• Sunday was a busy one in the Association with 8 games on the slate. Damian Lillard went nuts vs. the Heat, The Homie and the rest of the Sixers surprised the Celtics and LeBron and Co. were back at it at Staples this time facing the young Lakers. With Will Smith’s “MIAMI” playing in the background, here’s Monday’s Daily Dish.

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    MAVS 104, NETS 92

    This was one that the Mavs needed to keep their playoff hopes alive and despite a second half run by the Nets they were able to prevail.

    THE GOOD

    Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavs’ attack by scoring 23 points and adding nine rebounds in 27 minutes of action. He shot 9-of-17 from the field and hit on 3-of-6 from downtown. The win kept the Mavs 3.0 games behind Denver for eighth in the West and as long as they are in the playoff hunt Nowtizki owners can be sure that he’ll be out there.

    J.J. Barea came off the bench and scored 20 points on 8-of-12 from the field. He added seven assists, one rebound, one triple and two steals and over the last two weeks he’s averaging 8.0 assists per game. Any owner in need of dimes in the midst of their fantasy playoff run should give Barea a hard look.

    Harrison Barnes scored 19 points on 8-of-15 from the field. He added six rebounds, two assists and one triple and should continue to play heavy minutes as the Mavs fight for their playoff lives.

    Brook Lopez went ff for 27 points for the Nets in the loss. He shot 8-of-18 (including 3-of-6 from downtown) with seven rebounds and four turnovers. That’s five consecutive 20+ games since Lopez returned from a one game absence. As long as he’s healthy owners will continue to reap the benefits.

    Spencer Dinwiddie started the second half (for Jeremy Lin, more on that below) and scored 18 points on 5-of-9 from the field. He added seven assists, two rebounds, two triples and one steal in 30 minutes.

    THE BAD

    Jeremy Lin left this one after seven minutes of play with a right ankle sprain. Initially it didn’t look bad, but he left to the locker room shortly after. This could mark the end of Lin’s season and what a disappointing season it has been. Owners in the thick of the playoffs may have to cut bait here and Spencer Dinwiddie may be a solid pick up for the stretch run.

    Caris LeVert started again but was limited to five points on 2-of-6 from the field. He added five boards, one triple and one assist in 25 minutes. The minutes are there and he has shown flashes of goodness, but tread carefully here.

    Seth Curry was quiet in this one connecting on 3-of-9 from the field for eight points. He shot 0-of-5 from 3-point land and only added one rebound and one assist in the victory.

    Yogi Ferrell was kept to single digits for the fourth game in a row and despite the five assists, three steals, two rebounds and one block he’s lost some playing time to J.J. Barea and time-share could continue for the forseeable future.

    THE TAKEAWAY

    With the win the Mavs improved to 30-39 on the season and sit 3.0 games back of the Nuggets for the final playoff spot in the West. They have a three-game week upcoming beginning with a home date vs. the Warriors on Tuesday night.. The Curry bowl should be an intriguing one. The Nets dropped to 13-56 and continue to count down the games in their dreadful season.  The Nets have a four-game week beginning with a home match up with the Pistons on Tuesday night.

    SIXERS 105, CELTICS 99

    With no Isaiah Thomas in the fourth quarter, the Sixers took advantage and stole this one from the Celtics.

    THE GOOD

    Dario Saric continued his impressive play scoring 23 points on 10-of-20 from the field. Saric added six rebounds, four assists, two steals and two triples in 32 minutes of action. Saric is flirting with top 40 value over the last two weeks and he’s a big reason why the Sixers are no longer considered push-overs in the Association.

    Richaun Holmes took over for the injured Jahlil Okafor (more on him below) and scored eight points to go with seven rebounds, five assists, two steals and four blocks. These are the types of lines that will win championships and if you were lucky enough to pluck Holmes from the waiver wire, congratulations!

    Robert Covington scored 16 points on 7-of-15 from the field to go with eight rebounds, two steals, two triples and one block in 36 minutes. Covington has flirted with top 35 value all season and should finish the season strong as the Sixers try and spoil some playoff dreams.

