Just your average night where Stephen Curry only makes one three-pointer and John Konchar scores 18 points. Anyone still battling it out in a fantasy championship where you can set daily lineups may find some useful tidbits, in addition to plenty of playoff and seeding implications around the NBA.
Nuggets 117, Hornets 112
Top stat lines:
Nikola Jokic: 30 points (7-of-16 FG, 16-of-17 FT), 11 rebounds, six assists, two turnovers in 35 minutes
Michael Porter Jr.: 30 points (12-of-18 FG, 6-of-10 3PT FG), six rebounds, one assist, two steals, five turnovers in 35 minutes
Devonte’ Graham: 31 points (10-of-19 FG, 7-of-14 3PT FG), four rebounds, five assists, one turnover in 33 minutes off the bench
Both Denver and Charlotte are prime examples of guys chock-full of fantasy goodies, including guys not mentioned above like LaMelo Ball (5/12/7 with five turnovers on 1-of-9 FG), P.J. Washington (13/11/4/4/3, 0-of-9 FG) and Aaron Gordon (17/6/3/2). The Hornets don’t pride themselves on making a ton of their shots as showcased by Ball and Washington tonight, but they both do enough to help you more than hurt you most nights. Both teams are still fighting for a better seeding situation, so none of the studs should rest for the last few games. With the Bulls losing to the Nets tonight, Charlotte secured a spot in the play-in tournament at the very least, and they’ll look to stay put in the eighth seed to avoid getting the win-or-go-home situation that the No. 9 and No. 10 seed carry. Denver is set to take either the third or fourth seed, and Mike Malone may be the kind of person to see which opponent he prefers when everyone is playing their final regular-season games on May 16th. As of now, they’ll most likely get either Portland or Dallas in the first round, with the Clippers playing whoever they don’t.
Timberwolves 119, Pistons 100
Top stat lines:
– Karl-Anthony Towns: 28 points (10-of-19 FG, 4-of-11 3PT FG), eight rebounds, five assists, three steals, two turnovers in 34 minutes
– Saddiq Bey: 21 points (8-of-16 FG , 5-of-8 3PT FG), four rebounds, two assists, one block, four turnovers in 36 minutes
This game was just a classic case of the annual tank-a-thon, as neither of these two teams have anything to play for besides lottery balls. Wolves coach Chris Finch has made it clear that he won’t be resting any of his guys, which is good news for anyone with KAT, Anthony Edwards (22/2/2/2) or D’Angelo Russell (15/5/10/3/1) on their fantasy squad. The Pistons, on the other hand, are a mess right now and have been for a while. We may not see Jerami Grant again this season, and their lineups will probably change nightly, so proceed with caution.
Heat 129 Celtics 121
Top stat lines:
– Bam Adebayo: 22 points (10-of-15 FG), seven rebounds, five assists, one steal, two blocks, four turnovers in 35 minutes
–Tyler Herro: 24 points (10-of-15 FG, 4-of-7 3PT FG), 11 rebounds, three assists, one steal, three turnovers in 35 minutes (ties team-high) off the bench
– Jayson Tatum: 33 points (12-of-21 FG, 5-of-8 3PT FG), eight rebounds, six assists, one steal, one block, four turnovers in 39 minutes
– Kemba Walker: 36 points (season-high, 14-of-27 FG), seven rebounds, four assists, one steal, one turnover, and four triples (he hit the 1,590th triple of his career tonight, putting him at No. 30 all-time in career triples)
Tyler Herro ruined Kemba’s phenomenal night and milestone and must have thought he was in the bubble again with a scoring frenzy and a nice line. Jimmy Butler got off to a hot start with 11 first-quarter points, but left the game in the second due to a head-on collision with Marcus Smart and was held out for the rest of the night after playing just 17 minutes. It looks like he got knocked in the eye and maybe his vision was suffering as a result, but we’ll see how he reacts overnight. Duncan Robinson matched Bam with 22 points and added five triples, with Kendrick Nunn going for 18/7/1 with three steals in a solid effort. The Celtics got superb efforts from Tatum and Walker, but have now dropped two in a row to this Heat team. It doesn’t help that Jaylen Brown was ruled out for the season on Monday with a torn ligament in his left wrist, and the Celtics are currently set to be in the play-in tournament unless a miracle happens. Miami is tied record-wise with the Hawks, and could either get a rematch with the Bucks or a gritty, defensively-focused first-round matchup with the Knicks. Miami, per usual, is turning it on at the right time, and even Celtics coach Brad Stevens admitted that no one would want to play them in the first round.
