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Basketball Daily Dose

Nuggets lose Jamal Murray

by Raphielle Johnson
Updated On: April 13, 2021, 10:06 am ET

Eight games were played in the NBA, with the biggest news coming out of San Francisco. Not only was history made, but a star guard went down with a knee injury that could have a major impact on how things play out in the West. Without further delay, let's get into the Daily Dose.

Knicks 111, Lakers 96: The visitors made a change to their starting lineup, as Kyle Kuzma was back in action after missing a couple games due to injury. Talen Horton-Tucker returned to the bench, playing 22 minutes and finishing with ten points, three rebounds, two assists, one steal and one 3-pointer. He's worth hanging onto in deep leagues until LeBron James and Anthony Davis are cleared to return, as the Lakers are lacking offensive firepower. As for Kuzma, he played 30 minutes and finished with 14 points, four rebounds, two blocks and two 3-pointers. 

Dennis Schroder, who did not look to be completely healed from the hard fall he took in Saturday's win over the Nets, scored a team-high 21 points while also tallying three rebounds, six assists and one 3-pointer in 37 minutes. With the Lakers back in action Tuesday night in Charlotte, fantasy managers will want to prepare for the possibility of Schroder sitting that one out. Alex Caruso (4/3/3/1 in 15 minutes) would see more playing time if that happens. Markieff Morris (17/2/4/1 block with three 3-pointers) sprained his ankle early in the first quarter, and he was able to play 27 minutes after getting re-taped.  

It should come as no surprise that Julius Randle once again led the way offensively for the Knicks, as he recorded a line of 34 points, ten rebounds, four assists, two steals, one block and two 3-pointers. He did turn the ball over seven times, but the All-Star forward did shoot 13-of-23 from the field and 6-of-7 from the foul line in his 39 minutes. What was a surprise was who served as Randle's "sidekick" on this night: Elfrid Payton

With RJ Barrett (7/3/3/2/1) going 2-of-11 from the field, Payton stepped up with a line of 20 points, three rebounds, two assists and one steal in 27 minutes. That's his highest point total since March 4, when e scored 20 in a win over the Pistons. Payton is rostered in 27% of Yahoo leagues, as he doesn't offer much in the way of fantasy value on most nights. While Monday's effort was a very good one, unless you're in a very deep league there is no need to make Payton an impulse add. 

The play of Nerlens Noel and Taj Gibson is another reason why New York is in the thick of things in the race for a playoff spot in the East. Both had good nights, with Noel (6/9/2/4/2) posting a full line and Gibson (8/10/0/2/3) falling one assist shy of doing the same. Over the last month Noel, who's rostered in 56% of Yahoo leagues, has provided 6th-round value in 9-cat formats. During that same stretch Gibson (rostered in 4% of Yahoo leagues) has been a late-round player. Noel's rostered percentage should be higher than it is, especially with Mitchell Robinson possibly out for the remainder of the regular season. 

76ers 113, Mavericks 95: Tobias Harris (10/4/4/1/2 with one 3-pointer) and Danny Green (6/3/2/0/1 with two 3-pointers) were back in the lineup for Philadelphia, playing 28 and 25 minutes, respectively. As a result Furkan Korkmaz and Matisse Thybulle (7/4/0/2/1 with one 3-pointer in 23 minutes) were back with the reserves, with the former rewarding those who stuck with him. Korkmaz played 18 minutes, scoring 20 points with two rebounds, one assist, two steals and four 3-pointers. 

That's back-to-back 20-point games for him, and he has also hit double figures in four straight. Korkmaz is rostered in just 1% of Yahoo leagues, but he's a tough sell in most leagues even with the current run of form. Dallas had no answer for Joel Embiid, as he recorded a line of 36 points (10-of-17 FGs, 14-of-15 FTs), seven rebounds, two assists, one steal and two 3-pointers in 26 minutes. It's worth noting that Dallas was without Kristaps Porzingis, but he would have been in for a tough night against Embiid as well. 

