Sunday featured an eight-game slate in the NBA and LeBron James is now iffy for Monday’s game with a knee injury. Russell Westbrook went off again, Anthony Davis put up some crazy numbers for the Pelicans, Kyle Korver broke his nose and will sit out on Monday, along with Al Horford (rest). Follow me on Twitter by clicking here!
Games Played Week 21
4 Games: ATL, BOS, BRK, CHA, CLE, DAL, DEN, DET, GSW, IND, LAC, MEM, MIA, MIL, MIN, NOP, NYK, OKC, ORL, PHI, POR, SAC, SAS, TOR, UTA, WAS
3 Games: CHI, HOU, LAL, PHX
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OKC 109, Chicago 100
The Thunder got 36 points, 11 rebounds, six dimes, a steal and two 3-pointers on 12-of-27 shooting from Westbrook, who also hit 10-of-13 free throws in Sunday’s win. As you know, Westbrook has been playing like a fantasy MVP of late, and is averaging a sick 32.4 points, 9.8 rebounds, 9.8 assists, 2.2 steals and 2.4 3-pointers on 43 percent shooting over his last five games. He’s healthy and on a mission right now, and a lot of fantasy championships are going to be won by his owners as long as he is on the court. Serge Ibaka (day-to-day) sat out with a sore knee, so Enes Kanter kept it rolling with 18 points and 18 boards, and even Steven Adams double-doubled with 14 points, 11 boards, a steal and two blocks. He had scored a total of five points in his previous two games, but also had 20 rebounds in them, and is someone worth a look if you need a big man. I would only suggest using Adams if Ibaka is going to miss more time. Kevin Durant could possibly play sometime this week, but we’re still not exactly sure when he’ll be back from his foot injury.
The Bulls got 27 points from Nikola Mirotic, who came off the bench and hit a couple threes, had a couple steals and a block to go along with four assists. He’s been crushing for weeks and has been one of the best late-season pickups this year. Pau Gasol had 20 & 8, Joakim Noah had 15 points and seven assists, and Aaron Brooks added 11 points and three assists on 5-of-14 shooting. Mike Dunleavy was awful, hitting 1-of-5 shots for three points, as he continues to tease his fantasy owners with inconsistent play. Tony Snell wasn’t great with eight points on 3-of-10 shooting, but did lead the team in minutes with 38. Noah’s still on a 32-minute time limit and that could continue for the rest of the season.
Rockets 100, Clippers 98
James Harden bounced back from a couple off nights with 34 points, seven boards, seven assists and three 3-pointers on 7-of-16 shooting. He hit 17-of-18 free throws and the Rockets got a two-point win over the Clips, putting him back at the front of the MVP train. Terrence Jones double-doubled for the third straight game, Trevor Ariza added 19 points, nine boards and two 3-pointers, and Patrick Beverley scored 11 for the Rockets. Corey Brewer was mysteriously absent, playing just 17 minutes and scoring just seven points on 3-of-10 shooting. He had scored between 23 and 25 points in his previous three games and there were no reports of an injury, so hopefully it was just an off night for Brewer.
The Clippers welcomed back Blake Griffin and he had 11 points, 11 boards, eight dimes, two steals and a block in 41 minutes, so get him back in your lineup (and kick Spencer Hawes to the curb). Matt Barnes hit five more 3-pointers and added a couple steals and a block on his way to 19 points (17 3-pointers in his last four games), DeAndre Jordan had five points, 20 boards and four blocks, and Chris Paul added 23 points and five assists, but hit just 7-of-21 shots. He also missed a five-footer at the buzzer, allowing the Rockets to escape with the win. We still don’t know when Jamal Crawford will be back from his calf injury, so J.J. Redick remains a strong play, and had 15 points, four boards, five assists, a steal and three 3-pointers in 38 minutes (5-of-15 shooting).
