• If you thought it would be a quiet Thursday night with only two NBA games scheduled, boy, you were sadly mistaken. It was an exciting West Coast showdown with big men taking center stage in fantasy, but it was Damian Lillard who would be the hero for the Blazers with his clutch three for the win!

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    Golden State Warriors 112 vs. San Antonio Spurs 92

    Offense vs. defense? Boring! No, not really. At least not in the beginning. The normally defense-oriented Spurs got off to a hot start and took full advantage of a sluggish Warriors opening. LaMarcus Aldridge played to his strengths and dropped a monster line with 24 points, 10 boards, two treys, two steals and two blocks.

    Like the defending Champions that they are, the Warriors woke up in the second half and shook off whatever it was that prevented them from getting into a groove on offense. Kevin Durant, who struggled to buy a bucket in the first half, went into MVP-mode and managed to finish the game with 24 points, eight rebounds, five dimes and three blocks. The Dubs “original” trio of studs, Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry, and Draymond Green each turned in excellent fantasy performances.

    Aldridge, alone, was not enough to quell the overwhelming rush of offense that the Warriors unleashed in the third period. Pau Gasol was quiet with 11 points and six boards in 26 minutes, while Danny Green had shooting woes of his own on 4-of-10 shooting from the field.

    Los Angeles Lakers 110 vs. Portland Trail Blazers 113

    This was actually an exciting game! It went down to the wire but Damian Lillard knocked down the stepback three and sealed the win for the Blazers. He finished the night with a game-high 32 points. Almost half of which came from the free throw line (14-of-14). He also added six boards and five dimes.

    Jusuf Nurkic had a great game of his own with 28 points, five boards, five dimes and three steals. C.J. McCollum made it rain with 5-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc, en route to his 22-point, five-assist performance. Al-Farouq Aminu was using crutches and is expected to be out for at least several games. Noah Vonleh started in his place but foul trouble killed his window of opportunity to shine.

    Bad news for Larry Nance Jr. owners. The forward suffered a fractured thumb in this game and did not return after logging 19 minutes. He could be out a while, so that means one thing. It’s “Kuzma Time!” Kyle Kuzma jumped in with 22 points in 29 minutes off the bench. Expect him to start at power forward in the near future, adding another reason to watch the Lakers play this season. Fellow youngster, Brandon Ingram was solid with 14 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals.

    Not all was well in the youth front. Star rookie Lonzo Ball failed to score in his 28 minutes on the floor. He missed both of his shot attempts from the field and was very “passive” last night. He did give his owners a sprinkling of consolation with three boards, four dimes, a steal and two blocks.

    Brook Lopez finally, finally, woke up and dropped a decent fantasy performance. Lopez scored a team-high 27 points on some efficient shooting from both the field and the line. He grabbed just three boards but did hit one trey and block one shot.

    Remember, you can always reach me on Twitter: @FantasyHoopla, if you want to chat about fantasy hoops!

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I think it’s a pretty big oversight not to link the Nance injury and the Lopez performance. Those were not isolated incidents.

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