Clippers 115, Raptors 96
Top stat lines:
– Ivica Zubac: 18 points (8-of-12 FG), 10 rebounds, three assists, one block in 30 minutes
– Chris Boucher: 16 points (5-of-15 FG), seven rebounds, one steal, one block in 37 minutes.
The Raptors welcomed Chris Boucher back to the lineup, who had been out since April 21st with a knee injury. And yes, this was the most impressive Toronto stat line tonight, so that’s how their night went. LA also got solid efforts from Kawhi Leonard (20/7/5 with two steals) and Terrence Mann (20 points on 107.14 eFG% off the bench). The Raps are eliminated and haven’t really cared much about this season, and it may have to do with the fact that they’re playing their Toronto home games in Tampa. Regardless, Bobby Webster plays chess, not checkers, and he’s probably fine calling this silly season a wash and making moves this offseason. The Clippers look like they’ll stay in the No. 3 seed in the West as long as Phoenix wins at least two of their last four games and Denver loses more often than them going forward. But it is the Western Conference; it’s a messy every year and nothing should surprise an NBA fan of any caliber at this point.
Pacers 103, 76ers 94
Top stat lines:
– Domantas Sabonis: 16 points (88.89 Efg%), 13 rebounds, 15 assists, two turnovers, two triples in 40 minutes
– Caris LeVert: 24 points (8-of-20 shooting, 2-of-9 3PT FG), seven rebounds, five assists, two steals, four turnovers in 40 minutes
– Ben Simmons: 20 points (9-of-16 FG), eight rebounds, seven assists, two steals, five turnovers in 37 minutes
Joel Embiid (illness) didn’t play on Tuesday and it showed, as the 76ers fell to the Pacers, a team that is currently fighting to remain one of the four play-in teams in the East. Philadelphia got help from Simmons and Tobias Harris (27/5/3), but that’s about it, as the next-highest scorer was Tyrese Maxey with 11. On the contrary, Indiana got help from others not mentioned above from the likes of Doug McDermott (20 points, four triples, but that’s about it, of course) and Justin Holiday (16 points as a starter). The Pacers have been banged up for what seems like eons, still playing without Malcolm Brogdon (hamstring), Myles Turner (toe) and Jeremy Lamb (knee). It’s very hard to trust this Pacers team even at full strength, but they got it done when they needed to most tonight. The Pacers could end up anywhere from seeds seven through ten, and hopefully they can get at least one or two of their starters back to increase their chances of passing Charlotte for the all-important No. 8 seed. Philadelphia should be able to retain the East’s top seed as long as they don’t lose to the Magic, who they play twice in their final three games.
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Nets 115, Bulls 107
Top stat lines:
– Kevin Durant: 21 points (9-of-13 FG), four rebounds, eight assists, one steal, three blocks, two turnovers in 32 minutes.
– Zach LaVine: 41 points (15-of-27 FG, 6-of-11 3PT FG), three rebounds, one assist, one steal, two turnovers in 37 minutes
The big part of this game was Kyrie Irving leaving in the third quarter with a facial contusion. For what it’s worth, Steve Nash said that it wasn’t a concussion, but they’re waiting on some more test results to come out before officially declaring any time missed. In addition to KD, the team’s well-balanced effort was fantasy gold as they had about five guys worth plugging into lineups today, these guys being Bruce Brown (15/10/3), Jeff Green (14/8 with a swat), Mike James (11/7/6/1/1, who will be a popular DFS play if Kyrie sits out), and Nick Claxton (10/10 with two blocks). It was the Zach LaVine show on Chicago’s end, but basically everyone else left him to do a monologue as Coby White (16/3/4 on 6-of-17 FG) and even Nikola Vucevic (12/12/6 on 5-of-18 FG) couldn’t find the bottom of the net tonight. With this loss, the Bulls are now just one loss or one Washington win away from being eliminated from play-in contention, which would solidify the 10 teams advancing. For what it’s worth, the Bulls’ final three opponents are the Raptors, Nets and Bucks, while the Wizards’ final three opponents are the Hawks, Cavaliers, and Hornets. So no, we don’t like their chances, but never say never.
