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Jordan Clarkson, Josh Hart and Klay Thompson erupt for huge games

Jordan Clarkson

Jordan Clarkson

Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday’s seven-game slate can be described perfectly in just two words: injuries and scoring. So many key players were missing, but we witnessed a high volume of scoring from some expected and not-so-expected sources. Let’s dive into the action!

Timberwolves 113, Heat 104

Anthony Edwards scored 15 points on 4-of-10 shooting and provided some quality peripherals to make for a solid fantasy outing. Coming into this one, he averaged 20.5 points, 4.0 assists, 2.0 rebounds, 2.0 stocks and 3.0 triples, and he finished with eight rebounds, five assists and four stocks. Karl-Anthony Towns extended his double-double streak to five games, and he swatted multiple shots in every one of those contests until Saturday when he failed to register a defensive stat.

D’Angelo Russell stepped up with Patrick Beverley out of action, but his cold shooting streak continued. D’Lo scored 19 points combined over his last two games while shooting just 6-of-19 from the field, and it took 13 shots for him to register 14 points Saturday.

Jaylen Nowell had a strong game in Beverley’s absence, going for 16 points in 22 minutes. Nowell’s made the most of his limited opportunities this season, and his 19.0 points, 5.2 assists and 4.8 rebounds per-36 minutes are the best marks of his career.

Kyle Lowry has been terrible across his last three games, averaging just 2.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 8.3 assists while shooting 2-of-10 from the floor. He eclipsed his previous three games’ scoring and shot attempts against Minnesota, though he still shot just 33%.

After canning 12-of-24 threes across his last three games, Duncan Robinson’s hot streak from beyond the arc came to an end as he nailed just 1-of-6 shots from distance. Bam Adebayo turned in a strong 30/17/1/3/1 in his last game out, and he had another strong showing in this one. Adebayo scored at least 30 in two of his last five contests prior to Saturday.

Tyler Herro posted his seventh 30-point game of the season after putting up four total across his first two seasons. He finished with a 30/7/2/2 line and six triples, and his case for Sixth Man of the Year is all but solidified at this point.

Bulls 101, Cavs 91

Chicago won a hard-fought contest while holding the shorthanded Cavs under 100 points. Darius Garland has been electric as of late, coming into this one riding four straight double-doubles with averages of 28.2 points and 11.2 assists across his last five contests. His 25/7/7 paced Cleveland in scoring and assists, though he coughed up the ball six times.

Evan Mobley has stepped up with Jarrett Allen out of commission and averaged 20.5 points, 12.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 3.0 steals and 1.0 blocks in two games without his frontcourt partner. He had another productive showing Saturday with 17/7/1 and three stocks, though he shot an inefficient 8-of-17 from the floor.

Isaac Okoro continues to underwhelm in the starting lineup, as does Dean Wade. Wade started the last two games for Cleveland and combined for just 15 points, five boards and four stocks. He went for just 7/3/1 and is not a recommended fantasy option outside of deeper leagues where he might be useful for his occasional defensive numbers. With Lauri Markkanen out of action, Kevin Love joined the starting five where he posted a 10/11 double-double with three dimes and a swat. We could see him join the starters for as long as Markkanen is out.

Nikola Vucevic had discomfort in his calf but played through it for yet another big double-double that included three stocks. Unsurprisingly, DeMar DeRozan led Chicago in scoring with 25 points and added six dimes, four boards and a steal after averaging 27.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 1.3 steals over his last four.

Ayo Dosunmu drew another start and ended with one of his highest-scoring games of the season to go with a full line of 17/2/3/2/2. After a lengthy layoff, Alex Caruso returned and came off the bench. He did what he does best and scored efficiently while racking up assists and steals, of which he had four apiece. He played 29 minutes, and we could see a peaceful co-existence between he and Dosunmu from a fantasy perspective.

Pacers 119, Spurs 108

Tyrese Haliburton has been incredible since arriving in Indiana, averaging 19.2 points, 9.5 assists, 4.9 rebounds, 2.1 steals and 2.8 triples with four double-doubles while shooting better than 50% from the floor and 80% from the line. Saturday marked his fifth double-double in a Pacers’ uniform, as he went for 19/10/2 with three steals.

Isaiah Jackson didn’t commit a foul but played just 10 minutes and finished with nine points, a steal and a block. He averaged 11.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.9 blocks while shooting 67.3% from the floor in seven prior contests. He played just 20.4 minutes per contest and fouled nearly four times a game in that span. Jalen Smith posted six points, 11 boards and four swats as he continues to excel for his new team. Over his last seven, he averaged 14.1 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.7 triples while shooting 54.7% from the field and 85% from the line.

Buddy Hield logged 36 minutes and finished with 17/5/6/1. He’s logged nearly 40 minutes a game since his arrival, averaging 19.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 1.2 stocks and 3.2 triples. Duane Washington got hot and posted another efficient outing after averaging 14 points and three triples across 20 minutes across his last three. He shot 7-of-9 overall and 3-of-4 from beyond the arc for 19 points in just 21 minutes.

Devin Vassell averaged just 8.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.0 stocks across his last two, but he bounced back with a nice 19/7/3/1 line Saturday as one of San Antonio’s only available starters.

