A six-game NBA Tuesday was littered with blowouts (four games decided by 30 points or more), and featured some big stat lines from Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Joel Embiid and yes — Trae Young. Here’s a full rundown of what took place:
Pacers 131, Suns 97
Myles Turner (shoulder) returned from a four-game absence and put up a strong all-around line in the Pacers dismantling of Phoenix — 18 points, six boards, two steals, two blocks and a trey in 28 minutes. Meanwhile, Victor Oladipo had an off night (eight points on 2-of-11 shooting) and was about the only prominent Pacers player to struggle. Darren Collison went 15-4-7 with three steals and two 3s for his best stat line in a while, and his highest point total since Dec. 28. Meanwhile, Tyreke Evans scored 20 in just 15 minutes, and has averaged 15.7 ppg and 1.7 3s in his last three games — but is still only getting 19 minutes a game during that span. The last time he topped 25 minutes was over a month ago (33 minutes on Dec. 10), so at this point Tyreke still looks like a pickup only in deeper formats.
How ugly was this game for Phoenix? T.J. Warren was the leading scorer… with 18 points. Devin Booker returned, but struggled, with an 8-5-5 line on 4-of-12 shooting. Kelly Oubre managed 16 points with a steal, a block and a trey in the blowout, but shot 1-of-6 from the free throw line. Also of note: De’Anthony Melton had four rebounds, eight assists, a steal, two blocks and a 3-pointer — but had just three points on 1-of-7 shooting. His last five games include 4.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 7.2 rpg, 2.4 spg and 1.4 bpg. At worst, the Ben Wallace of point guards is an interesting bench stash.
Meanwhile, Booker’s return meant bad things for at least one game for Josh Jackson, who had 8-4-3 with a block and a triple in just 19 minutes. That line is far from an outright disaster, and I would certainly try to stay patient with Josh Jax and see if he can bounce back in short order.
Sixers 149, Timberwolves 107
Did I mention that there were some blowouts on Tuesday night? The good news for Philly is that all their starters/big names hit value, from Joel Embiid (31 and 13) to Ben Simmons (20-11-9 with three blocks) to Jimmy Butler (19 against his former team) to even Wilson Chandler (14-5-4 with four 3s). As for Chandler, this was his highest point total since 15 points on Christmas, so let’s not take any action there. We even had a Corey Brewer sighting, as he scored three points in eight minutes the same day he signed a 10-day deal with the Sixers.
Things were not nearly as sunny for the Wolves, who got back Derrick Rose… and that’s about the only good news. Rose was the team’s leading scorer with 15 points, while Karl-Anthony Towns had just 13 points to tie his second-lowest point total of the season. Also, Tyus Jones left with what’s being called a high ankle sprain. A gross night altogether for Minnesota and there’s no point in lingering on it any longer.
Hawks 142, Thunder 126
Not a typo. The Hawks absolutely ambushed OKC in Atlanta behind 24 points, six rebounds, 11 assists, four 3s and yes seven turnovers from Trae Young. The rookie’s last 15 games: 17.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 7.2 apg, 1.3 spg and 1.9 3s (with 4.4 turnovers) on 44.0 percent from the floor and 80.6 from the line. It’s looking more and more like if you have Trae Young on your squad, you might only be throwing one category. All five Hawks starters hit double figures, including 26 for John Collins (on 12-of-14 shooting) and 17 points with four assists and five 3s for Kevin Huerter. The No. 19 overall pick has now posted 16.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 4.0 apg, 1.0 spg and 2.8 3s over his last five games, and is set up well for a big second half. DeAndre Bembry was also impressive with a 16-8-6 line (two steals, two 3s), and is averaging 13.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.5 spg and 1.0 3s over his last eight. Bembry should be solid as long as Kent Bazemore (ankle) is out.
Also for the Hawks: Omari Spellman started with Dewayne Dedmon out and scored 10 points, though it was (the inconsistent) Alex Len who really benefited with 24 and 11 off the bench. Jeremy Lin missed the game due to illness, while Taurean Prince was on a 15-minute limit, played 13 minutes, and scored seven points.
No major surprises for the Thunder, who got a lot of their production from four players. OKC got 31-6-11 with five steals from Russell Westbrook, 24 points with five steals and five treys from Paul George, and a big line from Jerami Grant with 21 points, three steals and two blocks. Dennis Schroder put up 21 in 27 minutes in his return to Atlanta.
Bucks 124, Heat 86
But now let’s get back to another blowout. Giannis Antetokounmpo had a 12-10-10 triple-double (with three steals and 4-of-8 from the free throw line), while all five starters scored between 11 and 17 points for Milwaukee in a surgical dissection of the Heat. As for Miami, they got 19 points from Justise Winslow and 19 points from Hassan Whiteside, while no one else on the squad scored more than nine on a night to absolutely forget as soon as possible.