Grizzlies 133, Mavericks 104
Top stat lines:
– Ja Morant: 24 points (7-of-14 FG, 3-of-6 3PT FG), seven rebounds, eight assists, one steal, four turnovers in 29 minutes
– Dillon Brooks: 22 points (9-of-21 FG), two rebounds, two assists, three steals, two blocks, two turnovers in 33 minutes (team-high)
There weren’t any Mavs included up there because, well, no one did anything super exciting. Tim Hardaway Jr. was fine with 19 points, five boards and three triples, but he’s been so scorching hot lately that this was subpar for his standards. Luka was clearly not himself with a 12/5/5 line with five turnovers, and maybe this was his apology game for hitting Collin Sexton in the groin last time out. Even Willie Cauley-Stein was more impressive than Luka with 16 points and eight boards on 7-of-8 shooting, and Jalen Brunson‘s 15 points off the bench are the only other thing worth talking about at all. The Mavs also got some bad news that it is now mathematically impossible to climb to higher than the No. 5 seed since Denver won tonight, so spots five through seven seem fair game for them, the Lakers, and the Trail Blazers. The Grizzlies had a ton of fun and had seven guys in double figures, including Brandon Clarke (14/9/2/2/1 in 19 minutes) and John Konchar (18/6/3, who has only scored in double figures two other times this season). Memphis is guaranteed a play-in spot no matter what, and with the Warriors win Tuesday, they now sit just half a game behind the Dubs.
Bucks 114, Magic 102
Top stat lines:
– Giannis Antetokounmpo: 27 points (11-of-18 FG), 12 rebounds, five assists, three steals, two turnovers in 32 minutes
– Moritz Wagner: 17 points (6-of-13 FG, 2-of-4 3PT FG), 13 rebounds (season-high), one assist in 28 minutes
The Spurs scored 146 points on the Bucks on Monday night, but with the Magic scoring 102 on them, it’s hard to either confirm or deny that the Bucks were playing better defense on Tuesday. Orlando has a minor case of the Pistons as they sit guys for no reason here and there since the playoffs aren’t a factor for them, but no one can out-Piston Detroit. Wendell Carter Jr. (8/14/4) and Cole Anthony (18 points, four rebounds) weren’t too bad, but everyone else was mediocre at best. Khris Middleton struggled with his shot with a 3-of-15 mark from the field, but Brook Lopez (17 points, six boards), Donte DiVincenzo (19 points with a steal and three triples) and Bobby Portis (10/15/1/1/1 off of the bench) picked up the slack for the sharpshooter. Milwaukee is assuredly a top-3 seed in the East, and are just a game back from the Nets and two back from the 76ers. These three could shuffle around, but it looks like this current one-two-three seed setup is the most likely scenario.
