The Nets stopped the Warriors on Jarrett Jack’s game-winner, a guy named Tyler went nuts, DeMar DeRozan came through, Ricky Rubio triple-doubled, and Hassan Whiteside, Alex Len and Markieff Morris were all ejected on a five-game Monday night. Follow me on Twitter by clicking here!
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DeRozan helps Raptors take down Sixers
DeMar DeRozan scored a season-high 35 points in Monday’s win over Philly, but he also added nine rebounds, five assists, two steals and a 3-pointer for one of the lines of the night. He stunk it up in February and his owners have to be hoping this is the start of a hot run just in time for the fantasy playoffs. It didn’t hurt that Kyle Lowry was out and could miss more time. Lowry is dealing with a “bunch of things,” including a hand injury. Whether he misses more time remains to be seen, so keep an eye out for updates. Greivis Vasquez started at point guard and had 12 points, five assists and two 3-pointers, while Lou Williams added 21 points, five assists, a steal and two 3-pointers on 6-of-15 shooting. Two guys who didn’t do much against the lowly Sixers were center Jonas Valanciunas and forward James Johnson. JV had just five points and five boards in 23 minutes (and didn’t slow down Nerlens Noel), while JJ had just four points, a steal and two blocks in 19 minutes. Both were popular plays with four games this week, but got off to a horrendous start. Luckily, they have three more to make up for it.
The Sixers were without Robert Covington (elbow) so JaKarr Sampson got the start. Nerlens Noel was the Sixers’ stud tonight, hitting 7-of-7 shots with 17 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block. Ish Smith came off the bench behind Isaiah Canaan once again, but easily outplayed him. Canaan had 14 points, three assists and four 3-pointers in 25 minutes, while Smith hit 8-of-14 shots for 19 points, five boards, nine assists and a 3-pointer. Sure, Canaan’s threes were nice, but Smith has clearly been outplaying him for the last several games. The rest of the Sixers, for the most part, posted some mediocre lines, but I don’t see any must-own players here, outside of Noel. But Smith is getting very close. As for Covington (also must-own), he has a shot at playing Wednesday, along with Jason Richardson, who was out to rest.
Nets take down Warriors with help from Deron, Bro-Lo
The Nets beat the suddenly struggling Warriors by two points, one night after the Warriors had to overcome a 26-point deficit just to beat the Celtics. Deron Williams had 22 points, four boards, four assists, a steal and four 3-pointers on 8-of-19 shooting. Hopefully this means he’s ready for the fantasy playoffs. Brook Lopez came off the bench for 26 points, six rebounds and a block on 11-of-22 shooting. Alan Anderson hit 7-of-10 shots and two 3-pointers for 16 points, three boards and a steal, but plays this well far too inconsistently to be trusted. Markel Brown started again, but disappeared with four points in 29 minutes, and Joe Johnson cooled off with five points in 36 minutes. Thaddeus Young has been playing better, but is still coming off the bench, leaving him susceptible to lines like the 14 points, four boards, four assists and two 3-pointers he had tonight in just 25 minutes. Jarrett Jack’s value has taken a hit with a move to the bench, along with the strong play of Williams, and had just nine points and five dimes in 28 minutes. However, he did hit the game-winner.
The Warriors got a modest 26 points, seven assists and six 3-pointers from Stephen Curry, while Andrew Bogut was next in line with 16 points, eight boards and three blocks. Bogut was a rest candidate for this one, but rewarded owners brave enough to play him. He’s been really struggling, so this line came out of nowhere. Klay Thompson didn’t have it, hitting just 3-of-17 shots for seven points, Harrison Barnes cooled off with six points and six boards, and Draymond Green hit just 1-of-5 shots for three points, but did at least have 11 rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block. Green could be due for a night off to rest soon, so watch for that. Festus Ezeli came out of nowhere for 14 points, eight boards and a block, but I wouldn’t use him if Bogut is playing. Ezeli may have been fired up after his one-game suspension. For all the heat the Hawks have caught for their recent play, they hold the league’s best winning percentage after the Warriors lost on Monday. You have to wonder if the Warriors are getting tired, especially after having so few games in the first half of the season. I think they’re fine, but I also think Curry, Klay and Dray are starting to feel the burn.
Heat take out Suns behind, um, Tyler Johnson?
Tyler Johnson (don’t feel bad if you’ve never heard of him) came off the bench to hit 10-of-13 shots and three 3-pointers for a career high of 26 points and four steals in the win. He never even scored this many points in a game during his college career at Fresno State, and had gotten a DNP-CD in his three previous games. In other words, this was the game of his life and I’m guessing a few daily players struck gold if they gambled on the no-namer. I see no reason to pick him up unless we’re still talking about him this weekend. Goran Dragic torched his former mates for 21 points, one assist, one steal and two 3-pointers in just 15 minutes. He was iffy to even play due to a back injury and the fact he only lasted 15 minutes makes me concerned for his availability on Wednesday against the Lakers. Hassan Whiteside added 17 points, 10 rebounds, two steals and two blocks before being ejected for getting into it with Alex Len, who was also ejected. Whiteside appears to have a better chance of being suspended than Len, as he was the aggressor, tackling Len. Dwyane Wade scored 16 in 33 minutes and Luol Deng added 12 points, as his struggles continue. The Heat are now a half game up on the Nets in the East, holding down the No. 7 seed, while the Pacers and Hornets are just one game back in the standings. Henry Walker played just 12 minutes and didn’t take a shot, which was a bit surprising to see.
