Behind the Boxscore: Philly is sick


Toronto 119, Philadelphia 107

This game was laid useless hours later, when the Sixers blew up the roster again in the search for the goods.

Toronto clutched the string from the outset, the Raptors dominated the offensive glass in the final quarter and forced PHILA into iffy turnovers all evening — Ben Simmons and T.J. McConnell combined for 10.


After the game the 76ers sent Mike Muscala, Landry Shamet, Wilson Chandler, its 2020 first-round pick and the club’s rights to Miami’s unprotected 2021 selection, plus a pair of 2023 second-round picks (conveyed from Detroit), to the L.A. Clippers for Tobias Harris.

Philly also received center Boban Marjonovic and forward Mike Scott in the deal. Each should be prominent rotation members.

The upgrade from Mike Muscala to Mike Scott is significant, the upgrade from Wilson Chandler to Tobias Harris is obscene.

If the vibes are right (no small task for PHILA, Jimmy Butler was out of it on Tuesday night), these Sixers could sweep the month of March.

Indiana 136, Los Angeles Lakers 94

There is no such thing as a “50/50 ball” when Thaddeus Young is on the floor. The odds change.

The Pacer forward is incredible, Draymond Green wishes he still ran with anywhere near Young’s end-to-end impact while the rest of us just wish for Thad’s haircut. He delivered eight blocks alongside 11 rebounds and a dozen points in Tuesday’s win, birds chirping all over the place.

Young had help: Bojan Bogdanovic saw the spots to run to and peeled off a quick dozen points early on, Myles Turner stepped into 22 points and Cory Joseph (5-7 shooting after clanging 27 of his last 35) understands the scoring rules again.

Offensive rebounds, perfect transition defense, good-enough work in its own transition opportunities, no sloppy risks with the ball. The Pacers tuned in.

Pacers: 35-19, Lakers: 27-27


The Lakers are .500 a couple of days before the trade deadline and LeBron’s missed 18 games so far, this shouldn’t be that big of a fucking deal but here Los Angeles is, there the capability went.

Brandon Ingram keeps his wits about him but the rest of the roster appears keen to sit under the shadow of the hammer, there was nothing Luke Walton could ever do about this (and it wouldn’t have mattered if he tried).

Around the same time LeBron posed for a photo acres away from his teammates on the loser’s bench, the Lakers dealt rookie Svi Mykhailiuk and’a second-roundah to Detroit for actually-good swingman Reggie Bullock.

Reggie hit 44 percent of his threes last year, he’s at 39 percent this season and the soonly-28-year-old is at 39.8 from behind the stripe for his career. He’s a free agent this summer and riding a 13-22 three-point run in February thus far.

Welcome to the weird part of the room, New George McCloud.

Oklahoma City 132, Orlando 122

Orlando kept up with its movement and this frustrated the impatient Thunder, greetings like these typically occur when TNT comes to town but Tuesday’s damage was all Magic.

ORL never looked up. The team kept up with its next pass and concentrated on squared shoulders, Evan Fournier (25 points on 16 shots) was the finisher and Aaron Gordon looked exceedingly comfortable (10 assists, eight turnovers) in that Baby Blake position. Each of these men fouled out of the game.

Paul George is the player that keeps good basketball teams in bad games, he’s the spark behind your mid-quarter spurt and the reason why your “10-3 run to close the half” didn’t mean shit.

George only hit three two-pointers on his way toward 39 points but those swoopers screamed as loud as anything. Plus those 15 free throws cooed you to sleep (before we started rooting around that space behind the VCR).

Russell “Thunder” Westbrook will make a party out of Orlando.

Terrence Ross (Orlando Magic) hit five three-pointers and enjoyed 26 points and three steals and five rebounds off the bench and the trade deadline is on Thursday.

Thunder: 34-19, Magic: 22-32

Detroit 105, New York 92

The Knicks take so many terrible shots.

This game’s gearbox was stuck in second all evening, lots of whirring and piecemeal play from the home team.

New additions Dennis Smith Jr. (25 points, eh, I mean …) and Wes Matthews (2-11 shooting, tried real hard) weren’t always on it and celebrated Knick center DeAndre Jordan was outplayed by understudy Mitchell “Boots” Robinson.

Detroit did well to stay above the muck, the team pinned Denver against a tub on Monday and seemed similarly energized at MSG in this conquest, even if Luke Kennard (1-6 shooting) had one of “those” games.

Blake Griffin kinda did too — eight assists, five turnovers and only eight rebounds in 36 minutes but 28 badly-needed professional points. Jose Calderon (zero turnovers) felt like he was on the court for 14 years, Reggie Jackson got to the line seven times and Reggie Bullock collected 19 points (five three-pointers) and seven rebounds in his final game as a Piston.

Andre Drummond registered five blocks and eyed twice as many steals, you can do that in New York, he plucked 16 rebounds and 17 points and even got to try a three-pointer on purpose. Good night out for the pivot.

I’m not sure we should let Kevin Knox drive cars.

Pistons: 24-29, Knicks: 10-43


The Pistons are trying to make the playoffs and I’m pretty sure I just saw Bullock shoot Detroit into a coupla wins, I know it always feels like there’s a logjam at small forward in Detroit but we’re pretty much down to the rims right now.

Svi Mykhailiuk can shoot, and 400-odd minutes (OK fine he’s played exactly 420 minutes grow up) of NBA Weird Time shouldn’t count against his rather paltry contributions thus far (31 percent on threes, 36 percent on twos, 34 rebounds all year).

Bullock wasn’t going to return as a free agent this summer, and it is nice to add another second-round pick to the stable, but isn’t Reggie Bullock supposed to be good?

