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Basketball Daily Dose

Giannis And The Bucks Spank The Sixers

by Tommy Beer
Updated On: February 24, 2020, 12:37 pm ET

Saturday's seven-game slate provided plenty of highlights, including Giannis and his Bucks demolishing the Sixers, Harden & Westbrook combining for 72 points in Utah, while both John Collins and Deandre Ayton put up massive lines in wins for their respective squads. 

After recapping the important storylines from Saturday, we'll wrap up the Dose by taking a look at players that are facing injury issues for Sunday's games.

Find Tommy Beer on Twitter: @TommyBeer

Saturday's Standouts:
Kawhi Leonard scored 31 points and tacked on eight rebounds, five assists, two steals and four 3-pointers in 37 minutes on Saturday afternoon, but it was enough to prevent the Clippers from falling at home to the Kings. It was LA's third straight loss, and The Klaw was visibly frustrated late in this game, which is certainly unusual for him. The Clips are now a full six games behind the Lakers for the top seed out West and in danger of falling into fourth place in the Conference. 

John Collins exploded for 35 points (13-of-18 FGs, 6-of-9 FTs), 17 rebounds, two assists, one steal, two blocks and three 3-pointers in Saturday's comeback victory over the Mavs on Saturday. Collins kept the Hawks within striking distance through the first three quarters, before Trae Young carried them home in the final frame. Per Basketball-Reference, Collins became the first player in Atlanta franchise history with at least 35 points, 15 boards and three triples in a non-overtime game. Over the Hawks last eight games, he's averaging a whopping 25.4 points, 10.6 rebounds, 1.4 treys and 1.5 blocks while shooting over 65% from the floor. Collins ranks inside the top-five in nine-cat formats during February.

Trae Young finished 25 points (10-of-21 FGs), six rebounds, ten assists and three 3-pointers in 40 minutes. As noted above, Ice Trae started out slow, but heated up late, scoring 13 of his 25 points in the final frame and carrying the Hawks over the hump. Young came into this one averaging 37.7 points and 10.0 dimes over his previous six contests, but fantasy GM's will settle for "only" 25. 

With both Luka Doncic (right ankle soreness) and Kristaps Porzingis (left knee, injury recovery) sidelined Saturday, Tim Hardaway Jr. was the focal point of the Mavs offense. THJ responded with a season-high-tying 33 points on 11-of-22 shooting to go along with four rebounds, five assists and six 3-pointers in 35 minutes. Luka and KP are expected to return for Monday's game vs. Minnesota, but Hardaway came through for the folks that relied on him in DFS Saturday night. Seth Curry (right knee) also had a phenomenal all-around game, racking up 22 points, six rebounds, five assists, two steals and four 3-pointers in 38 minutes. 

Deandre Ayton (ankle) was an absolute beast, dominating the short-handed Bulls in the paint on both ends of the floor. Ayton poured in 28 points (12-of-20 FGs, 4-of-5 FTs), ripped down 19 rebounds, and swatted three shots in 35 minutes. Remarkably, Ayton has now compiled exactly 28 points and 19 boards in two of his last three appearances. Like John Collins, the 25-game suspension for PEDs and nagging injuries have been the only thing to slow down the burly big man this season. On a per-game basis, he ranks inside the top-15 overall in nine-category fantasy leagues.

Devin Booker matched Ayton in the scoring column by pumping in 29 points for Phoenix. Booker also rang up five rebounds, five assists, one steal and five 3-pointers in 38 minutes. The only blemish on Book's nightly resume was that he shot just 9-of-21 from the field. However, he was a perfect 6-of-6 from the charity stripe. Ricky Rubio stuffed the stat sheet with 18 points (4-of-9 FGs, 9-of-11 FTs), seven rebounds, 11 assists, two steals and one three-pointer in 35 minutes. 

There were on a few bright spots in the Bulls 112-104 loss to the Suns on Saturday, but Coby White did score a career-high 33 points (11-of-22 FGs, 4-of-4 FTs), three rebounds, two assists, and one steal in 34 minutes. White also knocked down seven 3-pointers, which is also a career-high for the rookie from UNC. 

Giannis Antetokounmpo did Greek Freak things Saturday against the 76ers, scoring 31 points (12-of-17 FGs, 5-of-8 FTs) with 17 rebounds, eight assists, one block and two 3-pointers. Incredibly, he did all that damage in just 29 minutes of action. According to Basketball-Reference, Giannis became the first player in NBA history to tally at least 31/17/8 in a game in which that player logged less than 30 minutes. Antetokounmpo is running away with his second straight MVP award and continues to put up monster numbers on a nightly basis. Khris Middleton chipped in 25 points and nine boards while shooting 10-of-15 from the floor and 3-of-3 from the stripe. 

The tag team of Russ and The Beard proved too much for the Jazz. James Harden poured in 38 points (13-of-23 FGs), with five rebounds, seven assists, two steals, one block and six 3-pointers in 37 minutes in Houston's victory over Utah. Not to be outdone, Russell Westbrook was efficient offensively as well, scoring 34 points on 14-of-26 FGs and 4-of-4 FTs to go along with six rebounds, four assists, one steal, two turnovers and two 3-pointers in 39 minutes. Russ is averaging 32/7/6 this month while shooting over 53% from the field. 

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On the Radar:
Kent Bazemore scored a team-high 23 points in the Kings surprising victory over the Clippers in LA. He tacked on six rebounds, one assist, one block, four steals and two 3-pointers in 30 minutes. That's three straight games with 15+ points for Baze. Harry Giles recorded the first double-double of his career on Saturday, scoring 14 points with 12 rebounds, two assists and one block in a career-high 32 minutes. De'Aaron Fox finished with 20/4/8 but committed five turnovers. 

Reggie Jackson made his Clippers debut on Saturday and drew the start with Patrick Beverley (groin) still sidelined. R-Jax logged 23 minutes but ended up with just eight points, two rebounds, four assists and two 3-pointers. Ivica Zubac pulled down a season-high 15 boards and added eight points, two assists and one block in 20 minutes. Lou Williams scored 24 points off the bench but also committed eight turnovers (vs. just two assists) in 31 minutes. 

The Nets blew out the Hornets, 115-86, which meant limited playing time for all their starters. However, Caris LeVert was able to put up 17 points, three rebounds, two assists and three 3-pointers in 30 minutes. Yet, the most impressive aspect of LeVert's evening was his career-high six steals. He's been a top-50 overall fantasy performer in nine-category formats this month thanks to his all-around production. With Kyrie Irving (shoulder) out for the season, LeVert has an excellent opportunity to stay hot. Spencer Dinwiddie had 10 points (3-of-10 FGs), six rebounds, and nine assists in 28 minutes. Garrett Temple had 15/11/3. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot scored a season-high 21 points with four rebounds and four 3-pointers in 23 minutes but he did most of his damage in garbage time.

P.J. Washington was one of the few Hornets that came to play Saturday night in an embarrassing loss to the Nets. Washington tallied 16 points, seven rebounds, four assists, one steal and four 3-pointers in 37 minutes. That two solid performances in a row for PJ, whose fantasy value is trending upwards. Devonte' Graham was unable to snap out of his slump on Saturday, converting just one of his 10 FG attempts en route to six points with one rebound, two assists, two steals, one block and two turnovers in 27 minutes. That's two straight disappointing duds for Graham, who was held scoreless on Thursday night. He now ranks outside the top-150 overall in nine-cat formats in the month of February. Malik Monk finished with 15 points (5-of-15 FGs) during a 115-86 loss to the Nets on Saturday, adding four rebounds, two assists, two turnovers and three 3-pointers in 27 minutes. That's six straight games with at least 15 points for Monk. 

Andre Drummond logged only 25 minutes in Cleveland's blowout loss to the Heat and tallied just six points (3-of-3 FGs), six boards, one steal and zero blocks. Larry Nance started in place of Kevin Love (Achilles) and finished with ten points, seven rebounds, one assist and two steals in 28 minutes. Cedi Osman was the primary beneficiary of Love's absence, as he attempted 15 shots, scored a team-high 19 points and stuffed the stat sheet with seven boards, seven assists, four trifectas and zero turnovers in 38 minutes. Kevin Porter Jr. laid an egg, ending up with two points, two rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block in 14 minutes. 

Zach LaVine scored 20 points with four rebounds, five assists, one steal, one block and two 3-pointers in 36 minutes. However, he needed 20 shots to put up those 20 points, shooting 8-of-20 from the floor. He also committed seven turnovers. 

The Heat decimated the Cavs on Saturday. Incredibly, Miami scored 82 points in the first half alone. (Halftime featured the Heat retiring Dwyane Wade's No. 3 jersey to the rafters.) Kendrick Nunn took advantage of Jimmy Butler (personal) not playing, as Nunn scored a team-high 24 points with two rebounds, eight assists, two steals, one block and four 3-pointers in 35 minutes. Bam Adebayo logged only 26 minutes due to the blowout but still managed to compile 15 points, three rebounds, nine assists, and five turnovers. Kelly Olynyk started and tallied 17/2/2 with two steals, one block and four 3-pointers in 26 minutes. 

Eric Gordon (left lower leg contusion) returned from a  three-game absence and totaled 12 points (5-of-11 FGs) with three rebounds, three assists, two steals and two 3-pointers in 24 minutes off the bench. Robert Covington was just 3-of-14 from the field but chipped in eight points, 12 rebounds, two assists, three blocks and two 3-pointers in 37 minutes. 

Donovan Mitchell had 31 points, seven rebounds, three assists and one 3-pointer in 36 minutes in Utah's loss to the small-ball Rockets. Mike Conley (rest) returned to action and compiled 13 points (5-of-15 FGs) seven rebounds, seven assists and one three-pointer in 34 minutes. Jordan Clarkson remained red hot off the Utah bench, ringing up 22 points (10-of-16 FGs), seven rebounds, one assist, one steal and two 3-pointers in 27 minutes. Rudy Gobert struggled against the center-less Rockets, finishing with 12 points (3-of-7 FGs, 6-of-9 FTs), six rebounds and two blocks in 34 minutes.