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    Raptors – 102 @ Kings – 87

     

    Toronto started the NBA day off by blowing out the Kings in their own gym.

    DeMar DeRozan led the way for the Raptors with 25 points, nine assists, three boards and a steal.  He’s expanded his game this year and is contributing more that just scoring.

    Kyle Lowry had an abysmal shooting night and made just 4-of-17 from the floor but still managed a double-double with 15 points and 12 boards while handing out six assists.

    Serge Ibaka scored 20 on 8-of-13 shooting with three from downtown but was quiet on the glass, pulling down just four boards.  He’s been scoring well the last few contests, logging back-to-back games with at least 20 points.

    There weren’t any other standouts in this one as the big-3 in TO did most of the damage.  C.J. Miles was the only other player to reach double figures with 11.

     

    The Kings only scored 87 points combined, so there weren’t any monster lines on their end.

    Zach Randolph continues to be the best player on their team and had another double-double with 19 and 11 on 9-of-11 while adding a steal and a block for good measure.

    Bogdan Bogdanovic started in place of George Hill(personal) and scored 15 points with one board, one assist and four 3-pointers.  Hill isn’t expected to miss much time, so Bogdan will be back on the bench soon.

    Buddy Hield and JaKarr Sampson came off the bench and posted 17-3-2-1 and 11-4 with a steal and three blocks respectively.  Both have value in deep leagues, even in bench roles.

     

    Celtics – 91 @ Pistons – 81

     

    The Celtics Al Horford had a scare in this one and went to the locker room but returned to play 33 minutes and finished with 18-9-6 and two blocks.

    Kyrie Irving had a “quiet” game and finished with 16 points, three boards, three dimes and three 3-pointers on 4-of-12 from the floor.

    Jayson Tatum knocked down a few 3-pointers of his own for 11 points with four boards and a block on 4-of-7 from the field and the rookie is having a great season for the Celtics and fantasy owners.

    Jaylen Brown contributed 12-3-1 on 5-of-11 and Marcus Smart added 12-3-3-1 in 24 minutes off the bench.

     

    Andre Drummond had his second single-digit scoring game in row with just six points on 1-of-5 from the floor but pulled down another 15 rebound and continues to be a beast in that category.

    Tobias Harris was the high-scorer for the Pistons in this one with his 19 points and added eight boards, three 3-pointers, one assist and one steal but shot just 5-of-15 from the field.

    Reggie Jackson shot even worse, missing all nine of his shot attempts and as a result, Ish Smith got 28 minutes off the bench and posted 11-6-5-1 on 5-of-13 shooting.

    The Pistons’ wings didn’t fare much better as Avery Bradley and Stanley Johnson shot 5-of-16 and 2-of-5 respectively. Bradley finished with 12-2-1 and a block while Johnson finished with just five points and two rebounds.

    The lone Piston to actually shoot well was Anthony Tolliver, who made 6-of-9 from the field with 3-of-6 coming from deep for 15 points with three boards and a block.

    The Celtics are one of the best defensive teams in the league and the Pistons stars get a pass for the poor shooting night.  Expect better results when the Nuggets come to town on Tuesday.

     

    Nuggets – 116 @ Pacers – 126

     

    Speaking of the Nuggets, they lost an overtime game in Indiana and got a career-high 25 points from Trey Lyles who pulled down five boards to go with his five 3-pointers.  We wouldn’t expect a repeat performance on Tuesday but with Nikola Jokic out Lyles could see a good number of minutes.

    Jamal Murray only took seven shots but made four of them and finished with 13-1-1-1-1.

    Will Barton took the most shots on the team in this one and made 8-of-19 for 21 points with six rebounds, nine assists, three 3-pointers and two steals and looks like the biggest beneficiary of the Nuggets’ injuries.  Ride him while he’s hot.

    Gary Harris matched Barton’s point total on 8-of-18 from the floor and added five boards, two dimes, three from deep and four turnovers.

    Wilson Chandler did his part to try and keep Denver in it with 18-8-1-1-1 and three 3-pointers but the Nuggets only scored two points in overtime and that won’t cut it.

     

    The story in this game was Victor Oladipo, who had the monster line of the night with 47 points on 15-of-28 from the floor and 11-of-13 from the line with six 3-pointers, six assists, seven boards, two steals and a block.  He’s looking like a legitimate top-10 player right now, congrats to everyone who got shares.

    He got some help from Myles Turner and his 24-8-3-2-1 line with 10-of-15 from the floor and Thaddeus Young with 18 points and six boards of his own.

    The bench contributed as well, with Lance Stephenson getting 35 minutes and chipping in 12-6-6 on 6-of-11 shooting.  He’s carved out a nice role on this squad and is looking like a decent deep league option, just don’t expect consistency.

    Domantas Sabonis only saw 19 minutes off the bench but scored 14 points with four boards, two assists, and a steal on 6-of-10 and continues to hold value with limited minutes.

    Darren Collison sat this one out with a knee injury he suffered on Friday, so Cory Joseph got the start but only made 1-of-7 from the floor and finished with 2 points, three rebounds and five assists.

    Collison is listed as day-to-day for now so keep an eye on his status for the next game.

     

    Mavs – 92 @ Wolves – 97

     

    This one was close throughout, with every quarter being decided by three points or less, but in the end the better team won.

