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Basketball Daily Dose

VanVleet breaks Raptors' season record for triples as Lowry returns

by Noah Rubin
Updated On: April 4, 2022, 9:31 am ET

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Celtics 144, Wizards 102

Jaylen Brown was dominant from the opening tip, scoring 13 of his 32 points in the first quarter. It’s the 20th time this season that Brown has scored at least 10 points in a first quarter, which leads the team. With only a few games left, the Celtics will rely on their wings even more with Robert Williams sidelined. Fantasy managers should expect more big games from Brown, as this was the second straight game that he scored 32 points on efficient shooting numbers.

Al Horford has had to step up a lot with Robert Williams out. He hasn’t provided as many defensive stats lately, but he was able to add one of each in this game. This is their first blowout victory since Williams went down, so Horford’s minutes were a bit limited. However, he still nearly finished with a triple-double. He should be just fine moving forward, as the Celtics will need him to play big minutes to help their playoff seeding down the stretch.

Grant Williams shot 31% from deep in March and hadn’t hit multiple triples in a game in seven games. He ended that in this game by hitting four of his five attempts from deep. With Robert Williams out until at least the second round of the playoffs, Grant Williams will need to continue to shoot this well from deep in order to make a difference for the Celtics down the stretch. Hopefully this is a game that he can build off of.

Ish Smith was the lone bright spot for Washington, though he did finish with a +/- of -29. Really nobody played well, so it makes sense that they lost by 40. Still, it’s the second straight game that Smith has outplayed starting point guard Tomas Satoransky. Even though he comes off the bench, Smith appears to be the better fantasy asset for the remainder of the season.

This was an ugly game for the Wizards and an ugly game for Kristaps Porzingis, who struggled mightily against the Celtics without their top post defender. With Robert Williams out, Porzingis should’ve been able to produce a lot more than he did. He had back-to-back excellent performances in the two games prior to this one. He’ll have a chance to rebound against the Timberwolves on Tuesday. Depending on how many more games he plays this season, he should be fine moving forward.

Rui Hachimura was coming off a three game stretch where he averaged 19.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, one block, and two triples, so this was definitely a surprisingly subpar performance for him. His fantasy value is still limited by his lack of other stats, but he should be able to bounce back in their next game. He should continue to start with Kyle Kuzma out indefinitely.

Mavericks 118, Bucks 112

A list of games with at least 30 points and 15 assists this season:

Luka Doncic: 3

The rest of the NBA: 3

Doncic finished with 32/8/15 in this game as Dallas now sits just half a game behind the Warriors for third in the West. Luka’s free throw percentage has been better lately, which has allowed him to be one of the best 9-cat fantasy assets over the past week. He has shot 31-for-35 from the stripe over his past four games. 

With Maxi Kleber sidelined, Dwight Powell stepped up with an excellent performance. He posted a double-double with 22 points and 13 rebounds. It was his first double-double in nearly a month.

Reggie Bullock finished with 16 points with three triples. He’s hit multiple 3-pointers in five consecutive games now. 

Dorian Finney-Smith finished with an 11/1/6/2/1 line in this game. The six assists tied his season-high.

After getting a night off against the Clippers, the Bucks starters returned for this matchup. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way for Milwaukee with a 28/10 double-double with two assists and two steals. Despite hitting a late triple against Brooklyn, he got back down to numbers you’d expect from him with zero triples and hitting four of his eight free throw attempts.

Khris Middleton really struggled from the floor in this game. He shot 3-for-14 and missed all of his attempts from deep. He’s now shot less than 40% from the floor in three of his past four games. He did add in nine assists.

Jrue Holiday finished with 20 points, nine assists, and five triples. The 3-pointers match his season-high. 

Wesley Matthews got another start at shooting guard. He did little for fantasy managers, recording one rebound, one assist, and one turnover.

Bobby Portis returned to a bench role but was able to post his best line since Brook Lopez returned. He finished with 17 points, eight rebounds, and three triples.