Warriors 142, Nuggets 111
You’ll be pleased to know that this great game on paper was also quite lopsided. The Warriors scored 51 in the first quarter (an NBA record) and got dueling 31s from Steph Curry (31-6-4 with eight 3s) and Klay Thompson, as well as 27 from Kevin Durant, as they completely mauled the Nuggets in their own home — and took over the best record in the West in the process. Draymond Green had another classic low-scoring-but-otherwise-productive night — a 4-6-13 game that makes De’Anthony Melton jealous — and is now averaging a bizarre 3.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg and 9.3 apg in his last four games. Also, Kevon Looney had a nice game with nine points and a career-high 12 rebounds, but will soon be jostling for minutes with one Boogie Cousins (and more on that in a minute).
As for the Nuggets, Malik Beasley (22 points, six triples) continues to throw fire with Gary Harris sidelined due to a hamstring injury, and Will Barton put up a promising 11-8-4 line in 23 minutes in just his third game back. So there’s that. Jamal Murray also avoided the vortex of this lopsided game, scoring 21 points with four 3s — his third time scoring 20 or more in his last four games.
Lakers 107, Bulls 100
By Tuesday’s standards, this was an absolute thriller in L.A. First things first: the injury news. LeBron James (groin) reportedly did the most basketball stuff he’s done since his injury, which amounts to some shooting and passing during shootaround. The Lakers still have not decided if he will travel for Thursday’s game. We should have an update on Wednesday. Stay tuned.
As for the guys who were active, Luke Walton changed up his starting five, putting in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Tyson Chandler for Josh Hart and JaVale McGee. The results: KCP had 17 points in 31 minutes, while Chandler did very little in 26 minutes (eight points, three rebounds). JaVale McGee had nine points, four boards and three blocks in just 14 minutes, but is still a hold I think while he navigates these struggles — for the blocks alone. Josh Hart scored just two points in 22 minutes and is absolutely a drop until he inevitably does something to make us pick him up again.
The other notable Lakers stat lines were 19-6-8 from Lonzo Ball (who mercifully avoided any trips to the FT line), plus 16-9-7 from Brandon Ingram (2-of-4 from the stripe) and 16 and 12 from Kyle Kuzma.
The Bulls’ leading scorer on this night? That would be Jabari Parker, who put up 18 in 17 minutes off the bench for his second straight double-digit game, I suppose registering him as someone to watch in deeper leagues. No one else on the Bulls did anything all that exciting. Lauri Markkanen had 17 with three treys, a steal and a block, and we also had something resembling a Chandler Hutchison sighting. The rookie first-rounder, who has been starting and getting plenty of run, tied his season-high with 12 points, adding five rebounds and two steals in 27 minutes. This was Hutchison’s second halfway decent game in a row (11 points, seven rebounds, a block and two 3s on Saturday), and in deeper leagues he might be worth a pickup. The Bulls seem inclined to give him 25-30 minutes just about every night.
In other news…
*Robert Covington (ankle) says there’s no timetable for his return. Despite some inconsistency, Josh Okogie has averaged 11.0 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 0.8 spg, 0.8 bpg and 1.6 3s over the last five games sans Covington.
*And the fun is over for Danuel House, who couldn’t reach an agreement with the Rockets on a deal, and heads to the G League (for now) to play out his two-way contract there, having used up his alotted days in the NBA already. This is a shame given that House had been playing well. Such is life with weird two-way NBA deals. Also, with Eric Gordon (knee) questionable for Wednesday and nearing a return, House was set to take a hit anyway.
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Injury Quick Hits: Enes Kanter, as expected, will not be playing in the Knicks’ Thursday game in London, which means at least one more big opportunity for Luke Kornet, who had a 23-5-5 line on Sunday. … OG Anunoby (personal) is expected to miss Wednesday’s game, while Fred VanVleet (thigh/hip) is questionable. … Mo Bamba (foot) is expected to sit. … Shabazz Napier (hamstring) is questionable for Wednesday, while Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (adductor) is probable. … Kyrie Irving (quad) is not on the injury report for Wednesday. Marcus Smart (illness) is questionable. … Rudy Gay (wrist) is probable to return after a five-game absence. … Jazz PG news: Ricky Rubio (hamstring) will miss at least another week, Dante Exum (ankle) will be re-evaluated in two weeks, and Raul Neto (groin) will get re-evaluated in one week. … As always, check back for updates on the Rotoworld player news page before you set your lineups, just in case anything changes.