After an 11-game slate on Monday the NBA schedule for Tuesday was light, with only three games to be played. And there were some key injury concerns in two of those matchups. In Los Angeles, Anthony Davis was a game-time decision after leaving Sunday’s win over the Hornets late in the fourth quarter with a right shoulder injury.
The other injury occurred during Tuesday’s action, as Hawks point guard Trae Young rolled his right ankle during the second quarter of Atlanta’s game in Miami. But today’s Daily Dose begins with the Lakers, as Anthony Davis was outstanding despite playing through right shoulder pain.
Lakers 120, Grizzlies 91
Davis, who left Sunday’s win over Charlotte with just over two minutes remaining due to the shoulder issue, was considered to be “50/50” to play after he went through a pregame workout. Not only did he end up playing, but he ended up dominating as the Lakers pulled away in the third quarter. “The Unibrow” shot 7-of-17 from the field and 26-of-27 from the foul line (he made his last 21 free throws), racking up 40 points, 20 rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots in 31 minutes. He is the first player in NBA history to have a 40/20 game in which he played 32 minutes or less.
The good news for the Lakers was that they were able to shut down Davis at the end of the third quarter, as Los Angeles led by 21 going into the final 12 minutes. Davis briefly left the bench during the second quarter to get his shoulder re-taped, and whenever the perennial All-Star wasn’t in the game he was receiving treatment. Los Angeles isn’t scheduled to play again until Friday, so Davis will have a couple days to recuperate ahead of the team’s three-game road trip.
Davis led five Lakers in double figures, with four being starters. LeBron James (eight assists, two rebounds, one blocked shot, two 3-pointers and six turnovers) matched his jersey number with 23 points, with Avery Bradley (three rebounds, two steals, one assist and one three-pointer) and JaVale McGee (nine rebounds, one assist, one blocked shot and two turnovers) scoring 12 and ten points, respectively. Also worth noting was the play of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who shot 6-of-11 from the field and finished with 13 points, six rebounds, three assists and one blocked shot in 29 minutes.
After shooting a combined 0-of-9 from the field and scoring a total of one point in the Lakers’ first two games, KCP has shot 10-of-19 from the field and 2-of-5 from three in wins over Charlotte and Memphis.
Danny Green (eight points, one assist, one steal and two 3-pointers) and Quinn Cook (seven points, three rebounds, one assist, one steal and one three-pointer) played 19 and 22 minutes, respectively, with Troy Daniels (20 minutes), Dwight Howard (19 minutes) and Alex Caruso (13 minutes) also reaching double figures in minutes played.
Two days removed from going toe-to-toe with Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving, Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant wasn’t as effective Tuesday night. The second overall pick in June’s draft played 25 minutes, scoring 16 points with three rebounds, two assists, two steals, one three-pointer and four turnovers. But while he “came back to earth,” Morant was still one of two Grizzlies starters to score in double figures. Jonas Valanciunas put up a line of 14 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and two turnovers, while Jae Crowder (nine points, five rebounds, one assist and one three-pointer), Dillon Brooks (8/3/4/2 with one three-pointer) and Jaren Jackson Jr. (7/6/1/1 with one three-pointer) rounding out the starting five.
Even with two double-digit scorers off the bench in Grayson Allen and Brandon Clarke, Memphis was unable to create enough offense to keep up with the aforementionEd Davis. Allen got up 14 shots but made just four, scoring 13 points with five rebounds, two steals, one assist and four turnovers. Clarke played 19 minutes off the bench, scoring ten points with one rebound, one steal and one blocked shot. One of the best defenders in this year’s draft class, Clarke can be a more valuable fantasy option if he can contribute on the boards on a consistent basis.
Heat 112, Hawks 97
With Butler available to play after being away from the team for the first three games of the season due to the birth of his daughter, someone was going to have to make way for the five-time All-Star in the starting lineup. That person was rookie guard Tyler Herro, and the move from the first unit to the bench did not negatively impact his production. If anything Herro was even better off the bench than he was as a starter, scoring a career-high 29 points (7-of-9 FGs, 12-of-16 FTs) with two assists, three 3-pointers and two turnovers in 29 minutes played.
