Thursday night featured seven games and while two of them went to overtime, the other five didn’t offer a lot of suspense. Here’s what you might have missed if you were watching baseball or sleeping. You can follow me on Twitter by clicking here.
Hawks 134, Spurs 129 2 OTs – Trae Young caught fire in the overtime sessions and scored 15 points in them, helping the Hawks to hold off the relentless Spurs to get an important win and saving Atlanta fans from a Braves/Hawks loss combo in extra innings/overtime. Trae missed a beautifully executed layup attempt at the end of regulation but made up for it later. The overtime session probably should have never happened with the Hawks up four with 15 seconds left, but Derrick White stole the ball from Kevin Huerter, Dejounte Murray converted an and-one layup and the Spurs sent the game to overtime.
Bogdan Bogdanovic, Clint Capela and Young all scored 28 points, while Bogdanovic added five boards, five assists, a steal, two blocks and four 3-pointers on 12-of-17 shooting. Capela added 17 rebounds and five blocks, and Young had 12 dimes to go along with his two 3-pointers and seven turnovers. Danilo Gallinari came through with 16 points and 12 boards for his first double-double as a Hawk and Lou Williams made his debut with seven points on 3-of-10 shooting in 22 minutes. Bogdanovic and Gallinari are worth adding everywhere right now, Capela might be the defensive player of the year, and Huerter is a mess, playing just 16 minutes and failing to score after missing all four of his shots. With Bogdanovic on fire and Williams on board it’s time to send Huerter packing.
The Spurs got 36 points and nine assists from DeMar DeRozan, but he didn’t have a steal or 3-pointer and they’re few and far between in his game, as usual. Derrick White went nuts with a career-high 29 points, a career-high seven 3-pointers and three assists, a steal and two blocks. He was dropped in one of my leagues recently and I was able to pick him up. Make sure he’s not available in yours. Jakob Poeltl had his third straight double-double and is worth grabbing if you need a center, Dejounte Murray had 16 points, nine boards and two steals, and Rudy Gay hit a couple of big 3-pointers late that kept his team in the game. He finished with 18 points, sis boards, four assists, two steals, two blocks and three 3-pointers in the loss and is playing well enough to be given a look in most leagues.
Heat 116, Warriors 109 – Victor Oladipo made his Heat debut after sitting the last one with a head cold and looked like he was still dizzy, hitting 2-of-8 shots for six points and five assists in 23 minutes. It may take him a minute to figure things out in South Beach. Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro were all nice in this one, while Kendrick Nunn didn’t play despite being cleared, and Goran Dragic was out again with a back injury. Both of them should be back on Saturday, which should hurt Herro. Robinson has been playing well and is worth a look if available.
Injuries were the storyline for the Dubs as Stephen Curry aggravated his tailbone injury when he took a charge and landed roughly on his backside, Draymond Green appeared to hurt his hip early, but played through it, and Kevon Looney and Jordan Poole both left early with left ankle sprains. Curry still went off for 36 points, 11 boards and five 3-pointers and almost led his team back into the game, and Green played through his issue to finish with 16 points, 10 boards, eight dimes, four steals and a 3-pointer. If I had to guess whether Curry plays tonight, I’d say ‘no,’ as he was in obvious discomfort and it’s a back-to-back situation. But that’s far from a guarantee and the fact he was able to finish this game is a good sign. We’ll know more Friday afternoon. Andrew Wiggins was fun with 23 points, eight boards, four assists, a steal, three blocks and five 3-pointers, and Kelly Oubre and James Wiseman were basically invisible in this one. The Warriors will face the reeling Raptors tonight.
Sixers 114, Cavaliers 94 – The Sixers had no problem with the Cavaliers despite Ben Simmons hitting just 2-of-11 shots. Shake Milton stayed hot with 27 points, five boards, four assists, a steal and five 3-pointers on 10-of-14 shooting and he’s worth a look in all leagues, as a glance at his game log will tell you. Dwight Howard came through with 18 points, 15 boards, a steal and two blocks on 6-of-7 shooting despite coming off the bench, and he should get used to it, as Joel Embiid (knee) will be back from his three-week absence on Saturday. Seth Curry came through with 19 points and five triples in the win and he looks to get hot again. Howard tied his season high with the 18 points but will take a hit with Embiid on the verge of a return.
Kevin Love played in just his fifth game of the season and had 13 points, four boards, three assists and three 3-pointers and I’m not touching him with a 10-foot pole. Darius Garland had six points, seven turnovers and eight assists in a weird line but had been playing well. He’ll be fine. Collin Sexton led the way with 24 points, Dean Wade added 16 points, eight boards and three 3-pointers, and Isaiah Hartenstein came through with 12 points, seven boards and two blocks in 20 minutes off the bench. The Cavs will eventually get Jarrett Allen (concussion) and Larry Nance (illness) back, which will hurt both Wade and Hartenstein.
