It was another entertaining Saturday in the Association, highlighted by remarkable all-around performances from Andre Drummond and Kris Dunn, another scoring surge from DeMar DeRozan, and the victorious return of Stephen Curry.
After recapping the important storylines from Saturday, we'll wrap up the Dose by taking a quick look at a handful of players that are facing injury issues for Sunday's games.
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Russell Westbrook did what Russell Westbrook does, finishing with 25 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, two steals and a blocked shot in Saturday's win over the Hornets. The only blemish on Russ's outing was his inefficiency from the floor; he missed 17 of the 27 shots he attempted. Over OKC's last 16 games, Westbrook is averaging 29.4 points, 10.0 rebounds and 10.1 assists, while shooting 50.4 percent from the field. After his epic 2016-17 season, we've become somewhat desensitized to these jaw-dropping numbers.
Julius Randle has had a wild week. On Tuesday, he tallied 22 points, 14 rebounds and six assists. Then on Thursday, he was held scoreless on 0-of-6 shooting in 18 minutes. However, he bounced back in a big way on Saturday, finishing with 23 points (on 9-of-15 shooting), 15 rebounds and two assists in 34 minutes. The only negative was his seven turnovers. Randle has four games with 20-plus points and at least 15 boards over the last three seasons. No other Lakers has even one such game.
John Wall poured in 23 points and dished out a game-high 16 assists in Saturday's overtime win over the Nets. Wall also chipped in three boards and two steals; however, he committed eight turnovers and was just 9-of-24 from the field.
Kris Dunn stuffed the stat sheet to the tune of 18 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, three steals and three blocks on Saturday night. According to Basketball-Reference, Dunn is just the fifth player in Chicago franchise history with at least eight boards, eight dimes, three thefts and three blocks in a single game. The other four are Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Ben Wallace and Joakim Noah. Remarkably, this was Dunn's sixth straight game with at least eight assists. That's the longest such streak by a Bull since Derrick Rose in 2012. Dunn, who many a fantasy GM scooped off the waiver wire early this season, will help carry many of those folks to a fantasy title this year.
Andre Drummond's dominant week continued on Saturday when he brutalized the Bulls for 21 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, two steals, three blocks and just one turnover. Oh, and for good measure, he was 8-of-13 from the floor and 5-of-6 from the free-throw line. He is only the fourth Piston in the last 50 years with at least 20/15/4/3. Over the three games Detroit has played this week, Drummond is averaging 19.7 points, 16.3 rebounds, 4.0 dimes, two steals and two blocks. Simply can't ask for much more than that.
DeMar DeRozan had another huge scoring effort on Saturday, pouring in game-high 42 points in Toronto's loss to Golden State. DeRozan also added five rebounds, three assists and two turnovers. With Kyle Lowry (back) sidelined, DeRozan has seen his usage rate spike as the focal point of the Raptors offense this week. And, dating back to New Years' Day, DeRozan has scored at least 35 points in four of Toronto's seven games. Per the Elias Sports Bureau, he has scored a total of 222 points in the 2018 calendar year, which is tied with Lou Williams for most in the league.
Stephen Curry (right ankle) showed no signs of rust in his return from a two-game absence on Saturday, finishing with 24 points, nine assists, six rebounds, two 3-pointers, one steal and just one turnover in 34 minutes. Curry was 6-of-12 from the floor and 10-of-12 from the free-throw line. It was actually the first time since December 1st that Steph scored fewer than 29 points. It was also the sixth straight game that he's shot 50 percent or better from the floor, which is incredible considering he's averaging 11.5 3-point attempts per game over this six-game stretch.
Kawhi Leonard (shoulder) returned to the Spurs lineup after a three-game absence and scored a team-high 19 points and added eight rebounds, four assists, four steals and a blocked shot over 28 minutes on Saturday. He looked fresh, and the fact that he logged 28 minutes in the blowout victory is also encouraging.
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On the Radar:
De'Aaron Fox had another strong game Saturday night, finishing with 17 points, 10 assists, one 3-pointer, one rebound, two steals and four turnovers in 35 minutes. It was his second double-double this week, and over the Kings last five games Fox is averaging 13.8 points, 7.2 assists and 2.0 steals. His fantasy stock is rising… Willie Cauley-Stein also posted a double-double for Sacramento, finishing with 23 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, one steal, one block and two turnovers in 33 minutes. WCS has scored in double figures in 10 of his last 12 games.
Lou Williams tallied 26 points, four 3-pointers and four steals in the Clippers victory over the Kings on Saturday. It was Sweet Lou's ninth straight game scoring 20-plus points off the bench, which is the longest streak among all active NBA players. (Williams was tied with New Orleans' Jrue Holiday at eight heading into this contest)... Blake Griffin was relatively quiet, finishing with 11 points and four rebounds, but did dish out a team-high nine assists… Willie Reed replaced DeAndre Jordan (left ankle sprain) as the Clippers starting center on Saturday and posted an impressive double-double, finishing with 14 points and 13 rebounds in 26 minutes. Reed was a perfect 6-of-6 from the floor, and also added two assists, two steals and two blocks… Montrezl Harrell had 17 points, six boards and two steals in 22 minutes off the bench.
