Around the Association: Suns Beat Dubs, Nets Outlast Knicks, LeBron In Protocols

Around the Association: Suns Beat Dubs, Nets Outlast Knicks, LeBron In Protocols

This article is part of our NBA Daily Recap series.

Welcome to Around the Association!  Five days per week (Monday through Friday), this article will serve as a comprehensive recap of the previous night's NBA action, taking you through all of the biggest performances, notable box scores, injury updates and any other fantasy-relevant headlines from around the league.

It was only a five-game slate Tuesday, but it was still full of exciting matchups. Here is all you need to know:

Nightly Notables

Suns take over the West 

  • In a battle between the two top teams in the Western Conference, the Phoenix Suns defeated the Golden State Warriors by a score of 104-96. It was an impressive team and defensive effort by the Suns, but they did lose Devin Booker early in the contest due to a hamstring injury. Deandre Ayton led the way with their star shooting guard on the sideline, dropping 24 points (11-19 FG, 2-4 FT), 11 rebounds, two assists, two blocks and one steal in 34 minutes.
    • Chris Paul dropped a double-double with 15 points (7-13 FG, 1-3 3Pt), 11 assists, six rebounds, and five steals across 39 minutes. The veteran point guard has 10 double-doubles across his first 21 appearances this season.
  • It was not StephenCurry who impressed out of the Warriors' backcourt, but instead, Jordan Poole had a really solid showing in the defeat. The Most Improved Player award candidate recorded 28 points (9-15 FG, 6-12 3Pt, 4-5 FT), five rebounds, three assists, one block and two steals over 35 minutes.
    • Poole has dropped 28 or more in three out of his last six showings, but it is not a bad idea to consider selling high on the Michigan product with Klay Thompson (knee) coming back soon.
      • It was an uncharacteristically bad outing for Curry as he dropped just 12 points (4-21 FG, 3-14 3Pt, 1-1 FT), three rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block in 35 minutes. Among games in which he attempted at least 20 shots, it was the worst shooting night of Curry's entire career.

Nets win thriller against the Knicks

  • The Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks battled in a tightly contested contest that ended with the Nets winning 112-110. James Harden helped lead Brooklyn to victory with one of his best outings of the season, posting 34 points (11-20 FG, 3-8 3Pt, 9-10 FT), 10 rebounds, eight assists and three steals in 40 minutes.
    • This was just Harden's third 30-point outing of the season, which is pretty crazy to think about considering just two seasons ago he was dropping over 34 points per game.
      • Kevin Durant continued his MVP-caliber season with 27 points (9-23 FG, 0-5 3Pt, 9-9 FT), nine assists, five rebounds and a block in 40 minutes. He is averaging an impressive 28.5 points and 8.3 assists per game over his last four contests.
  • Alec Burks continues to impress for the Knicks as he dropped 25 points (9-21 FG, 4-10 3Pt, 3-4 FT), five rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block over 39 minutes. The veteran guard has flown under the radar throughout pretty much his entire career but is starting to finally get some recognition.
    • The Knicks announced Tuesday that Burks will be starting at point guard, while Kemba Walker will no longer be in the rotation. Burks is rostered in just 16.3 percent of ESPN leagues – add him while you can!
      • Julius Randle neared a triple-double in the losing effort dropping 24 points (11-22 FG, 0-2 3Pt, 2-2 FT), along with nine rebounds, eight assists and two steals in 40 minutes.

No Lillard, no problem

  • The Portland Trail Blazers were without their All-Star point guard Damian Lillard due to an abdomen injury and also were missing Norman Powell due to a quad contusion. However, the Blazers were able to defeat the Pistons 110-92.
    • CJ McCollum led the way, dropping 28 points (11-26 FG, 4-11 3Pt, 2-2 FT), six assists, four rebounds and two steals in 36 minutes of play. This was just his second time scoring over 20 points in his last seven contests.
      • Ben McLemore had his best game as a Trail Blazer with 17 points (5-10 FG, 4-9 3Pt, 3-3 FT), two rebounds, one assist and one steal across 18 minutes.
  • Cade Cunningham was outstanding in defeat. The No. 1 overall pick ended the contest with a new season-best 26 points (10-13 FG, 5-7 3Pt, 1-2 FT), seven rebounds, three blocks, one assist and one steal across 33 minutes. This was Cunningham's third career game with more than 20 points.
    • Isaiah Stewart posted a double-double in the losing effort, dropping 15 points (4-6 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 7-8 FT), 14 rebounds, one assist and one block in 32 minutes.

