• A 23-point deficit after one quarter wasn’t enough to do the Kings in but a Russell Westbrook game-winner at the buzzer was as the Thunder defeated Sacramento 110-107.

    After the first 12 minutes, it seemed the Kings hadn’t gotten over their All-Star break but the reserves, led by Buddy Hield and Skal Labissiere came out to play in the second quarter and trimmed a huge Thunder lead to just seven at the break.

    Hield and Labissiere combined for 20 of the Kings’ 60 points in the first half as Hield went 5-of-8 from the field and Labissiere made three of his five attempts. Labissiere made his presence known on the defensive end for much of his 14 first half minutes and also ran the floor incredibly well for Sacramento. At the half he had the team’s highest plus-minus of plus-10.

    The Kings weren’t able to contest the Thunder in the first period as the big-three of Paul George, Carmelo Anthony and Westbrook had their way. George had seven assists in the first quarter of play and the team had 20 total assists at half. The Kings had 13 assists of their own;

    Oklahoma City ended the first half shooting almost 55 percent from the field and outscored Sacramento 23-to-10 on fast break points.

    Zach Randolph, who was the only King to score in the first six minutes of the game, finished the half with 14 points and eight rebounds.

    To begin the third period, the Kings and Thunder exchanged buckets. IN the first game since the All-Star break, the Kings found themselves relying on the veterans to steal the lead from Oklahoma City and stretch it for the home team.

    Vince Carter played an intricate role in the comeback as his effort on the defensive end began runs. His offense, including a drive to hole which resulted in a dunk and a savvy back-down which led to a three-point play, helped close the gap. A Carter three-pointer in the third quarter gave the Kings their first lead of the game as well.

    Using their second consecutive 30-point quarter and a 16-0 run to end the third, the Kings had a five point lead of 90-85 heading into the fourth.

    In the fourth quarter the Kings and Thunder went back-and-forth in what ended up being a Rocky-styled battle. Randolph was an almost unstoppable force for the Kings and Hield knocked down a big three late in the game to extend Sacramento’s lead. With less than a minute to play, the Kings fell behind by two points.

    After Justin Jackson tipped in a missed basket to tie the game at 107 with just a second to play, Westbrook, who like Jackson had been off for much of the night, drained a mostly uncontested three from the top of the key to seal the victory for the Thunder.

    NOTES

    • The Kings fell to the Thunder for the second time in three games and will face the Thunder one more time in Oklahoma City in March.
    • The Kings limited the Thunder to just 41 points in the second and third quarters combined after allowing 44 in the first quarter.

Fantasy News

  • Zach LaVine
    PG, Chicago Bulls

    Zach LaVine was an offensive juggernaut in Saturday's 118-106 win over the Cavs scoring 44 points, on 16-of-30 shooting, while chipping in 10 rebounds, eight assists and a steal.

    LaVine is averaging nearly 29 points a game in the month of January and has notched 40-plus points in three games this month. Beyond the scoring he has been very efficient during the stretch while also providing across the board in other categories. Remarkably, he is averaging just shy of two steals a game putting him in top-40 territory, in terms of return on investment.

  • Anthony Davis
    PF-C, Los Angeles Lakers

    Anthony Davis shot 13-of-22 from the field and 2-of-5 from beyond the arc on his way to scoring 31 points with seven rebounds, two steals and one block in a 108-91 loss to the Sixers on Saturday.

    Davis was questionable with a glute injury, but he was able to play and show why he's the number one player in 9-cat this season. Davis is a fantasy stud and should be a top-2 player ROS.

  • Kris Dunn
    PG, Chicago Bulls

    Kris Dunn notched his fifth-straight double digit scoring effort with 10 points in Saturday's win over the Cavs, chipping in five rebounds, four assists and three steals.

    Dunn's minutes have crept up a bit in the month of January and he has responded by averaging nearly two steals a game to go along with respectable countable numbers. The low scoring output is ok in this one as he made four of the six shots that he attempted, providing an semi-efficient game as he made all two of his shots from the charity stripe.

  • LeBron James
    SF, Los Angeles Lakers

    LeBron James scored 29 points on Saturday to pass Kobe Bryant for third place on the NBA's all-time scoring list.

    James added eight assists and seven rebounds on this historic night but was unable to get the win as the Lakers lost 108-91 to the Sixers. LeBron will continue to chug along with top-10 value ROS and is now only behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone on the all-time scoring list.

  • Tomas Satoransky
    PG, Chicago Bulls

    Tomas Satoransky scored 19 points, on 8-of-11 shooting, in Saturday's win over the Cavs, chipping in six rebounds, six assists and three steals.

    After failing to score in double digits in the past five games, Satoransky woke up and dropped 19 in this one. This is his highest scoring output this month and it was paired well with an all-around efficient game, not to mention the three steals. With so many backcourt options it is hard to trust him on a night-to-night basis but this one reminds fantasy owners of what he is capable of producing.

  • Kyle Kuzma
    PF, Los Angeles Lakers

    Kyle Kuzma flopped on Saturday with four points (2-of-6 from the field) and five rebounds in 27 minutes off the bench.

    Kuzma posted a dud and his fantasy value is tied heavily to his scoring. He's outside the top-220 the past month with 14.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.5 threes per game. He's a late-round value at his best and is worth trying to sell high since his name value may be greater than his fantasy value.

  • Thaddeus Young
    PF, Chicago Bulls

    Thaddeus Young scored 11 points in Saturday's win over the Cavs, chipping in three rebounds, two assists, three steals and a block in 35 minutes of game play.

    With both teammates Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr. injured, Young is not only getting the start but also playing major minutes in their absences. He is definitely worth a look in the short-term as he is a nice source of defensive statistics while not fantasy owners in any particular area.

  • Ben Simmons
    PG, Philadelphia Sixers

    Ben Simmons flourished on Saturday with 28 points (12-of-15 shooting), 10 rebounds, eight assists and four steals in a 108-91 victory over the Lakers.

    LeBron James passed Kobe Bryant on the career scoring list, but Ben Simmons ruined his night and dominated on both ends of the court in an impressive win for a short-handed Sixers team. Simmons was already on a roll with Joel Embiid out and will be even better with Josh Richardson also sidelined. Ben Simmons owners will enjoy the next few weeks.

  • Tobias Harris
    SF, Philadelphia Sixers

    Tobias Harris scored a team-high 29 points while shooting 10-of-20 from the field and 6-of-7 from the line to go with eight rebounds and three triples on Saturday.

    Harris is inside the top-50 on the season as an efficient scorer averaging 19.5 points per game while shooting .478 from the field and .801 from the line. He was an 86 percent free throw shooter last season and is shooting .838 the past month so he's trending up in that area too.

  • Matisse Thybulle
    SG-SF, Philadelphia Sixers

    Matisse Thybulle swiped five steals on Saturday and added six points, one block and two triples in 36 minutes.

    If you're rostering Thybulle, it is for defensive stats like this. Thybulle has increased value in the short-term with Josh Richardson and Joel Embiid sidelined and he's averaging 2.6 steals and 1.6 blocks in 30.8 minutes the past seven games.