    The Mavs had a well-balanced offensive attack, with six players scoring in double-digits, led by Harrison Barnes with 19-3-2-1 and two 3-pointers on 8-of-15 shooting.

    Rookie Maxi Kleber started at the four and scored 16 points with five rebounds, one assist and a block on 6-of-9 from the field and is worth picking up if he’s sticking in the starting five.

    Dirk Nowitzki and Yogi Ferrell scored 10 point each, with Dirk adding five boards, an assist, a steal and a block while Yogi chipped in seven dimes, and four rebounds.

    Wes Matthews shot just 6-of-17 from the floor and finished with 14 points, four rebounds, four assists and one steal and is one of the most inconsistent players in the game.

    J.J. Barea was the sole shred of relevance off the bench with 16 points on 5-of-9 from the floor with four assists and one rebound, and is a viable fantasy option for as long as Dennis Smith Jr. is out.

    Minnesota had a much more concentrated attack, with Karl-Anthony Towns putting up 28 points with 12 rebounds, four assists and three steals on 10-of-15 shooting but had a whopping seven turnovers.

    Jimmy Butler also hit the 20s and finished with 22-8-5-2 and two 3-pointers with only one turnover.  The days of worrying about Butler on his new team are a distant memory.

    The next highest scorer came off the bench, as Jamal Crawford scored 16 points in 19 minutes with a rebound and an assist on 5-of-9 from the floor.  Nothing to see here.

    Andrew Wiggins shot a woeful 3-of-12 from the floor and 4-of-8 from the line for just 10 points with three rebounds an assist and a block.

    Jeff Teague and Taj Gibson both failed to reach double figures, finishing with nine and six points respectively.

    Sixers – 124 @ Pelicans – 131

     

    The Sixers decided they didn’t want to play defense in this one and Jrue Holiday went off to the tune of 34 points with five 3-pointers, four rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks on 11-of-21 from the floor, but did have six turnovers.

    Rajon Rondo had a nice game with a staggering 18 assists to go with 13 points, two rebounds, five steals and a block on 5-of-7 shooting.  This is the Rondo owners want to see.

    E’Twaun Moore made 6-of-11 for 14 points with three rebounds, an assist, a steal and a couple of 3-pointers, and has been a decent source of scoring over the last couple of weeks.

    In his second game back after a brief absence, Anthony Davis swatted five shots to go with his 29 points, eight rebounds, four assists, a steal and a 3-pointer.  He’s a beast when he’s on the floor but he’s a risk to get hurt seemingly every game.

    DeMarcus Cousins rounded out the scoring bonanza with 23 of his own on 7-of-10 from the field and 7-of-9 from the line while adding nine boards, two assists, one steal and a block.

     

    On the Philly side, Joel Embiid was a late scratch after participating in pregame workouts, so Amir Johnson got a second straight start and put up 16-5-4-1 on 5-of-7 from the floor and making all five free throws.

    Dario Saric started at the four and had a double-double with 13 points, 11 boards and four assists but shot just 5-of-16 from the field.

    The backup big minutes were split 24-23 by Trevor Booker and Richaun Holmes, who both had good games.  Booker posted 16-9 with a steal and a block while Holmes added 12-9-1-1-2.

    J.J. Redick led all Philly players with 28 points on 8-of-14 from the field and 9-of-9 from the line with three rebounds, four assists and three from deep.   He’s been playing great recently and this could be a good time to sell.

    Last, but not least, Ben Simmons finished with 27 points, 10 assists, five boards and a block on 10-of-16 from the floor and he actually made 7-of-9 from the line. The only downside is that he turned the ball over five times.

    Hawks – 107 @ Knicks – 111

     

    The final game of the day was another close one, with the home team pulling off the W on the back of 30 from Kristaps Porzingis, who added eight boards, two assists, two steals, three blocks and one 3-pointer on 10-of-23 from the field and 9-of-10 from the line.

    Jarrett Jack had his highest scoring game of the season, scoring 19 points with three rebounds and four dimes on 7-of-11 from the field and he continues to fend off Frank Ntilikina for the starting job.

    The rest of the Knicks starters were invisible, with Courtney Lee, Enes Kanter and Lance Thomas scoring 17 points combined.

    The rest of KP’s help came from Doug McDermott and his 23 points off the bench on 9-of-13 shooting with two from downtown and 3-of-3 from the line in 31 minutes.

    For the Hawks it was a valiant effort from Dennis Schroder, who shot 9-of-16 from the field for 21 points with one rebound and three assists.

    Ersan Ilyasova had a second good game in a row with 20 points of his own, 5-of-6 coming from deep while adding four boards, two dimes, two steals and two blocks.  He needs to be scooped up wherever he’s available.

    Taurean Prince made 7-of-12 to finish with 17 points, eight rebounds and five assists and has struggled to find consistency, but has top-50 upside if he can locate it.

    Kent Bazemore was bad and made just 2-of-5 from the field while Marco Belinelli got 25 minutes off the bench and was worse, shooting 2-of-9.  Both players got their points at the line, with Bells making 9-of-9 and Baze making 5-of-6.

     

    That’ll do it for this week. Thanks for reading, and be sure to check out all the other great content at Hoop-Ball.

     

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