Saturday’s nine-game slate was highlighted by an epic showdown in Utah between Giannis Antetokounmpo and Donovan Mitchell, another triple-double for Ben Simmons, and a monster fantasy night from LeBron, albeit in a losing effort.
After recapping the important storylines from Saturday, we’ll wrap up the Dose by taking a look at the players that are facing injury issues for Sunday’s games.
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Ben Simmons posted his second straight triple-double on Saturday, scoring 25 points (10-of-15 FGs, 5-of-6 FTs) ripping down 15 rebounds and dishing out 11 assists. He also had three steals, but did commit nine turnovers in 41 minutes. With Joel Embiid (knee) sidelined since the All-Star break, Big Ben has put Philly on his back. He’s averaging 20.0 points (on 55 percent shooting), 10.8 boards, 7.6 assists and 1.4 steals in the Sixers last five games.
Kelly Olynyk stayed hot on Saturday, tallying 25 points, six rebounds, four assists, one steal, two blocks and three 3pointers in the Heat’s blowout victory over the Nets. Kelly O. was 9-of-13 from the floor and made all four of his free throws. He has scored at least 15 points in four straight games and is averaging 22.3 points, 6.5 boards and 2.8 treys while shooting 65 percent from the field and 58 percent from downtown during this four-game stretch. Bam Adebayo has also taken advantage of Hassan Whiteside’s (hip) absence. Bam started and center and registered nine points, 16 boards, six assists and two blocks in 28 minutes.
Kevin Durant stuffed the stat sheet for Golden State in their win over the Sixers, totaling 34 points, five rebounds, five assists, two 3-pointers and four turnovers in 37 minutes. Durant was rested on Thursday vs. Orlando and looked fresh on Saturday night.
Donovan Mitchell poured in a career-high 46 points to go along with three rebounds, six assists, two steals, one block and five 3-pointers in Utah’s thrilling comeback victory over the Bucks. The Jazz were down 17 in the fourth quarter, but then Mitchell took over, scoring 17 points himself in the final eight minutes of the game. He had 38 points in Utah’s first game after the break and has not slowed down since. He’s averaging 33/5/5 over his last five contests. Although it may get lost in the Mitchell hype, Derrick Favors was brilliant on Saturday as well. Favors dominated the paint, grabbing a career-high 18 rebounds, scoring 23 points and registered three blocks and a steal.
Giannis Antetokounmpo did Giannis Antetokounmpo things on Saturday. The Greek Freak exploded for 43 points (on 15-for-26 shooting), 14 rebounds, eight assists, two steals, one block and two 3-pointers in just 32 minutes. We are running out of adjective to describe Giannis’ fantasy domination. Brook Lopez swatted a season-high seven shots to go along with 16 points seven rebounds, one steal and four 3-pointers in 29 minutes. Per Basketball-Reference, it was just the fourth game in NBA history in which a player had at least four treys and seven blocks. Khris Middleton was also solid, registering 29 points, nine rebounds, six assists, one steal and four 3-pointers in 36 minutes.
The Lakers suffered a crushing defeat in Phoenix, but LeBron James did all he could to keep the Lakers afloat. LeBron just missed a triple-double, finishing with 27 points (10-of-21 FGs, 3-of-7 FTs), 16 assists, nine rebounds and four 3-pointers. Coach Luke Walton knew just how important this game was for L.A. and allowed King James to log 41 minutes.
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On the Radar:
Luke Kennard caught fire on Saturday, knocking down 10-of-15 from the field for his 26 points to go along with five rebounds, one assist, one block and a career-high six 3-pointers. It was just the third time this season he’s topped the 20-point plateau. The Pistons crushed the Cavs in this contest, which meant limited playing time for the starters. Blake Griffin had 14/7/9 in 26 minutes. Reggie Jackson logged only 21 minutes but managed to score 24 points, shooting 9-of-11 from the floor, 4-of-4 from downtown and 2-of-2 at the charity stripe.
The Nets got blown out by the Heat in Miami, and the boxscore was ugly. Jarrett Allen had just six points, three boards and nothing else in 18 minutes. Spencer Dinwiddie missed 10 of the 12 field goals he attempted, finishing with 10 points and four dimes. Allen Crabbe shot 1-of-9 from the field for three points. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson played 12 minutes of garbage time. He belongs on waivers.
Nikola Vucevic scored a game-high 27 points and added eight rebounds, three assists, two steals and one blocked shot in 32 minutes in the Magic’s victory over Indiana. Evan Fournier (illness) was unable to practice Friday but suited up Saturday and tallied 19 points (7-of-12 FGs, 2-of-2 FTs), eight assists, five rebounds and three 3-pointers. Aaron Gordon struggled from the floor (5-of-15) but totaled 11 points, eight rebounds, six assists, one blocked shot and one three-pointer in 36 minutes.
