Sixers 114, Magic 106
J.J. Redick paced the Sixers with 26 points — his most in nearly a month — while Tobias Harris put up a stout all-around line (21-12-5 with two steals, a block and a trey) and Ben Simmons did some pretty typical Ben Simmons things (16-13-8 with two steals and a block). Jimmy Butler, who’s been dealing with a minor back issue, scored 14 with four assists and three steals, getting some key buckets down the stretch in the Philly win.
Jonah Bolden (illness) missed this one, so Amir Johnson got the start and had 13 points, five rebounds, two blocks, a steal and a 3-pointer in 20 minutes. Mike Scott continued to make the most of Joel Embiid’s absence, putting up 11 points with five rebounds and three 3s. The Regional Manager is now averaging 13.8 ppg and 3.8 3s his last five games.
Orlando got big nights from Evan Fournier (25 points, five 3s for his best scoring game in a month) and Aaron Gordon (24-9-3), while Nikola Vucevic shot just 5-of-15 en route to 12 points and 12 boards. The Magic were without their Human Torch as Terrence Ross missed this game with a sore left Achilles.
Pacers 105, Bulls 96
Otto Porter (rest) returned to action for Chicago and shot just 3-of-11, but salvaged his night with four steals and two blocks. Meanwhile, Zach LaVine dropped 27 and Robin Lopez continued his renaissance tour with 20 points, nine rebounds and three blocks. RoLo’s last 12 games include 16.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg (can’t have everything) and 1.9 bpg. Lauri Markkanen had 14 points and 13 rebounds, but shot just 4-of-14 (and is 10-of-35 over his last two games). And after back-to-back 14-point games, Kris Dunn scored just five on 2-of-9 shooting, but added seven rebounds, five dimes and two steals.
Indy got 27 from a dangerously hot Bojan Bogdanovic, now averaging 27.2 ppg over his last five games. Darren Collison scored 22, giving him back-to-back 20-point games for just the second time this season, with Myles Turner posting 10 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high seven blocks.
Rockets 107, Raptors 95
James Harden put up 35 on 12-of-30 shooting, adding three steals (with just three assists). Chris Paul shot a mere 1-of-10, but had six rebounds, 10 assists, two steals and a block. Gerald Green got hot and scored 18, but had combined for six points total his last two games. Kenneth Faried (hip) and Iman Shumpert (calf) were out for the Rockets, who won their sixth straight.
Kawhi Leonard returned from yet another game of rest — he's been playing two and sitting one since basically early February — and scored 26, while Serge Ibaka had 10 points with a season-high five blocks (while tying his season-high with 15 rebounds). Kyle Lowry shot 4-of-16, and Marc Gasol — back in a bench role — had his worst game with his new team, scoring just eight points with one board in 18 minutes. If you're trying to figure out when to start him in fantasy, Gasol is averaging 16.0 ppg in three games as a starter for Toronto, and 7.8 points in in six games coming off the bench.
Editor's Note: Looking for an edge when it comes to fantasy hoops? Our new NBA DFS Toolkit has a Lineup Optimizer, Customizable Projections, Next Man Up tool and more for FanDuel, DraftKings and Yahoo! And for season-long, the NBA Season Pass provides weekly projections, rankings, Pickups of the Day and more.
Grizzlies 120, Blazers 111
Mike Conley (rest) returned to action and uncorked a career-high 40 on Portland, with six 3s and four assists, shooting 12-of-18 from the field and 10-of-15 from the line. If you’re worried about Conley outright shutting it down because Memphis has a bad record, just know that the atmosphere at FedExForum during the closing minutes of this victory made it seem like the Grizz were about to win a playoff game — and the veteran PG honestly looked thrilled to be there. Bottom line: If Conley stays healthy, he should stay on the court (with a random game of rest here and there).
Also for Memphis: Delon Wright tied his career-high with 25 points, adding two steals, a block and a trey, and is surprisingly still owned in just 11 percent of Yahoo leagues. Wright has some standalone value right now, and is a must-start any time Conley sits. Avery Bradley (14-3-3 with two steals and three 3s) continues to look like a stone-cold difference-maker for the stretch run, which is also still true — as strange as it may be — for Joakim Noah (9-10-7 with two steals in 27 minutes).
