Kevin Durant scores 53 points to win the battle for New York
Editor’s Note: Now, all our premium tools for Fantasy, DFS and Betting are included in one subscription at one low price. Customers can subscribe to NBC Sports EDGE+ monthly ($9.99) or save 20% on an annual subscription ($95.88). And don’t forget to use promo code SAVE10 to get 10% off. Click here to learn more!
On this eight-game Sunday, stars across the league feasted on their opponents with big shots and highlight dunks. It started with Kevin Durant dominating the Knicks with Kyrie Irving sitting courtside and ended with the Suns routing the Lakers while LeBron James reached 10,000 career assists. Let’s get into it!
Nets 110, Knicks 107
Kevin Durant could not be stopped on Sunday, doing everything for the Nets to win the game. With Kyrie Irving still not able to play in New York, KD scored a season-high 53 points with six rebounds and nine assists. Everyone knows how good he is, but when Kyrie is out, he’s going to produce a little extra.
Bruce Brown had quietly been a 4th round fantasy asset over the past month and is still rostered in just half of Yahoo! leagues. He finished with a 16/7/5 line with two steals in this game.
Andre Drummond had his fourth double-double since being shipped to Brooklyn, while also hitting all eight of his shot attempts. With LaMarcus Aldridge expected to be out for another week, Drummond should be the main big providing fantasy value, with Nicolas Claxton and James Johnson seeing increased run as well. Johnson added five boards, five assists, and three steals in 31 minutes.
Seth Curry was a late scratch, which allowed Patty Mills to slide into the starting lineup. Mills really struggled, shooting 2-for-11 from the floor. Goran Dragic also started, finishing with a 7/3/6/2/1 line. With Irving and Curry out, Cam Thomas only played eight minutes and registered no stats. He’s played a total of 21 minutes over the past four games. If he’s seeing this role in a game without Irving and Curry, he’s a clear drop at this point.
RJ Barrett, Evan Fournier, and Julius Randle combined to score 75 of the Knicks 107 points. Barrett added in three steals, which was a season-high for him. Fournier has struggled from the floor this month, shooting 36.2% from the floor. He got back on track in this game by shooting 9-of-13.
Jericho Sims ended up playing 23 minutes off the bench, finishing with six points and 10 rebounds. He doesn’t provide value in many categories, but he grabs a ton of rebounds and doesn’t really miss shots. If he continues to see minutes, he could provide a boost in those categories, especially with Nerlens Noel’s iffy injury status.
Obi Toppin returned from a five-game absence but only played eight minutes. He ended up coming away with eight points and four rebounds, but it’s unlikely he gets enough minutes to start making a fantasy impact.
Immanuel Quickley struggled with his shot, but did end up with seven rebounds and four assists. The Knicks need him to provide offense off the bench because of the number of injuries they’re dealing with, and he shouldn’t have a problem bouncing back.
Clippers 106, Pistons 102
It’s seemingly a different Clipper going off every game, and this time it was Marcus Morris that led the team in scoring. He scored a season-high 31 points on 10-of-19 FGs to go with seven rebounds and three triples. The Clippers need him to continue to shoot well, as they’re 0-3 when he shoots below 40% this month and 4-0 when he shoots above 40%. He’s been excellent in two of the past three games, so hopefully he can keep it up.
Ivica Zubac only played 30 minutes but was able to tie his season-high with 15 rebounds. After four straight games with exactly nine rebounds, Zubac now has back-to-back games with a double-double and at least one steal and one block.
Reggie Jackson struggled with his shot but nearly finished with a triple-double. He has those games when he just goes cold, so it’s nice when he can still finish with a 15/8/9/2/1 line with three triples. He’s played 40 minutes in three straight games, which makes sense with no other true point guard on the roster.
Luke Kennard extended his streak of games with at least three triples to six by hitting four of them tonight. He’s hit at least one triple in every game this season aside from their matchup with the Pacers on January 31st. With Robert Covington out due to personal reasons without a clear timetable for his return, Kennard should continue to be the main source of offense off the bench.
