phrase that we’ll most likely hear as we inch closer and closer to the All-Star game for Trae.
- Devin Booker nearly led a massive comeback for the Suns against the visiting Spurs, posting 37 PTS (13/23 FG, 4/6 3PT, 7/7 FT), 7 REBS, and 5 ASTS. Despite losing 120-118, Booker continued to chip away at his chances to earn his first-ever All-Star nod (sorry Russ, I’d rather have Booker).
- Just how we Jrue it up: Jrue Holiday returned from his injury absence to drop a game-high 36 points on a super-efficient 12/18 shooting overall, 7/10 from deep, and a perfect 5/5 from the line in only 32 minutes. Now that Jrue’s back and healthy, I think there’s someone else that the Pelicans mentioned would return soon too…
- All the you-need-a-jump-shot-to-be-great enthusiasts were silent on Monday night, as Ben Simmons put in a monster game to lead the Sixers to a 117-111 win over the hometown Nets. Simmons put in 34 PTS (12/14 FG, 10/14 FT), 12 REBS, 15 ASTS, 5 STLS, and 2 BLKS, showing moments that explained why his biggest fans don’t feel he needs a jump shot (but let’s be real, he needs one if he wants to be an all-time great)
- Mr. OKC – The OKC version of Russell Westbrook returned in the MLK Day matchup between the Rockets and Thunder, with Westbrook tallying 32 PTS (16/24 FG), 11 REBS, 12 ASTS, and 2 STLS. The Thunder still had the last laugh, as they prevailed 112-107 over the Rockets, who have now lost 4 games in a row.
Quirks of the Night
- When you drop 60+ points and carry your team to an overtime win on MLK Day, you deserve more than one mention on The Tip Off. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Damian Lillard joined James Harden, Tracy McGrady, David Robinson, and Michael Jordan as the only players with 60 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists in a game since the NBA/ABA merger.
- Before the Lakers-Celtics matchup on MLK Day, Kemba Walker had been 0-28 in his career against LeBron James, including both the regular season and postseason. However, the Celtics demolished the Lakers, making Kemba’s record now a slightly-less blemished 1-28.
- Terry Rozier had as many turnovers (4) as he did points (4), while missing all six of his field goal attempts in 31 not-so-productive minutes.
- Not sure if James Harden was seeing multiple baskets in his vision during the game against the Thunder, but there are no excuses for his performance on MLK Day. Harden was 9/29 from the field overall, hitting only one lousy three-point shot out of 17 total attempts. Yup, you read that right. 1/17.
NBA Twitter Table Talk
- Marcus Smart made this pass look EASY:
- Deonte Burton with a semi-windmill dunk that doesn’t even seem possible:
- Jaylen Brown with the THROWDOWN!