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Saturday’s eight-game slate featured Elfrid Payton recording a historic fourth straight triple-double, Kyrie Irving just missing another trip-dub himself, Bradley Beal pumping in 40 more points, and, unfortunately, a scary injury to C.J. McCollum's left knee.
After recapping the important storylines from Saturday, we’ll wrap up the Dose by taking a look at a handful of players that are facing injury issues for Sunday’s games, including Malcolm Brogdon, who is done for the regular season.
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John Collins stuffed the stat sheet with 20 points (7-of-19 FGs, 6-of-9 FTs), 11 rebounds and six assists in 34 minutes in a loss to the Celtics on Saturday. Dating back to the All-Star break, Collins ranks inside the top-20 overall in nine-category fantasy formats. Over his last six appearances, he’s averaging 25.8 points, 11.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks, while shooting 57.3% percent from the floor and 80 percent from the free-throw stripe.
Kyrie Irving just missed another triple-double in Saturday’s victory over the Hawks, finishing with 30 points with 11 rebounds, nine assists, one steal, two blocks and four 3-pointers in 36 minutes. Kyrie posted a 30-point trip-dub on Thursday and has been on fire of late. He is the first Celtics with at least 30 points and ten boards in back-to-back games since Paul Pierce in December of 2005. Over Boston’s last four games, Irving is averaging a whopping 27.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, 9.3 dimes, 1.3 steals, 1.3 blocks and 3.0 treys.
Bradley Beal erupted for 40 more points on Saturday, adding five rebounds, seven assists, two steals and a career-high nine 3-pointers in 39 minutes. Beal has been a beast since John Wall went down, and he’s somehow turned the burner up even higher this week. He totaled 40 points, five assists, five rebounds, one steal, one block and seven triples on Friday night, and is now the first player in Wizards franchise history with at least 40/5/5 and five treys in consecutive contests.
Devin Booker poured in 40 points and dished out 13 assists on Saturday in a wild win over the Pelicans, to go along with five rebounds, three treys, a block and seven turnovers. Both the points and dimes were each one short of his season-high in each category. Kelly Oubre Jr. remained red-hot, scoring a career-high 32 points (12-of-25 FGs) with six boards, two dimes, two steals, two triples and four turnovers in a game-high 43 minutes. Oubre has established himself a must-own fantasy player since the trade to Phoenix.
Elfrid Payton amazingly recorded his fourth consecutive triple-double on Saturday, racking up 16 points, 13 boards, a career-high 16 assists in 37 minutes. The only other players in NBA history with four straight triple-doubles are Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, Elgin Baylor, Russell Westbrook, Michael Jordan, James Harden and Magic Johnson. Obviously, that’s an incredibly exclusive club for Payton to join. During this four-game stretch, Elf is averaging 14.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 13.3 assists. Fantasy owners can’t possibly ask for more from a guy that was floating around waiver wires a week or two ago.
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Stephen Curry racked up 33 points, seven boards, three assists, five trifectas, two steals and four turnovers in 33 minutes on Saturday. The Warriors blew out the Thunder, so Steve Kerr didn’t have to lean on his starters too heavily. Steph was 10-of-23 from the field overall, 5-of-12 from downtown and 8-of-10 from the charity stripe. Per ESPN, it was Curry's 138th career game with 30-plus points and five treys. No other player in NBA history has more than 95 such games.
Russell Westbrook had a very forgettable night on Saturday. Not only did the Thunder get trounced by the Warriors, but Russ was a putrid 2-of-16 from the floor and also picked up his 16th technical foul of the season. This means that unless Saturday’s tech is somehow rescinded, he will serve a mandatory one-game suspension on Monday when OKC plays Miami. The Thunder only play three times next week, so Westbrook will likely suit up just twice. Definitely a tough blow for Russ owners in head-to-head playoff matchups. Paul George had 29 points, 13 rebounds, four 3-pointers and two assists, but shot 9-of-25 from the floor and 7-of-11 from the free-throw line.
Jusuf Nurkic was at it again on Saturday, scoring 24 points with 16 rebounds, four assists, one block, two steals and five turnovers in 34 minutes. He has posted a double-double in three straight games and four of his last five. He’s averaging 16.4 points and 13.2 boards during this five-game run. Damian Lillard scored a game-high 34 points to go along with six boards and five dimes. However, he did need 29 shots to put up those 34 points (13-of-29 FGs, 3-of-10 3-pointers).
