After Tuesday’s one-game night lulled us to sleep, we’re right back at it with 28 teams in action on Wednesday. Sorry for the quick hits, but space is limited. Follow me on Twitter here!
Thunder 108, Warriors 91 – Russell Westbrook had a season-high 34 points with 10 rebounds, nine assists and four steals, jawed with Kevin Durant, and got help from Paul George (double-double), Carmelo Anthony and Steven Adams (double-double) in a blowout win. This was just Westbrook’s second 30-point game of the season. Jerami Grant has cooled off and played just 14 minutes, making him a drop candidate.
Cavaliers 119, Nets 109 – LeBron James went crazy in the fourth quarter, hitting 7-of-8 shots and scoring 23 points, and even scored 18 straight for the Cavs at one point. He finished with a 33-6-5-2 line in the win. Kevin Love double-doubled, Jae Crowder scored 14 with three triples, and the unreliable Dwyane Wade woke up for an 18-4-5 line in 28 minutes.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson led the Nets with 20, Allen Crabbe scored 15 with three more 3-pointers, and Joe Harris hit four 3-pointers and 7-of-10 shots for 18 points. Trevor Booker was out, Tyler Zeller started and Jarrett Allen played 19 minutes for six points, four boards and a block. It’s still too early for Jarrett in 12-team leagues. Spencer Dinwiddie had eight points, 10 assists, a steal, a block and two 3-pointers, and remains a must-own player everywhere.
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Clippers 116, Hawks 103 – Blake Griffin had a 26-10-10 triple-double, Wes Johnson scored 24, DeAndre Jordan had a 14-16-2 line, Austin Rivers bounced back with 18 points and three 3-pointers, and Lou Williams started for Patrick Beverley (knee, out for season) and had 20 points, eight assists and three 3-pointers. Rivers had been struggling, but should be held with the Beverley news, and Johnson has scored in double figures in three of his last four games. Williams should also be owned everywhere with the Beverley news. Sindarius Thornwell played just seven minutes, so Rivers and Williams are the guys you want in Beverley’s absence. The Clippers broke a nine-game losing streak with the win.
John Collins finally got his first start and hit 7-of-9 shots for 14 points, 10 rebounds and four steals. He’s now hit 37-of-48 shots over his last five games and has been a must-own player for weeks. Make sure he’s not available in your league, especially if he continues to start for the Hawks. Dewayne Dedmon, Dennis Schroder, Kent Bazemore and Marco Belinelli all played well, while Taurean Prince struggled on 1-of-7 shooting. All of the aforementioned Hawks are worth owning in most leagues.
Sixers 101, Blazers 81 – Joel Embiid had 28-12-2 and one of the best blocks you’ll ever see (sorry, Damian Lillard), while Ben Simmons filled up the stat sheet again. Dario Saric bounced back, Robert Covington struggled, but still nearly double-doubled, while J.J. Redick and T.J. McConnell scored in double figures. Nothing shocking in Philly.
Despite the blocked-shot fiasco, Lillard had 30 for the Blazers, C.J. McCollum hit just 1-of-14 shots, Jusuf Nurkic double-doubled, and Noah Vonleh had two points and 11 more rebounds. He’s averaging 6.0 points and 9.6 rebounds over his last five, making him worth a look in deep leagues and as a DFS punt. Shabazz Napier is also clearly on the fantasy radar, averaging 12.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.8 3-pointers on 52 percent shooting over his last five, and is available in most leagues. I’m guessing he’ll be making my Waiver Wired column this Sunday.
Hornets 129, Wizards 124 OT – Dwight Howard and Kemba Walker do what they do, but it was Jeremy Lamb turning heads with his 24-7-5 line with three 3-pointers in 37 minutes. Nicolas Batum left with an elbow injury and played just 14 minutes. This is the same elbow Batum has had issues with and if he’s going to miss time, Lamb is going to be worth owning again. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 12 points, seven boards, a steal and a block, but I’m still not that fired up about him. There are other waiver-wire guys I like better right now, like Mario Chalmers, etc.
The Wizards got a John Wall double-double, 22 points from Bradley Beal and decent lines out of Markieff Morris, Otto Porter, Marcin Gortat and Mike Scott (13 points, four boards). Kelly Oubre was quiet and should stay that way with Morris getting better each week.
