Saturday’s five-game slate provided plenty of highlights, including LeBron passing Kobe on the all-time scoring list, Ben Simmons flirting with a triple-double, Rudy Gobert bullying the Mavs, Kyrie Irving erupting for 45, and Zach LaVine putting on a show in Chicago.
After recapping the important storylines from Saturday, we’ll wrap up the Dose by taking a look at a handful of players that are facing injury issues for Sunday’s games.
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Utah Jazz 112, Dallas Mavericks 107:
Rudy Gobert was utterly dominant, patrolling the paint on both ends of the floor on Saturday. He scored 22 points, ripped down 17 rebounds, dished out two dimes, and blocked five shots in 37 minutes. He also was a perfect 8-of-8 from the floor and 6-of-9 from the free-throw stripe. The Stifle Tower sealed the victory for Utah with an incredible block on a Delon Wright layup attempt in the final minutes. The reigning two-time DPOY is somehow becoming a better defender year after year.
Donovan Mitchell supplied the offense for Utah, scoring a team-high 25 points to go along with seven rebounds, five assists, two steals and five 3-pointers. The only blemish on the night for Donny was his poor shooting percentage (9-of-25 from the field) and five turnovers. Bojan Bogdanovic chipped in 23 points and four trifectas (6-of-16 FGs, 7-of-7 FTs) but didn’t bring much else to the table (one rebound, one assist, one blocked shot in 35 minutes). Royce O’Neale had 12 points (5-of-9 FGs), seven rebounds, three assists and two 3-pointers in 36 minutes. Jordan Clarkson was just 2-of-11 from the floor for his five points but did add four rebounds, five assists, one steal and one three-pointer in 24 minutes off the bench.
Emmanuel Mudiay (right ankle soreness) was unavailable, which left a few more minutes for Mike Conley; however, Conley failed to step up. He logged 19 minutes off the bench, but tallied just six points (3-of-9 FGs), four rebounds and one assist. Conley has been one of the biggest busts in fantasy hoops this season.
The Mavs once again leaned on Luka Doncic on Saturday, but the Slovenian sensation could only do so much. Doncic shot 11-of-25 from the field for his 25 points, and added six rebounds, seven assists, two steals and two 3-pointers in 36 minutes against the Jazz. The most concerning stat was his 1-of-5 FT shooting. Free throws were an Achilles’ heel for him last season, and he’s now shooting below 57% from the charity stripe over Dallas’ past six games.
Delon Wright had a solid all-around game, scoring 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting (2-of-2 FTs) with eight rebounds, four assists and one 3-pointer in 31 minutes against the Jazz on Saturday. D Wright has seen a nice uptick in playing time since Dwight Powell went down. Seth Curry, who has started with Powell out of the mix, tallied 19 points (6-of-9 FGs, 3-of-3 FTs), four rebounds, four assists, one steal and four 3-pointers in 34 minutes. Kristaps Porzingis was too quiet for Dallas, as he grabbed just two rebounds and shot 6-of-14 on his way to 15 points, one steal, one block and three turnovers in 25 minutes. The Mavs were clearly focused on keeping his minutes in the mid-’20s this week.
Brooklyn Nets 121, Detroit Pistons 111 (in overtime):
Losers of five straight games coming into this weekend, the Nets desperately needed a win Saturday night in Detroit, and Kyrie Irving delivered. Irving put on a show in Detroit, pouring in 45 points (15-of-30 FGs, 10-of-10 FTs) with six rebounds, seven assists, five 3-pointers and, remarkably, just one turnover in 40 minutes.
Garrett Temple replaced Spencer Dinwiddie in the starting lineup on Saturday. However, Dinwiddie still logged 37 minutes in his familiar Sixth Man role and ended up with 10 points (3-of-8 FGs, 4-of-4 FTs), four rebounds, five assists and one steal. Garrett Temple had four points, five rebounds and one three-pointer in 22 minutes. With DeAndre Jordan (right middle finger) sidelined once again, Jarrett Allen saw 40 minutes of action and racked up 20 points (8-of-13 FGs, 4-of-6 FTs) 15 rebounds, one assist, one steal and four blocked shots. Nic Claxton (left shoulder contusion) returned to the lineup but had just two points and six rebounds in 13 minutes. Wilson Chandler totaled seven points, seven rebounds, one assist, one steal, one blocked shot and one three-pointer in 31 minutes.
