Martin Luther King Jr. Day yielded monster lines from Damian Lillard, Ben Simmons, Trae Young, Russell Westbrook and Norman Powell, James Harden can’t throw it in the ocean right now, Steven Adams is injured, and Zion Williamson will start in his debut for the Pelicans on Wednesday night. Finally!
Blazers 129, Warriors 124 OT – The best game of the day was actually the last one played as Damian Lillard hit 17-of-37 shots, 11 3-pointers and 16-of-16 free throws for a career-high 61 points to go along with 10 rebounds, seven assists and a steal. Go ahead and give him the Player of the Week Award now after he set the franchise scoring record on Monday. Anfernee Simons started with C.J. McCollum sidelined by a sprained left ankle that has cost him two straight games. Simons hit 5-of-16 shots for 15 points and was 1-of-9 from downtown. He’s a solid DFS option as long as CJM is out. Hassan Whiteside had 17 points, 21 rebounds and six blocks despite a quad injury that sidelined him briefly last night, and then he also took a knee right in the batteries near the end of the game. It looks like he’s OK. For the Warriors, Alec Burks went off with a season-high 33 points, seven boards, eight assists, a steal, two blocks and two 3-pointers and was sadly on my bench in a weekly league. Eric Paschall had a fun double-double, D’Angelo Russell flirted with a big triple-double and Willie Cauley-Stein added 12 points, seven boards, a steal and three blocks. Damion Lee hit just 1-of-7 shots but also had nine boards, four assists and a steal to go along with his four points. Marquese Chriss came off the bench for 14 points and six boards in 21 minutes as Draymond Green (flu) and Glenn Robinson (ankle) sat this one out, which helped Burks and Paschall.
Raptors 122, Hawks 117 – Norman Powell kept it going with 27 points (17 in the fourth quarter) and six 3-pointers and Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol, Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet all scored in double figures to lead the Raptors to the win. Powell has been nuts, scoring at least 20 points in five straight games and in eight of his last nine. I thought the return of VanVleet was going to really hurt Powell, but he hasn’t missed a beat in several weeks. The Raptors have three more games this week and play four times in the next one, so Powell is worth owning everywhere until he cools off. Additionally, Gasol had 14 points, five boards, two assists and two 3-pointers and is also worth grabbing now that his hamstring injury is behind him. The Hawks got 42 points, six boards, a season-high 15 assists, a steal, two 3-pointers and seven turnovers from Trae Young in yet another loss. De’Andre Hunter filled the stat sheet with 13 points, six boards, four dimes, a steal, two blocks and two 3-pointers before fouling out, and Cam Reddish added 13 points, eight boards, two steals and three 3-pointers in the loss. That makes two straight dynamic games for Hunter, so it looks like he’s worth taking a flier on right now, while Reddish is also worth a look while starting for the Hawks.
Wizards 106, Pistons 100 – Bradley Beal scored 29 with six dimes and two 3-pointers in the win and Ian Mahinmi came through with 21 points, seven boards, two steals, three blocks and a 3-pointer in the win. Mahinmi’s back is up against the wall with Thomas Bryant and Davis Bertans back in action but started this one for the Wiz. His big games have been too few and far between for me to get too excited about Mahinmi. The Pistons got another big double-double from Andre Drummond, who almost made it a dubious triple-double with his nine turnovers and a lost tooth. Derrick Rose and Tony Snell had big scoring days, but Rose hit just 8-of-21 shots and Snell’s 16-point line was pretty empty. Christian Wood only got 13 minutes, which has become a disappointing trend over his last three games. Look for Wood to start showing up on waivers and think about stashing him if you have room. Sekou Doumbouya was also quiet in his 23 minutes. I still think Rose and Beal are sell highs right now before injury issues come along. Reggie Jackson is also due back this week, which isn’t great news for Rose, either.
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Sixers 117, Nets 111 – Ben Simmons hit 12-of-14 shots and 10-of-14 free throws for a monster 34-12-12 triple-double with five steals and two blocks, so maybe that will stop some of the trade rumors that are floating around about him. Joel Embiid (finger) appears to still be at least a week away. The Nets got double-doubles from Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince, and Spencer Dinwiddie had a 22-5-7 line with a steal and three 3-pointers. Prince has been playing pretty well over his last seven games and might be available in your league and Kyrie Irving sat this one out with a right hamstring injury. The hamstring tightness came out of nowhere so owners will want to watch for more news on Tuesday. Rookie Nicolas Claxton scored a career-high 15 points and is worth keeping a close eye on as long as DeAndre Jordan is out with his finger injury.