Heat 104, Celtics 98 – The Heat snapped the Celtics ridiculous 16-game winning streak behind big games from Goran Dragic, Dion Waiters and Tyler Johnson. Unfortunately, Josh Richardson hit rock bottom with zero points on 0-for-5 shooting, and James Johnson was also very quiet in this one. Those are my guys, so I’m concerned, to say the least. Owners of Richardson are going to start dropping him on Turkey Day, even though his coach just said he wants him to be more aggressive. I get it if you’ve had enough and dump Josh for a hot free agent. Just don’t be surprised if he comes on strong in the near future. Waiters getting hot isn’t going to help Richardson, and he had a November-high 26 points with four 3-pointers and six dimes last night. He’s quietly been playing well all season, outside of Sunday’s 0-for-10 dud.
Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Morris all played well for Boston, while Al Horford struggled on 3-of-10 shooting against Hassan Whiteside. Aron Baynes started as the Celtics went big, but he’s too inconsistent to be owned in fantasy.
Knicks 108, Raptors 100 – Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 38 and helped the Knicks go on a 28-0 run in this one, while Kristaps Porzingis, Enes Kanter and Courtney Lee all hit double-digits. Jarrett Jack was bad, but Frank Ntilikina wasn’t much better, and I’m not wanting to own either of them right now, even though I think Ntilikina is going to get hot at some point.
Kyle Lowry was great with a 25-10-5 game with a full stat line and DeMar DeRozan scored 18, but the rest of the Raptors weren’t great in this one. Norman Powell was back from his hip injury and had 11 off the bench, while C.J. Miles also had 11, with both of them hitting three 3-pointers. They’re going to split minutes off the bench, making both unattractive right now. OG Anunoby started again, but played just 16 minutes, making him impossible to own in standard leagues.
Wolves 124, Magic 118 – All five Wolves starters scored between 18 and 26 points, and Jeff Teague and Karl-Anthony Towns both double-doubled. The bottom line is that all five Wolves starters (Teague, KAT, Taj Gibson, Andrew Wiggins, Jimmy Butler) should be owned, while the rest of them should be ignored.
All five Magic starters scored also scored in double figures, led by a 26-9-3-1 line from Aaron Gordon, who also hit a couple 3-pointers. Love him. Nikola Vucevic and Elfrid Payton double-doubled and Terrence Ross got loose for a season-high 22 points. Jonathon Simmons was quiet with Ross going off, but both players are worth a look in 12-team leagues right now if you need help. Ross is averaging 1.6 steals and 1.4 3-pointers on 55 percent shooting over his last five games.
Mavs 95, Grizzlies 94 – The Mavs picked up their fourth win of the season, as Dirk Nowitzki, Harrison Barnes, Dennis Smith Jr., Devin Harris and J.J. Barea (double-double) all hit double figures. Wesley Matthews was 1-of-7 for two points and the only guys I trust on this team are Barnes and Smith Jr., while Dirk, Matthews and JJB all deserve a 12-team look.
Memphis starters Marc Gasol, Dillon Brooks (double-double) and Chandler Parsons scored in double figures, JaMychal Green had eight points, nine rebounds and a steal, and Mario Chalmers had six points, seven rebounds, eight assists and two steals, despite hitting just 2-of-11 shots. Tyreke Evans stayed hot and Deyonta Davis came out of nowhere for a career-high 14 points and seven rebounds on 6-of-7 shooting. Green and Chalmers are must-own players in my mind, Parsons is worth a close look after appearing in seven straight games, Brooks is intriguing, and Davis should be ignored. Brooks is averaging 10.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 1.0 3-pointers on 54 percent shooting, meaning he’s at least worth a look on your wire.
Rockets 125, Nuggets 95 – The Rockets led 75-40 at halftime and never looked back, as Trevor Ariza (25), Chris Paul (23 &12) and James Harden (21-8-9) all flourished with Eric Gordon (calf) and Ryan Anderson (illness) sitting this one out. P.J. Tucker got the start and had 7 & 11, while Luc Mbah a Moute had 13 points, four steals and three blocks off the bench. Assuming both Anderson and Gordon will be back soon, both Tucker and Mbah a Moute can be ignored for now.
Wilson Chandler (back) started for the Nuggets, but struggled, while Will Barton went nuts again with a 20-6-3-2-2 line with two 3-pointers. With Paul Millsap (wrist surgery) done, it looks like Barton and Chandler are the guys to own, while Juan Hernangomez, Trey Lyles and Mason Plumlee will all pick up the slack off the bench. Kenneth Faried got a DNP, so dump him if you picked him up when Millsap went down. Jamal Murray was quiet again, but played 24 minutes and had eight points, seven rebounds and three assists. I’m still going to hold him until further notice. Chandler should bounce back in the next one, while every player’s usage rate will increase without Millsap around.