Cade Cunningham season is in full swing. He fell just shy of a triple double, finishing with a 23/9/10 line in 44 minutes. He’s played 40+ minutes in two straight games and three of their past four. The Pistons do have a lot of guards sidelined, so he won’t play this many minutes when they’re healthy. However, for fantasy managers that have Cunningham rostered, him seeing 40+ minutes during the fantasy playoff is a welcomed sight.
Marvin Bagley continues to start with Isaiah Stewart sidelined. He’s averaged 16.4 points and 8.6 rebounds over the past five games, yet he’s still only rostered in a little over half of Yahoo! leagues. With Stewart set to be re-evaluated Tuesday, Bagley should have a few more games left as a starter.
Isaiah Livers played 27 minutes, scoring nine points on three triples with five rebounds. The minutes and rebounds were career-highs, while the points and triples tied his career-high. He’s getting an opportunity with Rodney McGruder and Hamidou Diallo sidelined and could provide some value on a tanking team.
Mavericks 95, Celtics 92
Luka Doncic shrugged off some hamstring tightness to end the Celtics five-game winning streak. He only took 16 shots but finished with a 26/8/8 line against the best defensive team in the NBA. His fantasy value is limited by his turnovers and free throws. He turned it over five times in this game, but he did hit all six of his free throws.
Dorian Finney-Smith finished with a 19/4/3/2/1 line in this game. He’s provided 4th round value over the past two weeks and is only rostered in 53% of Yahoo! leagues. Like Luka, he’s limited by his free throws, but he’s been able to provide plenty of value through his triples and field goal percentage.
Spencer Dinwiddie has found a new home and thrived because of it. He finished with an 18/5/4 line and hit a late triple that ended up winning them the game. He wasn’t great from the floor in this game (5-of-14), but his shooting percentages this month are the best they’ve been all season, aside from his free throw percentages that have slipped the past three games. He’s too good of a free throw shooter for that to continue.
Maxi Kleber didn’t score in this game, but he did grab 13 rebounds and swat three shots. He actually hasn’t hit a field goal in three games, so it was nice to see him add value with the rebounds and blocks. He’s provided plenty of defensive stats this season, but he hadn’t recorded any over the past two games, so it was nice to see him get back on track.
Jayson Tatum had scored at least 30 in every game this month, but that came to an end in this game as he finished with only 21 points. He’s been a top-10 fantasy asset over the past month because of his scoring, so he should bounce back from a poor performance like this. Dallas has allowed the least points per game in the NBA this season, so Tatum should be fine.
Al Horford finished with a season-high five steals, which was a nice rebound game after not recording any defensive stats their last time out. He’s been a 2nd round player over the past two weeks because of his steals and blocks, so a game like this in the fantasy playoffs is huge.
Robert Williams didn’t record a defensive stat for the first time since February 24th, which was not the performance we wanted to see out of him. He was able to finish with 10 points and seven rebounds without missing a shot, so that was a nice bonus.
76ers 116, Magic 114
Joel Embiid produced a monster line of 35/16/7/1/2 in this game, though he did shoot 9-of-28 from the floor. Almost half of his points came from the charity stripe, where he finished 15-of-17. In fact, James Harden had a similar issue. He also shot poorly from the field (5-of-19), but still finished with a 26/6/6/3 line because he shot 13-of-15 from the line. Both guys won’t continue to shoot that poorly, but it was a nice bonus that they were able to produce in other categories.
Tobias Harris had his best game since he started playing alongside Harden, finishing with 26 points and nine rebounds. He’s really struggled to figure out his new role, so hopefully this is a sign of things to come and not just a one time performance.
Georges Niang got some extended minutes because Matisse Thybulle was in foul trouble. He ended up scoring 16 points with four triples in 36 minutes. He’s now hit at least one triple in every game since January 14th and ten triples over his last three games. Playing alongside two players as polarizing as Embiid and Harden tends to open up a lot of 3-point shots.
