The 40-Point, Nine-Trey Club
Blake Griffin (knee) returned from a three-game absence on Friday and exploded for 45 points (11-of-20 FGs, 14-of-16 FTs), nine 3-pointers, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and one turnover across 35 minutes in a 123-110 loss to the Thunder. The nine triples accounted for a career-high for Blake, and that 3-point shot has been an intriguing part of his game this season with Griffin drilling a career-high 2.5 trey-bombs per contest to go with 24.9 points (career-high), 7.7 boards, 5.4 dimes and 3.4 turnovers per game on 46.4% shooting. After struggling to stay on the court over the past four years, Griffin is on track to play in 76 games this season, so he’s likely on a lot of winning fantasy teams.
Stephen Curry also busted out the 40-spot during a 120-114 win over the Cavs, finishing with 40 points (12-of-21 FGs, 7-of-7 FTs), nine triples, six rebounds, seven assists, one block and four turnovers in 36 minutes. Just another night for the best 3-point bomber to ever suit up on the NBA hardwood.
On the Radar
Mario Hezonja registered his first career triple-double across 42 minutes as the Knicks’ starting point guard on Friday, tallying 16 points (6-of-11 FGs, 4-of-6 FTs), 16 rebounds, 11 assists, one steal and four turnovers. The Knicks only had nine rotation players available (none of them being traditional PGs), and that’s a trend that could continue to close out the year. Hezonja has been solid in his previous two appearances with averages of 22.5 points, 12.5 boards, 8.0 dimes, 1.5 steals and 4.0 turnovers per game on 51.5% shooting from the field and 83.3% from the stripe.
DeAndre Bembry posted a 14-point, 10-rebound double-double in 29 minutes off the bench, to go with four assists, three steals and two turnovers. He has some low-end value in deep leagues as a steals specialist, particularly with Kent Bazemore (groin) potentially done for the year.
Bryn Forbes scored 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting to go with four 3-pointers, one rebound, four assists and zero turnovers in 32 minutes. He’s been solid in four of his past five outings, posting averages of 15.4 points, 3.4 assists, 3.0 triples and 0.6 turnovers over that five-game stretch.
Troy Brown Jr., who was held to just six points on 2-of-7 shooting Wednesday, came through with 13 points (5-of-11 FGs, 2-of-2 FTs), four rebounds, one 3-pointer, three assists, one block and zero turnovers through 33 minutes as a starter. He’s been hit-or-miss this season, but should continue to see nothing but opportunity with Trevor Ariza (groin) and Jabari Parker (knee) potentially done for the year. Over the past four games he’s put in averages of 14.5 points, 4.3 boards, 2.3 triples, 1.8 dimes, 1.0 steal and just 0.5 turnovers per game on 51.2% shooting.
Frank Kaminsky double-doubled during Friday’s win over the Raptors, scoring 22 points on 8-of-19 shooting (4-of-6 from the line) to go with 13 rebounds, two 3-pointers, two assists and one turnover in 36 minutes off the bench. Marvin Williams (foot) and Cody Zeller (knee) could be done for the year, so Kaminsky will continue to have the opportunity for some extended minutes in Charlotte to close out the season. He’s been in a nice groove over the past six games with averages of 13.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.2 triples, 1.7 assists and 0.7 turnovers on 44.3% shooting.
Aron Baynes had an 11-point, 11-rebound double-double through 27 minutes as a starter to go with two assists, one 3-pionter, one steal, two blocks and zero turnovers. He’s been heating up over the past five games with averages of 8.2 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.6 swats per contest on 46.9% shooting, giving him some low-end appeal in deep leagues.
Dion Waiters hit 8-of-17 shots on his way to 22 points, six 3-pointers and one turnover through 33 minutes as a starter. Josh Richardson (groin) is done for the regular season, so Waiters is going to be very busy on the offensive end as the season winds down. If you ignore the free throw shooting (66.7%), he’s been flirting with top-70 value over the past few weeks behind averages of 21.0 points, 3.0 assists, 4.4 treys and 1.1 turnovers per game on 44.4% shooting.
Justise Winslow returned to the starting unit sans J-Rich and went 6-of-15 from the field on his way to 13 points, seven rebounds, four assists, one 3-pointer, one steal, one block and four turnovers in 37 minutes. He was playing some of the best ball of his career prior to missing nine straight games with a thigh injury, so he should be solid over the final three games for Miami with Richardson on the sidelines.