Rudy Gobert gave us a vintage Rudy Gobert performance, dominating the paint on both ends of the floor in Utah’s easy victory over the Nets. He scored 23 points (9-of-12 FGs, 5-of-10 FTs), ripped down 17 boards and blocked three shots. Donovan Mitchell had 24/6/4 and four treys, but was just 9-of-21 from the field and committed four turnovers.
On The Radar:
Marcus Morris posted his second straight strong double-double on Saturday. After 21 and 13 on Thursday, Morris backed it up with 19 points, 11 rebounds, two blocks, one steal and two 3-pointers in 33 minutes against the Hawks Saturday afternoon. It’s the first time he’s had consecutive double-doubles in his Celtics career. Jaylen Brown scored 23 points (on 8-of-14 shooting) in 26 minutes off the bench. Marcus Smart had a solid all-around game, finishing with 16 points, one rebound, nine assists, one block and two 3-pointers and a game-high five steals in 34 minutes. Al Horford scored nine points with six rebounds, three assists and one block in 28 minutes. After the game, coach Brad Stevens said the Celtics have picked 3-4 games over the remaining 12 that Horford will not play. Boston has back-to-backs on Mar. 23-24 and Mar. 29-30, so he’ll sit out at least two of those four contests.
Trae Young went mano a mano with the Kyrie Irving on Saturday afternoon in an entertaining matchup. Irving was awesome and powered Boston to a victory, but young Trae held his own, finishing with 26 points (10-of-17 FGs), four rebounds, four assists, five treys, two steals and six turnovers in 31 minutes. Taurean Prince was 5-of-13 from the field en route to 17 points, four rebounds, two assists, two blocks and three 3-pointers in 31 minutes.
Tomas Satoransky was questionable for Saturday’s game, as it was believed he might have suffered a concussion on Friday night. However, he was cleared by the Wizards medical staff and looked sharp on Saturday night, tallying 15 points, six rebounds, seven assists, one steal, one block and one turnover in 38 minutes. Jabari Parker scored 20 points with 11 rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block and one 3-pointer in 30 minutes. It was his ninth straight game with at least 12 points, and he is averaging 17.6 points (on 61.9 percent shooting) and 7.1 rebounds during this nine-game stretch. Bobby Portis had 18/6/2 with three treys on 7-of-11 shooting.
Mike Conley pumped in 28 points on Saturday and tacked on three rebounds, 12 assists and three 3-pointers in 34 minutes. There was some concern that the Grizzlies might shut down Conley, or significantly limit his minutes, but he has not slowed down in the second half. Over Memphis’ last five games, MC is averaging 28.4 points, 3.8 boards, 8.4 dimes, 1.0 steals and 2.8 trifectas. Jonas Valanciunas bounced back from a dud, scoring 22 points with eight rebounds, three assists and one block in 29 minutes. Avery Bradley was also awful on Wednesday but got back on track Saturday night finishing with 21 points, two rebounds, five assists and three 3-pointers in 34 minutes. Joakim Noah had 15 points and eight boards in 26 minutes. Chandler Parsons came out of nowhere to score a season-high 16 with six rebounds, five assists, one steal and two 3-pointers in 23 minutes.
Deandre Ayton was ejected in the third quarter of Saturday’s win over the Pelicans after being hit with two technicals. It was his first career ejection. He had eight points, five rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block in 22 minutes when he got tossed. De'Anthony Melton drew the start at point guard with Tyler Johnson (knee) sidelined and tallied six points, eight boards, five dimes, three steals and one turnover in 29 minutes. Josh Jackson had 19/7/3 with two blocks and two treys, including a triple to tie the score with just seconds remaining.
Anthony Davis (rest) was back in action on Saturday and totaled 15 points, 11 rebounds, three steals and one block in 22 minutes against the Suns. New Orleans doesn’t have any back-to-backs left on their schedule, but that doesn’t mean AD won’t get a random night off. Cheick Diallo had 10 points, ten rebounds, two steals and one block in 25 minutes. It’s been surprising and disappointing that the tanking Pels haven’t leaned on Diallo more, but coach Alvin Gentry said he’ll see an uptick in minutes over the final few weeks of the season. After a career-high 45 points on Friday Julius Randle came back down to earth, but still registered 21 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, one steal and five turnovers.
DeMarcus Cousins exited Saturday's game during the fourth quarter with a sore right ankle and did not return. Boogie had 12 points, eight boards, six dimes, one 3-pointer, two steals and two swats through 27 minutes when he left the contest. The Warriors play a back-to-back on Monday and Tuesday, so it’s probably safe to assume Cousins will miss at least the front end of that set, if not both contests. Klay Thompson had 23 points (9-of-21 FGs) three 3-pointers, eight rebounds, four assists, three steals, one block and one turnover in 34 minutes. Draymond Green tallied nine points, eight rebounds, six assists, three triples, one steal, one block and two turnovers in 34 minutes.
