The Sixers, Suns, Mavericks, Lakers and Kings all won on the same night, and Julius Randle posted a sweet triple-double on an eight-game Tuesday. Dose! You can follow me on Twitter to see if it's a basketball goal, or hoop, by clicking here.
Sixers 93, Timberwolves 91 – The Sixers blew a 26-point lead and it looked like this one was going to overtime after a game-tying Ricky Rubio 3-pointer with 1.6 seconds left. But Robert Covington hit a circus shot to seal the win for Philly. Covington didn’t play particularly well and hit just 4-of-14 shots, but did finish with 13 points, 10 rebounds, four steals, a block and a three, so his line looked fine. Maybe he’ll start making shots one day, but he’s hit just 10-of-27 over his last three. Joel Embiid had 25 points and a full stat line in Mike Gallagher’s dream matchup against KAT, and Ersan Ilyasova had 18 points, five boards, a block and three 3-pointers as his surprising season continues. T.J. McConnell filled in for Sergio Rodriguez (ankle) and had six points, seven boards, eight assists and two steals, but hit just 3-of-9 shots. Rodriguez hopes to be back on Friday, which would hurt McConnell’s value, obviously. Nerlens Noel played just 11 minutes and Jahlil Okafor played 10, and things are going to remain a mess for them until the Sixers make a trade. Dario Saric played 24 minutes and had eight points, seven boards and two steals, and is worth a look in most leagues right now.
Karl-Anthony Towns had 23 points, 15 boards, five assists, two steals and a 3-poiner, but is now just 1-of-14 treys over his last three games. I wish he’d shoot fewer of them. Zach LaVine overcame a slow start for 28 points, three 3-pointers, two steals and a block, as his dreamy season rolls on, and Gorgui Dieng just missed a triple-double with 10 points, nine boards, a steal and two blocks. Andrew Wiggins hit just 2-of-15 shots for eight points after scoring at least 21 points in five straight games. And Ricky Rubio cooled off, hitting 2-of-3 shots a game-tying 3-pointer with 1.6 seconds on the clock for five points, three rebounds, five assists and two steals in 30 minutes. Even though he’s playing better lately, he’s scored a grand total of 14 points in four of his last five games (he had 18-8-7 in the other one). Shabazz Muhammad had 10 points, five boards, a steal and a 3-pointer, and is playing better, so deep-leaguers (16 teams) should give him a glance.
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Celtics 115, Jazz 104 – Isaiah Thomas went off for 29 points, 15 dimes and five 3-pointers, Jae Crowder scored 21 with five 3-pointers, and Al Horford had 21 points, five boards, four assists and three 3-pointers in the win. Avery Bradley was a bit quiet in his return from an illness, but still had 14 points, three rebounds, two assists and two 3-pointers in 36 minutes. Believe it or not, this was Crowder’s first 20-point game since opening night, so maybe he’s finally ready to start playing. Marcus Smart got 28 minutes through an illness, but had just nine points, three assists, a steal and a 3-pointer. He’s tough to own due to inconsistency, but I still like him.
The Jazz got 23 points and three 3-pointers from Gordon Hayward, but he didn’t do a whole lot in this one. Rudy Gobert had 13 rebounds, but just eight points and one block, and Derrick Favors had a nice game with 12 points, six boards and seven assists in 29 minutes. Now looks like a good time to move him before his knee acts up again. Shelvin Mack and Rodney Hood were duds in starts, while starting point guard George Hill (concussion) was out yet again, and we don’t know when he’ll be ready to play again. Hold him if you can, but I get it if you can’t take anymore. Joe Johnson scored 17 and Boris Diaw had 15 off the bench, but neither is trustworthy.
Pacers 121, Pistons 116 – Paul George had 32 points, a fun stat line and has now scored at least that many in three of his last four games. He’s rolling, hitting at least 50 percent of his shots in three of his last four games, 14-of-28 3-pointers over his last four, and 34-of-35 free throws over his last five. Myles Turner and Jeff Teague were solid, and it was nice to see Teague out there on his bum ankle. Glenn Robinson is still starting over Monta Ellis, but G-Rob has been quiet and only had eight points, two blocks and two 3-pointers, while Ellis hit 6-of-6 shots and scored 16 points. I don’t like the thought of picking either player up right now. Thaddeus Young was quiet with eight points, but had scored in double figures in his previous eight games.
