Heat hang on in Boston for 23rd straight
The Heat got a scare in Boston as Jeff Green poured in a career-high 43 points, but LeBron James answered with 37 points, seven boards, 12 dimes, two steals, two blocks and a 3-pointer on 16-of-29 shooting to help the Heat beat the Celtics 105-103 to win their 23rd straight game. Boston saw their 11-game home winning streak snapped, while the Heat moved into second place on the all-time list, trailing only the 71-72 Lakers, who won 33 straight. Mario Chalmers, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were all solid, while the C’s got 17 and a near triple-double from Paul Pierce, with Courtney Lee being the only other Celtic in double figures with 13 points. Kevin Garnett sat this one out and is iffy for Wednesday with his thigh injury and the flu. The Heat will be looking for No. 24 when they visit the Cavs on Wednesday.
Jrue Holiday leads Sixers over Blazers
Jrue Holiday had 27 points, eight boards, six assists and three 3-pointers to help the Sixers beat the Blazers on Tuesday. Dorell Wright stayed hot with 16 points, eight boards, four assists, three blocks and two 3-pointers off the bench, while Spencer Hawes came through with 18 points, 13 boards and two more blocks. Evan Turner was invisible with two points on 1-of-8 shooting, while Nick Young didn’t even get off the bench. Damien Wilkins started again and had 12 points, and is hurting Turner’s value. Andrew Bynum will have a couple season-ending knee surgeries, ruining the season of most of his fantasy owners by never playing in a game. Thaddeus Young also stayed hot with 19 points, four steals, two blocks and another full stat line for Philly.
The Blazers kicked off their five-game week with big lines from Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge, while J.J. Hickson played just 16 minutes in the loss. Hopefully he bounces back in the next one. Wesley Matthews was quiet in his 40 minutes, while Nicolas Batum also struggled in his 39 minutes.
Pacers trounce Cavs without David West
The Pacers got 20 points and four 3-pointers from reserve Gerald Green, while Roy Hibbert, Paul George, Tyler Hansbrough and Jeff Pendergraph all joined Green in double digit scoring. Hansbrough started for Davis West, who was out with a lower back strain that will leave him very iffy for Tuesday’s game against the Magic. Green, Hansbrough and Pendergraph are worth keeping an eye on, but I don't trust any of them.
Tristan Thompson had 20 points, 11 boards and two blocks, and C.J. Miles added 21 points and four 3-pointers off the bench. They were the only two Cavs to score in double figures, as Dion Waiters left with knee soreness. If he continues to miss time, Miles will be the guy to grab, while Wayne Ellington will also see a boost in minutes.
Bobcats take out Wizards in Charlotte
Gerald Henderson stayed hot with 27 points, eight assists, a steal, a block and a 3-pointer as the Bobcats got a rare win over the Wizards. Kemba Walker, Josh McRoberts, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Byron Mullens, Ben Gordon and Jannero Pargo all hit double digits in scoring, and McRoberts looks like a solid waiver pickup right now.
Bradley Beal came off the bench to hit 2-of-8 shots for five points and five fouls, and I’m thankful I started Henderson over him in League Freak, although Nate Robinson would probably have been a better call. Beal has three more games to turn it around. John Wall scored 25 and even hit a 3-pointer, while Garrett Temple, Emeka Okafor, Martell Webster and Nene all hit double figures in the starting five. Trevor Ariza returned from a knee injury, but had just seven points in 29 minutes.
Nets crush Pistons in Detroit
Deron Williams had 31 points, five assists, two steals and four 3-pointers on 10-of-18 shooting in an easy win over the Pistons, while Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez, MarShon Brooks, Andray Blatche and Jerry Stackhouse all scored 10 or more in the win. Gerald Wallace was useless and Kris Humphries didn’t get off the bench with a tight back.
The Pistons were without Brandon Knight (ankle) and lost Jose Calderon after eight minutes due to an illness, but he’ll hopefully be back for Friday at Miami. Rodney Stuckey cooled off for 10 points, Greg Monroe had 17, Will Bynum scored 18 and little known Kim English had 10 in garbage time. The Pistons are a mess and Monroe and Calderon (when healthy) are the only reliable fantasy players on the team. Bynum and Stuckey have played well, but also benefitted from the loss of Calderon last night.
Mavericks thump Hawks
Darren Collison broke out of a funk with 24 points, five dimes and two 3-pointers on 10-of-14 shooting, and given his recent struggles, I wouldn’t blame you if he was on your bench. Dirk Nowitzki, O.J. Mayo, Vince Carter and Brandan Wright all played well, while Chris Kaman finally did something in a start, finishing with 14 points, seven boards, a steal and a block in 21 minutes. Shawn Marion was out and Jae Crowder (four points) started, while Kaman, Wright and Elton Brand are all sharing center duties. Out of that group, Wright looks most reliable, and had 12 points and eight boards in 21 minutes.
Jeff Teague was back in the Hawks' starting lineup with 19 points and seven assists, while starters Devin Harris, Al Horford, Josh Smith and Kyle Korver all hit double digits in scoring, along with bench players John Jenkins, Anthony Tolliver and Ivan Johnson.