Bojan Bogdanovic was at it again on Saturday, finishing with 25 points, three rebounds, three assists, one steal and two 3-pointers. That's four straight games with at least 22 points and he’s averaging 27.3 points on 53.4 percent shooting during this recent stretch. Myles Turner only had ten points and six boards, but he blocked four more shots. Darren Collison had a solid double-double, putting up 23 points (8-of-12 FGs, 5-of-6 FTs), ten assists, three rebounds and two 3-pointers.
LaMarcus Aldridge led the way for the Spurs in a victory over OKC, scoring 27 with ten rebounds, one assist, one steal, one block and no turnovers in 35 minutes. Twenty-three of his 27 points came in the first half, as the Thunder had no answer for Aldridge. Derrick White looked good again, posting 14 points with eight rebounds, two assists, one block, three steals and one 3-pointer in 30 minutes. DeMar DeRozan had 18/6/7. Rudy Gay hit 9-of-16 from the field for his 22 points and eight rebounds.
Mike Scott had had his best game in a Sixers uniform, scoring a season-high 22 points (7-of-15 FGs, 2-of-2 FTs) with four rebounds, one steal and six 3-pointers in 32 minutes on Saturday night.
Nikola Jokic was in foul trouble early and often, which limited him to just 22 minutes, but The Joker still managed to record 20 points (7-of-11 FGs, 5-of-6 FTs), nine rebounds, seven assists, two blocks, two steals, one 3-pointer and two turnovers. Paul Millsap had a season-high tying five steals to go along with seven rebounds, two assists, two blocks and two 3-pointers in 36 minutes. Will Barton came back down to earth, shooting 3-of-11 for eight points, eight rebounds and three dimes in 32 minutes. Gary Harris started but ended up with just eight points (3-of-9 FGs), zero boards, two assists, one block, one steal and one 3-pointer in 26 minutes.
Russell Westbrook had 19 points, nine rebounds, eight assists, one steal and one 3-pointer in 34 minutes. On the negative side of the ledger, he committed seven turnovers and shot 7-of-17 from the field and 4-of-7 from the stripe. Steven Adams stepped up with 17 points, 13 boards and two steals and a block. Dennis Schroder started and totaled 18 points, five rebounds, three assists, one steal and one 3-pointer in 31 minutes.
DeMarcus Cousins poured in a season-high 25 points (9-of-15 FGs, 6-of-10 FTs) with eight rebounds, one block, two steals and one 3-pointer in 29 minutes on Saturday. In the Warriors five games since the All-Star break, Boogie is averaging 20.0 points, 10.8 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, and 1.4 steals while shooting over 50 percent from the floor. Stephen Curry scored 28 points but was 10-of-23 from the floor and 5-of-15 from downtown. Over the Warriors last five games, Steph has been surprisingly inefficient of late. He is shooting just 38.3% on FGs, 30% on 3PTs and below 85% on free throws.
Jonas Valanciunas was efficient and effective on Saturday, registering of 20 points (8-of-9 FGs, 4-of-6 FTs), ten rebounds, four assists and one steal in 28 minutes. JV is now averaging 19.5 points, 10.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 blocks over his last four appearances. He has a chance to be a difference-maker in the fantasy playoffs. Jevon Carter finally snapped out of a nasty slump, tallying 15 points (5-of-8 FGs), three rebounds, two blocked shots one steal and four 3-pointers. Bruno Caboclo (nine points, 11 rebounds, six assists), Joakim Noah (12 points, eight rebounds, five assists) and Avery Bradley (15 points, five rebounds, five assists) all had impressive all-around games. Justin Holiday tweaked his right knee in the first quarter. It was announced he was available to return, but he never re-entered the game, which devolved into a blowout.
With Anthony Davis resting, Julius Randle was a focal point of the Pels offense in their win over their shocking win over the Nuggets. Randle put up 28 points, ten rebounds, four assists, one block, one steal and three 3-pointers. Elfrid Payton stuffed the stat sheet once again, finishing with eight points (3-of-9 FGs, 4-of-4 FTs), seven rebounds, ten assists and two turnovers in 32 minutes. Jrue Holiday (29 points, three rebounds, five assists, three steals, one block and four 3-pointers) did what he does. Jahlil Okafor started at center but disappointingly posted just 10 points, two rebounds, one assist and one block in 23 minutes.
Deandre Ayton powered Phoenix to a victory over the Lakers Saturday, tallying 26 points (8-of-11 FGs, 11-of-14 FTs) ten rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block. Ayton has now scored in double-figures in 15 straight games. Devin Booker racked up 25 points, four rebounds, four assists and one steal in Saturday's win over the Lakers.
Brandon Ingram stayed hot on Saturday, contributing 25 points (10-of-19 FGs, 3-of-4 FTs), seven rebounds, one assist and two 3-pointers. Over L.A.’s last five games, Ingram is averaging a whopping 28.4 points, 7.6 boards and 1.4 treys, while shooting 58.0 percent from the floor and 46.7 percent from 3-point territory. JaVale McGee logged 21 minutes off the bench and was a perfect 10-of-10 from the floor on his way to 21 points, seven rebounds and one blocked shot.