Nuggets 118, Pelicans 11 in double overtime
Kenneth Faried kept it going with 20 points, 10 boards and two blocks, Danilo Gallinari stayed hot with 17 points, four boards, four assists and two 3-pointers, and Ty Lawson bounced back after missing his last game with an illness with 19 points, five boards, nine assists and three steals. Maybe he’ll keep it going now. Will Barton hit 10-of-16 shots and three 3-pointers for a career-high 25 points off the bench, and also had nine rebounds, three steals and a block in 47 minutes. The two overtimes helped, but Barton has been rolling, albeit somewhat inconsistent over the last few weeks. Jameer Nelson added 18 points, five rebounds, six assists, a steal and four 3-pointers in 38 minutes, and has quietly played well in three straight games. I probably should have put him in Waiver Wired, as he’s scored 18, 17 and 13 points over his last three games to go along with 15 assists and 10 3-pointers. Jusuf Nurkic is back for the Nuggets and had six points and eight boards in 22 minutes.
Anthony Davis went ballistic with 36 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists, a steal and nine blocks on 16-of-28 shooting. No NBA player has had totals that high in each category in a single game in 30 years. He scored six points in the first overtime, but missed both his shots in the second one, which is part of the reason the Nuggets were able to pull away. He was a little iffy with an eye injury coming into the game, but obviously, it wasn’t a problem. BEAST. Lost in all the Davis hoopla was the return of Tyreke Evans, who was back from an ankle injury. Evans just missed a triple-double with 25 points, nine rebounds, 10 assists, two blocks and a 3-pointer. Welcome back. Omer Asik added 10 points and 13 rebounds and Eric Gordon scored 16 points and four 3-pointers.
Cavs 123, Magic 108
LeBron James was money with 21 points, eight boards, 13 assists, three steals and a block on 9-of-14 shooting, and the only thing he didn’t do was hit a three. He also had just one turnover, but he has a sore knee that will leave him iffy for tonight’s game. Watch for updates today. Kyrie Irving stayed hot with 33 points, five 3-pointers, four rebounds and four assists, and J.R. Smith hit six 3-pointers and scored 25 points. Kevin Love sat this one out for rest and a sore back, but Tristan Thompson had just four points and three boards in his stead. Love should also be considered questionable for tonight’s game against the Bulls. If LeBron is out tonight, look for Iman Shumpert (8 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, 1 block, 1 3-pointer Sunday) to be a sneaky play.
The Magic got 24 points, eight boards and three 3-pointers from Tobias Harris (he’s finally back), 22 points and 15 boards from Nikola Vucevic, and 25 points, seven assists and three 3-pointers for Victor Oladipo in the loss. Elfrid Payton, who scored just 13 points, but also had nine rebounds, 10 assists, two steals and a 3-pointer, just missing a triple-double, Dewayne Dedmon let his new owners down by scoring three points with five rebounds in just 18 minutes, while Luke Ridnour scored 15 points in just 16 minutes off the bench. Ignore him.
Spurs 123, Timberwolves 97
The Spurs had eight players in double figures, led by Kawhi Leonard’s 15 points, six boards, five steals and two 3-pointers. There were no double-doubles despite all five starters scoring at least 10 points, and the Spurs continue to be a tough team to rely on in fantasy. Manu Ginobili left with a sprained ankle and didn’t return. He could miss a couple weeks with the injury, which should help Danny Green and Marco Belinelli.
Ricky Rubio, Kevin Garnett, Gary Neal and Nikola Pekovic all sat this one out, and Kevin Martin led the way with 19 points and two 3-pointers in the loss. Zach LaVine started for Rubio and had 18 points, six boards, six assists and three 3-pointers, Andre Wiggins had 13 points and five boards, Gorgui Dieng had 10 points, six boards, a steal and a block, and Justin Hamilton stayed hot in another start with nine points, 10 rebounds and six assists. He also had a steal and a 3-pointer, and is a guy I’m a fan of picking up right now (check out Waiver Wired). Pekovic might be shut down with an ankle injury, which is another reason to love Dieng and Hamilton, and Rubio sat with an ankle injury. He was listed as probable on Sunday, so he should be back sooner than later. Watch for updates on Monday.
