The Timberwolves managed to take care of their warmup game in Sacramento before heading out to Portland. Unlike the last meeting between these two teams just a couple of weeks ago, the Wolves were able to handle the Kings with ease and go on to win 118-100.

    The game had a good pace going through the first half, with both teams trading baskets and the general feel resembling more of a practice game. Each team was running their offense with minimal resistance, the whistles were few and far between and the score continued to run up.

    It wasn’t particularly exciting basketball, per say, because both teams were able to just run their normal offense. There were not huge runs or massive defensive plays. There were no signature dunks or breakaways, it was just clean basketball (albeit with no defense).

    The Kings, playing with a shortened rotation (Zach Randolph, Vince Carter and Garrett Temple all resting), just seemingly got bit by adjustments. Going into halftime the Wolves led 63-60, but coming out of the half held the Kings to just 40 points.

    Buddy Hield was the Kings best scorer in the first half, with 13 points, but was held to just three points in the second half.

    On the other side the Kings just couldn’t find a way to slow down any of the Wolves’ starters. Each starter had at least 12 points, with three over 20 points.

    Karl-Anthony Towns just dominated Willie Cauley-Stein all night, missing just one shot total. He finished with 26 points, 17 rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks on 9-of-10 shooting and 8-of-8 from the line. He didn’t take a 3-pointer tonight, but he didn’t need to. He had a couple of really nice passes, including one to Gibson.

    Gibson scored 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting and was able to out-muscle Skal Labissiere in the paint for great positioning. He added five rebounds, two assists and a block to his stat line.

    Jeff Teague had an up-and-down game. On offense he scored 20 points with seven assists, four rebounds and was 11-of-12 at the line but only 4-of-14 from the field. On defense he found himself out of position a few times and getting beat by the speedy De’Aaron Fox a few times. Overall this type of game is fine most nights.

    Andrew Wiggins scored 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting, while Nemanja Bjelica stuffed the stat sheet with 12 points, seven rebounds, three assists, four steals and two 3-pointers.

    As a team the Wolves only attempted 16 3-pointers, making seven, but they really didn’t need to take more because they were able to carve up the Kings inside the paint. The Wolves scored 52 points in the paint and 33 points at the free throw line, both well above their season average.

    They shot an excellent 52 percent overall, 43.8 percent from beyond the arc and 91.7 percent at the line with only 12 turnovers and winning the rebound battle by 11. Not many teams will lose with team stats like that.

    The Wolves are now 2-0 without Jimmy Butler. Granted, they’ve faced off with two of the worst teams in the NBA, but they have seemingly floated past the initial shock of the injury and are poised to face the final tough stretch of their regular season.

    Starting this Thursday the next eight games are versus teams over .500, four coming on the road and four at home. This isn’t likely going to decide the fate of the season, but it can make things real tough on the Wolves should they struggle. With 18 games left, coming out of this next stretch in a position to compete is paramount.

    That quest begins on Thursday in Portland.

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.