Collin Sexton, who continues to pile up points, scored 28 and tacked on three rebounds, four assists and four 3-pointers in 38 minutes against the Mavs on Saturday. Sexton has scored north of 22 points in five straight contests and is averaging 26.4 points (on 56 percent shooting), 2.6 boards, 3.8 dimes and 3.4 triples during this five-game stretch. Kevin Love had 22 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and two 3-pointers in 32 minutes. Cedi Osman chipped in 22 points, three rebounds, four assists and six 3-pointers in 37 minutes.
Jalen Brunson finally failed to top the 20-point plateau on Saturday but did score 16 points with two rebounds, seven assists and two 3-pointers. Tim Hardaway Jr. totaled 22 points, four rebounds, two assists and four 3-pointers in 36 minutes, but shot 8-of-18 from the floor. Dirk Nowitzki scored 14 points with six rebounds, one assist, two steals, two blocks and two 3-pointers. Dirk is now just three points behind Wilt Chamberlain for sixth place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. He logged a season-high 29 minutes, as the Mavs were obviously hoping Dirk would score the historical bucket in Dallas. The Mavericks play again on Monday at home vs. the Pelicans, so expect them to force-feed Nowitzki early and often to ensure he cruises past Wilt and into history.
Jakob Poeltl swatted five shots in 27 minutes on Friday, and the Spurs center blocked five more shots and added eight points (4-of-7 FGs), six rebounds and one assist in 25 minutes against Portland on Saturday. If you are looking for blocks off the wire during the fantasy playoffs, JP is definitely worth a look.
D'Angelo Russell put up 20 points, five boards and four dimes on Saturday, but was wildly erratic, shooting just 8-of-25 from the field. He’s now shot below 47 percent from the floor in six straight games. Spencer Dinwiddie scored a game-high 22 points, but had just two dimes and one board and was also inefficient (7-of-16 FGs). Theo Pinson, who had 12 points mostly in garbage time, was the only other Net to score more than eight.
Nikola Jokic was ejected from Saturday's game during the fourth quarter but did tally 26 points, seven rebounds, five assists, two 3-pointers and four turnovers in 34 minutes before he got the boot. Paul Millsap had 15 points, including the game-winning layup in the closing moments, to go along with 13 rebounds, three assists, one block and one turnover in 34 minutes. He has surprisingly reestablished his fantasy value over the last month of action. Will Barton stuffed the stat sheet to the tune of 17 points, four 3-pointers, six rebounds, five assists, two steals and one turnover in 35 minutes.
C.J. McCollum went up for a layup in the third quarter of Saturday’s loss to the Spurs and crumbled to the floor in pain after falling awkwardly, and was clutching his left knee. He had to be helped back to the locker room did not return to the game. It was a nervous, scary scene. After the game, coach Terry Stotts said that X-Rays on C.J.'s knee were negative, but ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that McCollum will undergo an MRI on Sunday to determine the extent of the injury. Keep your fingers crossed.
Kevin Durant (ankle) did not play Saturday vs. OKC. This was expected, as KD was unable to practice on Friday and coach Steve Kerr said it was doubtful that Durant would suit up Saturday night. Fortunately, Kerr told reporters on Saturday that he held Durant out of action just because he wanted to give KD's ankle a couple more days of rest and that Durant will "very likely" return on Monday when the Warriors travel to San Antonio to take on the Spurs.
Luka Doncic (knee) was sidelined Saturday against the Cavs. Doncic played through a left knee injury last week, but then banged his right knee in the first half of Thursday's game. He did return to that game but was not able to suit up Saturday night. The Mavs next game is Monday vs. New Orleans, so we should have an update on his status by Sunday night.
Tyler Johnson (right knee soreness) and Richaun Holmes (right quad strain) were ruled out of Saturday's game vs. the Pelicans. It was Johnson’s second straight game on the shelf. Holmes incurred his injury in Friday night's loss to the Rockets and was not able to re-enter that contest. Thus, it was not surprising to see the Suns sitting him out on the second night of a back-to-back.
Larry Nance (ribs) and Tristan Thompson (foot) did not play on Saturday night against the Mavs. Nance was able to participate in shootaround but was not cleared to return to game action. Thompson has not played since mid-January, missing 24 straight contests, and we had not received an update that he's recently made significant steps towards returning to game action. Thus, it was surprising when it was announced that he was initially listed as questionable for this contest. It’s possible he can return next week.
