Around the Association: Giannis Dominates, Suns Win 10th Straight, Blazers Storm Back

Around the Association: Giannis Dominates, Suns Win 10th Straight, Blazers Storm Back

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 a busy 11 game slate in the NBA last night – here is everything you need to know

Nightly Notables

Giannis dominates Lakers

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo absolutely dominated the Lakers as Milwaukee defeated Los Angeles 109-102. The two-time MVP finished with a season-high 47 points (18-23 FG, 3-4 3Pt, 8-11 3Pt) to go with nine rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block in 36 minutes. It was truly an astonishing performance by the Greek Freak as he led his team to its seventh win on the year.
    • Khris Middleton (COVID) made his return to the lineup after missing eight straight games for the Bucks. The wing finished with 16 points (8-14 FG, 2-6 3Pt, 6-7 FT), six assists, five rebounds and one block in 30 minutes of action. He also tied Ray Allen's all-time franchise record of 1,051 three-pointers made in the win.
  • Talen Horton-Tucker balled out for the Lakers once again. The third-year pro finished with 25 points (9-18 FG, 3-6 3Pt, 4-4 FT), 12 rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block in 38 minutes. THT is averaging 23.3 points and 7.3 rebounds in 34.0 minutes per game over his first three showings of the season. Amazingly, Horton-Tucker is rostered in just 20.6 percent of all ESPN fantasy leagues. Pick him up while you can!
    • Russell Westbrook had a decent game in the loss. The veteran point guard recorded 19 points (7-16 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 3-4 FT), a season-high 15 assists, four rebounds and one steal in 35 minutes of play.

Suns win 10th straight

  • The Suns came into Wednesday night's contest with nine straight wins under their belt. It was a tight contest throughout, but Phoenix was able to win its 10th in a row by a margin of 105-98 behind a clutch performance by Devin Booker. The All-Star guard dropped 24 points (11-21 FG, 2-4 3Pt, 0-1 FT) and nine rebounds in 35 minutes. The Suns sit at 11-3 and currently sit at second in the West.
    • Chris Paul struggled with his shot but continued to find his teammates at an incredibly high rate. The Point God recorded seven points (2-12 FG, 0-6 3Pt, 3-4 FT), 14 assists and four rebounds in 36 minutes. Paul is averaging a league-high 10.5 dimes per game.
    • Deandre Ayton continues to look good since returning from injury, finishing with 19 points (9-13 FG, 1-3 FT), 13 rebounds two assists and one block in 35 minutes.
  • The Mavs were without Luka Doncic (ankle), so it was a pretty inspiring effort from the team to keep the contest close throughout. Kristaps Porzingis continues to look great since his return from injury, totaling 21 points (7-20 FG, 2-7 3Pt, 5-5 FT), eight rebounds, seven assists, two blocks and one steal in 31 minutes of play. The big man has scored over 20 points in five of his last six showings while gabbing at least seven rebounds in each of those contests as well.
    • Jalen Brunson slid into the Mavs' starting lineup with Doncic sidelined and nearly dropped a triple-double with an 18 point (8-18 FG, 2-4 3Pt), nine rebound and nine assist outing in 36 minutes of play. The 25-year-old is a great fantasy option in both season-long and DFS formats with Doncic out for now.
    • Tim Hardaway also saw a bump in usage with Doncic out of the lineup, finishing with 22 points (9-23 FG, 3-8 3Pt, 1-1 FT), four assists, two rebounds and two steals in 36 minutes. His 23 attempts marked a new season-high.

Brooklyn bounces back

  • James Harden and Kevin Durant both led the Nets to a bounce-back victory as Brooklyn defeated the Cavs 109-99. Harden finished with 27 points (6-12 FG, 3-6 3Pt, 12-12 FT), 10 rebounds, seven assists, two steals, one block and six turnovers in 36 minutes. His running-mate, Durant, dropped in 23 of own points (9-16 FG, 2-3 3Pt, 3-3 FT) while recording four rebounds and three assists in the win.
    • LaMarcus Aldridge saw limited action in the Nets' previous game but impressed Wednesday night. The veteran forward saw a reserve-high 30 minutes en route to 24 points (11-19 FG, 0-2 3Pt, 2-2 FT), seven rebounds, two assists and one block.
  • Ricky Rubio continues to ball out for Cleveland. The veteran guard finished with 25 points (8-17 FG, 3-10 3Pt, 6-6 FT), five assists and four rebounds in 33 minutes of action. Rubio has gone for 20 or more points in four out of his last six showings.
    • Darius Garland also continues to show off his improved game despite some rocky shooting. The third-year pro recorded 24 points (10-26 FG, 3-13 3Pt, 1-1 FT), six assists, five rebounds and three steals in 40 minutes.

