Rudy Gay, DeMarcus Cousins, Brandon Knight, Zach Randolph, Derrick Favors, Kyle Lowry, Alex Len, Dennis Schroder and several Timberwolves are making injury news right now. We'll take a look at all of them, as well as a six-game night in the NBA.
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Atlanta 101, Milwaukee 88 – The starters were back at it for the Hawks and DeMarre Carroll led the way with 23 points, eight boards, five assists, two blocks and two 3-pointers on 9-of-13 shooting. Al Horford had his best game since early March, racking up 18 points, seven rebounds and two blocks, Paul Millsap added 15 points and nine rebounds, Jeff Teague had eight points and nine assists, and Kyle Korver added 11 points, five assists and three more 3-pointers in the win. Dennis Schroder got a much-needed rest and played just six minutes, and no one on the Hawks bench played more than 15 minutes. However, Schroder also suffered a toe injury that led to his short stint, and he isn’t playing on Tuesday. The big question now becomes when will the starters sit again? Unfortunately, the answer is probably ‘sooner than later.’ And a back-to-back situation on Tuesday night against the Pistons could bring the return of the scrubs. Stay tuned.
The Bucks got 18 points, six boards and four assists on 7-of-9 shooting from Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Zaza Pachulia racked up 17 points and 13 rebounds, but didn’t block a shot. Pachulia has been rolling for a few weeks now and is a must-own player. Ersan Ilyasova started and had 12 points, five boards, a block and two 3-pointers, and Khris Middleton added 12 points, four boards, four assists and two steals. Michael Carter-Williams bottomed out with four points and five assists on 1-of-6 shooting, and just can’t throw it in the ocean right now. Jerryd Bayless played 31 minutes off the bench and had 14 points, five assists and two 3-pointers. I’m good with the idea of picking up Bayless, as MCW just can’t get it done right now. MCW is averaging just 9.6 points and 5.0 assists on 39 percent shooting over his last five games. The Bucks sit 1.5 games ahead of Miami for the No. 6 seed in the East.
Boston 116, Charlotte 104 – Avery Bradley bounced back from a pair of bad games with 30 points, eight boards and three 3-pointers on 12-of-23 shooting. Evan Turner had 15 points, six rebounds, five assists and a steal on 7-of-11 shooting, and Marcus Smart added 14 points, six boards, four assists, three steals, a block and a 3-pointer on 5-of-9 shooting. He’s inconsistent, so I’m just hoping he was in fantasy lineups tonight. Tyler Zeller and Brand Bass started, but neither did much with their minutes. Jae Crowder had 14 points and two 3-pointers off the bench, Kelly Olynyk had 11 points, four boards and a 3-pointer in just 18 minutes, and Isaiah Thomas had 10 points, seven assists and two 3-pointers in 22 minutes, as he continues to work his way back to form. The Celtics moved back into the No. 8 seed, slipping past Brooklyn. The Heat, Boston, Brooklyn, Indy and Charlotte are all in a dogfight for those final two playoff spots in the East.
Charlotte is now 11th in the East and needs to go on a serious streak if they’re going to make the playoffs. Kemba Walker had 28 points, 12 assists, two steals and two 3-pointers in the loss. Gerald Henderson had an empty 17-point game, Al Jefferson was quiet with 12 points, five boards and four assists, and Marvin Williams had 10 points and four rebounds in another start. Jeff Taylor got the start at small forward, but only had five points on 2-of-6 shooting. Deep leaguers should keep an eye on him. Mo Williams played well off the bench with 19 points and two 3-pointers, but didn’t have an assist in 25 minutes. Bismack Biyombo had five points, six rebounds and two blocks off the bench, and would become a hot pickup if Jefferson gets shut down. Lance Stephenson didn’t even get off the bench, making him one of the biggest NBA busts of the season.
Lakers 113, Philadelphia 111 OT – Jordan Clarkson hit the game-winning shot with 0.7 seconds left in overtime to get the Lakers a win that they didn’t really want. Clarkson went off for 26 points, six boards, 11 assists, two steals and three blocks on 9-of-15 shooting. The Sixers will get the Lakers’ draft pick if they finish outside of the bottom five, and the Lakers now have the fourth worst record in the league after the win. Wayne Ellington scored 20 with four 3-pointers, three rebounds and three assists on 7-of-15 shooting, and Jabari Brown, playing on a second 10-day contract, had a career-high 22 points and three 3-pointers on 7-of-10 shooting off the bench. Give him a look if you need a warm body. Ryan Kelly had 16 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three 3-pointers, finally coming through in another start, while Tarik Black played just 14 minutes before fouling out. Jordan Hill came off the bench for five points and 10 rebounds, and Kelly looks like the safest big-man bet in L.A. Ed Davis and Carlos Boozer got DNPs, while Jeremy Lin sat out again with an illness.
The Sixers got 19 points, 14 rebounds, four assists, a steal and a block on 7-of-18 shooting from Nerlens Noel, Ish Smith had 17 points, five boards and three assists (8-of-20), and Robert Covington added 12 points, five boards, four assists and three 3-pointers, but hit just 4-of-13 shots in another start. Isaiah Canaan came off the bench for 18 points, three steals and three 3-pointers in 27 minutes, but he’s not trustworthy as long as Smith is starting. Jerami Grant sat out with a respiratory infection, Luc Mbah a Moute was out with a shoulder injury and Jason Richardson sat with a knee injury.
