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The Tip Off – January 29, 2020 NBA Basketball 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: 1/29/2020 as reported by Sam Johnson, video by Jerin Varghese

Honor Roll

  • Ja Morant had 18 PTS, 10 ASTS, 2 STLS and 0 TOS while posting an absurd +42 in his 27 minutes of work in the victory over New York. Per Basketball Reference, +42 was good for the third-highest total of the season (Harden +50 is number one). Memphis also has now won 11 of its past 13 games and continues to blow preseason expectations out of the water.
  • DeMar DeRozan had 38 points to help the Spurs defeat the visiting Jazz. He also had 5 assists and 5 rebounds and was very efficient (11/19 FG & 15/19 FT) despite not taking a single three-point attempt – in typical DeMar fashion. He now has 30+ in three of his past four games.
  • I am running out of ways to articulate Damian Lillard’s brilliance as of late. Last night he poured in a 38-10-11 triple-double while splashing 6 threes, a few of which were of his patented “Logo Lillard” variety. Scoring just 36 actually lowered his average over the last four down to 48.5 PPG. Dame out-dueled Westbrook yet again and led the Blazers past the Rockets 125-112.
  • Lu Dort popped off a career-high 23 points on 8/12 shooting including 5/6 from deep in OKC’s rout over Sacramento. There is little truth to the rumor that the ‘Sweet Lou’ (Williams) nickname is suddenly in peril despite the sharpshooting display. It is fun to say “Lu Dort” though.

Quirks of the Night

  • Both leading scorers from the Detroit-Brooklyn game came off the bench. Reggie Jackson had 23 points in 26 minutes as he continues to get acclimated to the lineup, and Spencer Dinwiddie had 28 points on just 13 FGA to lead all Nets scorers.
  • The Utah Jazz finished the game without a single block. This isn’t exactly unheard of, as there have now been 21 instances this season where a team did not record a block. Teams’ records in those games are 5-16.
  • Nemanja Bjelica started for the Kings and produced 0 points and 0 rebounds in 24+ minutes of action. If you’re thinking that must be hard for a 6’10” player, you would be correct. Just 12 players have accomplished this ‘feat’ in the past five years and Bjelica is only the second to be taller than 6’6” – Tayshaun Prince you now have company.

Needs Improvement

  • Zach LaVine had some legitimate beef with the referees on the final play of regulation as he was slashed on the arm going up for the potential game-winning shot. The Bulls got handled in overtime, going on to lose by 9.
  • Elfrid Payton’s temper – Payton delivered a shove to the chest of Jae Crowder as he was taking a three-pointer with under a minute to play and was assessed a flagrant-2. Payton was hot after Crowder stole the inbounds leading by 18 with 50 seconds left in the game. Instead of getting mad about “unwritten rules” being broken, how about just finish playing the game?
  • James Harden’s swoon continues as he was 5/18 (2/8 3PT) finishing with just 18 points in a loss last night. Harden is now shooting 15.4% from downtown (8/52) over his past six games and the Rockets have lost five of the last seven games that he’s played in.

NBA Twitter Table Talk                                                                                            

  • Victor Oladipo returned and buried a bomb from 28 feet to force OT in his first game back in over a calendar year. 
  • Ja Morant delivered his nightly highlight via a 360 dime to Guduric for 3. 
  • It sounds like Knicks fans remain fed up with Dolan as they chanted, “Sell the team! Sell the team!” late at Madison Square Garden.
  • The NBA announced that the league salary cap (and luxury tax) is likely to be reduced next year as league revenues have dropped this season.

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