Pelicans 107, Spurs 90 – Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins double-doubled, Jrue Holiday scored a quiet 13 points, and Darius Miller had 12 points and four 3-pointers. Miller is averaging 12.6 points and 3.2 3-pointers on 64 percent shooting over his last five games, and I like using him as a punt play in DFS right now.
Rudy Gay bounced back with 19 points and two 3-pointers off the bench for the Spurs, but I like Kyle Anderson (12-5-4-1-1) better in fantasy. Patty Mills struggled to the tune of 1-of-7 shooting and two points, while Dejounte Murray had 14 points, four assists and three steals off the bench. I still like Mills here, but he’s not a must-own player. Danny Green fell back into a hole, missing all five of his shots and failing to even score, but I’m just going to hang onto him, as he’ll bounce back.
Bucks 113, Suns 107 – With Giannis Antetokounmpo out and day-to-day with a knee injury, we knew Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe’s usage rate would be through the roof last night. Middleton went off for 40 points, nine boards, four steals and three 3-pointers, while Bledsoe got some revenge on the Suns with a 30-6-7-2 line with a couple 3-pointers. John Henson was out with an eye injury and Thon Maker came through with 16 points, eight boards and three blocks in the start. This doesn’t bode well for Henson’s return, but I’m in wait-and-see mode there. Maker’s only worth using if Henson misses more games. Tony Snell moved to the bench and Malcolm Brogdon had 14 points in a start. However, Brogdon’s going to struggle when Giannis is back.
Alex Len got a DNP, but I think it may have been so that Greg Monroe could get some revenge against the Bucks. He came through with 22 points, 15 boards and a block off the bench, but I really don’t trust him. If you want to pick him up, go for it. Devin Booker scored 23 and sent the game into OT with a remarkable 3-pointer, and Tyler Ulis had 12 points and five assists in the start. He’s coming on. Marquese Chriss was awful again with two points and two rebounds in 12 minutes. I’m still a fan, but if you’ve had enough, cut the cord. You’ll probably sleep better. Dragan Bender had 11 points, six boards, two steals, a block and three 3-pointers, and could end up starting over Chriss if things don’t change. Mike James was bad and I’m fine with dropping him, as well.
Jazz 110, Bulls 80 – Donovan Mitchell hit just 1-of-10 shots for four points, but still filled the stat sheet, while starters Jonas Jerebko, Derrick Favors, Joe Ingles and Ricky Rubio all played pretty well. Favors was particularly impressive, and should stay that way until Rudy Gobert finally returns. Don’t cut Mitchell.
The Bulls were a special kind of bad to get whooped like this by a Jazz box score that wasn’t impressive. Lauri Markkanen (who was sick) hit just 1-of-9 shots and is 5-of-26 over his last two games. Hang in there with him. Denzel Valentine hit just 1-of-5 shots, but I’m good with holding him until David Nwaba returns and cuts into his minutes. Kris Dunn is a must-own player and had 12 points, nine boards, two steals and a 3-pointer, while Justin Holiday hit 4-of-11 shots and two 3-pointers for 12 points. Bobby Portis also stayed relevant with 14 points, eight boards and a block. Portis isn’t must-own, but he’s playable.
Kings 113, Lakers 102 – Willie Cauley-Stein came off the bench for a season-high 26 points, six boards and two steals on 10-of-14 shooting. He’s been awful, but was great tonight, so there’s hope if you want to grab him and see what happens. Zach Randolph had a season-high 22 points along with seven boards, seven assists, three steals and two 3-pointers on 10-of-16 shooting. Yes, it was against the Lakers, but he’s worth owning as a focal point for the Kings.
The Lakers got nice games from Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Jordan Clarkson, all of who should be owned in most leagues. Ball hit 4-of-8 shots and 3-of-5 3-pointers last night, which is a vast improvement. Maybe he’s going to start making better shot decisions going forward. Brook Lopez fell off the map again with four points and one rebound in 17 minutes. I’m glad I don’t own him, but he’s not a player I’d cut, despite the recent struggles. KCP should be owned everywhere, and it will be interesting to see what the return of Larry Nance (wrist) does to Kuzma and Randle. They should both be owned until we find out.