Kevin Durant went off for 51 points in an overtime loss, Dwight Howard is going to be out for a big chunk of time, likely needing surgery, and Kawhi Leonard had a big game against the Warriors. Friday’s Dose breaks it all down. Follow me on Twitter!
Dwight Howard likely to have surgery
Dwight Howard is likely to have surgery to provide relief from his gluteal injury that has bothered him for most of the season. I’m thinking you need to drop him if you own him, assuming there’s someone on waivers you can pick up. This is shaping up to be a lost season for Howard. Markieff Morris is hot if you’re looking for a Wizard to grab, while Marvin Bagley, who suffered a back injury last night, is another guy who could be grabbed in his stead.
Raptors 131, Warriors 128 OT – The Raptors got double-digit scoring from all five starters and 12 points, four boards and a block from Jonas Valanciunas off the bench as they held on to beat the Warriors in overtime. Kawhi Leonard led the way with 37 points, eight rebounds, three assists, a steal, a block and three 3-pointers on 14-of-24 shooting, Kyle Lowry had a 10-8-12 near triple-double with three steals and two 3-pointers, and Pascal Siakam had his best game as a pro with a career-high 26 points and three 3-pointers on 8-of-10 shooting in the win. Serge Ibaka added 20 points, four boards, a block and a 3-pointer, and Danny Green came through with a fun line of 13 points, five rebounds, three assists, a steal, two blocks and three 3-pointers in 39 minutes. And that is why you hang onto Green, despite the occasional boring stat lines. If Green is available in your league, he’s a fine add, but owners have to be aware that he’s going to have a lot of mediocre nights to go along with his good ones, and I suspect he’ll bounce on and off of waiver wires all season long. Fred VanVleet came in hot, but missed all three of his shots and failed to score in just 15 minutes. If you recently picked him up and want to cut him for a hot free agent, do it.
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The Warriors got 51 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and four 3-pointers on 18-of-31 shooting from Kevin Durant, and he has now joined teammates Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson with a 50-point game this season. The last team to have three guys score 50 in a season was the 1961-62 Lakers, with Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, and unknown Rudy LaRusso completing the feat. Durant also hit a ridiculous shot to send the game to overtime, and has scored at least 40 in three straight games for the first time in his career. Curry is due back on Saturday, which means Durant’s incredible run may be coming to an end. And when I say ‘end,’ I mean he might cool off slightly with Curry back. Thompson had 23 points, three boards, three assists and three 3-pointers in 44 minutes, and Jonas Jerebko went off with 20 points, nine boards, a steal, a block and three 3-pointers off the bench. Jerebko got loose as Draymond Green (toe) missed another game, but this was hard to see coming after Jerebko had scored a grand total of 15 points over his previous four games. If you used Jerebko in DFS, you probably won some money last night.
Lakers 104, Pacers 96 – The Pacers have been hanging tough without Victor Oladipo, but couldn’t get by the Lakers last night. LeBron James had a 38-9-7 line with two steals and two 3-pointers, hitting 15-of-27 shots in the win. Brandon Ingram had 14 points, three assists, a steal and three blocks, and Kyle Kuzma added 11 points, nine boards, two assists and a 3-pointer in the win. Lonzo Ball was rough with two points on 1-of-6 shooting, but also had eight rebounds, four assists and two blocks in his 34 minutes. I’m just glad I don’t own him anywhere this season. Josh Hart got loose for 13 points, two assists, three steals and a 3-pointer on 6-of-7 shooting off the bench, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 11 points and three 3-pointers on 4-of-7 shooting in just 18 minutes. JaVale McGee had six points, eight rebounds, three assists and four more blocks, and has now blocked at least four shots in three straight games, totaling 15 of them over his last three. As for Josh Hart, if you’ve been holding him, feel free to continue doing so, but he won’t shoot 6-of-7 on most nights.
The Pacers were led by Domantas Sabonis off the bench with 20 points, 15 rebounds, three assists, a steal, a block and a 3-pointer, and he’s on fire. He’s averaging 17.6 points, 12.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 0.6 steals and is shooting 58 percent over his last five games. Thaddeus Young had 11 points, five boards and five steals in the loss, Bojan Bogdanovic had 14 points and two 3-pointers, and Darren Collison hit just 3-of-12 shots for nine points, three rebounds, four assists and four steals in the loss. Tyreke Evans hit a couple 3-pointers, but was just 2-of-10 from the field and finished with nine points, four rebounds, five assists and three steals. Victor Oladipo is hoping to play on Saturday, but is not a lock to do so. Once he’s back, guys like Aaron Holiday, Cory Joseph and Evans should all take a stats hit, and Collison might, as well. Consider Oladipo a game-time decision for Saturday after missing the last five games (and most of a sixth) with a sore knee.
Myles Turner cooled off with six points, six boards and a block on 3-of-9 shooting, but has been playing very well. He should bounce back on Saturday against the Kings. Joseph had 10 points, six boards, six assists and a 3-pointer off the bench, and Doug McDermott had 10 points, two rebounds, a block and two 3-pointers in just 18 minutes off the bench. McDermott’s another guy who should disappear once Oladipo is back.
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Clippers 133, Kings 121 – The Clippers have now beaten the Kings 12 straight times in Sacramento and the Lakers are the only other team to beat them in 12 straight, back in the day. The Clippers are also the No. 1 seed in the West with a 15-6 record, and Danilo Gallinari’s health will be a key factor in their quest to keep it going. Gallinari hit 7-of-15 shots for 16 points, four rebounds, two assists, three steals, two 3-pointers and zero turnovers in the win, and has been pretty awesome this season. Yes, he’s a sell-high candidate, but this could also be the season he finally stays healthy. Tobias Harris went off with 28 points, six rebounds, four assists and three 3-pointers, and Montrezl Harrell stayed hot with 24 points, six rebounds and a block on 8-of-10 shooting. He was 8-of-8 from the floor before missing his final two shot attempts.
Marcin Gortat was back from his sore back and had nine points, five boards and a block in the start, forcing Boban Marjanovic, who double-doubled in Wednesday’s start, into a DNP. Harrell is the center for this team, whether he’s starting or coming off the bench. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander played 32 minutes and had 17 points, five rebounds, four assists, two steals, two blocks and a 3-pointer on 6-of-9 shooting, and should be owned everywhere. Patrick Beverley came off the bench and played just 16 minutes, but did have six points with a couple big buckets down the stretch. With Doc Rivers loving SGA so much, Beverley’s a cut candidate. Avery Bradley finally did something good, hitting 6-of-10 shots and four 3-pointers for 16 points, three rebounds, six assists and a block. The TNT crew was raving about his defense this season, but I don’t care. AB has been terrible in fantasy for two years and it’s going to take more than one decent line against the Kings for me to change my mind on him. No thank you.
The Kings put up a good fight and Marvin Bagley had an 18-point, 10-rebound double-double off the bench, but went to the locker room and did not return due to back tightness. The last time we saw him, he was bent over, trying to gather himself in the tunnel on his way to the locker room, so he has to be considered iffy for his next game. If he’s out, Nemanja Bjelica gets a huge boost, and he had 11 points, five boards and a 3-pointer in just 19 minutes last night. Bagley is killing Bjelica, and has averaged 16.4 points, 10.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks over his last five games. Hopefully his injury is nothing major. Willie Cauley-Stein had a 17 & 10 double-double, and De’Aaron Fox just missed one with 17 points, three boards, nine assists, two steals, a block and a 3-pointer. Buddy Hield hit just 4-of-13 shots for 10 points, six boards and two assists, but didn’t have any steals and was 0-for-7 from downtown. Hield got off to an incredible start this season, but has scored 12 or fewer points in three of his last four games, as Bogdan Bogdanovic has put a dent in his game.
Bogdanovic played 35 minutes off the bench and hit 8-of-20 shots and three 3-pointers for 26 points, four rebounds and six assists. He’s rolling and should be owned in all leagues, averaging 18 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.8 3-pointers over his last five games. As for Hield, the sell-high window is closed, so I’d just stick with him. He’s still averaging 17 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.6 3-pointers over his last five games, despite struggling to score on some nights with Bogdanovic in the mix. As for WCS, he had 23 points, seven boards and two blocks last Wednesday before fouling out, then posted two duds in a row on Saturday and Sunday, and looked great on Thursday night. Hopefully he just hit a bump in the road and is good to go again. And lastly, Tobias Harris might be the most underrated fantasy player in the league. Just sayin’.