Magic 106, Hornets 83 – Nikola Vucevic double-doubled and Evan Fournier fought through the flu to lead the way with 26 points and six triples in the win, while Aaron Gordon and Markelle Fultz were quiet on Monday. Terrence Ross had 19 points and five 3-pointers, and everyone mentioned here is worth a close look in your league. The Hornets were led by Malik Monk’s 20 points, P.J. Washington had 17 points, seven boards and four 3-pointers and Devonte’ Graham added 15 points and six assists. The Hornets only have one more game this week and then go 3-3-2-2 over the next month, which is not good. Unfortunately, owners of some good players like Graham and Terry Rozier are going to have some tough decisions to make, and Rozier kicked off his week with a 0-for-6 shooting performance. As for Monk, I need to see it again before biting.
Knicks 106, Cavaliers 86 – Julius Randle and Marcus Morris led the way for New York with 19 points apiece and Taj Gibson, Reggie Bullock, Bobby Portis and Damyean Dotson all scored in double figures for the Knicks in the easy win. Mitchell Robinson had four blocks and not much else, as his owners continue to be irritated with the talented big man. Elfrid Payton hit just 4-of-11 shots but finished with nine points, six boards, eight assists, a steal and two blocks, making him worth owning in many leagues. Morris sprained his right ankle and he’ll be reevaluated on Tuesday. Tristan Thompson had 13 points, 22 rebounds, a steal and a block in the ugly loss and Cavs starters Kevin Love, Cedi Osman, Collin Sexton and Darius Garland all scored in double-figures. Larry Nance had a double-double off the bench but still hasn’t been able to put it all together this season. Just keep an eye on him. The Cavs missed 62 shots and shot a season-low 34 percent on the day, racking up just 36 first-half points.
Heat 118, Kings 113 – The Heat got big games from Bam Adebayo, Kendrick Nunn, Goran Dragic and James Johnson, who hit 9-of-11 shots for a season-high 22 points, six boards, three assists, two blocks and four 3-pointers. Jimmy Butler was out with a hip injury and Derrick Jones Jr. missed a chunk of time after being poked in both eyes, which really helped Johnson. We’ll need to see JJ do it again before getting even mildly excited about him. The Heat are now 19-1 at home despite never leading in the fourth quarter. For the Kings, all five starters hit double digits in scoring and Marvin Bagley had a 15 & 15 double-double. Nemanja Bjelica kept it going with 22 points and a bunch of stats and should be owned everywhere. Bogdan Bogdanovic hit just 5-of-15 shots but also filled the stat sheet in the loss, making him worth a look.
Thunder 112, Rockets 107 – Chris Paul led the way with 28 points, seven boards, three assists, three steals, a block and four 3-pointers, Danilo Gallinari had 25 points, 13 boards and four triples, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added another double-double with 13 points, 10 rebounds, three steals and a block in the win. Dennis Schroder came through with 23 points and three 3-pointers off the bench. Nerlens Noel was out with a sprained left ankle and the Thunder lost Steven Adams after two minutes with a sprained left ankle. If both guys remain out, Mike Muscala, who scored one point in 25 minutes, will be an intriguing DFS play on Wednesday. For the Rockets, Russell Westbrook had his eighth triple-double of the season with a 32-11-12 line while James Harden shot them out of the game by hitting just 9-of-29 shots, missing 16 of his 17 3-pointers. Harden came in shooting just 37 percent in January and that number is going down after another disaster, while the Rockets have lost four straight and five of their last six. Danuel House racked up 13 points, six rebounds, an assist, two steals, three blocks and three 3-pointers, which is why most of us like him so much. Maybe this is the game that gets him going again.
