King Ja scores 46, outduels DeRozan in Chicago


For Saturday’s seven-game slate, I wanted to mix things up a bit with the information and format of this column. Instead of writing up the games paragraph-by-paragraph, I’ll offer bullets of the most relevant information with interesting statistical tidbits. Finally, any relevant pickups will be highlighted along with their roster percentage on Yahoo. Let’s get right to it!

Hawks 127, Raptors 100

  • Scottie Barnes had a season-high 28 points on Friday but fell way back to earth with six points in just 21 minutes Saturday.

  • Khem Birch has totaled one point, six rebounds, three assists and a block across 31 minutes combined in his last two starts for the Raptors.

  • Precious Achiuwa scored 21 points and added nine boards and two dimes. His career-high in scoring came back on May 16, 2021 when he put up 23 against Detroit. Saturday marked the second 20-point game of his career. Achiuwa should hold some solid value for as long as OG Anunoby (finger) is out.

  • Chris Boucher disappointed with three points and five rebounds in 23 minutes. Even with Anunoby out, Boucher looks like a flop.

  • After going from questionable to doubtful this afternoon, Fred VanVleet started and went for 24 points and five triples. He’s now just 31 three-pointers away from setting the Raptors’ single-season record of 238 set by Kyle Lowry in 2017-18.

  • Sure it was a blowout, but garbage-time minutes count too. Onyeka Okongwu posted 17 points, seven boards, three swats, a steal and an assist Saturday, falling one point shy of his season-high in scoring and playing nine more minutes than Clint Capela.

  • Trae Young led the Hawks with 41 points and 11 dimes, marking his 15th game with at least 30 points and 10 assists which comfortably leads the NBA.

  • Six players have recorded a 40-point, 10-assist game this season, and Young has the most with three. Ja Morant has two, while Stephen Curry, Joel Embiid, Luka Doncic and Nikola Jokic all have one apiece.

  • Trae is second to Embiid in 30 and 40-point games this season

Pickups: Precious Achiuwa (9%)

Cavaliers 92, Wizards 86

  • After missing 11 straight, Lauri Markkanen has led Cleveland in scoring in two straight. In those games, he shot just 12-of-34 from the floor but scored 45 points with eight triples. If he’s available on the waiver wire, make a move.

  • Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley each recorded double-doubles in this one combining for 32 points and 25 rebounds.

  • Brandon Goodwin provided eight points, six dimes, five boards and a steal. It was a solid night aside from his 2-of-11 shooting performance, and Goodwin should continue to maintain standard-league value as long as Rajon Rondo and/or Darius Garland remain out.

  • Daniel Gafford played 24 minutes compared to Thomas Bryant’s 16, and the former provided 14 points, seven boards and a steal. He’s back to being a regular starter and needs to be added everywhere.

  • Kyle Kuzma had another monster effort with 34 points, 13 boards, two assists, two blocks and a steal. He’s been one of the best values in all of fantasy this season.

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Pickups: Lauri Markkanen (69%), Daniel Gafford (55%), Brandon Goodwin (5%)

Heat 133, Spurs 129

  • A starting five of Zach Collins, Doug McDermott, Keita Bates-Diop, Tre Jones and Devin Vassell took the Heat starting five down to the wire in another high-scoring affair from San Antonio.

  • The Spurs beat the Wizards 157-153 in double OT on Friday then combined for 162 against Miami on Saturday.

  • Tre Jones set a career-high in points with 19 and matched his career-high in assists with 11. It was the first double-double of his career and first time fouling out.

  • Keita Bates-Diop also recorded his first career double-double and matched his career-high with 11 rebounds.

  • Neither Bates-Diop nor Jones should be added, as the Spurs were without Dejounte Murray in this one.

  • Devin Vassell put up a career-high 22 points as he continues to play well in the starting lineup.

  • Jimmy Butler finished with 27/3/3/2 and had a rare make from beyond the arc. It was just his 13th game with a three all season.

  • Bam Adebayo put up the second-most points of his career with 36 and scored a career-best 16 points in the fourth quarter to take over and closeout San Antonio.

Pickups: None

Grizzlies 116, Bulls 110

  • Memphis came into the fourth quarter with a 14-point lead, but the Bulls opened the quarter on a 20-8 run to keep it interesting.