Gorgui Dieng scored a season-high 19 points on 8-of-15 shooting (3-of-4 from the line) to go with four rebounds, one steal, two blocks, one assist and zero turnovers in 22 minutes with the second unit. He’s been trending up over the past five games with averages of 14.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.0 steal, 0.8 swats and 1.6 turnovers per contest on 62% shooting.
Josh Okogie struggled with his shot, going 2-of-7 from the field (2-of-2 from the line) for six points, but he salvaged the stat line by ripping away a career-high five steals. The scoring comes and goes with Okogie, but he’s been a low-end asset in 9-cat leagues over the past month due to his 1.8 steals and just 0.6 turnovers per game.
Delon Wright notched his first career triple-double during a 122-112 win over the Mavericks, scoring 26 points on 10-of-19 shooting (4-of-5 from the line) to go with 10 rebounds, 14 assists, two 3-pointers, two steals and zero turnovers through 39 minutes as a starter. Mike Conley has missed the past three games with a sore ankle, and there’s not much incentive for him to return for the final three games, so Wright could close out the year as a starter in Memphis. He’s been a top-75 guy over the past month with averages of 12.3 points, 4.5 boards, 6.2 dimes, 2.1 steals, 0.6 swats and just 1.5 turnovers per game on 43.2% shooting.
Justin Holiday drilled another three triples on his way to 20 points, one rebound, two assists, two steals, one block and one turnover in 32 minutes. He’s been a mid-round guy for a month now with averages of 11.2 points, 1.8 treys, 3.6 boards, 1.4 dimes, 1.6 steals and 1.1 turnovers per game on 44.2% shooting.
Josh Jackson came just one-point shy of matching his career-high during a 133-126 win over New Orleans, netting 35 points on 15-of-29 shooting to go with five treys (career-high), nine rebounds, five assists and two steals over 46 turnover-less minutes. He’ll be operating as the No. 1 option in Phoenix with Devin Booker (ankle) done for the year and Deandre Ayton’s (ankle) season in jeopardy, so he’s worth a look in most leagues as long as you’re okay with some lame shooting percentages.
Ray Spalding shined in his first career start, scoring 21 points on 10-of-13 shooting (1-of-2 from the line) to go with 13 rebounds, three steals, three blocks and one turnover in 29 minutes. Dragan Bender was also solid as a starter sans Ayton and Richaun Holmes (ankle), contributing 11 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, one turnover and a career-high seven swats over 38 minutes. The suns literally don’t have any other frontcourt options, so these two could be solid over the final two games of the year.
Ian Clark went 9-of-17 from the field and 2-of-2 from the stripe on his way to 24 points, four 3-pointers, four rebounds, four assists, two steals, one block and one turnover in 40 minutes. He’s going to get all the run he can handle over the final few games with New Orleans ridiculously banged up, giving him some low-end appeal in deep leagues.
Christian Wood scored 17 points on 5-of-7 shooting (7-of-8 from the line) to go with five rebounds and one block in just 16 minutes off the bench. Anthony Davis is unlikely to suit up for the Pelicans again this season, so Wood should be solid over their final two games.
The good Rodney Hood came to play on Friday and he finished with 17 points (8-of-12 FGs), one 3-pointer, two rebounds, one assist, three steals and one turnover through 34 minutes as a starter. Evan Turner was also solid in his 21 minutes off the bench, tallying 15 points, two 3-pointers, one rebound, three assists and two turnovers. These two will continue to see some increased opportunity while Seth Curry (leg) and C.J. McCollum (knee) are out.
Alex Caruso dropped in a career-high 32 points on 10-of-19 shooting (7-of-7 from the line) during Friday’s upset win over the Clippers, adding 10 rebounds, five 3-pointers, five assists, two steals, one block and three turnovers through 38 minutes as a starter. He’s going to see a ton of opportunity over the Lakers’ final two games with the team extremely banged up, so he’s on the radar in deep leagues.
Grayson Allen scored a career-high 23 points on 10-of-14 shooting, to go with two assists, three 3-pointers, one steal, one block and six turnovers in 26 minutes off the bench. The Jazz could use some backcourt help with Ricky Rubio (quad), Raul Neto (ankle), Dante Exum (knee, done for the year) and Kyle Korver (knee) banged up, so Allen will be a name to watch over their final three games.