Best and Worst of the Night 

  • Best of the Night: James Harden – 34 points (11-20 FG, 3-8 3Pt, 9-10 FT), 10 rebounds, eight assists and three steals in 40 minutes
  • Worst of the Night: Saddiq Bey – Two points (1-9 FG,0-4 3PT), five assists, and two rebounds in 26 minutes.
  • Rookie of the Night: Cade Cunningham – 26 points (10-13 FG, 5-7 3Pt, 1-2 FT), seven rebounds, three blocks, one assist and one steal across 33 minutes.

Quick Hitters

  • One of the top storylines of Tuesday night was the news that LeBron James has entered the health and safety protocols and is expected to miss several games. This is obviously a major blow to the Lakers as a team, but it does bode well for both Anthony Davis' and Russell Westbrook's fantasy values.
  • Even with their star forward out of the lineup, the Lakers were able to get revenge on the Kings after a wild triple-overtime contest over the weekend. Anthony Davis led the way with 25 points (12-22 FG, 0-2 3Pt, 1-2 FT), seven rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals in 35 minutes. This has quietly been one of AD's best seasons, as he ranks seventh overall with a 25.8 PER.
    • Russell Westbrook had a decent outing with 23 points (9-21 FG, 1-5 3PT, 4-7 FT), six assists, five rebounds and one steal over 34 minutes.
    • Dwight Howard posted a double-double off of the bench with 12 points (5-7 FG, 2-3 FT), 13 rebounds, two steals and two blocks in 35 minutes.
  • Richaun Holmes had an incredibly efficient game for the Kings, despite falling to Los Angeles. The big man ended the contest with a season-high 27 points (12-13 FG, 3-5 FT), nine rebounds, two assists and two blocks across 33 minutes. There is no doubt in my mind that Holmes is one of the most underrated players in the league. He currently ranks as the 38th-best nine-category fantasy player on a per-game basis.
    • Chimezie Metu also had a very strong outing for Sacramento, dropping 14 points (7-10 FG, 0-1 3Pt), 11 rebounds and three steals in 36 minutes.
  • Desmond Bane showed out, taking over from deep as he has generally been doing all season long. The former TCU Horned Frog dropped 23 points (8-16 FG, 5-9 3Pt, 2-3 FT), adding on seven rebounds, two assists and a block in 33 minutes as the Grizzlies took down the Raptors 98-91. Bane has dropped at least 18 points in five of his last six showings.
    • Jaren Jackson also had a solid game for Memphis with 25 points (8-14 FG, 4-7 3Pt, 5-6 FT), six rebounds, five blocks and an assist in 34 minutes. It will be interesting to see how the Grizzlies' offense functions with Ja Morant (knee) on the sidelines.
  • Pascal Siakam filled up the stat sheet for Toronto in their defeat, dropping 20 points (9-19 FG, 1-6 3Pt, 1-1 FT), six rebounds, five assists, three blocks and a steal across 30 minutes. The forward is averaging 20.8 points per game over his last six contests.
    • Scottie Barnes continues to be awfully fun to watch in his first season in the league. The rookie out of Florida State finished with 19 points (8-16 FG, 3-6 3PT), seven rebounds, four blocks, three assists and two steals across 37 minutes. Barnes is shooting 47.6 percent from deep over his last six contests which is a scary sight for the rest of the league.

A Look Ahead to Wednesday Night

  • The Minnesota Timberwolves look to stay hot when they travel to Washington to face the Wizards
  • The Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers face off as both teams are finally healthy
  • LaMelo Ball and the Hornets match up against Giannis and the Bucks. DeMarcus Cousins is expected to debut for Milwaukee.
  • The Clippers and Kings battle in Los Angeles in an in-state contest.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael Spero
Michael writes in the NBA and NCAAF departments for RotoWire. He is a big-time fan of both the Bulls and Nuggets. Michael spends his time playing pick-up or anxiously rooting for his fantasy teams.
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