In his first three games the rookie out of Kentucky posted averages of 12.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.3 three-pointers per game, but he wasn’t particularly efficient in putting up those numbers. Herro shot 38.5% from the field, 26.7% from three and 100% from the foul line, with an average of 13.0 field goal attempts per game. On Monday Herro needed just nine shots from the field, and he also attempted 16 free throws (making 12). It doesn’t hurt when the opposition fouls you four times on three-point attempts as the Hawks did, but give Herro (who scored 19 points in the second quarter) credit for taking advantage. His 29 points established a new franchise rookie record for most points off the bench in a single game.
And playing alongside Butler, who finished with 21 points (5-of-11 FGs, 10-of-15 FTs), five rebounds, three steals, two assists, one three-pointer and four turnovers, paid off in a big way for Herro. The two were on the court together for just under 12 minutes Monday night, with Herro scoring 16 points on 3-of-3 shooting from the field and 9-of-11 shooting from the foul line with one three-pointer. The rookie’s net rating playing alongside Butler: 30.0, while it is minus-0.7 when Butler isn’t on the court with him. Of course this was only one game, but Monday’s performance was a promising one for both Herro and Butler.
Joining those two in surpassing the 20-point mark was Goran Dragic, who tallied 21 points (7-of-12 FGs, 2-of-4 FTs), three rebounds, three assists, five 3-pointers and three turnovers in 30 minutes off the bench. The Heat went nine deep Monday, with Kelly Olynyk (three rebounds, one steal and three turnovers in 18 minutes) and Chris Silva (two points, five rebounds, two steals, one assist and three turnovers in 14 minutes) backing up Bam Adebayo (17 points, ten rebounds, three assists, three blocks, two steals and two turnovers) and Meyers Leonard (three points, nine rebounds, two assists, three blocks, one three-pointer and two turnovers).
Justise Winslow and Kendrick Nunn completed the starting five for Miami, with the former struggling for much of the night. In 30 minutes Winslow shot 1-of-7 from the field, scoring two points with six rebounds, three assists, two steals and four turnovers. Nunn was better, shooting 7-of-18 from the field and accounting for 17 points, three assists, one steal, three 3-pointers and three turnovers in 30 minutes. Both finished the game with solid net ratings when sharing the floor with Butler (26.5 for Winslow and 21.1 for Nunn), but it was the undrafted free agent who had the better night of the two.
The headline on the Hawks side is the sprained right ankle suffered by Young early in the second quarter. The second-year point guard needed help getting back to the locker room, but the good news is that the X-rays were negative. Young will undergo an MRI soon to determine the severity of the sprain, with Shams Charania of Stadium/The Athletic reported Monday night that Young could miss two weeks of action. Young finished the game with five points (2-of-5 FGs), two rebounds, two assists, one steal, one three-pointer and two turnovers, and immediately upon his departure the Hawks’ starting point guard was replaced by Tyrone Wallace.
Wallace finished the night with 14 minutes, accounting for six points (1-of-2 FGs, 4-of-6 FTs), three rebounds, two assists and one steal. Atlanta also turned to Cam Reddish and DeAndre Hunter at times to initiate things offensively, but due to injuries and minutes restrictions the Hawks are a bit shorthanded on the perimeter. In addition to the injuries suffered by Young and Evan Turner (Achilles), Hunter, Reddish (30 minutes) and Kevin Huerter (20 minutes) are all on minutes restrictions.
Hunter and Reddish played 28 and 26 minutes, respectively, with Hunter shooting 2-of-8 from the field and tallying six points, three rebounds, two assists, two steals and two turnovers. Reddish shot 2-of-10, scoring six points with six assists, three steals and six turnovers. As for Huerter, in his 19 minutes off the bench he tallied eight points (2-of-6 FGs, 3-of-4 FTs), three rebounds, three assists, one steal, one three-pointer and three turnovers. Another player to watch with regards to who creates offense for the Hawks with Young sidelined is DeAndre’ Bembry, who dished out five assists and scored nine points with one rebound and one steal in 27 minutes off the bench.
John Collins led the way for Atlanta, scoring 30 points (10-of-17 FGs, 5-of-6 FTs) with seven rebounds, four assists, one steal, one blocked shot, five 3-pointers and one turnover in 36 minutes. He’s going to have a lot more responsibility on his shoulders with Young out of the lineup. And after averaging just 0.6 blocks per contest last season Collins entered Monday averaging two rejections per, and he has at least one block in every game he’s played in this season. If Collins can consistently produce defensively, he becomes an even more valuable player in most leagues.