  • Ja Morant scored a career-high 46 points to guide the Grizzlies to victory. He has seven 40-point games in his career, and five of them have come this season.

  • Steven Adams pulled down 21 rebounds, his third-most in a game all-time and just the fifth 20-rebound game of his career. He’s posted a 20-rebound game with the Thunder, Pelicans and Grizzlies. The Grizzlies’ single-game rebound record is 26 set by Lorenzen Wright way back in 2001.

  • DeMar DeRozan was magnificent yet again, going for 31/7/3/2/1 and posting his 10th straight game with at least 30 points. He only needs one more to match Jordan’s career-high of 11 straight 30-point games set in 1986-87.

  • DeRozan was ejected in the final seconds after receiving a second technical for arguing with refs following a non-foul call when he drove the lane against Kyle Anderson. His streak of 35-point games ends at eight.

  • Jaren Jackson Jr. finished with eight points, four rebounds and four blocks. He’s recorded at least four blocks in 12 games this season, still one behind Myles Turner for most in the NBA, and Turner hasn’t played since Jan. 14.

  • JJJ has 137 total blocks on the season which ranks sixth all-time in Grizzlies history. He needs 33 more blocks to break Pau Gasol’s record set in 2001-02.

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Pickups: None

Nets 126, Bucks 123

  • The Nets got a rare win thanks in large part to the huge efforts of Kyrie Irving, who scored a season-high 38 in this one.

  • Bruce Brown finished with 15 points, seven boards and two dimes and hit a three-pointer with 1:38 to play to go up 118-116. He’s been great as of late and needs to be rostered in 12-team leagues.

  • Goran Dragic made his Nets debut and totaled six points, three rebounds and two dimes in 14 minutes. Once he ramps up, he could have some meaningful minutes, but for now, he can be left on the waiver wire.

  • Andre Drummond finished with his second double-double in a Nets uniform, going for 17/12/5/2/1 in the winning effort and posting the best plus/minus of any Net with a +20.

  • Bobby Portis set a new career-high with eight made triples and provided the sixth 30-point game of his career to lead his team in that department.

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo had a big game, but he has those so regularly that we just expect them. The Greek Freak went for 29 points, 14 boards, six dimes and a steal in the loss.

Pickups: Bruce Brown (19%)

Nuggets 115, Kings 110

  • Nikola Jokic recorded the 73rd triple-double of his career Saturday with an 18/10/11 line, and he needs just six more to move into sixth on the all-time list and pass Wilt Chamberlain for most among centers.

  • Since 2017-18, Russell Westbrook leads all players with 114 triple-doubles, but Nikola Jokic is second with 67.

  • Monte Morris managed 21 points and five triples, good for his most points since Dec. 17. He’s provided some useful fantasy lines as of late and is worth an add in 12-team leagues.

  • De’Aaron Fox ended with 26 points, 10 dimes and five rebounds. He’s now scored at least 20 in eight straight games, and Fox’s double-double is his first since Oct. 27.

  • Domantas Sabonis pulled down his most rebounds since arriving in Sacramento (16) to go with 14 points, seven assists, one steal and a block.

  • Harrison Barnes finished with 24 points, five rebounds, three assists and a triple. Over his last 10, Barnes has averaged 20.1 points and 6.1 rebounds while shooting better than 55% from the floor.

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Pickups: Monte Morris (55%)

Celtics 113, Pistons 104

  • Jayson Tatum finished Saturday’s win over Detroit with 26 points, 11 rebounds, six dimes, four triples, one steal and a block.

  • Jaylen Brown put up a game-high 27 points to go with three rebounds and a triple.

  • Grant Williams finished with 13 points, four rebounds, three assists, one steal and a block. He’s now scored double-digit points in four straight.

  • Robert Williams finished with 10 points, seven rebounds, three assists and a block.

  • Payton Pritchard scored his second-most points of the season with 19.

  • Jerami Grant finished with 11 points on 3-of-15 shooting. Over his last two games, Grant has totaled 27 points on 7-of-30 shooting.

  • Cade Cunningham scored 25 on 11-of-19 shooting for his eighth 25-point performance of the season.

Pickups: None



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