Pelicans 126, Grizzlies 116 – In the non-game news of the day, Zion Williamson will start on Wednesday and should play about 20 minutes so make sure he’s in your lineup. Jrue Holiday led the way with 36 points, Brandon Ingram scored 25 and Lonzo Ball had eight points, nine rebounds, five assists, two steals and two 3-pointers to keep it going. Nicolo Melli bounced back with 15 points, a couple blocks and three 3-pointers, but will take a hit with Zion getting ready to play. Jaxson Hayes, who started and had five points, will also likely take a hit. The Pelicans have won three of four games and will get a Zion boost, so maybe they’re not done yet. Memphis was led by Dillon Brooks’ 31 points, nine boards, four assists, two steals and three 3-pointers, Jonas Valanciunas double-doubled and Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. also played well. The Grizzlies still have three more games this week, have three games next week and then another four-gamer, making Brooks worth owning in most leagues right now.
Bucks 111, Bulls 98 – Giannis Antetokounmpo had a 28-14-10 triple-double and Khris Middleton also flirted with one with 24-6-6 in the easy win as the Bucks swept the Bulls. Zach LaVine led the Bulls with 24 points and Kris Dunn had 15 points, five boards, two assists, three steals and three 3-pointers in the loss. The Bulls have three more games this week and play four times next week, making guys like Dunn, Luke Kornet, Tomas Satoransky and Thaddeus Young worth a look right now, Although Kornet played just 15 minutes.
Celtics 139, Lakers 107 – The Celtics destroyed the Lakers and got big games from Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward and Enes Kanter, as Walker got his first career win over LeBron James. Brown’s dunk over LeBron was one of the day’s big highlights. For the Lakers, Anthony Davis had just nine points in 23 minutes, giving him single-digit scoring over his last two. The good news is he’s back from his tailbone injury so make sure he’s in your lineup. JaVale McGee, of all people, led the Lakers with 18 points and LeBron James had a 15-7-13 line after watching his son play earlier in the day. Rajon Rondo was also back from his finger injury and had 13 points in 20 minutes.
Nuggets 107, Timberwolves 100 – Michael Porter Jr. came off the bench for a monster line of 20 points, 14 rebounds, four assists, a block and four 3-pointers in 30 minutes. He was helped by the absence of Gary Harris and Paul Millsap, but it’s time that he’s owned in all leagues. Jerami Grant was fun with 19 points, seven boards and three 3-pointers, Nikola Jokic had a double-double and Monte Morris started for Jamal Murray (ankle) and had eight points and eight assists. Murray’s out indefinitely so Morris should be a viable fantasy option right now. Paul Millsap has missed seven straight games which has made Grant a must-own player as well. Mason Plumlee suffered a sprained ankle but played through it on a quiet 10-minute night. The Timberwolves were led by Karl-Anthony Towns’ 28-8-5 line and Josh Okogie had 16 points and eight boards off the bench. He’s played well in three straight, but the arrival of Allen Crabbe should cool him off sooner than later. Shabazz Napier and Jarrett Culver were quiet but should bounce back for the awful Wolves, who have lost six straight.
Spurs 120, Suns 118 – The Spurs held on to beat the Suns by two as Derrick White scored a season-high 25 points and four 3-pointers and Bryn Forbes hit a career-high eight 3-pointers for a season-high 24 points in the win. And I don’t trust either of them. The Suns welcomed back Kelly Oubre and he had 15 points and eight rebounds after missing three games with a concussion, Ricky Rubio and Deandre Ayton were both solid, and Devin Booker dropped 37 points in the win. Booker’s scored at least 30 in seven of his last 10 games and the Suns are only 2.0 games behind the No. 8 Grizzlies in the West. With Booker, Ayton and Rubio on fire and with Oubre back and healthy, it’s not crazy to think the Suns could sneak into the playoffs.
Jazz 118, Pacers 88 – The Jazz gave the Pacers their worst loss of the season, led by Donovan Mitchell (25 points), Rudy Gobert (20 & 14) and Bojan Bogdanovic (16 points), while Joe Ingles had a quiet night with six points, five boards and seven assists. Mike Conley scored 14 points with two assists in 18 minutes in his second game back and I hope that isn’t related to Ingles’ quiet night. The Pacers were just off in this one, led by 12 points from Myles Turner and Aaron Holiday, 11 points from Jeremy Lamb and 10 points from Domantas Sabonis. Turner didn’t have a block but did manage six steals in the ugly loss. T.J. Warren and Malcolm Brogdon were virtually invisible in this one, combining for just nine points on 4-of-15 shooting, but they should bounce back on Wednesday against the Suns.
There’s only one game on the schedule Tuesday night when the Clippers will visit Luka Doncic and the Mavs in what should be a really fun NBA TV game.