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: 2/3/2020 as reported by Aram Hanessian, video by Jerin Varghese
- The biggest game of the night was in Miami, where two teams that should be in the race for the #2 seed in the East matched up. Unfortunately, it seems Philly has apparently decided to tank for the #6 seed to get out of Milwaukee’s half of the bracket, as they got housed 137-106. Jimmy Butler was the standout performer for the Heat, as he had 38 points on 14/20 shooting and 7 rebounds without even playing the 4th quarter.
- With Luka Doncic on the shelf with a knee injury, somebody is going to have to step up for the Mavericks if they hope to stay in the race for home court in the West. So far, Kristaps Porzingis is doing his best to fill the void. Last night was Porzingis’ second consecutive season-high in points, as he scored 38 points on 10/20 shooting from the field, 6/13 from deep and 12/12 from the line to go along with 12 boards, as the Mavs scored an impressive win in Indiana, 112-103.
- Welcome back to the starting lineup Caris LeVert! After returning from an early season thumb injury, LeVert had been resigned to the bench and hadn’t exactly thrived there. After averaging 18 points, 5.5 boards and 4 assists before the injury, LeVert had slipped to 11/3/3 with a pretty terrifying 41.4% true shooting since returning. Over his last four games it had gotten even worse, as he totaled just 27 points and 6 rebounds with a 33.3% true shooting. Last night, however, LeVert got back into the starting lineup and had maybe his best game of the year. LeVert had a season-high 29 points (which also tied his career-high) and 7 assists as the Nets beat the Suns 119-97.
- After the epic comeback by the Kings in Minnesota last week, the Wolves tried to return the favor last night in Sacramento. A 21-point lead halfway through the third was cut to two by midway through the fourth, but De’Aaron Fox did just enough for the Kings to hold on to win 113-109. Fox had 31 points on 10/16 shooting and 5 assists to lead the way for Sacramento.
Quirks of the Night
- Miami had almost a 148 offensive rating last night against what was the league’s 5th ranked defense. That offensive rating is good for the third-highest of the year in the NBA and the previous two were against Atlanta and Cleveland, so the degree of difficulty was slightly higher here. Obviously, Miami shot the ball really well, but what really boosted them was a lack of turnovers. The Heat set a franchise record with only 3 turnovers in the blowout win.
- Victor Oladipo is only in his third game back, so I don’t want to be too harsh, but man, maybe he should be a little less thirsty from deep until he gets back into the flow. Including last night’s 1/10 showing, Oladipo is now 3/21 on threes since coming back.
- Kind of a historically terrible night for Reggie Jackson. Jackson went 1/16 from the field in 24 minutes for 3 points. Here are the ways that’s fun and uncommon: 1) only two other players this year have taken at least 16 shots in a game and made 1 or less; 2) only one other player ever has taken 0 free throws while getting up 16 shots and making 1 or less; and 3) Jackson is only the third player ever to have accomplished the feat in under 25 minutes.
- It’s not entirely (or mostly, or maybe at all) his fault, but we’re now at 68 days without Karl-Anthony Towns winning a game. That’s bad.
NBA Twitter Table Talk
- Ja Morant is making people look silly on the court. . .
- . . . and off the court.