Blazers storm back against Bulls

  • The red-hot Chicago Bulls headed into Portland winners of four of their last five contests. It looked like they were headed for yet another victory, leading by 20 in the first half. However, Damian Lillard was able to carry the Trail Blazers late in the game to a 112-107 victory. Lillard finished with 22 points (6-18 FG, 3-9 3Pt, 7-7 FT), 10 assists, four rebounds, one steal and one block in 40 minutes of action. This was definitely one of Dame's better showings of the season.
    • Larry Nance was one of the biggest reasons that Portland was able to rally against Chicago. The first-year Trail Blazer finished with 16 points (6-9 FG, 2-3 3Pt, 2-2 FT), nine rebounds, three assists, three steals and one block in 24 minutes. After a slower start to the year Nance has scored 15 or more in two straight games.
  • Zach LaVine had a wide-open look to send the game to overtime but came up just short. The All-Star guard was still tremendous, however, finishing with 30 points (11-20 FG, 7-12 3Pt, 1-2 FT), six rebounds, two assists and one steal in 37 minutes.
    • DeMar DeRozan continued his hot red scoring streak, recording 22 points (7-19 FG, 1-5 3Pt, 7-8 FT), five assists, four rebounds, two blocks and one steal in 36 minutes.
    • Alex Caruso had an underwhelming revenge game against the Lakers, but he was one assist shy of a triple-double Wednesday night, finishing with 12 points (3-9 FG,1-4 3Pt, 7-8 FT), 10 rebounds, nine assists, two blocks and two steals across 37 minutes of action.

Ant-Man takes over in the fourth

  • The Timberwolves led the Kings by a score of 77-72 after three-quarters of play. However, Minnesota ended up winning 107-97 after a huge fourth quarter from Anthony Edwards. After scoring a season-low nine points in his previous outing, the second-year pro finished with 26 points (11-24 FG, 4-10 3Pt), five rebounds, one assist and one block over 40 minutes. 16 of his 26 points came in the fourth quarter as Sacramento could not stop him late.
    • Karl-Anthony Towns was efficient in the win. The recently turned 26-year-old recorded 22 points (9-1212 FG, 1-4 3Pt, 3-3 FT) to go with six rebounds, four assists and two blocks in 36 minutes. Towns did have six turnovers, however, giving him 13 over the last two games alone. He went turnover-less in the three games prior.
  • Despite the losing effort, De'Aaron Fox continues to improve his play after a lackadaisical start to the season. The speedy guard recorded 28 points (10-20 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 6-8 FT), one rebound and five assists across 36 minutes. Fox has scored 19 or more points in four out of his last five contests.
    • Chimezie Metu started his third straight game and finished with four points (2-8 FG, 0-4 3Pt), eight rebounds, two assists and one block in 25 minutes. Coach Luke Walton has stated that he will start two more games before being "re-assessed".

Best and Worst of the Night

  • Stud of the Night: Giannis Antetokounmpo – 47 points (18-23 FG, 3-4 3Pt, 8-11 3Pt) to go with nine rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block in 36 minutes.
  • Dud of the Night: Spencer Dinwiddie –  Zero points (0-5 FG, 0-4 3Pt), three rebounds, two assists and two turnovers in 28 minutes.
  • Rookie of the Night: Jalen Green – 21 points (6-14 FG, 3-9 3Pt, 6-6 FT), three rebounds, two assists, one steal and one turnover in 36 minutes.