Luka Doncic was able to play both ends of Dallas' back-to-back, racking up 32 points, four rebounds, four assists, one steal, one block and two 3-pointers in 33 minutes. The Mavericks actually went smaller with Porzingis out, moving Jalen Brunson into the starting lineup. And he played well, shooting 7-of-14 from the field and finishing with 15 points, six rebounds, two assists and one steal in 31 minutes. Rostered in 30% of Yahoo leagues, Brunson has provided late-round value in 9-cat over the last two weeks. At best, he's a deep league option when the Mavericks' rotation is whole. 

J.J. Redick struggled in his long-awaited Mavericks debut, shooting 1-of-7 from the field and finishing with four points, two rebounds, two assists and one 3-pointer. There isn't much reason to pick him up at this point, even with Dallas having three more games to play this week (and no back-to-backs). 

Spurs 120, Magic 97: It didn't take long for this game to get out of hand, as the Spurs limited the Magic to 16 first-quarter points and didn't look back. DeMar DeRozan (19/2/6 in 26 minutes), Dejounte Murray (17/5/6/1 with two 3-pointers) and Derrick White (15/2/4 with one 3-pointer) led the way offensively for San Antonio, with the latter bouncing back from a poor performance in Sunday's win over the Mavericks. Drew Eubanks (10/10/1/1/2) posted his first career double-double in 20 minutes of action. It goes without saying that he can be left on your league's waiver wire, as there is little value to be had on a consistent basis so long as starter Jakob Poeltl remains healthy.  

In this very space Monday morning, I wrote about Mo Bamba's solid performance in Sunday's blowout loss to the Bucks. While he certainly offers some upside, the injury history makes Bamba tough to fully buy into as a fantasy option. Sure enough, he left Monday's game in the first half after suffering a hip contusion. The Magic have three more games this week but no back-to-backs, so we'll see if Bamba has to miss any time beyond Monday's early exit. As a result Robert Franks was able to crack the rotation in this one, playing 15 minutes and finishing with four points, four rebounds, one assist and one 3-pointer. 

Chuma Okeke was back in the starting lineup after sitting out Sunday's loss, playing 27 minutes and recording a line of seven points, five rebounds, two assists and one blocked shot. He was just 3-of-11 from the field, but that should not discourage fantasy managers who have hopped onto the Okeke bandwagon recently. Fellow rookies RJ Hampton (16 points, eight rebounds and one 3-pointer) and Cole Anthony (12/3/3/1) shot the ball well off the bench, going a combined 12-of-18 from the field. Anthony, who is still coming off the bench, played 21 minutes Monday night. 

Gary Harris was held out for load management reasons after making his first start as a member of the Magic, so he should be good to go Wednesday night. We'll see if he gets another start, as the void was filled by Okeke. 
Grizzlies 101, Bulls 90: Jonas Valanciunas continues to flourish for the Grizzlies, as he extended his double-double streak to 15 games Monday night. Recording a line of 26 points, 14 rebounds, two assists and three blocked shots, Valanciunas hasn't failed to reach double digits in rebounds since February 28. Jaren Jackson Jr. is expected to return later this month, but he will likely be on a minutes restriction when that time comes. Those who have Valanciunas shouldn't be too worried about that that could do to the big man's fantasy value, as he's clearly an integral part of the Grizzlies rotation. 

Ja Morant also posted a double-double, accounting for 13 points, three rebounds and ten assists. Dillon Brooks (17/7/2/1 with one 3-pointer) and Grayson Allen (14/6/2 with four 3-pointers) also scored in double figures, while Brandon Clarke (9/9/1/1/1) and Desmond Bane (9/2/1/1/1 with two 3-pointers) posted full stat lines.

For Chicago, Daniel Theis had himself a good night off the bench. Playing 27 minutes, he accumulated 18 points, four rebounds and two assists. He's scored in double figures in four of his last five games, and remains rostered in 39% of Yahoo leagues. Backing up Nikola Vucevic (17/10/1/5/1 with three 3-pointers) does Theis no favors when it comes to his fantasy value, but he's still lingering just outside of the top-100 in 9-cat formats. Chicago will play three more times this week, including a back-to-back against the Grizzlies (April 16) and Cavaliers (April 17). 

Zach LaVine (21/4/9/0/2 with two 3-pointers) and Thaddeus Young (20/1/1) led the way offensively for the Bulls, who nearly had two starters fail to score in the same game for the first time since March 11, 2011 (Keith Bogans and Joakim Noah). Patrick Williams (2/3/1/2) and Tomas Satoransky (2/1/2/1) finally scored in the fourth quarter, with the former ending a dry spell of more than 45 game minutes without a point. Williams, who is still rostered in 16% of Yahoo leagues, remains a starter so deep league managers might as well hang onto him. 

The Bull to be worried about is Lauri Markkanen, who played 16 minutes and finished with zero points, seven rebounds and two assists. He's scored a total of 13 points in Chicago's last three games, and managers preparing for the fantasy playoffs could have a tough decision to make. Standard league managers may be more inclined to cut bait now, which deep league managers may have no choice but to exercise a little patience. 

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Pelicans 117, Kings 110: A lengthy games played streak came to an end in New Orleans, as Pelicans guard Buddy Hield was sidelined due to illness (non-COVID). His run of 272 consecutive games played is no more, and Hield was replaced in the starting lineup by Tyrese Haliburton. The rookie guard played 31 minutes, tallying 12 points, one rebound, six assists, one steal and one 3-pointer. De'Aaron Fox went off for the Kings, scoring 43 points with six rebounds, six assists, one steal and five 3-pointers. 

Moe Harkless has been on a good run in Sacramento's last two games, and he finished Monday's loss with 15 points, three rebounds, five assists and two steals in 34 minutes. He's scored a total of 26 points in the last two and, as a starter, some value can be had in deep leagues as Harkless appears likely to remain in this role for the time being. That likely changes once Marvin Bagley is cleared to return. Harrison Barnes (16/11/1/3/1 with three 3-pointers) played a game-high 43 minutes, and he has gone past 35 minutes in 21 of his last 23 games. The Kings are now four games out of the tenth spot in the West, so it may not be long until Barnes' minutes get trimmed. 

Unfortunately for Sacramento there was another injury issue to deal with, as Richaun Holmes played just 16 minutes due to a tight right hamstring. Damian Jones (2/2/2/1/1) played 19 minutes off the bench, while Chimezie Metu (3/3/0/1/1) played ten and Hassan Whiteside three. Should Holmes not be cleared in time for Wednesday's game against the Wizards, Jones appears to be the big most likely to move into the starting lineup based upon how the minutes were distributed Monday night. 

Brandon Ingram (34/6/7/1/2 with three 3-pointers) and Zion Williamson (30/6/4/0/1) shot a combined 24-of-39 from the field for the Pelicans, who extended their lead over the Kings to three games. New Orleans, which remains a game behind Golden State in the race for tenth, made a change to its starting lineup as Wesley Iwundu replaced Naji Marshall. Iwundu had a decent night, finishing with 11 points, seven rebounds, one block and one 3-pointer in 27 minutes. Marshall didn't attempt a shot from the field, posting a line of two points, three rebounds, three assists and one block in 21 minutes. 

Neither Iwundu nor Marshall is worth rostering, even with James Johnson (one rebound and two assists in 15 minutes) leaving this game with a right wrist injury. Eric Bledsoe played 35 minutes and he continues to struggle with his shot, going 3-of-11 from the field and finishing with a line of 13 points, two rebounds, five assists, two steals and one 3-pointer. He has now shot below 40% from the field in six of the Pelicans' last eight games. Kira Lewis Jr. (11/1/3/1 with one 3-pointer) gave New Orleans some solid minutes off the bench, but he only played 15. Lonzo Ball being sidelined may be the reason why Bledsoe is still playing 30+ minutes per night despite his recent struggles. 

Wizards 125, Jazz 121: Utah's 24-game home win streak is no more. The Jazz played this one without two key rotation players, as Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson both sat. As is normally the case whenever Conley sits, Joe Ingles was inserted into the starting lineup and recorded a line of 18 points, four rebounds, six assists, one block and three 3-pointers in 31 minutes. Despite being ranked just outside of the top-50 in 9-cat, Ingles is still rostered in just 55% of Yahoo leagues. Even with his usual reserve role, that percentage is a bit low given Ingles' importance to the Jazz rotation. 

Clarkson's absence, and Ingles getting the spot start, freed up additional bench minutes. Miye Oni (3/4/2 with one 3-pointer) played 15 minutes and Trent Forrest (one assist) 12, and neither offers enough to even be considered as a streaming possibility when Utah is shorthanded on the wings. Donovan Mitchell (42/3/6/1 with four 3-pointers) and Bojan Bogdanovic (33/5/1 with six 3-pointers) shouldered much of the scoring load for Utah, with the former becoming the third player in franchise history to string together four straight games of 35 points or more. As for the latter, his stat line is especially promising given his struggles. 

Bogdanovic has had his moments this season, but he hasn't been as consistent as he was pre-wrist injury. This was a very nice bounce-back effort after he scored just eight points in Saturday's win over the Kings.  Rudy Gobert (12/12/3) recorded yet another double-double, but he also failed to record a defensive stat (steals or blocks) for the first time this season. He should bounce back Tuesday night when the Thunder, who have gone all-in on the youth movement, visit Salt Lake City. 

Bradley Beal was supposedly on a minutes restriction, but he still played 37 minutes and put up 34 points, three rebounds, five assists, one steal and two 3-pointers. The Wizards have three more games to play this week, including a back-to-back against the Pelicans (April 16) and Pistons (April 17) in the team's first two games after the completion of this current road trip. We'll see how -- or if -- that impacts Beal's playing time. Russell Westbrook (25/14/14/1) posted another triple-double, and Washington also welcomed back Davis Bertans and Daniel Gafford

Both were on minutes restrictions, with Bertans (9/4/1/1/1 with three 3-pointers) playing 26 minutes and Gafford (15/4/1 steal) 18. The return of the latter affects the distribution of minutes at the center position, as there are once again three options at Scott Brooks' disposal. Alex Len (3/5/2 with one 3-pointer in 16 minutes) remains the starter, while Gafford and Robin Lopez (10/2/1 in 14 minutes) also played rotation minutes. This can be very frustrating for deep league managers who are in need of production at the center position, as it has been very tough to predict how Brooks will use his big men. 

Gafford, who offers the most in the way of fantasy upside, injured his right shoulder during the win but said afterward that he'll be fine for Wednesday's game against the Kings. 

Warriors 116, Nuggets 107: A game that was supposed to be known for one of the sport's all-time greats making history may have impacted the way in which the Western Conference race plays out. Jamal Murray (17/4/4/3/1 with one 3-pointer), who was back in the lineup after missing the four games prior due to a sore right knee, suffered a non-contact left knee injury during the fourth quarter. He was unable to put any weight on the leg while being helped back to the locker room, which isn't good news. He'll likely undergo an MRI on Tuesday. 

Should Murray have to miss an extended period of time, Facundo Campazzo (6/3/2/4 with two 3-pointers) and Monte Morris (10/1/2 with one 3-pointer) would get many of those minutes. Whichever one starts would offer slightly more in the way of upside, with Morris being the more established option when it comes to fantasy production. Nikola Jokic (27/12/8/1/1 with one 3-pointer) and Michael Porter Jr. (24/9/2 with one 3-pointer) led the way offensively for the Nuggets, while Paul Millsap was a DNP-CD. That should do it for him this season when it comes to fantasy value. 