Kings 122, Thunder 106
Top stat lines:
– Buddy Hield: 21 points (8-of-15 FG, 5-of-11 3PT FG), three rebounds, six assists, one steal, four turnovers in 31 minutes
– Delon Wright: 21 points (8-of-11 FG, 5-of-7 3PT FG), four rebounds, eight assists, four steals, two turnovers in 33 minutes
Kenrich Williams: 20 points (8-of-15 FG, 4-of-5 3PT FG), two rebounds, four assists, four steals, two blocks, one turnover in 33 minutes
The Kings took care of the Thunder with ease tonight, but so could my three 6th-grade neighbors and my two grandmas. Jokes aside, they had a couple solid performances and haven’t even hidden the fact that they don’t want to win (Al Horford making Kawhi’s load-management look like nothing, made-up injuries for Lu Dort; the list goes on and on). In addition to Williams going nuts, Darius Bazley impressed with an 18/5/5 line with a pair of triples, while Moses Brown had a cheap 10/10 double-double with one steal. Delon Wright has been incredible since Tyrese Haliburton went down with a knee injury and is actually just outside of the top-10 in fantasy hoops in the past week. If you picked him up quickly enough, you may very well be on your way to a fantasy championship on Sunday, for anyone whose league extends that deep into the season. While the Kings aren’t technically out of the play-in picture yet, they’ll have to be nearly perfect and Gregg Popovich will have to forget how to coach if they want a chance of it, but them still having a chance helps for any Hield/Holmes/Wright fantasy managers. Terrence Davis went nuts off the bench with an efficient 27/5/3/2 line with five triples in 31 minutes, and if he can get minutes next year he’ll be a whole lot of fun to watch. Richaun Holmes (13 points and seven boards with a steal) was serviceable but not his best in 26 minutes.
Warriors 122, Suns 116
Top stat lines:
– Andrew Wiggins: 38 points (second game of the season with 30+ points, 17-of-24 FG), seven rebounds, three assists, one steal, one turnover in 40 minutes
– Draymond Green: 11 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists, four steals, two turnovers in 37 minutes
– Devin Booker: 34 points (11-of-21 FG, 4-of-9 3PT FG, 8-of-9 FT), seven rebounds, four assists, four turnovers in 39 minutes
– Chris Paul: 24 points (9-of-17 FG), three rebounds, 10 assists, one steal, one block, three turnovers in 33 minutes
I know what you’re thinking: “You left out Stephen Curry! Where is he?” Nope, believe it or not, Curry was the third (arguably fourth) best player on the Warriors tonight, but they still managed to beat the Suns on the second night of a back-to-back where they beat the Jazz, the only team in the NBA better than the Suns, just a night prior. This Dubs team is turning it on at the perfect time, and while it took them a while to get it going, they’re here. Steph (21/3/6, 1-of-11 3PT FG) and Jordan Poole (20 points in 20 minutes off the bench) both eclipsed the 20-point threshold to help secure the victory. This win put the Warriors a half-game ahead of the Grizzlies for the 9th seed, and (spoiler alert) with the Lakers win tonight, they’re now 2.5 games behind them for seed No. 8. The Suns are just fine, as they sit two games behind Utah and two games ahead of Denver at seed No. 2. If the Jazz go 3-0 or 2-1 in their final three, they’ll be left at No. 2 or, worst-case scenario, seed No. 3 if they really struggle to finish up the season.
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Lakers 101, Knicks 99
Top stat lines:
– Andre Drummond: 16 points, 18 rebounds, three assists, two blocks, one turnover in 35 minutes
– Julius Randle: 31 points (11-of-26 FG, 4-of-8 3PT FG), eight rebounds, five assists, three turnovers in 44 minutes
– Derrick Rose: 27 points (10-of-22 FG), six rebounds, six assists, three steals, one block, three turnovers in 39 minutes off the bench
The Lakers pulled off an overtime win against one of the best defenses in the league, putting them one game behind Dallas for the No. 6 seed and a semi-comfortable 2.5 games ahead of Golden State for the No. 8 seed. Anthony Davis came back to earth with an inefficient 20 points with six rebounds, four assists, and a steal, while Talen Horton-Tucker notched his third career double-double with a 13/5/10 line with an unfortunate seven turnovers. He made up for it in a big way, however, as he a made a clutch triple in the OT period with about 20 seconds left to put the Lakers up two points and ultimately secure the win. Kyle Kuzma returned and had 23 of his own with four triples, and with two wins against good teams, maybe the Lakers are starting to get on track. There were no other Knicks in need of mentioning as Randle and Rose combined for 58.6% of the team’s points. Seeding-wise, the Knicks are now in a three-way tie record-wise with the Hawks and Heat, but sit in the No. 6 seed for tiebreaker reasons (ATL is in 4th, Miami in 5th).