All five Suns starters scored in double figures, with P.J. Tucker and Eric Bledsoe leading the way with 20 apiece. Tucker added 14 rebounds and a 3-pointer, and is averaging 12.4 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.4 steals over his last five games, making him worth a look. Len double-doubled with 10 points and 11 boards, but no blocks before being ejected, while Brandon Knight (playing through a hip injury) and Markieff Morris each scored 13 points. Morris was also ejected for a Flagrant 2 on Dragic. Morris doesn’t appear to be likely to be suspended for the hit on Dragic. This loss was not a good one for the Suns, who are now 2.5 games behind the Thunder for the final playoff spot in the West (and 1.5 games behind the Pelicans).
Clippers hold off T-Wolves thanks to CP3 and DeAndre Jordan, as usual
Chris Paul went off again for 26 points, 14 assists, three assists and two 3-pointers on 12-of-20 shooting, and DeAndre Jordan added 12 points and 18 rebounds (no blocks) in the win. J.J. Redick played through a knee injury and had 18 points and four 3-pointers before being ejected for getting into it with Wolves’ coach Flip Saunders, but it doesn’t sound like a suspension is coming. No one else for the Clips was too interesting in fantasy speak, but they got a big win to stick in the No. 5 hole in the Western playoff race. Matt Barnes was out with a hamstring injury.
The Wolves got a balanced attack, as seven of the eight players who got into the game scored at least 10 points. Nikola Pekovic was out with an ankle injury (not surprising considering the ridiculous minutes he’s been playing, day-to-day), thrusting Gorgui Dieng into the starting lineup. Dieng responded with 10 points, 11 boards, a steal and two blocks, and while Pekovic’s owners are scrambling to replace him, Dieng’s owners rejoice. Kevin Martin was also out with an illness, pushing Gary Neal into the starting unit. He responded with a team-high 19 points and added nine rebounds, four assists, a steal and two 3-pointers in 41 minutes, but hit just 6-of-17 shots. Martin’s return will crush Neal, so don’t make a move on him unless we get more bad news about Martin. Andrew Wiggins had 18 points on 5-of-16 shooting, and Ricky Rubio triple-doubled with 18 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists, a steal and a 3-pointer on 5-of-11 shooting – easily his best game of the season.
Mavs stop Pelicans’ streak with Rondo’s help
Rajon Rondo hit 9-of-15 shots and a 3-pointer for 19 points, five rebounds and two assists. This was the most points he’s scored since Jan. 13, his assists are way down, and he had just one steal in the month of February. Yuck. Monta Ellis led the way with 20 points, Richard Jefferson scored 16 with two 3-pointers in another start, and Dirk Nowitzki and reserves Amare Stoudemire and Devin Harris each scored 14 points. Bernard James started at center and played 25 minutes, but didn’t score and had just six rebounds and two blocks. Chandler Parsons (ankle) and Tyson Chandler (hip) remain day-to-day with their injuries, so watch for news. Jefferson has been starting for Parsons, while James has been starting for Chandler.
The Pelicans had won four straight games without Anthony Davis, and five straight overall, but couldn’t get by the Mavs on Monday. They are currently on the outside, looking in, one full game behind the No. 8-seeded Thunder, and 1.5 games ahead of No. 10-seeded Phoenix. Norris Cole, of all people, led them with 19 points, three assists and two 3-pointers on 8-of-12 shooting in 36 minutes off the bench. He had 10 points and three assists in his previous game, and three points and four assists in the one before that, so this looks fluky. Eric Gordon hit just 4-of-11 shots, but all four were 3-pointers and he finished with 18 points, five boards, four assists, a steal and a block in 37 minutes. Tyreke Evans added 17 points and seven assists on 6-of-14 shooting, and his fantasy owners were simply looking for more out of him on Monday. Dante Cunningham and Quincy Pondexter didn’t do anything special in another start, Omer Asik struggled with two points and seven boards, and Alexis Ajinca came through with 13 points, 12 boards, a steal and a block on 6-of-9 shooting off the bench. Davis is said to be “close” to returning, but we still don’t have an exact target date on the Brow, while the Pels have said they won’t rush him back.
News & Notes
James Harden has been suspended for Tuesday’s game against the Hawks for kicking LeBron James in the batteries on Sunday night. Corey Brewer should be benefit from his absence, along with the rest of his teammates.
The Hawks saw Jeff Teague, Al Horford, DeMarre Carroll and Pero Antic return to practice on Monday. Antic has a sore knee, but the others were rested in their last game, meaning Paul Millsap and Kyle Korver are probably candidates for a DNP sooner than later. Watch the news feed on Tuesday, as the Rockets will play in the ATL without James Harden.
Jose Calderon (Achilles) will be out for the Knicks for at least two more weeks, and I’m not sure why they’d bother to play him again this season. Langston Galloway is still the guy I recommend owning, while Shane Larkin is worth a look.
Nick Young is iffy for the Lakers Tuesday night due to his knee injury, but there’s no clear replacement you should be eyeing, as the Lakers are a mess.