Toronto 99, Houston 96 – DeMar DeRozan went off with a career-high 42 points, and tied a career high with 11 boards, adding a steal, a block and two 3-pointers on 14-of-27 shooting. Kyle Lowry was out with his lingering back injury and owners have to be concerned about when we’ll see him again. Greivis Vasquez started, but hit just 1-of-10 shots for three points and seven assists, but he’ll be better than this on most nights, as long as Lowry is out. Amir Johnson had eight points, 16 rebounds, a steal and a block on 4-of-7 shooting, and has actually been playing better of late. James Johnson played just 19 minutes, and is impossible to trust due to his limited minutes.
The Rockets got 31 points, five boards, five assists, a steal and three 3-pointers from James Harden, but only Trevor Ariza (15) and Corey Brewer (13) joined him in double figures. Jason Terry started at point guard again and had eight points and two 3-pointers, but no assists. Patrick Beverley is done for the season, so Terry is going to have to figure this out if he’s going to continue to start. Pablo Prigioni had three points, seven dimes and two steals in 23 minutes off the bench. Josh Smith played 28 minutes but hit just 3-of-14 shots, while Dwight Howard was given the night off to rest. He won’t play in the second half of back-to-backs until further notice.
Memphis 97, Sacramento 83 – The Grizzlies snapped a three-game losing streak with the win, but it came with a cost. Zach Randolph left late in the game with a hyperextended right elbow, so watch for updates on his status. Tony Allen was out with a left hamstring injury and we don’t know when he’ll be back. That’s a shame, because he had been playing well. Mike Conley had 18 points, two 3-pointers, one steal and two blocks, but also had just two assists. Marc Gasol had eight points, 11 rebounds, six assists, three steals and a block, Jeff Green had 16 points, four boards, four assists, a steal and a block. He’s back in the starting lineup for Allen, making him a smart play. Kosta Koufos had eight points, 12 boards and three blocks in 24 minutes off the bench, so just keep an eye on him.
The Kings had injury problems of their own, as Rudy Gay left with a concussion and DeMarcus Cousins sat out in order to rest his banged up body. That’s a tough break for his owners in playoff battles right now, and it sounds like Gay does have a concussion, leaving his status for the whole week in doubt. He’s already been ruled out for Wednesday and my guess he’s done for the week. If you need to cut him for a warm body, it probably makes sense. As for Cousins, it sounds like he might only play in home games the rest of the way, so watch for news on that front. He sounds doubtful for Wednesday. Reggie Evans had seven points and seven rebounds in a start for Cousins, but outside of Gay (24 points before leaving), only Ray McCallum (12 points, 3 assists) and Derrick Williams (10 points) hit double figures for the Kings. They’re a mess right now, but Williams, Omri Casspi and Nik Stauskas would all benefit if Gay is going to miss time.
Utah 104, Minnesota 84 – The Jazz lost Rodney Hood in the second quarter due to a head injury, leaving him day-to-day. Surprisingly, Elijah Millsap only played 10 minutes, as it was Joe Ingles and Trey Burke soaking up most of Hood’s minutes. Burke actually shot it well and scored 19 points with six boards, three assists, a steal and two 3-pointers. It would be nice if he played like this more often. Trevor Booker started for Derrick Favors, who was out again with a back injury, and double-doubled with 17 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks. Favors could be back sooner than later, so I’m not sure you should be rushing out to pick Booker up. But if Favors misses any more time, Booker looks like a good bet. Rudy Gobert went off with 15 points, 12 boards, a steal and three blocks, while Gordon Hayward added 22 points, six boards, five assists, four steals and two 3-pointers, coming through in a big way for his owners in the playoffs.
The Wolves were without Ricky Rubio, Kevin Garnett, Kevin Martin and Nikola Pekovic, and Gorgui Dieng also sat out with concussion symptoms. It was also announced that Pekovic will miss the rest of the season with his ankle injury. Zach LaVine stayed hot with 21 points, five boards, six assists, a steal, a block and a 3-pointer, and is a must-start any time Rubio is out, and Andrew Wiggins had 17 points, five boards, two assists and a steal. Adreian Payne started, but missed all seven of his shots and failed to score. Justin Hamilton got the start at center and had 11 points, four boards and a block. He’s still finding his way back from migraines, but with Dieng’s concussion and Pek’s shutdown, Hamilton might be ready to blow up again. Chase Budinger stayed relevant with 14 points, seven rebounds, two assists, a steal and two 3-pointers in 35 minutes, and is a solid addition if he’s still available in your league.
Portland 109, Phoenix 86 – The Blazers got a balanced attack from their starting lineup in a blowout win and clinched a playoff berth in the process. They’re also on the verge of winning the Northwest Division. Damian Lillard had 19 points, LaMarcus Aldridge scored 17, Nicolas Batum, who also filled the stat sheet and hit four 3-pointers, and Arron Afflalo each scored 16 points. Chris Kaman played just 16 minutes, but hit 6-of-7 shots for 12 points, seven boards and a block, and has been putting up solid numbers despite a lack of minutes lately. The starters sat in the fourth quarter, but the bench didn’t do much, despite the extra opportunity.
The Suns were actually led by Gerald Green with 13 points off the bench in just 19 minutes, which is fluky. T.J. Warren also had 13 in 22 minutes, getting additional run because Brandon Knight was out with a sprained ankle. Knight’s status going forward is unknown, so keep an eye out for updates. Warren’s the guy I like (along with Eric Bledsoe) if Knight’s going to miss more time. The Morris brothers each scored 11, P.J. Tucker had 10 points and nine rebounds, and Bledsoe had 12 points and five assists in the ugly blowout. Alex Len had six points and four rebounds before leaving with a possible broken nose. If Len misses time, look for Brandan Wright to become a hot pickup, but as you know, NBA players usually get a mask and play through nose injuries. As for Green, he’s just not trustworthy enough to use in fantasy and was a garbage-time beneficiary last night.