Nuggets 129, Lakers 118

Nikola Jokic didn’t have his best game as far as taking care of the ball, but he still posted a dominant line. 38/18/6/3/2. Whether or not he wins MVP, he has been the fantasy MVP this season by far. It isn’t close. 

Will Barton was added to the injury report late with a questionable designation because of right knee soreness. He ended up playing, and fantasy managers are thrilled that he did. He finished with 25 points on six triples.

Aaron Gordon also helped out Denver with 24 points, eight rebounds, and three triples. He’s hit at least one triple in five straight games and multiple triples in three straight games. 

DeMarcus Cousins played the 15 minutes that Nikola Jokic wasn’t on the court and finished with 14 points, three rebounds, and three assists. He’s proven that he can still provide value to a team and could be a fantasy target for next season if he lands in a good situation for him.

Without LeBron James (ankle), Anthony Davis couldn’t carry the Lakers past the Nuggets. AD was incredible from a fantasy perspective with a line of 28/9/8/2/3. In just his second game in nearly two months, AD showed that he’s still a fantasy stud. If you’re willing to risk the injury history, he should be a top target next season.

Russell Westbrook nearly triple-doubled with a 27/10/7/2/1 line. He only turned it over twice, but he did shoot 5-for-10 from the free throw line. His free throw numbers haven’t been great this season, but they’ve been even worse over the past few weeks.

Carmelo Anthony shot 8-for-18 off the bench, finishing with 17 points. He added two rebounds and two assists, but didn’t add any other fantasy value, which has been pretty typical of him this season.

With the Lakers’ play-in hopes dwindling, it’s unlikely that LeBron, AD, or any of the other older veterans play in meaningless games. That could open up opportunities for other guys to provide some fantasy value. Malik Monk, Stanley Johnson, and Talen Horton-Tucker are all players that would benefit from a larger role.

Pistons 121, Pacers 117

Saddiq Bey scored 20 of his 31 points in the first quarter but didn’t play much in the second half. The Pistons have been playing their core less and less as they try to stay in the top three for lottery odds, but the win today dropped them to 4th. Bey could’ve been on his way to another 50-point performance if he didn’t get pulled. While his minutes will likely be limited the remainder of the season, he’s provided 7th round value over the past month. He’s definitely presenting his case to be drafted in the top-75 next season.

Carsen Edwards signed a two-year deal with the Pistons earlier in the day and made a difference in his debut, finishing with 13 points and nine assists. It’s unlikely that he ever sees this many minutes next season considering how many point guards the Pistons have on their roster, but he should see plenty of opportunity for the rest of this season. He’ll never shoot a high percentage, but he can fill it up from deep. The playmaking was new. His career-high before this game was three assists, so hopefully we can expect more dimes from him moving forward.

Braxton Key signed a two-way deal with the Pistons earlier in the day, so it was cool to see him set career-highs in points, assists, and steals. The 6’8” guard has grabbed nine rebounds each of his past two games, which led the team in this game. It’s unlikely that he has games like this next season, but Detroit saw enough during his 10-day deal to keep him around. He should be a silly season hero the rest of the season and could be a dynasty stash.

Oshae Brissett has been one of the focal points of Indiana’s offense over the past few weeks, which has led to some big scoring numbers for him lately. The turnovers weren’t pretty, but the second year man out of Syracuse has put together a solid finish to this season. After a two-game absence, Brissett has hit eight triples over the last two games. Considering he only hit six 3-pointers over the first two months of the season, that’s quite the achievement. He’s provided 7th round value over the past two weeks and has made his case as a top-100 guy next season, depending on the roster changes that Indiana makes this offseason.

17 assists with no turnovers while also finishing one rebound shy of a triple-double. That’s quite the stat line for Tyrese Haliburton. The last time someone finished with at least 17 assists with no turnovers was LeBron James in 2018. He’s the first player to record multiple games of at least 15 assists without turning it over in the 3-point era per StatMuse. He’s done it twice this season. If you had him in a championship game, he made a huge impact on it.