Pistons 120, Wizards 91 – Hamidou Diallo was held out for rest so Josh Jackson got back into the swing of things with 31 points, two rebounds, four assists, a steal and four 3-pointers on 13-of-21 shooting. He’s gone DNP-CD, blah and this monster over his last three games, but all bets are off on him when a red-hot Diallo is playing. Pick him up, but don’t expect to see him do this again anytime soon. Jerami Grant, Saddiq Bey, Saban Lee, Isaiah Stewart, Frank Jackson, Wayne Ellington and Cory Joseph all made a little bit of noise, but nothing to write home about. Grant’s had three bad games in his last four and I’m starting to wonder if the last-place Pistons are going to continue to roll with him the deeper into the season we get. He’s had an amazing year, but his recent struggles, outside of Wednesday’s 30-point explosion, are a bit of a concern. Mason Plumlee went off for 13 points, 11 rebounds, seven dimes, a steal and a block and the only thing that will slow him down is if the Pistons turn to Stewart to see what he can do.
Bradley Beal sat this one out with a hip contusion, so Deni Avdija started and had 11 points and 10 rebounds in 34 minutes. Russell Westbrook triple-doubled, as usual, and Alex Len, Rui Hachimura and Robin Lopez were all decent. It’s hard to trust anyone on this team outside of Westy, Beal (when he actually plays) and Hachimura. And yes, I’m worried about a Beal/Westbrook at some point once the Wizards officially give up.
Nets 111, Hornets 89 – LaMarcus Aldridge looked great in his Nets debut with 11 points, nine boards, six assists, two steals, a block and a 3-pointer in 30 minutes, Kyrie Irving flirted with a triple-double, Jeff Green scored 21 with five 3-pointers, Joe Harris struggled, Bruce Brown played well, and Landry Shamet and Tyler Johnson played well off the bench for the short-handed Nets. James Harden and Kevin Durant were both out with injuries and we don’t know when either will play again, although Harden shouldn’t miss much more time. Green outscored Charlotte by himself in the first quarter.
Devontae’ Graham and Gordon Hayward led the Hornets with 13 points and Terry Rozier scored 12 in a very ugly box score. The Hornets will try to get back on track against the Pacers tonight, but it’s not a great matchup.
Magic 115, Pelicans 110 OT – Wendell Carter Jr. broke out with 21 points, 12 boards and a block on 8-of-13 shooting off the bench and Terrence Ross hit 8-of-21 shots and a 3-pointer on his way to 19 points, also off the bench. Chuma Okeke kept it going with eight points, 10 rebounds, four assists, a steal and two blocks in 34 minutes and is a must-grab player at this point after his first double-digit rebound game. He’s been fantastic over his last five. James Ennis, Chasson Randle, Dwayne Bacon and Mo Bamba all played well but I have trouble trusting most of these guys right now. WCJ, Ross and Okeke look like the players you can trust, while Bamba gets a boost after Khem Birch left after five minutes due to an illness.
The Pelicans were without Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball and it showed in the final score. Nickeil Alexander-Walker is a must-start as long as Ball is out, James Johnson started for Zion and had 17 points, three 3-pointers and two blocks, and Josh Hart had 14 points, a career-high 17 rebounds, five assists and a 3-pointer while filling in for Ingram. Ball has missed six straight with a hip injury and I don’t love his chances for playing Friday against the Hawks, while Ingram and Zion have a shot at playing. If any of them are out again tonight, NAW and Hart are definitely worth using in DFS and other leagues.
Nuggets 101, Clippers 94 – All five Nuggets starters (Aaron Gordon, Will Barton, Michael Porter Jr., Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray) played very well for the Nuggets and the bench didn’t do much of anything. Gordon had 14 points, six boards, six dimes, three steals, two blocks and a 3-pointer in his best game for Denver and is fitting in very nicely alongside MPJ and Jokic. The Nuggets have won four straight and are starting to look like the team to beat in the West. If I were going to Vegas tomorrow, them winning it all would be the first bet I’d make.
The Clippers welcomed back Paul George from his foot injury that cost him a couple games, but he hit just 5-of-15 shots and two 3-pointers for 17 points, eight rebounds and five assists. He’s hit just 34-of-91 shots (37 percent) in his last five games and will need to get it going again soon if the Clippers are going to keep winning. Kawhi Leonard had 24 points, 12 boards and a full stat line, and Terance Mann came through with 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting. Luke Kennard fell off the map after a couple nice games, hitting 1-of-5 shots in 16 minutes. Kennard is a drop and Mann is an add with George back in the mix. Marcus Morris returned from a calf injury but scored just eight points in 29 minutes on 2-of-9 shooting. He was playing well before the injury and should get back into the swing of things sooner than later. And Reggie Jackson (3-of-8, 7 points) remains an all-or-nothing player as long as Patrick Beverley is hurting.
Get ready for a 10-game slate on Friday and be sure to check the EDGE Player News Feed for all the latest injury and lineup news throughout the day.