    Al Horford  busted out for a season-high 27 points in a losing cause. He shot 11-of-16 from the field and added eight rebounds, six assists, two blocks, one steal and one triple in 33 minutes of action. This was only his 11th game of the season scoring 20+ points in a game, but also the second time in three games that he’s achieved the feat. Hopefully he can continue the hot play into the coming week.

    Terry Rozier came off the bench and scored 14 points to go with 10 rebounds in 26 minutes. He added two assists, two triples and one steal and shot a perfect 4-of-4 from the line. Despite the strong line this was only the first time since March 5th that Rozier has scored in double figures.

    THE BAD

    Amir Johnson was quiet in 23 minutes of action scoring two points with four rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block.

    Jonas Jerebko and Jaylen Brown came off the bench but combined for three points on 1-of-8 from the field.

    Jahlil Okafor left this one early with a sore right knee. The extent of the injury is unknown, but the good news is that he will travel with the team as they head out to Orlando for Monday night’s game. Richaun Holmes is a must-own if Okafor misses time.

    THE TAKEAWAY

    The Sixers improved to 26-43 and continue to play an exciting brand of basketball. The Sixers play four times this coming week beginning with a road matchup with the Magic on Monday night. The Celtics dropped to 44-26 and fail to gain any ground on the Cavs. They have four home games this week beginning with a tough battle vs. John Wall and the Wizards on Monday night.

    PISTONS 112, SUNS 95

    This one was surprisingly close for good part of the game, but then reality hit and the Pistons took full advantage.

    THE GOOD

    Andre Drummond posted a monster double-double with 18 points and 18 rebounds in the win. He shot 7-of-10 from the field (but only 4-of-11 from the line) to go with two assists and two blocks in 28 minutes of action. Drummond continues to be one of the most dominant big men in the game but he’s free-throw shooting will continue to be a cause for concern as the Pistons battle for a playoff spot in the East.

    Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored a game-high 23 points on 8-of-14 from the field. He connected on 5-of-9 from downtown and added eight assists and three rebounds in 33 minutes of action.

    Aaron Baynes came off the bench and posted a pretty impressive double-double of his own scoring 13 points and adding 17 rebounds in only 18 minutes of action. Baynes shot 5-of-9 from the field and a perfect 3-of-3 from the line. He hasn’t been a key fantasy contributor for most of the season but he has two double-doubles in the last three games. He might be someone to keep an eye on if you need rebounds.

    Tyler Ulis scored 17 points and added 11 assists in 43 minutes of action. He added three steals and three rebounds but only shot 7-of-24 from the field (including 0-of-5 from downtown). Despite the poor shooting Ulis has the keys to the Suns’ offence right now and he should be owned in all standard leagues.

    T.J. Warren put up a solid line of 15 points, six rebounds, three steals, two blocks, one dime and one triple in 45 minutes. Warren has been one of the more pleasant surprises this season and with very little competition at the three spot in Phoenix he should close out the season strongly.

    THE BAD

    Derrick Jones Jr. started for the injured Devin Booker (ankle) and promptly put up a dud scoring only three points on 1-of-9 from the field. He did add five rebounds and one block but he’s been disappointing thus far with the minutes that have been thrown his way. He’s still very young and raw, so owners in Dynasty leagues just have to have patience here.

    Tobias Harris started for the Pistons but was quiet scoring only eight points on 2-of-10 from the field. He added four rebounds and one block in the loss. Harris has been solid all season so chalk this one up as a minor hiccup.

    THE TAKEAWAY

    With the victory, the Pistons moved into the eighth spot in the East with a 34-36 record. They currently sit 0.5 games behind the Bucks for 7th in the East. The Pistons have three games this week (all on the road) beginning with a matchup in Brooklyn with the Nets. The Suns meanwhile continue with the youth movement. They are currently 22-48 and sit in 14th in the West. The Suns have four road games this week beginning with a Tuesday matchup vs the Heat in Miami.

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