Andre Drummond (lip laceration) returned from a two-game absence and picked up right where he left off. ‘Dre pumped in 20 points (8-of-20 FGs, 4-of-8 FTs) and gobbled up 21 rebounds with two assists and two blocked shots in 41 minutes. It was Drummond’s eighth 20/20 games this season, which is incredible when you consider that Clint Capela is the only other player in the NBA that has recorded more than one 20/20 game in 2019-20. The FT% is a bummer, but Drummond is still a fantasy monster.
If the Pistons played, that means Derrick Rose put up 20+ points, right? Yeah, D Rose poured in 27 points (10-of-22 FGs, 5-of-5 FTs) with four rebounds, six assists, two steals and two 3-pointers in 37 minutes. Amazingly, it was Rose’s 12th straight game with at least 20 points. That’s the longest streak of his entire career (yes, even longer than his 10-game streak during his MVP campaign in 2011). Bruce Brown (right thumb sprain) was back in action after missing two games and tallied 17 points (7-of-12 FGs) with five rebounds, five assists and three 3-pointers. Reggie Jackson (back, injury recovery) and Tony Snell (illness) were ruled out of Saturday’s game. After scoring 22 points off the bench on Wednesday, Jackson moved into the starting lineup on Friday vs. the Grizzlies, scoring 14 points, with six assists, three rebounds, two steals, one triple, and one turnover in 23 minutes. However, the Pistons rested him on the second night of a back-to-back.
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Chicago Bulls 118, Cleveland Cavs 106:
Zach LaVine gored the Cavaliers on Saturday night, posting one of the finest stat lines of his career. LaVine scored 44 points (16-of-30 FGs, 7-of-8 FTs), grabbed ten rebounds, dished out a season-high eight assists, and knocked down five 3-pointers in 39 minutes. According to Basketball-Reference, LaVine is the first Bull with at least 44/10/8 in a single game since some guy named Micheal Jordan in January of 1990.
With Lauri Markkanen (hip) sidelined for at least the next month, Chicago is hoping Tomas Satoransky will provide some more offense. Sato did just that on Saturday, shooting 8-of-11 en route to 19 points with six rebounds, six assists, three steals and one 3-pointer in 30 minutes. Thaddeus Young will also see an uptick in playing time with Markkanen out. Young logged 35 minutes in this one and scored 11 points (5-of-9 FGs, 1-of-2 FTs) with three rebounds, two assists, one block and three steals.
Kevin Love led the way for Cleveland, scoring a team-high 20 points (8-of-16 FGs) to go along with 11 rebounds, two assists, one steal and four 3-pointers in 33 minutes. The major question for Cavs over the next two weeks is whether or not Love will remain in Cleveland past the February 6th trade deadline. Larry Nance had his third consecutive double-double in this one, tallying 15 points (7-of-11 FGs), 11 boards and four dimes in just 24 minutes. Nance flies under the radar, but he can be a valuable contributor due to his versatile, fantasy-friendy game. And his stock would spike if Love gets dealt. Tristan Thompson failed to double-double with seven points (3-of-7 FGs, 1-of-2 FTs) and seven rebounds, but did hand out a career-high six assists. Cedi Osman chipped in 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting with one rebound, six assists, two steals and two 3-pointers in 30 minutes.
OKC Thunder 113, Minnesota Timberwolves 104:
Chris Paul torched the T-Wolves on Saturday, scoring 25 points (10-of-18 FGs, 5-of-5 FTs) with four rebounds, ten assists, and two steals in 32 minutes. There were plenty of doubts that CP3 would be able to produce at a high level this season. Well, those suspicions have been answered. Paul ranks inside the top-20 in nine-category formats this season. Dennis Schroder is another player that has greatly exceeded expectations in 2019-20. Schroder was at it again versus Minny, registering 26 points (8-of-19 FGs, 6-of-6 FTs), four rebounds, two assists, one steal and four 3-pointers in 31 minutes.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had a rare off night for OKC, shooting just 3-of-14 from the floor for his 11 points, with seven rebounds, two assists, one steal and two blocked shots. The good news regarding Steven Adams (left ankle sprain) is that he returned from his ankle injury. The bad news was that he was held scoreless with one rebound, two assists and four blocked shots in 23 minutes. He was on a minutes limit in this one, but he’ll bounce back next week.