Zach Collins started in place of Jakob Poeltl but had a minimal impact. Meanwhile, Jock Landale posted a career-high in scoring and managed 26 points, seven boards, two dimes and two steals. Poeltl’s absence isn’t expected to be long-term, so there’s no reason to run out and grab Landale. Tre Jones has played well when in the starting lineup, and he finished with career-high assists and rebounds for his second career double-double while filling in for Dejounte Murray.

Warriors 122, Bucks 109

In a potential Finals preview, the Warriors took down the Bucks for a third straight win after losing five straight. The victory wasn’t because of Stephen Curry, however. Curry’s eight points mark a season-low after he put up 34 in Friday’s win over the Nuggets. Fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson hit 8-of-14 triples on his way to a season-high 38 points to guide the Dubs to victory. Klay had averaged just 15.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2.0 blocks and 1.8 blocks while shooting 34.2% from the field across his last four but broke completely out of that recent offensive slump Saturday.

Jordan Poole chipped in his own 30-point performance that included six boards, five dimes and five triples. Andrew Wiggins added 21, and Jonathan Kuminga posted a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double. Kuminga’s performance is just more of the same after he averaged 18.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 2.0 triples and 62.8 FG% and 78.6 FT% over his last four.

Giannis Antetokounmpo failed to post a double-double but has done so in eight of his last 10. He finished Saturday’s loss with 31/8/3 and a block and has scored at least 30 in three straight. Bobby Portis ended with just four points and six boards after averaging 20.5 points, 14.5 rebounds, 3.0 stocks and 3.0 triples over his last two. Serge Ibaka provided his most points in a Bucks uniform with a 15-point performance, though he’s not worth a roster spot in 12-team leagues due to his limited playing time.

Raptors 127, Nuggets 115

After losing to the Warriors on a 13-0 run Thursday, Denver dropped another one to Toronto. Will Barton missed the last three due to a left ankle sprain but returned with a 16/5/4 line. Nikola Jokic posted 26 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and two blocks, and since the All-Star break, he’s averaged 26.2 points, 13.9 rebounds, 9.2 assists and 2.4 stocks. Bones Hyland contributed 17 points and seven dimes, displaying his upside. Unfortunately, he doesn’t get enough consistent minutes to be a viable fantasy option right now.

Precious Achiuwa averaged 13.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 1.5 triples over his last eight and delivered a solid 15 points with four triples. His FT% drags his fantasy value down, but Achiuwa has been on the map in 12-team leagues for his recent run. After posting 42 points and eight triples Friday, Gary Trent ended with eight points and one three, illustrating just how streaky a scorer he truly is.

Pascal Siakam went for an efficient 33 points on 12-of-22 shooting after averaging 26.2 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists over his last five. Scottie Barnes posted his fifth double-double in six games after averaging 18.0 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2.7 steals and 0.7 blocks over his last three. His 25 points, 10 assists, eight rebounds, two steals and a block represent one of his best games of the season. Chris Boucher had one of his signature “out of nowhere” performances with a massive 21 points, 13 rebounds, four swats and a steal. As long as Fred VanVleet is out, he should have increased opportunities to post numbers like this.

Jazz 134, Kings 125

If you had Jordan Clarkson/De’Aaron Fox shootout on your bingo card, congratulations! Utah edged Sacramento behind Jordan Clarkson’s career-high 45 points, as Clarkson caught fire from the field (15-of-21) and from downtown (7-of-13) as he added just two assists, a steal and a block to go with his career-best offensive output.

On the other side of the court, De’Aaron Fox put up 41 points to extend his steak of games with at least 20 points to 14. He’s posted at least 40 points in two of his last three and provided four double-doubles in that span.

Trey Lyles posted 13 points, five rebounds and an assist after averaging 11.3 points and 5.5 rebounds across his last six (all starts). He can get hot for some big games, but his all-around production isn’t too fantasy-friendly for category leagues. There was a rare Richaun Holmes sighting, but he provided just seven points, six boards and an assist off the bench.

Rudy Gobert was an unexpected scratch due to a foot injury, but Hassan Whiteside filled in admirably with 12 points, 21 rebounds and four stocks. The 20-rebound effort was his first since March 6, 2020. Whiteside is worth an add if he’s still available.

Blazers 127, Wizards 118

After some massive blowout losses over the last couple of weeks, Portland got a surprising victory behind a career night from Josh Hart and Co. After posting just 11 points, 11 rebounds and seven dimes across his last two games combined, Hart erupted for a career-best 44 points to go with eight rebounds, six dimes and four swipes. His minutes and the lopsided nature of Portland’s games are concerning, but he showed just how dominant he can be as the Blazers’ No. 1 option.

Drew Eubanks had a massive stat line in this one as well, posting 20/12/3 with a block after averaging just three points and seven boards across his last two appearances. Eubanks and Hart weren’t the only two Blazers to get into the fun, as Trendon Watford scored a career-high 27 points to go with six boards, three dimes and two swipes. He averaged 14.3 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.0 blocks and 1.0 triples in four games prior to Saturday.

Washington had no answer for Portland’s high-scoring trio, as Kyle Kuzma posted 22/3/3 with a block and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led the Wiz with 26 points. It’s a nice bounce-back effort for KCP after he went 4/1/1/1 against the Lakers in his last game out.