Andre Drummond stayed hot with 20 points, 14 rebounds, a steal and two blocks, and even hit both of his free throws. This was his sixth game of the season where he didn’t miss a free throw, and he didn’t attempt one in three of those. Reggie Jackson is hot and had 20 points, seven boards and a season-high 12 assists. He’s averaging 18.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 7.2 assists, 1.0 steals and 2.0 3-pointers on 47 percent shooting over his last five. It took a minute, but he’s rolling now. Starter Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 16, Jon Leuer and Marcus Morris each scored 14, and Tobias Harris stayed hot off the bench with 22 points, five boards and two 3-pointers on 9-of-14 shooting. He’s been great off the bench since his demotion.
Mavericks 113, Wizards 105 – The Sixers, Mavericks, Suns and Lakers (and Kings) all won last night, and I just hope it’s not a sign the world’s coming to an end soon. The Mavericks got 26 points, seven boards, five assists, a block and two 3-pointers from Harrison Barnes, and Deron Williams played through an illness and looked good with 21 points, six assists and four 3-pointers. Williams has been dropped in some leagues and I think he should be owned as long as he’s healthy and starting. Wesley Matthews scored 12 points with a couple 3-pointers and Dirk Nowitzki (who started at center) had 11 points, nine boards and a 3-pointer in 24 minutes. He’s played in two straight and scored 11 in both of them and might be worth a pickup if you lost JaMychal Green (see Grizzlies) tonight. Dwight Powell was quiet with eight points and four boards in just 13 minutes after playing so well in his previous game, and owners have to move on or get used to inconsistency. Devin Harris played just 17 minutes and had 17 points with four 3-pointers, and Seth Curry stayed hot with 16 points and four 3-pointers in 22 minutes. I’d rather own Curry than Harris. Andrew Bogut asked to come off the bench, so Nowitzki started, but coach Rick Carlisle wasn’t thrilled about it. Bogut also banged his knee and didn’t return late in the fourth quarter, but said afterwards that he is “fine.”
The Wizards saw all five starters score in double figures and Marcin Gortat double-doubled with 12 points, 16 boards and a block. Bradley Beal stayed hot with 25 points and three 3-pointers, and John Wall had 27 points and eight assists. I’m still not sure how the Wiz lost this one. Otto Porter had 13 points, four rebounds, three assists, three steals, three blocks and three 3-pointers, and is the only player in the league this season to have three steals, threes and blocks in a game this season (thanks, Jonas Nader). The Wizards fell to 1-6 on the back half of back-to-back games this season.
Spurs 110, Raptors 82 – The Spurs routed the Raptors and Pau Gasol (5 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 blocks) played just 19 minutes, while Tony Parker (15 points, 8 assists, 6-of-9 shooting) played just 22 minutes. Maybe Gregg Popovich will count this as a night off for the old men and will let them play until the Spurs go back-to-back on Jan. 23-24. Maybe. LaMarcus Aldridge was fun with 23 points, eight boards, six assists, a block and a 3-pointer, and Kawhi Leonard packed it with 25 points, four boards, two assists, two steals, three blocks and five 3-pointers in just 28 minutes. Wow.
Jonas Valanciunas was awful, hitting just 1-of-5 shots for two points, six rebounds and nothing else. And Lucas Nogueira missed all five of his shots and failed to score, as this was clearly not a night for centers on either team. JV is struggling, but I bet he bounces back soon. DeMarre Carroll was quiet in just 19 minutes (I’ve about lost any faith I once had), Kyle Lowry, who had 41 on Sunday (thanks, Lakers) hit just 2-of-9 shots for a season-low six points, and DeMar DeRozan did his thing with 26 points, zero 3-pointers and zero steals. Terrence Ross and Cory Joseph both played well off the bench, but they’re hard to trust. And Jakob Poeltl had four points and a career-high nine rebounds in 26 minutes of garbage time in the blowout.