Danilo Gallinari (sore left thumb), Nerlens Noel (face), Abdel Nader (sprained left ankle), Terrance Ferguson (personal) were all ruled out of this contest. The thumb issue is a new injury for Gallinari. He looked great in Friday’s victory over the Hawks, as he tallied 25 points on 7-of-10 shooting to go along with six boards, three dimes and four treys in 28 minutes. However, it appears he injured his (non-shooting) thumb in the process. The Thunder don’t play again until Wednesday, so Gallo will have four full days to rest and rehab. Let’s hope we get some good news early next week.
Saturday afternoon, the Thunder announced that Nerlens Noel underwent a successful procedure to repair a fracture to the zygomatic arch of his left cheek and that his status will be updated next week. In 38 games (six starts) this season, Noel is averaging 8.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1.1 steals in 19.0 minutes per game while shooting a team-leading 67.6% from the field.
Karl-Anthony Towns got off to an insanely hot start early on, scoring 19 points in the first quarter on Saturday. However, he appeared to injure his left hand/wrist during a fall in the second quarter. He then retreated to the locker room to have his foot looked at in the third, before returning to the game. He ended his night with 37 points (13-of-23 FGs, 7-of-8 FTs), eight rebounds, six assists, two steals, two blocks and four 3-pointers in 35 minutes. Hopefully, he’s just dealing with minor dings. We’ll await word on his status for Monday’s game vs. Sacramento.
Shabazz Napier messed around and recorded the first triple-double of his career in Saturday’s loss to the Thunder. Napier racked up 10 points (4-of-6 FGs), 10 rebounds, 13 assists, two steals and two 3-pointers in 31 minutes. With Jeff Teague now in Atlanta, Napier is the only true PG on the Wolves roster and should be looking at close to 30 minutes a night. He’s worth an add in most fantasy formats, especially if you are in the market for dimes. Andrew Wiggins had 22 points (8-of-18 FGs), three rebounds, one assist, one steal and four 3-pointers in 34 minutes.
Philadelphia 76ers 108, LA Lakers 91:
Ben Simmons flirted with another triple-double in the Sixers impressive win over LA. He racked up 28 points (12-of-15 FGs, 3-of-5 FTs), ten rebounds, eight assists, four steals and five turnovers in 41 minutes. Simmons continues to crush with Joel Embiid (hand) out of action. Over Philly’s last 11 games, Big Ben is now averaging 21.8 points, 10.2 boards, 8.2 dimes and 2.3 steals, while shooting over 64% from the floor.
Tobias Harris scored a team-high 29 points (10-of-20 FGs, 6-of-7 FTs) for the Sixers, with eight rebounds, one assist, one block and one 3-pointer in 38 minutes against. Theft specialist Matisse Thybulle recorded a career-high five steals with six points, one rebound, one assist, one block and in 36 minutes. Shake Milton started in place of Josh Richardson (hamstring) and scored seven points (3-of-5 FGs, 0-of-2 FTs) with a career-high nine rebounds, a career-high-tying three assists, one steal and one 3-pointer in 25 minutes.
The Lakers two top guns got it done on Saturday, but LA got very little help from their supporting cast. LeBron James tallied 29 points (9-of-18 FGs, 10-of-13 FTs) seven rebounds, eight assists, one steal, one 3-pointer and eight turnovers in 35 minutes. His 19th point of the night, a driving layup in the third quarter, was notable for LeBron because it pushed him past Kobe Bryant and into third place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. An incredible feat considering LeBron is arguably the best passing forward the game has ever seen.
Anthony Davis was listed as questionable due to a bruised glute but played and played aggressively in this one. AD poured in 31 points on 13-of-22 shooting with seven rebounds, two assists, two steals, one block and two 3-pointers in 39 minutes. No other Laker scored more than seven points.