Gordon Hayward (strained neck) exited Saturday’s game against the Hawks after running into John Collins and did not return. The Celtics play again on Monday night vs. the Nuggets, so we should have an update on his status by Sunday.
Injury Notes for Sunday’s Games:
Malcolm Brogdon underwent an MRI on Saturday. The exam revealed a minor plantar fascia tear in Brogdon’s right foot. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Brogdon will miss 6-8 weeks. He should obviously be cut loose in non-keeper leagues. It’s a brutal blow for the Bucks, as he was a valuable contributor. George Hill and Pat Connaughton will see an uptick in minutes with Brogdon sidelined, as will Nikola Mirotic.
Kyle Lowry (left ankle sprain), Danny Green (ankle) and Fred VanVleet (thumb) are all questionable for Sunday's game vs. the Pistons. Lowry sprained his ankle in the fourth quarter of Monday's loss to the Cavs. After the game, he downplayed the injury and said the ankle was "fine." However, he did not participate in practice on Wednesday and did not play in Thursday's victory over the Lakers. Jeremy Lin got the start at point guard, but logged just 20 minutes, while Patrick McCaw played 26 minutes off the bench. VanVleet has been sidelined since February 9th and was not expected to return to action until late next week, but being upgraded to questionable certainly suggests he is ahead of schedule. Green was listed as questionable for Thursday's game, and although he did end up playing in that contest, he logged only 19 minutes, scoring three points with four rebounds, two assists, two steals and one 3-pointer.
James Harden (cervical strain) is listed as questionable for Sunday against the Wolves. Harden missed one game earlier this month due to the same issue, but he sure looked healthy in his 41-point performance against the Suns on Friday night. It’s possible the Rockets try to steal him some rest days before the start of the postseason. We can expect another update by early Sunday afternoon.
Chris Paul (rest) will return to action on Sunday vs. the Wolves. CP3 sat out Friday's victory over the Rockets and has been mired in a slump. He is shooting just 32.4 percent from the floor and 26.3 percent from downtown over his last seven appearances.
Dennis Smith Jr. (sore lower back) is listed as questionable for Sunday's game vs. the Lakers. Smith sat out Friday's loss to the Spurs. Emmanuel Mudiay started at point guard and finished with 14 points, four rebounds, two assists, two triples and four turnovers in 36 minutes. Kadeem Allen had 16 points, three rebounds, one dime and three steals in 28 minutes off the bench. Frank Ntlikina (groin) has been ruled out once again. Expect a similar distribution of minutes between Mudiay and Allen again on Sunday if DSJ is ruled out.
Noah Vonleh (right ankle) is also questionable for the Sunday matinee at MSG vs. LeBron and company. Vonleh twisted his ankle coming down for a rebound in the second quarter of Friday's loss to the Spurs, and did not return to that contest. If he is unable to play on Sunday, Lance Thomas may slide into the starting lineup. Luke Kornet and/or Henry Ellenson might see a few extra minutes off the bench as well. This is a situation to avoid from a fantasy perspective.
Cody Zeller (left knee soreness) is doubtful for Sunday's game vs. the Heat. Zeller has missed two straight contests, and it looks like he will miss at least one more. The center situation in Charlotte is unpredictable, as Willy Hernangomez started in place of Zeller on Monday, but then received a DNP-CD on Friday. Bismack Biyombo started at center on Friday. Biz and Willy will likely divvy up minutes on Sunday, but neither player is trustworthy.
Josh Hart (knee), Tyson Chandler (neck stiffness) and Lance Stephenson (toe sprain) are all listed as questionable for Sunday against the Knicks. Hart sat out Friday, but that may have been because it was the back end of a back-to-back. Stephenson has sat out four straight and will have a limited role upon his return. Chandler belongs on waivers in all fantasy formats.
Jeff Teague (foot) and Luol Deng (sore left Achilles) are ruled out for Sunday against the Rockets. Teague is not with the team, as he is getting his foot examined back in Minnesota. It seems possible he’s played his last game this season. Derrick Rose (right elbow) is questionable for Sunday. Tyus Jones is expected to remain in the starting lineup and should be owned everywhere. Deng is not worthy of a roster spot even in deep leagues.
Justise Winslow (thigh bruise) and Dwyane Wade (right hip bruise) are questionable for Sunday against the Hornets. Winslow dinged his thigh on Friday, but was able to return to the game and played well in the second half. Wade fell on his hip on Friday night and slammed the floor in pain. It looked might be serious, but he was able to return in the second half as well. However, the Heat play Sunday and Monday, so it certainly would not be surprising if Wade sat out at least one of those games.