Warriors roll over Hornets
Stephen Curry had 30 points, seven assists and six 3-pointers, David Lee had 20 points and 11 boards and Klay Thompson added 13 points and three 3-pointers in the win. Jarrett Jack played 31 minutes but cooled off with just nine points and five assists. Andrew Bogut is coming on and had eight points, nine boards and four blocks in 31 minutes. The Hornets got 14 & 9 from Greivis Vasquez, 21 points, nine boards and one 3-pointer from Ryan Anderson, and Anthony Davis stayed hot with 16 points, seven boards, two steals and a block in the loss. Eric Gordon sat out, as usual, in the second of a back-to-back, but should be back for his final two games of the week. Al-Farouq Aminu played just 13 minutes and didn’t score a point, as his hot streak is officially dead. Terrell Harris played a career-high 28 minutes and had four points, five boards, a steal and two blocks, possibly putting him on the radar in extremely deep leagues.
Nuggets hold off Bulls in OT
The Heat aren’t the only streaking team in the NBA, as the Nuggets beat the Bulls 119-118 in overtime to win their 12th straight. Wilson Chandler blew up for 35 points, nine boards, two steals and a 3-pointer off the bench, while no other Nugget scored more than 16 points. Chandler is as inconsistent as they come and looking at his game log can make you dizzy. Kosta Koufos was disappointing, but he has time to get things turned around this week. The Bulls got a 34-point explosion from Nate Robinson as Kirk Hinrich sat out his seventh straight game with a foot injury, but Nate was on my bench because I’m worried about Hinrich (and possibly Derrick Rose) coming back and raining on the parade. But Robinson has played very well in five straight, so hopefully you were smarter than me. He added six 3-pointers, seven assists, two steals and seven TOs on the night. They also got 18 points, eight rebounds and four steals from Marco Belinelli, Joakim Noah posted a huge line that included a double-double and seven blocks, while Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer and Jimmy Butler also played well for the Bulls.
Grizzlies pound Wolves in Memphis
The Grizzlies got nice lines from Mike Conley (his wrist looked fine), Marc Gasol, Tayshaun Prince, Zach Randolph and Jerryd Bayless in an easy win. Prince had 12 points and 14 boards for his second double-double of the year, and I have no idea where it came from. The Wolves’ box score is a mess, as no starter hit double digits in scoring and Ricky Rubio left early with a groin injury. He’s day-to-day, but fantasy owners in a playoff dogfight have to be very nervous about his availability on Thursday at Sacramento, although he said after the game he could have returned, which is good news. Derrick Williams cooled off, Andrei Kirilenko played just 16 minutes on a minutes limit in a blowout, and Mickael Gelabale, J.J. Barea and Alexey Shved were the only three Wolves to score in double figures. Shved led the team with 12 points, which is not pretty, while Nikola Pekovic showed signs of life with nine points, five boards and a block as he works his way back from an ab strain.
Suns stun Lakers
The Suns beat the Kobe-less Lakers despite not getting a fat line from anyone. Marcus Morris was replaced in the starting five by P.J. Tucker, and Morris didn’t even get into the game. Wes Johnson led the way with 14 points and nine boards, and Goran Dragic double-doubled, but starters Jermaine O’Neal, Markieff Morris and Tucker failed to hit double digits in scoring. Jared Dudley, Kendall Marshall, Michael Beasley and Luis Scola all hit double figures off the bench, but the Suns are still a fantasy mess despite the impressive win.
Dwight Howard and Steve Nash both had good games, and Metta World Peace and Steve Blake were also effective, but the Lakers looked lost without Kobe Bryant. It sounds like Kobe is likely to play on Friday, which will be the Lakers' final game of the week. Antawn Jamison was 1-of-6 for just three points after going off for 27 in his last game, while Earl Clark hauled in 10 rebounds. Pau Gasol suffered a setback over the weekend and will have an ultrasound on Tuesday, and owners simply have to hope he’s back sometime next week.
Jazz lose at home to shorthanded Knicks
The Knicks were without Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Amare Stoudemire, yet still managed to get a win in Utah. Melo (knee, hamstring) and Chandler (neck, knee) are hoping to return on Wednesday, but it remains to be seen if that will actually happen. Chris Copeland, Kenyon Martin and Pablo Prigioni started for the Knicks, making it even more surprising that they got the win. J.R. Smith led the way with 20 points, five boards and a 3-pointer, Raymond Felton had 19 points and four assists, and Copeland was the only other player in double figures with 14 points, six rebounds and a 3-pointer.
For the Jazz, Mo Williams had nine points, six rebounds, five assists, two steals and a 3-pointer on 4-of-14 shooting, while Gordon Hayward led the way with 17 points and three 3-pointers. Paul Millsap had 12 points, five boards, two steals and a block, while Al Jefferson had a very quiet 10 points, 11 boards and zero blocks on a dreadful 4-of-13 shooting. He was passive, throwing up errant jumpers late, and not attacking the glass. He’s been pretty disappointing over the last few weeks and I seriously considered benching him for Nate Robinson. And now I wish I would have done it. Derrick Favors hit 1-of-7 shots for seven points and 13 rebounds, while Enes Kanter had just five points and two rebounds in less than 15 minutes of action. The Jazz are another team that looks like a mess, and should be embarrassed for losing this game.
News and Notes
Tyreke Evans (foot) and DeMarcus Cousins (thigh) are questionable for the Kings against the Clippers on Tuesday.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is out on Tuesday for the Bucks, while Ersan Ilyasova is doubtful with a hip and back injury. Mike Dunleavy suddenly looks like a decent play.
There are only four games on Tuesday night, when the Magic visit the Pacers, The Blazers are in Milwaukee, Denver visits OKC and the Clippers are in Sacramento.