Injury Notes for Sunday’s Games:
James Harden (left thigh contusion) is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Nuggets. The Beard took a knee to his upper-thigh area on Friday night and was forced to the bench for nearly seven minutes worth of game action. Harden was able to return, but it was clear he was less than 100%. After Friday’s game, coach Mike D’Antoni said it was a knee issue, but apparently, he was mistaken. Over Houston’s last five contests, Harden is averaging 23.0 points while shooting just 33% from the floor and 13% from downtown, so he could probably use a night off to rest/recharge even if his thigh feels fine. If Harden is ruled out, Eric Gordon and Danuel House would likely divvy up more playing time, while Russell Westbrook would see an uptick in his usage rate. (As an aside, it’s worth noting that Russ is averaging 34/11/10 and 2.2 steals on 57% shooting over his last five contests.)
Jayson Tatum (groin) and Jaylen Brown (right ankle) are both questionable for Sunday. Tatum initially injured his groin in the third quarter of Wednesday’s game and was unable to return. He then sat out Friday. Brown didn’t play Wednesday but said he was going to «try to play» Friday vs. Orlando before being ruled. If Brown and Tatum are unable to suit up, Marcus Smart (left hand), who is listed as probable, will draw another start. Grant Williams would likely remain in the starting lineup as well.
Patrick McCaw (nose) will not play Sunday vs. the Spurs. McCaw suffered a broken nose during Wednesday’s game against the 76ers and has been sidelined since. However, his absence only has a limited fantasy impact, as he was averaging just 5.4 points and 2.5 assists per game this season.
C.J. McCollum (ankle) went through practice on Saturday, increasing hope that he may be medically cleared to return for Sunday’s matchup against the Pacers. McCollum isn’t listed on the injury report in advance of Sunday’s contest.
RJ Barrett (ankle) won’t play on Sunday. The Knicks announced on Saturday that Barrett continues to make progress from a sprained right ankle and has transitioned from crutches to a walking boot, and that he will be re-evaluated in one week. The fact that Barrett is just now entering the «walking boot» phase of his recovery is not an overly encouraging update. With the Knicks 22 games below .500 and already effectively eliminated from playoff contention, expect New York to err on the side of caution and make sure RJ is as close to 100% healthy as possible before clearing him to return. Reggie Bullock has started nine straight games for NY and is averaging 10.2 points and 1.7 treys in 26.4 minutes during this nine-game stretch. Damyean Dotson has also earned extra minutes of late. According to Basketball-Reference, Dot is the first Knick reserve with at least 17 points, and four made 3-pointers in consecutive games since JR Smith in 2013.
Alex Len (right hip flexor strain) is out for Sunday against the Wizards. Len injured the hip Friday night was unable to return. John Collins will see more time at center, and Bruno Fernando could soak up additional minutes as well.
DeAndre’ Bembry (right hand neuritis) is doubtful for Sunday against the Wizards. Bembry has a had a non-surgical procedure on Friday and will likely miss additional contests.
Malcolm Brogdon (concussion) has been ruled out for Sunday’s game vs. the Blazers. Brogdon’s frustrating December/January continues. He did not practice on Saturday and remained in the team’s concussion protocol. Aaron Holiday and T.J. McConnell stand to see an uptick in playing time. Fortunately, Indy won’t play again until Wednesday.
Paul George (hamstring) has been ruled out for Sunday against Orlando. George hasn’t played since January 5th, but he is reportedly making progress. After Sunday, the Clips head back to LA to play «at» the Lakers on Tuesday and then host the Kings on Thursday. Here’s hoping PG-13 suits up sometime next week.
Patrick Beverley (right groin soreness) is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Magic. Pat Bev picked up the injury Tuesday night and has missed both games the Clippers have played since. Landry Shamet, fresh off a season-high 22 points on Friday, would be worth a look as a streamer in deep leagues if Beverly is ruled out.
Grayson Allen (left hip soreness) will not play on Sunday against the Suns. Allen was dinged up Friday night and unable to return to the game. De’Anthony Melton, who has seen his fantasy value spike of late, should pick up a few extra minutes.
Jrue Holiday (left knee soreness) is listed as probable for Sunday’s battle with the Celtics. Make sure he is locked and loaded in your starting lineup.
The Phoenix Suns announced on Saturday that Aron Baynes (left hip soreness) and Cameron Johnson (right quad contusion) are both out indefinitely, undergoing daily treatment, and will be re-evaluated in a week. The Suns are essentially utilizing a short seven-man rotation of late, with Mikal Bridges and Dario Saric being the biggest beneficiaries.