Blazers 113, Raptors 97
The Blazers saw all five starters score in double figures, led by LaMarcus Aldridge (24 & 10) and Damian Lillard (23-4-5-2 with two 3-pointers). Nicolas Batum took just five shots, but still filled the stat sheet and had 12 assists, Robin Lopez added 11 points, six boards and three blocks, and Arron Afflalo added 14 points and four 3-pointers, but hit just 5-of-14 shots. C.J. McCollum played just 16 minutes off the bench and had nine points, but isn’t reliable enough to pick up.
The Raps were led by DeMar DeRozan’s 22 points and eight boards, and Kyle Lowry was quiet with 10 points and six assists on 3-of-11 shooting. Jonas Valanciunas returned from a personal absence with 14 points, nine boards and a block, while Terrence Ross was awful with three points on 1-of-6 shooting. Yes, he’s starting, but he’s not playing well. Why I keep using him in DFS is beyond me, and is costing me money.
Suns 102, Knicks 89
Eric Bledsoe got loose for 21 points, nine boards, 11 assists, two steals and a 3-pointer, Marcus Morris stayed hot in the starting lineup with 20 points and two 3-pointers on 9-of-14 shooting (pick him up), and Brandan Wright started for Alex Len (right ankle) and dropped 18 points and 11 boards on 7-of-8 shooting. If Len remains out, think about picking up Wright, who I would not be afraid to use in any league as long as he’s starting. Markieff Morris was OK with 14 points, five boards, three steals and a 3-pointer, and P.J. Tucker had nine rebounds, but just five points on 2-of-9 shooting. T.J. Warren played just 16 minutes for six points, and Archie Goodwin had seven points and five assists on 3-of-10 shooting in 23 minutes. We don’t know when Brandon Knight will return from his ankle injury, but Bledsoe is the big winner in his absence, while Warren and Goodwin are too inconsistent to use.
The Knicks got 18 points from Andrea Bargnani and Alexey Shved, and both should be owned in all leagues right now. Lance Thomas started at forward and had 14 points and four rebounds, and was the only other Knick in double digits. I don’t really trust Thomas, but keep an eye on him. Langston Galloway struggled for seven points on 2-of-7 shooting, and Lou Amundson started and hit just 1-of-3 shots for two points and four boards. Cole Aldrich came in hot, but hit just 2-of-8 shots in 22 minutes off the bench, finishing with four points. But he did have 10 rebounds, a steal and a block, and is still worth a look in deep leagues. Tim Hardaway came in hot, but left quickly with a sprained right wrist, and didn’t play in the second half. This could end in a shutdown, which is a shame because he was finally showing some signs of life.
Hawks 91, Lakers 86
The Hawks held on to beat the Lakers for their first win in L.A. in forever, getting 24 points and 10 assists from Dennis Schroder, and 21 points, five boards, five steals and a block from Al Horford. Horford will be rested on Monday, so owners will have a tough decision to make for the upcoming week. Schroder started for Jeff Teague, who sat out alongside Paul Millsap and DeMarre Carroll in order to rest. While the Hawks were being called the Spurs of the East earlier in the season due to their playing style, the tag fits even better now that coach Mike Budenholzer is resting guys frequently, just like his mentor, Gregg Popovich does. The biggest news for Atlanta is that Kyle Korver left with a broken nose and didn’t return to the game. Hopefully he gets fitted for a mask and gets back on the court soon, but if he’s going to miss time, Kent Bazemore will be worth a look. Baze started and had 13 points, nine boards, two blocks and a 3-pointer in 30 minutes. Shelvin Mack had 18 points, three assists and three 3-pointers in 35 minutes off the bench, and is another guy to keep an eye on if Korver is going to miss time. Expect Mack to start for Korver on Monday.
The Lakers’ box score is pretty ugly, with Ryan Kelly and Carlos Boozer leading the team in scoring with 13 points each. Jordan Clarkson had the best fantasy line with 10 points, eight boards and six assists, but hit just 4-of-13 shots, Wayne Ellington hit just 2-of-11 in another start, while Ed Davis had seven points, 13 rebounds, a steal and two blocks in the loss. Good luck trying to figure out who is going to play well for this team from night to night. Nick Young has already been ruled out for Monday and will have a CT scan on his knee.