Lonzo Ball finished with nine points (on 4-of-13 shooting), seven rebounds, seven assists, one 3-pointer and one steal and zero turnovers in 43 minutes. This was Ball's fourth straight game with at least seven boards and six dimes… Kentavious Caldwell-Pope tallied 17 points, five boards, two 3-pointers and one turnover in 41 minutes… Kyle Kuzma posted another double-double, contributing 18 points, 10 rebounds, one 3-pointer, three assists, one steal and two turnovers in 35 minutes.
Paul George finished with 17 points, eight rebounds, a steal and a blocked shot on Saturday… Steven Adams bounced back after Wednesday's disappointing outing to finish with a strong double-double in Saturday's win. Adams had 14 points, 11 rebounds, four blocked shots and three steals in 31 minutes… Carmelo Anthony grabbed 10 rebounds, but was ice cold shooting the ball. Melo was just 3-of-14 from the floor for seven points. He was 5-of-19 on Wednesday. ‘Hoodie Melo' seems like a lifetime ago.
Kemba Walker was also wildly inefficient on Saturday. Walker scored 19 points but was just 5-of-17 shooting. He added three boards, two assists and five turnovers… Dwight Howard finished with 11 points, 17 rebounds and three blocked shots in 34 minutes. Howard has grabbed at least 12 rebounds in three straight games, but is just 12-for-34 (35.2 percent) from the free-throw stripe over this three-game stretch.
Marcin Gortat posted his second straight double-double on Saturday, registering 16 points (on 6-of-8 shooting) and 13 boards to go along with two assists, a block and a steal… Bradley Beal had a solid all-around game, finishing with 24 points, four rebounds, six dimes, four treys, three steals and two turnovers.
Spencer Dinwiddie struggled with his shot, converting just four of his 16 field goal attempts (including 2-of-10 from 3-point range), to finish with 13 points. However, he did add six rebounds, four assists, a steal and a blocked shot… Jarrett Allen flashed his considerable upside by matching his career-high with 16 points in a career-high 29 minutes. Allen also grabbed eight boards. Coach Kenny Atkinson stuck with Allen down the stretch on Saturday, including into overtime and Allen responded positively on both ends of the floor… Rondae Hollis-Jefferson finished with 22 points, a career-high seven assists and four rebounds. RHJ is often overlooked, but he continues to produce consistently. Over the Nets last four games, Hollis-Jefferson is averaging 16.3 points, 8.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 1.5 steals.
It was great to see Zach LaVine back on the floor Saturday night. LaVine hadn't played in an NBA since he suffered a torn ACL against Detroit last February. He scored 14 points and knocked down three treys in 19 minutes. The Bulls plan to limit LaVine to around 20 minutes a night as he works his way back into game shape… Lauri Markkanen had 19 points, four rebounds, four 3-pointers, and three steals. Markkanen has made at least three 3-pointers in five straight games. The only Bull with a longer streak is Craig Hodges, who had a six-game streak back in 1989… Nikola Mirotic had 16 points, six rebounds and four triples in 22 minutes off the bench.
Avery Bradley busted out of a shooting slump on Saturday, shooting 10-of-19 from the floor, including 6-of-10 from downtown, for his 26 points. AB came into this contest shooting just 35.8 percent from the field and 25.0 percent from the charity stripe over his last five games… Tobias Harris disappointed with a dud. Harris finished with only seven points (on 3-of-14 shooting), four boards and four assists in 30 minutes… Ish Smith had 12 points, six assists and zero turnovers.
Kevin Durant produced another solid all-around line on Saturday, contributing 25 points (on 10-of-18 shooting), six boards, five assists and three treys… Klay Thompson had 26 points, three boards, two triples and two steals… Surprisingly, Jordan Bell was smacked with his second consecutive DNP-CD. This despite the fact that Omri Casspi (sore back) was sidelined and Andre Iguodala (hip) didn't play in the second half. Kevon Looney has logged over 20 minutes in each of the Warriors last two contests. Feel free to send Bell back to the waiver wire in exchange for a more reliable option.
Gary Harris (personal) returned from a pressing family matter that kept him out of Friday game to tally 18 points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals on Saturday… Nikola Jokic was the only Nugget to play well, finishing with 23 points (on 8-of-13 shooting), nine rebounds, seven assists, three triples and two steals. Other than Harris and Jokic, no other Nugget scored more than eight points.
DeAndre Jordan (left ankle sprain) was ruled out of Saturday's game vs. Sacramento. Encouragingly, coach Doc Rivers said that Jordan was lobbying to play on Saturday. Rivers also told reporters that he doesn't think Jordan will miss much time. However, Rivers also said, "I can't guarantee it." The Clippers next game is Monday vs. Houston. It will be Chris Paul's first time playing in L.A. against the Clips since his trade to the Rockets.
