Even though there were only 8 games on Friday, there were plenty of big performances throughout the league. Stephen Curry dropped 44 points in Utah while Rudy Gay and Dirk Nowitzki had a shootout in Dallas. With plenty to cover, let’s get right to the action.
Big Al blows up against Los Angeles
Al Jefferson tied his career-high on Friday by scoring 40 points to go along with 18 rebounds as the Bobcats defeated the Lakers. He added three steals and four assists on a solid 18-32 shooting. The Charlotte big man has been on a tear since the New Year, averaging 24 points and 11 rebounds per game. After a slow start, Big Al is coming on in a big way for patient owners.
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Meanwhile in Utah, Stephen Curry was doing his thing, torching the Jazz for a season-high 44 points. He was fantastic from the field, shooting 14-26, eight of which came from downtown. The only downside is that he didn’t contribute much elsewhere, grabbing two rebounds and four assists with zero steals. Curry was also seen getting his left leg stretched out by trainers and while it didn’t look to be anything serious, watch out for any updates on the All-Star.
Rudy and Dirk go hard
Both Rudy Gay and Dirk Nowitzki led their teams in scoring Friday night as the Mavericks defeated the Kings. Nowitzki led a fourth quarter comeback with 34 points, five rebounds, and two steals. He was a perfect 11-11 from the charity stripe and an efficient 11-19 from the field. Gay countered with an even bigger fantasy line of 35 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, and one steal. Nowitzki has been on fire over his last three games, averaging 33 points and 10 boards per contest. The German sharpshooter should continue to hold early round value all season. Gay on the other hand, while he’s been tremendous in three of his last four, should take a slight hit when DeMarcus Cousins returns, which could be on Saturday night.
Foye’s assist party
Denver’s Randy Foye handed out a career-high 16 assists on Friday, chipping in 10 points and two steals. This was a funky game for Foye, who handled the point guard responsibilities with Ty Lawson out. Although the assists were nice, Foye shot just 4-13 from the field and had eight turnovers so it was certainly a mixed bag for owners.
The good news is that Foye is a crucial part of what the Nuggets do and with Nate Robinson now out for the season after having surgery to repair a torn left ACL, Foye’s touches should only increase. French guard Evan Fournier is also someone who will benefit with Robinson out. The 21-year-old put up 19 points on Friday and looks like a solid low-end option going forward.
Barnes and Kanter make surprise starts
Injuries to both David Lee and Derrick Favors forced Harrison Barnes and Enes Kanter into their teams’ respective starting units on Friday. The results were encouraging if nothing else. Kanter was the better of the two, scoring 15 points with seven boards. He played nearly 30 minutes and shouldn’t be sitting on many waiver wires due to his upside. Barnes wasn’t as impressive, scoring just eight points on 2-10 shooting. He added six rebounds and not much else in over 30 minutes. The interesting thing about Barnes is the Andre Iguodala factor. Iggy hasn’t looked right in quite some time but the Warriors are financially committed to him. However, if the Warriors shook up the lineup and gave Barnes a starting role, he’d be a much more attractive fantasy option. Until then, the small forward’s performances are too sporadic to be trusted in most leagues.