Boston 103, Cleveland 96

The visitors ran without Kyrie Irving, still smarting from a pain in his side, and the Cavs treated us to a contest.

Boston was too easy to give up on its sets early on, this was before the Celtics developed respect for your Cavaliers, devolving into one-on-one play in the face of a team that really can’t guard anyone. It was understandable.

The C’s settled, moving the ball because you can’t help it against Cleveland, all the openings are there.

Celtic D improved after that iffy start but the crush was too late to cull Collin Sexton.

The rookie located his spirit and began connecting on adult shots, confidence oozing out of his cruise, Sexton finished with 27 points.

Uncommitted Celtic spacing kept CLE in the contest but the home team was no match for Boston’s waves: Marcus Smart hit four three-pointers like it was no thing, Al Horford (eight dimes) was the bulwark you needed and Terry Rozier was on no bullshit, none at all, even utilizing a wicked left hand on his way through Cleveland’s plate of margarine.

Gordon Hayward scored 18 points for Boston before rushing back to the hotel room to catch up on “the speech.”

Celtics: 35-19, Cavaliers: 11-43

L.A. Clippers 117, Charlotte 115

The visitors were caught committing aggressively without much sincerity to start the game and the Hornets have stuff for this: Kemba Walker.

The twirler finished with 32 points and he didn’t turn the ball over. When the Clippers pressed to take the ball out of Kemba’s hands, he eased into nine assists (and the hope that somebody else would see what he sees).

The Hornets fell by 19 to the Clippers a month ago and were out to prove it was something more than 20-points worse than the gotdamn Clippers, and the home team had its chances when L.A. lost its legs and interest partway through the second quarter.

Lou Williams changes this, he isn’t your typical Sixth Man swerve and the Clippers play light years better when Lou is holding the torch, 31 points and six assists for the dude.

Montrezl Harrell wouldn’t stop, 16 and 10 and three blocks, and Mike Scott (who is now gonna be on TNT a lot) hit three three-pointers.

The Clippers know they can work 25-feet in and that shakes a defense, Williams kept up with his comeback trimmings (Charlotte led by 20 at one point) and Charlotte blew its last two timeouts on possessions that didn’t listen to directions: Marvin Williams ended up heaving an afterthought game-winner at the buzzer after Kemba was chased over to the swingset.

Clippers: 30-25, Hornets: 26-27


The Clippers have fancy plans and the pants to match and it’s hard not to be impressed. The club’s staff have done strong work while away from those pesky games, they’re leaning into entryways with limitless potential — somehow you trust this* front office’s brand of wish-creation well ahead of its other, hopeful colleagues.

They loved Tobias Harris, the guy put up with so bullshit in his first few weeks as a Clipper yet emerged in 2018-19 better than ever.

Tobias lined in on four three-pointers in the first half on Tuesday, 6-7 all night, his vision kept the Clippers in a game that Charlotte could have run away with. Harris is an All-Star, but his bargain days are through.

A Sixer pick in 2020 may not be great but it’s a pick. Pat Riley revels life as the martyr, his 2021 contribution could be a prize, but there’s no point in crushing too hard on either selection, L.A. could spit ‘em out of town by the trade deadline on Thursday.

There is further Clipper cap room, many many many superstars’ worth of cap room. The Clippers want to be accessible, in case the timing is perfect.

*promotional staff excluded.

Memphis 108, Minnesota 106

Memphis struck sloppy to start but there was persistence in this mess, the Grizzles ran up 23-4 before Minnesota could figure out what “Julian Washburn” was.

Justin Holiday earned Ed Davis Sr. Numbers (eight points, five rebounds) in the first quarter. Ivan Raab (starting in place of the considerable Marc Gasol) crushed two steals in the first period, 19 points and 11 rebounds all day. The Grizzlies — the gotdamn Grizzlies — hit 15 three-pointers and probably should have splashed more.

The home team lost the ability to locate blood in the water in the second quarter, Yuta Watanabe played like almost 19 whole minutes and Shelvin Mack still has the keys to the Corolla, for some reason.

Timberwolf Dario Saric always plays well against Memphis and Tuesday was no trip — 22 points all day with five assists, he was the best player on the floor during the stretches of evening that I considered researching community colleges.

Memphis ran a zone and Minnesota’s only answer was its Quadrophonic Power Forward Lineup: Saric teamed with Luol Deng, Gorgei Dieng and Anthony Tolliver while poor point guard Isaiah Canaan tried to put the cork back in the bottle.

The contest came down to a lame call on an loose ball scrum, Holiday canned a pair of free throws with a tenth of a second left before the entire arena sunk into its surrounding silt.

Grizzlies: 22-33, Timberwolves: 25-28

Miami 118, Portland 106

The Heat are corny as hell but they get shit done on the road, this club is one of only four in the Eastern Conference with a winning record away from home because the Eastern Conference is terrible, and shouldn’t have survived Bill Clinton’s 1998 impeachment process.

Miami’s collegiate act travels well, Portland had no interest in chasing the Heat away from its spots and the Heat tipped at just enough offensive rebounds to keep the Blazers on edge. Miami won’t jump before you do.

C.J. McCollum helped energize a Trail Blazer comeback but his 33 points paled in the face of Justise Winslow’s five assists or Dion Waiters’ three threes or Dwyane Wade no-bake 22 points or Tyler Johnson’s insistence on wearing shorts every time we go out, all the annoying things that makes the Miami the way it is.

Isiah Thomas called the game and made it nearly two minutes in before complaining about player salaries from the 2000s to Grant Hill and Jason Terry.

Hassan “This Fuckin’ Guy” Whiteside missed one shot all night and scored 28 points, it was that sorta Tuesday.

Heat: 25-27, Trail Blazers: 32-21


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