Stephen Curry entered the game needing 19 points to pass Wilt Chamberlain and take over the top spot on the Warriors' career points list. Of course Steph got the job done in the first quarter, and he finished with 53 points (14-of-24 FGs, 15-of-16 FTs), six rebounds, four assists and ten 3-pointers in 36 minutes. Curry now has three games of 50 points or more this season, the only player in the league with more than one. Kevon Looney moved into the starting lineup for the injured James Wiseman, playing 31 minutes and tallying 11 rebounds, three assists and one steal. At best, he's a deep league pickup for managers who need rebounds/defensive stats on nights when there aren't any other quality options on the waiver wire. 

Draymond Green (18/7/7/4 with two 3-pointers) established a new season-high in points scored, and he remains safely within the top-50 despite not being a consistent scorer. Andrew Wiggins (17/17/1/1/2/1 with one 3-pointer) and spot starter Kent Bazemore (14/3/2/1 with three 3-pointers) also hit double figures, with the latter likely remaining in the starting lineup for as long as Kelly Oubre sits due to his wrist injury. 

Suns 126, Rockets 120: Phoenix didn't sound too thrilled after this one and rightfully so, as they were outscored by 17 points in the second half. But the hole was too deep for the Rockets to climb out of, thanks in part to the marksmanship of Jae Crowder. Knocking down a career-high eight 3-pointers, he finished with 26 points, two rebounds, two assist, one steal and one blocked shot in 25 minutes before fouling out. The point total is a season-high and, prior to Monday, Crowder had not scored 20 or more in a game since February 19 vs. New Orleans. 

Devin Booker (24/7/7/0/1 with two 3-pointers) and Deandre Ayton (18/8/0/3/1) also hit double figures, while Chris Paul dished out ten assists to go along with nine points, four rebounds, two steals and two 3-pointers. As a team Phoenix shot 25-of-45 from three, with seven of the ten players who saw action hitting at least two apiece. Frank Kaminsky picked up another DNP-CD, as Monty Williams appears to have settled on a ten-man rotation. Dario Saric (9/5/0/1/0 with two 3-pointers) can be used at either the four or the five, and Torrey Craig (3/5/0/1/0 with one 3-pointer) also offers some positional versatility. 

In addition to the game, Houston also lost a point guard during the first quarter. D.J. Augustin sprained his ankle after playing just three minutes and did not return, which leaves the team shorthanded at that spot. John Wall (13/2/8/1 with three 3-pointers) and Kevin Porter Jr. (22/5/14/2 with three 3-pointers) are the starters, but it's likely that a greater effort would be made to stagger their minutes if Augustin has to miss additional time. 

Porter, who's rostered in 70% of Yahoo leagues, has hit double digits in assists in two of his last three games. If he's somehow still available in your league, do not hesitate to pick him up. Given his youth, and Houston's desire to continue to develop him as a playmaker, Porter is essentially "tank-proof" at this point. He's going to play, and he'll play plenty. 

Christian Wood (25/15/3/2 with three 3-pointers) shot 10-of-15 from the field and 2-of-3 from the foul line, producing another quality (and efficient) stat line. He has shot 57% or better in each of his last three games. Houston plays three more times this week but a couple of those games won't be easy for Wood, as the Rockets host the Pacers (Domantas Sabonis) on Wednesday and the Nuggets (Jokic) on Friday. He's more than capable of flourishing, to be clear.

Kelly Olynyk (16/8/1/1 with one 3-pointer), Jae'Sean Tate (10/5/4/3/1) and Armoni Brooks (14 points, one rebound and four 3-pointers) also scored in double figures for the Rockets, who have now lost three straight and eight of their last nine. Good for Brooks, who scored the first points of his NBA career, but his minutes came as a result of the Rockets being so shorthanded. There's no need to even consider picking him up. 

Raphielle Johnson
Raphielle has been writing about college sports for more than a decade for multiple outlets, including NBC Sports. Focuses have included game recaps, columns, features and recruiting stories. A native of the Northeast, he now calls Pac-12 country home. Raphielle can be followed on Twitter @raphiellej.