Thursday gave us a five-game night in the NBA and Kyrie Irving went ballistic with a career-high 57 points. Rudy Gobert also went nuts, no Roy Hibbert in Indy meant a good game for Luis Scola, and two laughable teams squared off late night, as the Knicks visited the Lakers (and actually won). You can follow me on Twitter by clicking here.
Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $125,000 fantasy basketball league for Friday’s NBA games. It's just $2 to join and first place wins $10,000. Starts Friday at 7pm ET. Enter now!
Pacers drop Bucks in OT
The Pacers beat the Bucks in overtime behind 25 points, six rebounds and six assists from Rodney Stuckey, who stayed red-hot. Ian Mahinmi started in place of Roy Hibbert, who was out with an elbow injury, but it was Luis Scola who benefitted. Scola had 17 points and 15 rebounds in 34 minutes, as Scola and Stuckey led the way in minutes for the Pacers last night. Mahinmi wasn’t too bad himself, racking up eight points, 10 rebounds and four blocks. And given how bad Hibbert has been this season, you have to wonder if they’re ready to give Mahinmi a bigger role going forward. C.J. Miles played through his foot injury and had 14 points and four 3-pointers, but he’s hard to trust from a health standpoint. The Pacers are 9-1 since the All-Star break and are now just 3.5 games behind the Bucks for the No. 6 seed.
For the Bucks, Michael Carter-Williams led the way with 28 points, eight boards, four assists and four steals. He hit 8-of-20 shots and 12-of-15 free throws, and is finally playing like he did in Philadelphia. Ersan Ilyasova was a pleasant surprise with 19 points, 10 rebounds and a 3-pointer, as he continues to be one of the biggest fantasy teases of all time. Zaza Pachulia added 16 points and 12 rebounds, as he continues to ruin John Henson (12 minutes, zero points). Khris Middleton scored 18 points and hit three 3-pointers, but also hit just 6-of-21 shots, and Giannis Antetokounmpo came back to earth with 12 points and six boards on 4-of-14 shooting.
Editor's Note: Have you ever wondered how daily fantasy sports became so popular so quickly? Our friends at RotoGrinders created a fun, interactive timeline documenting the history of the daily fantasy sports industry. Take a trip down memory lane and check it out.
Wizards wax Grizzlies bench
The Wizards crushed the Grizzlies, who rested Marc Gasol, Mike Conley and Zach Randolph. John Wall took offense to Memphis using their B team in Washington, and hit 8-of-11 shots for 21 points, seven rebounds, six assists, a steal, two blocks and a 3-pointer – one of his better games in recent memory. Marcin Gortat added 22 points, nine boards, three steals and three blocks, Paul Pierce scored 17 and Drew Gooden, who started for Nene (personal) added 13 points and five rebounds. We don’t have details on Nene’s issue, meaning he’s questionable for Saturday against the Kings.
The box score for the Grizzlies is as ugly as you can imagine, with forwards JaMychal Green and Jarnell Stokes each leading the way with 13 points. It’s rare when a guy you’ve never heard of leads a team in scoring, but having two of them do it is almost unheard of. The only other Grizzly in double figures was Kosta Koufos, who had 10 points, four rebounds and a block. Jeff Green and Courtney Lee actually started in this one, but were both high disappointing. Green had eight points and six rebounds, and Lee hit just 3-of-10 shots for nine points. Yuck. And in case you’re thinking about picking up JaMychal Green or Stokes, just know that you already missed their best games of the season, and Randolph and Gasol are going to be back for the next one.
Jazz rock Rockets behind Gobert’s monster line
Rudy Gobert hit 8-of-11 shots for 19 points and a career-high 22 rebounds, 12 of which were offensive. He also blocked four shots, as the legend of Rudy continues to grow. If he keeps this up, you’ll have to reach for him if you want him next year, as someone is probably going to take a flier on him in the second or third round of you draft. Gordon Hayward scored 29 points with a full stat line, and Rodney Hood moved into the starting lineup and hit 8-of-16 shots for a career-high 20 points and three 3-pointers. He also scored a career-high 17 in his previous game (off the bench) so If you’ve had your eye on him, it’s time to pick Hood up.
For the Rockets, James Harden had another off night, hitting just 3-of-13 shots and missing all five of his 3-point attempts. He finished with just 15 points (with seven assists and three steals) and had a similar struggle on Wednesday night against the Blazers (18 points, 7-of-19 shooting). The Jazz are a good defensive unit and Harden is simply getting tired. I’m not worried, and expect him to bounce back soon, but his play over the last couple games might impact his ability to run away with the MVP award. Corey Brewer stayed hot and hit 10-of-15 shots for 25 points off the bench, and if you played him this week, you might be a genius. He’s scored between 23 and 25 points in his last three games and is averaging 18.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.4 3-pointers over his last five. He also scored 17 straight points on Wednesday night for the Rockets, before missing a game-tying 3-pointer. Yes, he should be added right now. Terrence Jones was solid with 11 points, 10 boards and two steals, and Patrick Beverley was disappointing again with nine points and one assist. Trevor Ariza took just four shots and hit one of them, finishing with four points. He’s in a funk, likely induced by Brewer.
Cavs sink Spurs in overtime behind Kyrie Irving’s monstrosity
The Cavaliers got a career-high 57 points from Kyrie Irving, which is the highest number of points scored in an NBA game this season. Irving lit up Tony Parker, hitting 20-of-32 shots, 7-of-7 3-pointers and 10-of-10 free throws, and finished with five assists and four steals, and just two turnovers. Wow. He also hit a fadeaway three that sent the game to OT, and scored 55 on Jan. 28 against the Blazers. LeBron James added 31 points and a full stat line, while Kevin Love was understandably quiet with eight points, five rebounds and two 3-pointers on 2-of-10 shooting.
The Spurs still got a nice game from Parker, who had 31 points, five rebounds, six assists and a steal on 15-of-23 shooting, Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green each scored 24 points with full stat lines, and Tim Duncan added 18 points, 11 boards, eight assists, a steal and four blocks on 7-of-11 shooting. This game was a fantasy feast and featured most of the night’s best stat lines.
Knicks take down Lakers in L.A.
The Knicks welcomed back Tim Hardaway Jr. from a back injury and he led the way with 22 points and five 3-pointers on 8-of-14 shooting off the bench. I’ve been waiting for him to do this all season long, but unfortunately, his five-game week was turned into a three-gamer due to his injury. Andrea Bargnani scored 16, but didn’t do much more (as usual), Alexey Shved had 14 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and a 3-pointer, and Langston Galloway added 12 points, four assists, two steals, a block and two 3-pointers on 5-of-7 shooting in the win. Cole Aldrich cooled off with just five points in 20 minutes off the bench after going for 17 points and 13 rebounds in his previous game.
The Lakers got 19 points, 10 boards and a block from Jordan Hill, while starters Tarik Black (10 & 11), Jordan Clarkson and Wayne Ellington (11 points, two 3-pointers a piece), and bench players Carlos Boozer (11 & 7) and Jeremy Lin (14 points, 7 assists) all scored in double figures in the loss. Ed Davis also came through with seven points, 10 rebounds and three steals, while Wes Johnson struggled for four points on 2-of-10 shooting.
Friday night features just nine games after the busiest Thursday of the year, highlighted by the Hawks at Phoenix, the Clippers at Dallas, and the Warriors at Denver, where the Hawks got blitzed on Wednesday night. There are plenty of injury concerns surrounding Friday’s games, so be sure to check out the Rotoworld News Feed before setting your lineups.