Isaiah Jackson started the second half after Goga Bitadze’s foot issue flared up. He scored 14 of his 19 points and recorded three of his five defensive stats after the break. If Bitadze misses more time with the foot injury (let’s be honest, the Pacers are looking for any chance to not play guys that have played well), then Jackson appears to be the one to slide into the starting unit. Jalen Smith would also benefit from Bitadze’s absence. He finished with five points and seven rebounds in this one, but he’s had much better games over the past few weeks. 

76ers 112, Cavaliers 108

Joel Embiid strengthened his case for MVP with this performance. He posted a 44/17/3/1/5 line with three triples. The five blocks tied his season-high while the 44 points are his most since January.

James Harden shot poorly again but was able to record his second triple-double since joining the 76ers. He’s only shot over 50% from the floor in one of his last 10 games. 

Matisse Thybulle wasn’t able to approach his double figure point total from the night before, but he did come away with two blocks and two steals, including a game sealing steal late in the fourth.

Tobias Harris and Tyrese Maxey both had below average shooting performances that can likely be attributed to fatigue from playing on back-to-back nights. They should be fine moving forward.

Without Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley, the Cavs continued their slide down the standings. Moses Brown has done his best to fill in, and he finished just short of a double-double with nine points and 12 rebounds. If Mobley returns in their next game, Brown will return to not being relevant in fantasy hoops.

Darius Garland tied his season-high with four steals while adding 23 points on three triples. However, his four assists were his lowest since January, when he had only one assist against the 76ers. That shouldn’t be common for him moving forward.

Caris LeVert helped make up for some of that playmaking by tying his most assists in a game since joining the Cavs with seven. He’s averaging 18.5 points and 6.5 assists over his last two games.

Lamar Stevens had a solid game off the bench with 18 points and three blocks. He hasn’t really provided many defensive stats this season, so the season-high in blocks with a steal were a huge bonus.

Knicks 118, Magic 88

A big third quarter from the Knicks helped them run away with this game. Immanuel Quickley became the second youngest Knick to record a triple-double. Kenny Sears did it at 150 days younger. Quickley posted a 20/10/10 line with two steals and three triples.

Obi Toppin scored 20 points for the second straight night. He hadn’t scored 20 points in a game before that. Looks like, as we all believed, Toppin can be a suitable replacement for Julius Randle, who missed another game with this quad issue. Toppin also registered a +/- of +46, which ties the Knicks’ record for best +/- in a game.

RJ Barrett rebounded from his poor performance against the Cavs with a game-high 27 points.

The Magic’s first game without Franz Wagner this season went horribly. However, a lot of their games this year have gone this bad, so maybe it wasn’t because he wasn’t in the lineup.

Cole Anthony was listed as questionable for this game with a toe sprain but ended up trying to play through it. That lasted three minutes before he was ruled out for the remainder of the game.

Mo Bamba recorded his second consecutive double-double with a 13/12 line. Moritz Wagner backed him up and finished with 18 points and nine rebounds off the bench. With Wendell Carter Jr. out, both have been suitable replacements.

Ignas Brazdeikis started in place of Wagner because of Orlando’s unwritten rule that they have to start a former Michigan player in their lineup. He finished with a 13/4/3 line with three triples. If Wagner continues to miss time, Brazdeikis should be able to provide plenty of triples.

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Heat 114, Raptors 109

Kyle Lowry’s return to Toronto went well for both him and his new team. On both ends of the back-to-back, Lowry recorded his first two double-doubles since February. He finished with a 16/6/10 line in this game.

Max Strus led the Heat with 23 points and seven triples, which were the most he’s hit in a game since late January.

Victor Oladipo scored a season-high 21 points with six triples. If Oladipo can get anywhere near the level that he was at a few years ago, the Heat will have just added to their already incredibly deep team. The rich get richer.

Caleb Martin started in place of the injured Jimmy Butler and recorded a season-high four blocks and a steal.

Tyler Herro flirted with a quadruple-double with 18 points, nine rebounds, eight assists, and eight turnovers.

With Lowry there to watch, Fred VanVleet broke the Raptors’ single season record for triples made in a season. VanVleet needed three triples to break Lowry’s record and finished with four. He also had 29 points, seven assists, and three steals. This was a very cool passing of the torch game for Lowry and FVV.