Moe Harkless scored a season-high 20 with six rebounds, three assists plus one steal, one block and one 3-pointer, and is now averaging 12.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 2.4 apg and 1.9 spg (with 0.6 3s) over his last eight. He was one of three Blazers to top 20, along with C.J. McCollum (27) and Damian Lillard (24). Meanwhile, Jusuf Nurkic made up for a quiet scoring night (six points) by adding 10 rebounds, nine assists, one steal and two blocks. Jake Layman continued his slow fade by putting up eight points and six rebounds in just 17 minutes. For the moment, it appears he has been usurped by the Harkless resurgence.
Timberwolves 131, Thunder 120
Karl-Anthony Towns unloaded 41 and 14 on OKC, his second game of 40-plus in his last three. Jeff Teague was also impressive with 16 points and 12 dimes, while Derrick Rose scored 19 and Andrew Wiggins had 18, with six rebounds, three assists, one steal, one block and three 3s, but also went 1-of-2 from the line (and is 13-of-23 from the stripe his last seven games).
Paul George (shoulder) returned from a three-game absence for the struggling Thunder, scoring 25 points on 25 shots (8-of-25 / 4-of-14 on 3s). Russell Westbrook had a 38-13-6 stat line with five 3s, and is only averaging 7.3 apg since the All-Star break, with one game of double-digit dimes in his last seven.
Celtics 128, Warriors 95
Timing is everything, so I found it amusing that shortly after we had a news blurb on Gordon Hayward’s agent saying his client should return to All-Star form next season, Hayward went out and dropped 30 points — tying his second-highest total of the season — in a 33-point win over the Warriors (also the Warriors worst home loss of the Steve Kerr era). Unfortunately, Hayward has been tough to predict this season, and he had totaled 26 points in his five previous games, so I still think you’re guessing and gambling by putting him in your lineup right now.
Also speaking of timing, we had a news blurb on Kyrie Irving saying that (per Kevin O’Conner of The Ringer) the Celtics PG has become “disengaged and detached” from his teammates. So naturally, Irving scored 19 points with 11 assists to help engineer a blowout win of the reigning NBA champs. Jaylen Brown scored 18 — his eighth straight game with double-digit points — and is averaging 13.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.3 spg and 1.1 3s over his last 15 games, so at the moment he looks like a reasonably useful asset in slightly deeper fantasy leagues. Jayson Tatum added 17, but Al Horford (5-4-4) and Marcus Morris (10 points, two 3s in 17 minutes) mostly missed out on the fun in the blowout win.
Klay Thompson (knee) missed his second straight for the Warriors, who got 23 from Steph Curry, 18 from Kevin Durant and not much else. DeMarcus Cousins had 10 points, nine rebounds, four assists and four turnovers on 4-of-12 shooting, while Draymond Green scored five points with six rebounds and five assists, continuing his trend of low-volume scoring. Green has scored six points or less in five of his last six games, averaging 6.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 5.5 apg, 1.2 spg, 0.8 bpg and 0.7 3s.
Quick Hits: LeBron James says he does not plan on sitting out games down the stretch. … DeAndre Jordan (ankle) has a “good chance” to play on Wednesday. … Kyle Kuzma (ankle) has been ruled out for Wednesday and could miss a week due to a “minor” right ankle sprain, while Brandon Ingram (shoulder) is questionable. … Goran Dragic (calf) is listed as out for Wednesday. … Domantas Sabonis (ankle) is “unlikely” to travel for Thursday’s game. … Taurean Prince (birth of son) is expected to return on Wednesday, while John Collins (flu) is questionable and Dewayne Dedmon (right knee contusion) is doubtful. … Dwight Howard had a “minor setback” in his recovery from back surgery when tweaking his hamstring. Even before the injury he had only been doing non-contact work. … Ante Zizic (concussion) is out for Wednesday, as is Tristan Thompson (foot). … Jakob Poeltl (hamstring) is questionable. … Also questionable: Jahlil Okafor (ankle). … Kyle Anderson (shoulder) received a pain-relieving injection in his injured right shoulder, and the Grizz are expected to update his situation again in another two weeks. … Per the New York Times, Luke Walton is likely out as Lakers coach after this season. … Steve Clifford said “it would be very difficult” for Markelle Fultz (shoulder) to return this year. ... For more on the aforementioned Avery Bradley and some other recent notable names, here's the latest Rotoworld Fantasy Basketball Podcast — a breakdown of who we can (and maybe can't) trust during crunch time of our fantasy seasons: