Loading scores...
RJ Barrett
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Basketball Daily Dose

RJ Barrett scores career-high 32 in win

by Matt Ellentuck
Updated On: March 14, 2021, 12:41 am ET

RJ Barrett is having a superstar stretch in the middle of his sophomore NBA season. After a mixed rookie year remembered for his inefficient shooting and a promise for something greater, Barrett’s taking his next steps toward greatness.

The 6'6 guard/forward's full offensive potential was on display in a blowout win over the Thunder on Saturday. Barrett scored a career-best 32 points on 12-of-21 shooting to lead all scorers. He knocked down 3-of-6 3-pointers, got to the line seven times and made five of them, and finished strong on takes around the rim. He even converted a bucket off an offensive board, dished three assists, and turned the ball over just once in 36 minutes. 

Barrett’s on a hot streak. In his last seven games, he’s made an unreal 56-of-96 shots from the field and 14-of-25 3-point shooting. This is the level of play Knicks fans dreamed of from the franchise’s No. 2 pick in 2020, and he’s playing the perfect complementary scoring role to first-time All-Star Julius Randle

The Knicks look destined for a playoff run, and for the first time in a long time, the franchise has reason to be excited. Finally, a lottery pick looks ready to compete.

 

Now let's talk about all eight games from Saturday night. 

Knicks 119, Thunder 97

The great

Julius Randle — Randle became the first Knicks player to record two triple-doubles in a season since Mark Jackson in 1988-89 on Saturday. He scored 26 points on 8-of-15 shooting (three made 3-pointers) with 12 rebounds, 12 assists, two steals, and just three turnovers. 

RJ Barrett — Barrett scored a career-high 32 points on a sharp 12-of-21 shooting (three 3-pointers) with five rebounds, three assists, and a season-high three steals. He’s coming along quickly as the season progresses.

The good

Immanuel QuickleyFrank Ntilikina keeps getting the starts, but Quickley is clearly the superior guard, and he even started the third quarter. He finished with 21 points on 9-of-16 shooting with four assists, three rebounds, and two steals.

Luguentz Dort — Dort’s been shooting poorly from the field, but he made and attempted a career-high 10 free-throws to finish with 14 points. He also added six rebounds and a career-high five assists.

The disappointing

Aleksej Pokusevski — Poku got his second start with Darius Bazley and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander sidelined but struggled. He scored just four points on 11 field goal attempts and returned to his ways of not getting to the free-throw line. Leave him on the wire as it seems the 19-year-old isn’t ready to play consistent, productive minutes.

Hornets 114, Raptors 100

The great

Kyle Lowry — Lowry had a nice night, scoring 19 points on 7-of-16 shooting with eight assists, six rebounds, one steal, and just one turnover. It just wasn’t nearly enough to keep Toronto in this one. 

LaMelo Ball — The rookie is so dang good. He scored 23 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field, and 6-of-9 shooting from 3-point range with nine rebounds, six assists, one steal, one block, and just two turnovers in 31 minutes.

The good
DeAndre Bembry — With so many Raptors sidelined, Bembry got another start and scored 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting with six rebounds, two assists, two steals, two blocks, and four turnovers in 25 minutes.

Devonte’ Graham — Graham scored five 3-pointers, which was his most in a game since February 1st. He made them on nine attempts for 17 points with four assists and two rebounds. 

Noteworthy

Five Raptors sat out due to health and safety protocol — Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Patrick McCaw, and Malachi Flynn 

Nets 100, Pistons 95

The great

James Harden — Harden took over in the final minute and pulled out a close game over a weaker opponent. He finished with 24 points on 8-of-19 shooting without a 3-pointer (8-of-8 from the free-throw line) with 10 assists, 10 rebounds, two steals, three blocks, and four turnovers in 38 minutes.

Kyrie Irving — Irving scored 18 points on 8-of-18 shooting, relinquishing hero-ball duties to Harden in the game’s final minutes. Irving also missed all of his 3-point attempts but added five assists, four rebounds, three steals, one block, and four turnovers.

The good

Jerami Grant — Grant had a solid night scoring 22 points on 7-of-17 shooting with one 3-pointer, three rebounds, two assists, one block, and three turnovers.

Mason Plumlee — Plumlee neared triple-double numbers with 11 points on 5-of-11 shooting, nine rebounds, six assists, and one steal.

DeAndre Jordan — DJ didn’t do anything overwhelming, but he did finish with 14 points on 7-of-8 shooting (dunks and layups) with nine rebounds, one block, and one steal.

Editor’s Note: Drafting is only half the battle! Get an edge on your competition with our Season Tools that are packed with rankings, projections, a trade evaluator, start/sit tools and much more. And don't forget to use promo code HOOPS10 to get 10% off. Click here to learn more!

Bucks 125, Wizards 119

The great

Giannis Antetokounmpo — This game shouldn’t have been nearly as close as it was without Bradley Beal (knee soreness) in the lineup, but Giannis closed things out with a triple-double. He scored 33 points on 12-of-19 shooting with 11 assists, 11 rebounds, one steal, one block, and four turnovers in 36 minutes. He also made a pair of 3-pointers. 

Jrue Holiday — Holiday had a well-rounded game with 18 points (on just 6-of-18 shooting), eight rebounds, three assists, two steals, one block, and three turnovers in 32 minutes. 

Rui Hachimura — Hachimura played maybe the best game of his career with 29 points on 11-of-18 shooting, 11 rebounds, three steals, and one assists with two turnovers in 38 minutes.

Russell Westbrook — With Beal sidelined, Westbrook took over with 42 points on 16-of-32 shooting (five made 3-pointers on 11 tries), 12 assists, 10 rebounds, two steals, and six turnovers. 

Hawks 121, Kings 106

The great

De’Aaron Fox — Fox was sharp, scoring 32 points on 11-of-24 shooting with seven rebounds, six assists, one steal, and three turnovers in 40 minutes. He made 8-of-10 free-throws but only 2-of-10 3-pointers.

Trae Young — Young scored 28 points on 9-of-17 shooting (five 3-pointers) with nine assists, one rebound, one steal, and four turnovers in 32 minutes.

Clint Capela — Capela scored 24 points on 10-of-12 shooting with 14 rebounds, two blocks, one assist, and one turnover in 27 minutes. He only made 4-of-10 free-throws, but you punt this category with him anyway.

The good 

Richaun Holmes — Holmes double-doubled on 9-of-15 shooting to score 20 points with 12 rebounds. He also added a rebound and one block.

Trail Blazers 125, Timberwolves 121

The great

Damian Lillard — Lillard double-doubled with 24 points on 7-of-17 shooting with 10 assists, four rebounds, and two turnovers in 36 minutes. He made 3-of-9 3-pointers and 7-of-8 free-throws.

Carmelo Anthony — MELO! Anthony scored 24 points on 7-of-12 shooting with two 3-pointers and a perfect 8-of-8 free-throw shooting. He also added four assists, two steals, one block, and one turnover in 31 minutes off the bench.

Karl-Anthony Towns — KAT scored a game-high 34 points on 12-of-21 shooting with a pair of made 3-pointers and perfect 8-of-8 free-throw shooting. He also added eight rebounds, three assists, one steal, one block, and two turnovers.

The good

Enes Kanter — Kanter’s 20 points came on 8-of-12 shooting. He added 11 rebounds, two assists, and no turnovers in 32 minutes.

Jaylen Nowell — Off the bench, Nowell scored 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting (three made 3-pointers) with five rebounds, one assist, and three turnovers in 28 minutes.

Pacers 122, Suns 111

The great

Domantas Sabonis — Sabonis was stellar in the win, triple-doubling with 22 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists, four steals, one block, and five turnovers in 43 minutes.

Malcolm Brogdon — Brogdon scored 25 points on 8-of-16 shooting (four 3-pointers) with five rebounds, four assists, and one steal.

The good

Myles Turner — Turner scored 16 points on a super-efficient 7-of-8 shooting from the field. He also added eight rebounds, two assists, four blocks, one steal, and no turnovers in 30 minutes. 

Devin Booker — Booker scored 20 points but it came on 9-of-20 shooting with seven assists, four rebounds, and six turnovers.

Chris Paul — Paul shot poorly from the field, making just 2-of-10 shots for eight points, but had 10 assists, four rebounds, four steals, and just two turnovers in 34 minutes.

Noteworthy

Caris LeVert — LeVert played his first game since a mass was removed from his kidney and scored 13 points on 5-of-14 shooting with seven rebounds and two assists in his Pacers debut. 

Mavericks 116, Nuggets 103

The great

Luka Doncic — Doncic scored 21 points on 7-of-16 shooting (three 3-pointers) with 12 assists, five rebounds, and just three turnovers in 33 minutes.

Kristaps Porzingis — Porzingis scored a team-high 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting (five 3-pointers) with six rebounds, one assist, one steal, and three blocks.

Josh Richardson — Richardson scored 20 points on 6-of-11 shooting (four 3-pointers), with four rebounds, four assists, and two steals.

Nikola Jokic — The MVP candidate nearly triple-doubled in the loss with a game-high 26 points on 10-of-20 shooting, 11 assists, nine rebounds, and three turnovers in 36 minutes. 

The good

Michael Porter Jr. — He scored an efficient 23 points on 7-of-9 shooting (four 3-pointers), but added nothing else to his eight rebounds in 23 minutes. He didn't turn the ball over, though.

Will Barton — Barton scored 23 points on 8-of-17 shooting (five 3-pointers) and added four rebounds, two assists, one steal, and two turnovers in 36 minutes.

Matt Ellentuck

Matt Ellentuck is a freelance fantasy NBA writer for NBC Sports Edge. Previously, he was an NBA and WNBA reporter for SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter @mellentuck