Pascal Siakam also scored 29 points, while adding eight rebounds, five assists, and two steals. Siakam has now played 43 minutes in back-to-back games. Classic Nick Nurse.

Gary Trent Jr. also played 43 minutes, though he only played 40 minutes in their previous game. He finished with 19 points, three triples, and three steals. 

Scottie Barnes matched GTJ’s point total with 19 while adding seven rebounds and three triples. The rest of the Raptors combined to score 13 points.

Timberwolves 139, Rockets 132

The Wolves’ big three carried them to victory in this one.

Anthony Edwards scored a game-high 33 points with four triples. That’s the most points he’s scored in a game since February and just his third 30-point game since January. Hopefully he can carry this scoring momentum into the postseason.

Karl-Anthony Towns finished with a 28/11/5 double-double. He also recorded five fouls for the third straight game. He hasn’t fouled out since January, but he’s been teetering. It could impact his minutes on the court, which is something to be wary of if you’re getting him in DFS.

D'Angelo Russell fell just shy of a double-double with 22 points, nine assists, four steals, and four triples. D’Lo isn’t known for his defense, so the steals were a season-high.

Josh Okogie hasn’t been a consistent staple in the Minnesota rotation since the beginning of the season, but he tied his season-high with 11 points off the bench.

Jalen Green continued his strong end to the season with his fourth straight 30-point game. Only two other rookies have scored at least 30 points in four consecutive games: Allen Iverson and Michael Jordan. That’s a nice list to be a part of.

Josh Christopher joined Green with a 30 point game of his own. Christopher shot 11-for-14 from the floor and scored 19 of his 30 in the fourth.

Alperen Sengun finished with 14 points and a career-high 15 rebounds. This was the rookie’s 7th career double-double.

Kevin Porter Jr. contributed a 21/6/8 line with four triples and two steals. However, he turned it over eight times. This young core is still making plenty of mistakes, but their future is so bright.

Thunder 117, Suns 96

Silly season is in full swing and Oklahoma City is the home of half of its stars. Aleksej Pokusevski finally recorded the triple-double we’ve been waiting for. He finished with a 17/10/12/1/1 line with three triples.

Olivier Sarr finished with career-highs with 24 points and five triples while adding in six rebounds and two blocks. He’s scored in double figures in four straight games. He shouldn’t have a problem posting big numbers for the rest of the season.

Isaiah Roby finished with an 11/8/2 line with two steals. He’s been a fairly consistent fantasy option for OKC down the stretch.

With three first round picks and everyone back healthy by the start of next season, a majority of the guys seeing minutes won’t be on the team next season. If all goes according to plan for the Thunder, you won’t have to remember these silly season soldiers until next March.

The Suns rested Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, and Jae Crowder for this game. Don’t worry, they had a decent excuse for losing to the Thunder.

Mikal Bridges led the way with 18 points for the Suns. Chris Paul added 11 points, nine assists, and three steals. Both of these guys should be better in the future when they’re out there with the usual starting group. 

Cameron Johnson struggled in his second game back from a month-long absence. He shot 4-for-15 from the floor for 14 points, though he did chip in four rebounds, three assists, and two steals. He won’t start when everyone’s healthy, but he’ll be better than this.

With the best record in the league locked up, this could become what we see from the Suns over the last few games. There’s no reason for them to play their key guys much, so hopefully more bench guys will step up when they’re given an opportunity in the future.

Spurs 113, Trail Blazers 92

Without Dejounte Murray and Jakob Poeltl, it was Keldon Johnson that continued his hot stretch to lead the Spurs to victory. Johnson scored 28 points and has now scored at least 20 in six straight games. The Spurs have won six of their last seven, with the only loss being to the Grizzlies when Johnson’s last second layup rimmed out. Johnson added in six triples in this game and has now hit 11 over his past two games. 

Zach Collins recorded the first double-double of his career in the start. He finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds. 

Tre Jones got the start at point guard and posted an 18/7/7 line. Like his brother, he makes for a solid streaming option when he’s starting in place of the All-Star point guard.