Wendell Carter Jr. finished with 23 points, 12 rebounds, and three blocks in the loss. He’s recorded a double-double in nine of his last ten games, but he hasn’t been a great shot blocker, so the three blocks were a nice bonus. Don’t expect that to continue, but appreciate the nice bonus.
Jalen Suggs injured his right ankle and was forced to leave the game early. That opened up some extra minutes for Markelle Fultz and RJ Hampton. Fultz recorded a season-high 11 assists in just 19 minutes. He has 18 assists over his past two games in a combined 37 minutes. He likely won’t see enough minutes this season to consistently provide a ton of value, but he looks ready to take the league by storm next season. Hampton finished with 11 points, three assists, and three triples. If Suggs ends up missing time, he could provide value in deeper leagues.
Chuma Okeke had really struggled with his shot this month, but got back on track in this game by shooting 5-of-7 for 13 points with three boards and three triples. With Mo Bamba’s production and role always fluctuating, Okeke could be in line for more minutes at any given time.
The App is Back! Don’t forget to download the NBC Sports EDGE app to receive real-time player news, mobile alerts and track your favorite players. Plus, now you can check out articles and player cards. Get it here!
Pelicans 130, Rockets 105
Without C.J. McCollum and Brandon Ingram, the Pelicans turned to their post players to provide them with some offense. Jonas Valanciunas scored 32 points, which was his second highest scoring output this season. It’s also his second 30-point double-double in his past three games. Jaxson Hayes scored 21 points, including an Eastbay dunk on a fast break. His role has been limited lately, but he’s been asked to score more over the past two games.
Naji Marshall is widely available across Yahoo! leagues and should continue to be the starter as long as McCollum and Ingram are out. Marshall has averaged 15.5 points, seven rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 2.5 steals over his past two games as a starter.
Devonte’ Graham got another start with McCollum out, finishing with 10 points and seven assists. As long as he’s starting, he should be a solid source of assists.
Jose Alvarado finished with 16 points, 10 assists, and six steals in 30 minutes off the bench. The steals and assists were both career-highs. While this could lead to more minutes for him, it’s likely his role will be reduced when McCollum returns and Graham is sent back to the bench.
This was a pretty ugly game for the Rockets, which allowed some under the radar guys to have bigger performances. David Nwaba scored a season-high 15 points in 14 minutes off the bench. He hit five of his six shot attempts, so don’t count on him to keep this up.
Christian Wood returned from a three game absence. He grabbed 12 rebounds, but only finished with eight points on 3-of-9 shooting. He missed those games with strep throat, so he should bounce back as his conditioning returns. Unfortunately, that’ll limit Alperen Sengun, who only played 15 minutes in this game after posting a monster line against the Lakers just two games ago.
Jalen Green scored 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting. He hasn’t shot under 40% from the field in a game this month and has hit over half of his shots in March. Considering he shot 32.8% in January, this is a huge improvement.
Grizzlies 125, Thunder 118
For the first time since January, Ja Morant didn’t score 20 points. He still finished with a 17/5/10 line and should get back to his high scoring ways against some weaker defensive teams on this road trip.
Dillon Brooks returned from a two month absence. He slid right into the starting lineup and finished with 15 points, two rebounds, four assists, and a steal in 26 minutes. He should only play more minutes as he plays more games, but this was a solid return considering how long he’s been out.
Brooks’ return did send Ziaire Williams back to the bench, but he still produced an 11/3/3/1/1 line in 22 minutes. His value is obviously limited, but it appears he can still provide something off the bench.
Desmond Bane wasn’t limited by the return of Brooks. He scored a team-high 21 points with three 3-pointers. He’s hit 22 triples across six games this month.
What a bounce back game it was for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. After really struggling on Wednesday against the Timberwolves, SGA put up a 31/6/7/2/3 line with only one turnover. Turnovers have been a major issue for him lately, so it was nice for him to put up the line he did while taking care of the ball.