Alex Len had a quiet night offensively, playing 18 minutes and finishing with four points, four rebounds, two assists, four blocked shots and two turnovers. Among the front court reserves Jabari Parker was the most productive, scoring 12 points with two rebounds, two assists, two steals, one three-pointer and three turnovers while Bruno Fernando posted a line of three points, three rebounds, one steal and one block in 12 minutes.
Mavericks 109, Nuggets 106
There are now just three undefeated teams remaining in the NBA, as the Mavericks outlasted the Nuggets in Denver. And Rick Carlisle’s team got the job done with balance on the offensive end, as nine players scored in double figures. Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis scored 12 and ten points, respectively, combining to shoot 7-of-26 from the field. The former, who sealed the outcome with a left-handed layup with 47.1 seconds remaining, also tallied five assists, four rebounds, two steals, one three-pointer and four turnovers in 33 minutes. As for Porzingis, he supplemented his ten points with 14 rebounds, three assists, two blocks, one three-pointer and two turnovers in 33 minutes.
Dallas made a change to its starting lineup in this one, as Dwight Powell was ready to make his 2019-20 debut after missing the first three games with a hamstring injury. He played just 14 minutes, scoring four points with four rebounds and one turnover. Maxi Kleber, who moved to the bench as a result, played 30 minutes as a result of Powell being on a minutes restriction. He finished the game tied for the team lead in points with 14, shooting 6-of-12 from the field, while also tallying seven rebounds, three blocks, one assist, one steal, one three-pointer and one turnover.
Even if Kleber remains on the bench with Powell having returned, he stands to see a lot of minutes as the Mavericks ease Powell back into the rotation. It’s worth noting that Kleber appeared to roll his right ankle during the final minutes, but he was able to return for Dallas’ next defensive possession.
All five Mavericks reserves scored in double figures, with Tim Hardaway Jr. scoring 14 points, Delon Wright 12 (with six assists, three rebounds and one steal), Jalen Brunson 11 )with eight assists and four rebounds) and Justin Jackson ten. Jackson shot 4-of-4 from the field, making both of his three-point attempts. Starters Dorian Finney-Smith and Seth Curry also reached double figures, with the former scoring 12 points and the latter ten.
While Nikola Jokic posted a 10/10/10 triple-double for the Nuggets, Paul Millsap led the way scoring-wise with 23 points on 9-of-17 shooting. The veteran power forward made four of his seven three-point attempts, and he also grabbed eight rebounds in his 31 minutes on the floor. All five Nuggets starters scored in double figures, with Will Barton having his best game of the season to date. Barton shot 8-of-16 from the field, scoring 19 points with 11 rebounds, one assist, one steal and two 3-pointers in a game-high 37 minutes. He also scored 19 in Denver’s season opening win in Portland, but Barton had a greater impact across the board on Monday despite the fact that the Nuggets didn’t get the win.
Jamal Murray and Gary Harris scored 16 apiece, with Harris shooting 4-of-10 from three while also tallying five rebounds, four assists, one steal and two turnovers in 34 minutes. Murray shot 7-of-13 from the field, missing all four of his three-point attempts while also grabbing six rebounds and dishing out one assist. As for the reserves, Denver’s bench was outplayed by the Mavericks’ second unit.
Mason Plumlee (four rebounds, three assists) and Malik Beasley (two assists, one rebound and one three-pointer) led the way with seven points apiece, with Monte Morris and Torrey Craig adding six and two points, respectively. Jerami Grant missed all five of his shots, going scoreless with three rebounds, one assist and one steal. None of the reserves played more than 17 minutes; by comparison, four of Dallas’ five reserves played at least 23 minutes.
Wednesday’s Schedule (all times Eastern)
Minnesota at Philadelphia, 7 PM
Chicago at Cleveland, 7 PM
New York at Orlando, 7 PM
Detroit at Toronto, 7:30 PM
Milwaukee at Boston, 7:30 PM
Indiana at Brooklyn, 7:30 PM
Portland at Oklahoma City, 8 PM
Houston at Washington, 8 PM
LA Clippers at Utah, 10 PM
Charlotte at Sacramento, 10 PM
Phoenix at Golden State, 10:30 PM