While Stephen Curry is currently struggling with the worst field goal percentage in any calendar month of his career, Joel Embiid, who finished second in MVP voting last season, continues to make the case to finally win the trophy.
On Tuesday night, the Philadelphia 76ers center scored 42 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to go along with four assists and blocked four shots in a win over the New Orleans Pelicans. It was Embiid’s fourth straight game with at least 35 points and 10 rebounds, making him the fourth player with such a streak since the merger.
In the last two seasons, Embiid could only play 51 games in total. However, it certainly looks like he’s made the necessary changes heading into this season to pay huge dividends to the fantastic managers who selected him on draft day.
Tobias Harris also shone for the 76ers, scoring 33 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in 39 minutes of play. Philadelphia continues to use him as one of their best offensive options behind Embiid, and he rewarded them with 17-plus points in seven of their last eight games.
Gary Trent, Toronto Raptors: 32 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal
OG Anunoby, Toronto Raptors: 24 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 block
Marcus Smart, Boston Celtics: 0 points, 3 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal
Spencer Dinwiddie, Washington Wizards: 5 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals
Dejounte Murray scored 19 points, along with 10 assists, five rebounds and three steals in 24 minutes for the San Antonio Spurs in a blowout win over the Rockets. He’s been one of the league’s main all-rounders this season, with three triple-doubles and five double-doubles in January. Jakob Poeltl added 18 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two blocks in just 21 minutes for Spurs.
With 33 points last night against the Nets, LeBron James now has 18 consecutive 25-point games, tied for the fifth-longest streak in Los Angeles Lakers history. Anthony Davis returned to the ground after missing 17 games with a sprained left knee. He scored eight points in just 25 minutes and held the Nets 2 of 10 from the field when he challenged a shot.
Jonathan Kuminga thrived in the Golden State Warriors’ blowout win over the Mavericks, racking up 22 points, five rebounds and four 3-pointers in just 18 minutes of play. That said, due to his inconsistent minutes even with Draymond Green out , Kuminga is not someone you should rush to add to your roster. Klay Thompson’s knee pain didn’t stop him from playing. He scored 15 points, adding two rebounds and six assists. The good news? Thompson shot over 50% from the field for the first time this season.
Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns scored 17 points and grabbed 17 rebounds on four blocked shots, but it was Jarred Vanderbilt who really impressed with 13 points, 13 rebounds and six assists. It was his sixth double-double of the season. Vanderbilt (available in 79.5% of ESPN leagues) should be picked up immediately. Speaking of double-doubles, Jusuf Nurkic of the Portland Trail Blazers now has six straight games where he hit that mark. Tuesday against the Timmberwolves, he scored 20 points and added 14 rebounds in just 32 minutes.
On Tuesday, Denver’s Nikola Jokic had 28 points, 21 rebounds and nine assists against the Pistons. He joined Wilt Chamberlain and Oscar Robertson as the only players in league history to have 150 points, 70 rebounds, and 50 assists over a five-game span. For Detroit, Cade Cunningham had a career game, scoring 34 points with eight rebounds, eight assists, two steals, four blocks and six 3-pointers. The rookie became just the third player in the past 40 years to lead his team in all six statistical categories in the same game.
Amir Coffey of the LA Clippers rebounded from Sunday’s mediocre game with 29 points, five rebounds and two steals in 37 minutes against the Wizards. Coffey (available in 96% of ESPN leagues) is expected to be picked up with Paul George potentially out for the season.
Injuries to Note
Early in his game, Tim Hardaway Jr. of the Mavericks fractured the fifth metatarsal in his left foot. He will be out for a while, but Jalen Brunson will take advantage of it immediately. Brunson is averaging 15.7 points, 3.8 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.0 steals per game. For those into deeper formats, watch Dorian Finney-Smith, who averaged 10.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 13 games this month.
Jalen Smith, Phoenix Suns: With Deandre Ayton (ankle), Jae Crowder (wrist) and JaVale McGee (knee) all having been ruled out, Smith has a shot at success against the Jazz. Despite averaging just 14.0 minutes per game this season, Smith managed to produce 19.0 points and 15.7 rebounds per 40 minutes, so the extended minutes expected should help his numbers tonight.