Brandon Ingram sprained his ankle in the first half of Saturday's win over the Mavs and was unable to return to the contest. Fortunately, the X-rays came back negative. "It's a mild ankle sprain, day-to-day," said coach Luke Walton after the game. Ingram said he'll run on the ankle Sunday and see how it responds. The Lakers next game is Monday vs. Memphis.
Larry Nance (eye) also exited Saturday's game. Nance suffered cut above his left eye and did not return. He finished with two points and seven boards in 19 minutes. If Nance is unable to play Monday, Julius Randle and Kyle Kuzma would see extended minutes.
Kyle Lowry (bruised tailbone) missed his third straight game on Saturday. The Raptors next contest is Monday vs. the Sixers. We should have a further update on his status for that game by Sunday. Delon Wright started in place of Lowry on Saturday and finished with just four points, two assists and two rebounds in 24 minutes. For the second straight game, Fred VanVleet was the more productive point guard. VanVleet tallied 13 points, five rebounds, four assists, and three treys in just 21 minutes.
D'Angelo Russell (knee) did not play on Saturday but he has been practicing with the Long Island Nets, Brooklyn's G-League affiliate and is inching closer to a return.
Tyler Zeller (hip) did not play Saturday vs. Washington. Quincy Acy drew the start and finished with eight points and six boards across 25 minutes. However, Jarrett Allen was the biggest beneficiary. As noted above, he has 16 and eight in 29 minutes. Jahlil Okafor has just two points and zero rebounds in eight minutes.
Omri Casspi (back soreness) did not play Saturday after feeling continued discomfort in his back during pregame warmups.
Stanley Johnson (hip) sat out again on Saturday. He returned earlier in the week from a five-game absence, but promptly re-aggravated his hip injury. Considering the Pistons depth on the wing, Johnson will have a tough time earning consistent minutes even when fully healthy. Leave him on the waiver wire.
Rudy Gobert (knee) was re-evaluated on Saturday and it was determined that he will be sidelined for at least another 7-10 days. Gobert is making progress, going through light practices with non-contact work, but will need to get in full-contact practices before he's cleared to return to game action. Hopefully, we'll get some good news next weekend.
Thabo Sefolosha is expected to undergo season-ending knee surgery on his right MCL, according to Shams Charania of Yahoo! Sports. This is a tough blow for the already shorthanded Jazz. Sefolosha suffered the injury on Friday during Utah's loss to the Hornets. He should be good to go by training camp next season. With Gobert out as well, the Jazz are very thin up front. Jonas Jerebko, Ekpe Udoh and Joe Johnson will likely divvy up the minutes made available by Thabo's absence.
Jonathan Isaac (ankle) did not play Saturday and coach Frank Vogel said that Isaac is not yet close to returning to game action.
Jayson Tatum (knee) was unable to practice on Saturday and is scheduled to undergo a precautionary MRI. Tatum tweaked his knee in the C's win over the Sixers Thursday in London. Tatum owners and Celtics fans will have to wait nervously until we receive an update on Tatum's status for Boston's next game (Tuesday vs. the Pelicans) and beyond.
Al Horford (knee) was also held out of Saturday's practice, but it was reportedly just a precautionary move by the C's. Horford said he feels good and is expected to suit up on Tuesday.
Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said both Luc Mbah a Moute (dislocated shoulder) and Tarik Black (right eye abrasion) would be a game-time decision for Monday's matchup vs. the Clippers.
Patrick Beverley (knee surgery) said there's a chance he'll be able to return to the court at some point during the 2017-18 season. "I'm not a doctor, but there's a chance," said Beverley when asked about a possible return this season.
Injury Notes for Sunday's Games:
Myles Turner (elbow) has been ruled out for Sunday's game in Phoenix. This will be the third straight game Turner has missed after injuring his elbow on a dunk earlier in the week. Sunday is the front end of a back-to-back for Pacers; they also play Monday vs. Utah.
Domantas Sabonis (sore left shoulder) is questionable for Sunday's matchup against the Suns. With Turner ruled out, Sabonis would normally be in line to start and log heavy minutes. However, he may miss Sunday's contest as well. Check back Sunday morning for definitive word on Sabonis' status. If he is unable to suit up, T.J. Leaf and Al Jefferson will soak up extended minutes.
Justise Winslow (left knee) is expected to play Sunday vs. Milwaukee. Winslow has been sidelined for a month since initially injuring his knee back on December 13th.
Evan Turner (illness) is questionable for Sunday's matchup with the Timberwolves. Turner missed Friday's game and Shabazz Napier started and tallied 17 points, six rebounds, six assists and two steals over 36 minutes.
Marquese Chriss (hip flexor) was unable to practice on Saturday. This obviously does not portend well for his availability for Sunday's contests against Indiana. We should get a final update on his status on Sunday morning. If Chriss is unable to play, Dragan Bender would likely draw another.
Josh Jackson (hip, groin) and Isaiah Canaan (groin) were able to practice in full with the team on Saturday. Check back after Sunday morning's shootaround, but it appears they have a good chance to suit up vs. the Pacers.