Devin Vassell recorded a season-high four steals to go with his 8/6/5 line.

The rest of the silly season heroes reside in Portland, with Drew Eubanks recording his third double-double in five games. He finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds.

Keon Johnson followed up his career-high 20 point game with 19 in this one. The rookie out of Tennessee has gotten a much larger opportunity in Portland than he did with the Clippers. We’ll see if it translates to a role next season.

Ben McLemore chipped in 19 points with four triples off the bench. He’s hit multiple 3-pointers in eight straight games.

The rest of the Blazers are doing exactly what management wants them to do: help the team lose.

Warriors 109, Kings 90

Without Klay Thompson in the lineup, it was Nemanja Bjelica that stepped up with a big line to help the Warriors win. Yes, you read that correctly. Bjelica posted a 19/12/6 line with two blocks and three triples off the bench. The points and rebounds were both season-highs for him.

Jordan Poole had another solid performance with a 22/5/5 line with four 3-pointers. He’s hit 17 triples over his last three games, and he’s averaging 6.7 rebounds and six assists during that stretch. Poole’s streak of 20-point games was extended to 17, which is tied with De'Aaron Fox and Nikola Jokic for the fourth longest active streak. Jayson Tatum, Joel Embiid, and Devin Booker have longer streaks. That’s elite company.

Andrew Wiggins scored 25 points, which is the most he’s scored in a game since January 1st. Yes, the All-Star starter. 

Jonathan Kuminga posted a line of 17/5/4/1/1 off the bench. His role has fluctuated, but he stepped up when he got the chance. His value will likely be limited to games without Klay and Stephen Curry moving forward.

With this loss, the Kings were officially eliminated from the play-in tournament. That means no playoffs for the 16th straight year. That’s an NBA record.

Harrison Barnes led the way for Sacramento with an 18/10 double-double. Considering that De'Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis haven’t played in weeks, it’s almost shocking that Barnes has been playing. With the Kings officially eliminated, that could change soon.

Damian Jones had been a silly season monster over his past two games but slowed down a bit for this one. He finished with a 17/6/2 line with no defensive stats after swatting 10 shots over his previous two games.

Davion Mitchell should start the remainder of the season at point guard. He finished with nine points and nine assists in this game. After scoring 20+ in five straight, his scoring has slowed down a bit over his last two.

Clippers 119, Pelicans 100

Seven different Clippers scored in double figures in this game. Marcus Morris led the way with 22 points, four triples, two steals, and two blocks. He’s scored at least 20 in back-to-back games after four straight poor shooting performances.

Ivica Zubac posted a 16/14 double-double that featured seven offensive rebounds. Isaiah Hartenstein mirrored his minutes and nearly double-doubled with 12 points and nine rebounds. Hartenstein hit two triples, which was the first time in his career that he’s hit multiple 3-pointers in a game.

Reggie Jackson finished with 11 points and 10 assists. That was his first double-double since mid February.

Paul George didn’t shoot great, but he finished with a line of 15/5/7 with five triples and two steals.

Terance Mann and Luke Kennard scored 15 and 14 points off the bench.

Nobody played particularly well for the Pelicans in the loss. C.J. McCollum led the team in scoring with 19 points on 7-for-18 shooting. Brandon Ingram really struggled from the floor, shooting 3-for-11 and turning it over six times. He did post a line of 15/8/4 which could’ve helped make up for the inefficiency.

Herbert Jones finished with a 13/8/2/1/2 line. His defensive dominance as a rookie continued, as he’s now recorded at least one steal in 12 straight games. 

Jaxson Hayes recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Larry Nance Jr. and Naji Marshall each added 10 points off the bench. 

This is a game they’ll move on from quickly. As they try and hold onto the 9th seed heading into the play-in, they should bounce back well against the Kings on Tuesday.

Noah Rubin

Noah is a recent college grad who loves all things basketball. You can find him on Twitter @NoahRubin22 for NBA insights that hopefully aren’t too biased towards his Atlanta Hawks.