Darius Bazley scored a season-high 29 points to go with 10 rebounds, two stocks, and three triples. It was by far his best game of the season, and hopefully one he can build off of. He’s only rostered in 35% of Yahoo! leagues, so he may be worth a look.
Lindy Waters III played a season-high 30 minutes, finishing with a 16/2/3/2/1 line. It’s the second time in three games that he’s scored 16 points. There’s no reason to think that he won’t continue to see minutes, so he could be valuable in deeper leagues.
Hawks 131, Pacers 128
Trae Young had the most dominant first half we’ve seen this season. At halftime, he had 33 points and seven triples. He finished with 47 points and seven triples. A lot of that had to do with Indiana switching up their defense. They started denying Trae full court and trapping him at half court when he did manage to get the ball in the backcourt. While it could’ve been more, he did score the most points anyone has scored in the first half of a game this season. With the Hawks fighting for playoff seeding, they’ll need him to continue to play this aggressively.
Danilo Gallinari slid back into the starting lineup with John Collins out, finishing with 15 points, five boards, and five assists. If Collins misses more time, Gallo should be a solid streaming option for points and triples, despite him only hitting one in this game.
Clint Capela only played 22 minutes because of foul trouble, but still finished with 10 points, six boards, three assists, and three steals. That opened up minutes for Onyeka Okongwu, who finished with 13 points and nine rebounds. Okongwu will be limited as long as Capela is playing, but there are occasional games like this where he still gets enough minutes to produce.
Tyrese Haliburton and Buddy Hield each scored 25 points as the Pacers had seven players score in double figures. Haliburton added 10 assists for his second straight double-double and his third in his last four games.
With Malcolm Brogdon and Chris Duarte out, Terry Taylor slid into the lineup and finished with 16 points and four rebounds. Duane Washington Jr. came off the bench and finished with 22 points and four triples. Both guys should benefit if Brogdon and Duarte miss more time.
With Goga Bitadze out, Isaiah Jackson finished with 12 points, 15 rebounds, and two blocks in just 28 minutes. Jackson now has 24 blocks over his past nine games, which should continue as long as Myles Turner is out. Jalen Smith came off the bench and played 27 minutes, finishing with a line of 13/10/2/2/2. Jackson should start regardless, but Smith should continue to benefit if Bitadze stays on the sidelines.
Suns 140, Lakers 111
This game got out of hand pretty quickly, but Devin Booker still finished with a 30-point double-double with 10 assists. Unfortunately, he doesn’t get to play the Lakers’ defense every night. Since returning from protocols, Book has averaged 8.7 assists per game. Even with Cameron Payne running point, Book has still been an excellent playmaker, which boosts his fantasy production.
Payne flirted with a double-double, finishing with nine points and 11 assists in 24 minutes. He likely would’ve gotten it had the game been closer. He’s averaging 9.9 assists per game this month.
Deandre Ayton took advantage of the Lakers’ smaller lineup to start the game, as he finished with 23 points and 16 rebounds on 11-of-14 shooting. Aside from a seven rebound performance in their loss to the Raptors on Friday, Ayton has been a much better rebounder lately, while also shooting an astronomically high percentage from the floor.
It’s a good thing that the final score can’t take away from LeBron James’ fantasy value. LeBron posted a 31/7/6 line with five triples in 31 minutes while reaching 10,000 career assists. LeBron’s been accused of stat padding lately. While it’s incredibly unlikely that a competitor like LeBron can focus on getting his stats over getting a win, the results have really benefited fantasy managers.
Carmelo Anthony scored 18 points with four triples off the bench. That’s the only two categories that he really provides fantasy value in.
Malik Monk has provided fourth round value over the past two weeks, but he finished with a 13/4/4 line with two triples in this game.
The Lakers already don’t have a ton of guys that are legitimate fantasy options in most standard 9-cat leagues. Anthony Davis is set to start on-court work Tuesday, which likely means he won’t be returning in time to help out most fantasy managers.