Quick Hitters

  • Luguentz Dort erupted for 34 points (14-22 FG, 4-11 3Pt, 2-4 FT) to go with eight rebounds, two assists and one block over 37 minutes during Wednesday's 101-89 win over the Rockets. Dort is starting to play some of the best basketball of his career as of recent, averaging 24.6 points, 5.0 points and 1.6 assists per game over his last five appearances.
  • Jimmy Butler absolutely shined as he made his return to the Heat lineup after missing three straight contests due to an ankle injury. The All-Star wing recorded 31 points (10-18 FG, 1-2 3Pt, 10-12 FT), 10 rebounds, 10 assists and one block in 37 minutes as he led Miami to a 113-98 win over the Pelicans.
    • Kyle Lowry (rest) got the night off, so Tyler Herro remained in Miami's starting lineup for the fourth straight contest. The Kentucky product finished with 19 points (7-19 FG, 3-9 3Pt, 2-2 FT) and had five assists, three rebounds and one steal in 37 minutes
    • Bam Adebayo missed a second straight game with a bruised knee
  • Nickeil Alexander-Walker had a solid night in New Orleans' loss to Miami, recording 24 points (8-18 FG, 4-8 3Pt, 4-6 FT), four rebounds, two assists and one steal over 28 minutes. The 23-year-old is playing some good ball as of late, averaging 19.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.2 steals across his past five games.
    • Brandon Ingram's 37 minutes of play marked the most he has seen since coming back from injury while he recorded 19 points (6-14 FG, 1-6 3Pt, 6-6 FT), five assists and four rebounds. However, his 14 shot attempts actually marked a new season-low.
  • Despite some rough outside shooting, Jerami Grant still put up a decent line during Detroit's 97-89 win over the Pacers. The forward finished with 19 points (5-14 FG, 0-5 3Pt, 9-12 FT) to go with three rebounds and two steals in 34 minutes
    • Cory Joseph had an efficient performance off the bench, totaling a season-high 18 points (7-11 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 3-4 FT), five rebounds, two assists and a steal across 31 minutes.
  • Malcolm Brogdon had another good night during Indiana's loss to the Pistons. He recorded 20 points (8-17 FG, 3-9 3Pt, 1-2 FT), five rebounds and four assists across 35 minutes.
  • LaMelo Ball was dropping dimes during Charlotte's 97-87 win over the Wizards. The reigning rookie of the year finished with 11 points (4-18 FG, 2-7 3Pt, 1-1 FT), a career-high 14 assists, six rebounds and two steals over 36 minutes.
    • Mason Plumlee was solid in the victory as he posted his third double-double of the year, finishing with 11 points (5-7 FG, 1-2 FT), 13 rebounds, two assists and one steal over 26 minutes.
  • Bradley Beal made his return to Washington's lineup, but the Wizards snapped a five-game winning streak with the loss. Beal finished with 24 points (9-20 FG, 5-11 3Pt, 1-1 FT), three rebounds, seven assists and two steals over 35 minutes in his first action back
    • Daniel Gafford was about as efficient as you can be during the loss. The ferocious big man finished with 20 points (9-12 FG, 2-5 FT), nine rebounds, one assist, one block and two steals over 24 minutes. He started the game making his first nine shots.
    • Spencer Dinwiddie struggled in Beal's return, finishing with zero points (0-5 FG, 0-4 3Pt), three rebounds, two assists and two turnovers in 28 minutes.
  • It was quite a balanced effort for the Hawks during their 110-99 win over the Celtics as seven players recorded between eight and 20 points. John Collins scored a team-high 20 points (9-13 FG, 1-1 3Pt, 1-2 FT) to go with 11 rebounds, two steals, one assist and one block in 34 minutes during the win.
    • Cam Reddish also had a solid showing for Atlanta, recording 19 points (8-14 FG, 1-6 3Pt, 2-2 FT), three steals, two rebounds, one assist and one block in 26 minutes off the bench.
  • Without Jaylen Brown (hamstring) and Robert Williams (knee), much of the Celtics' offense fell onto Jayson Tatum's hand, and the young star delivered one of his better outings of the season. The forward recorded 34 points (12-23 FG, 5-13 3Pt, 5-6 FT), nine rebounds, five assists and one block in 37 minutes.
    • With Robert Williams out, Grant Williams slid into the starting lineup and tied a season-high in scoring with 18 points (6-12 FG, 3-8 3Pt, 3-3 FT) to go with six rebounds in 30 minutes.
  • The Magic headed into Madison Square Garden to matchup against the Knicks and ended up winning the contest 104-98. Cole Anthony continued to stuff the stat sheet Wednesday night despite some poor shooting, finishing with 15 points (5-21 FG, 1-9 3Pt, 4-4 FT), 10 rebounds, seven assists and one steal in 36 minutes.
    • Terrence Ross dropped in 19 points (6-15 FG, 3-8 3Pt, 4-4 FT), two rebounds, two assists and two steals in 29 minutes off the bench. The veteran scorer has reached 17 or more points in three out of his last four showings.
  • RJ Barrett could not find his shot from deep during the Knicks' loss, but still led New York in scoring with 17 points (7-19 FG, 0-7 3Pt, 3-3 FT), nine rebounds and five assists in 33 minutes.
    • Obi Toppin had a solid showing in the defeat, tying a season-high 14 points (6-9 FG, 2-3 3Pt) to go with five rebounds, two assists and one block in 17 minutes.
  • With Jarrett Allen (illness) and Evan Mobley (elbow) both out for the Cavs, Ed Davis slid into the starting role for Cleveland. The veteran finished with six points (3-6 FG), 11 rebounds, one steal and one block in a season-high 23 minutes of play.

Rookie Report 

  • Cade Cunningham: 16 points (6-18 FG, 1-8 3Pt, 3-4 FT), eight rebounds, six assists, two steals, one block and one turnover in 33 minutes.
    • Cunningham is starting to really figure it out lately, as he helped lead his team to a win over Indiana. The No. 1 overall selection struggled from deep once again but impressed in nearly all other facets of the game. If Cunningham can figure out that outside shot, he has the makings of an incredibly strong, well-rounded fantasy player.
  • Jalen Green: 21 points (6-14 FG, 3-9 3Pt, 6-6 FT), three rebounds, two assists, one steal and one turnover in 36 minutes.
    • Kevin Porter Jr (thigh) sat out for Houston, so Green handled more of the point guard duties for Houston. The G League Ignite product scored over 20 points for the fourth time this season during Houston's loss. It is clear that Green is full of talent, but his rookie season inconsistency makes him quite a hard fantasy option to trust.
  • Jalen Suggs: 13 points (5-12 FG, 3-4 3Pt), four assists, three steals, one rebound, one block and two turnovers in 25 minutes.
    • The rookie out of Gonzaga missed the Magic's last contest due to an ankle injury, but was able to comeback for Wednesday night's showing. Suggs had one of his performances of the year as knocked down three triples in Orlando's upset win. This is certainly an encouraging performance out of the guard.
  • Josh Giddey: 14 points (7-14 FG, 0-2 3Pt), 11 rebounds, two assists, one block and three turnovers across 34 minutes.
    • Of course, the day that Giddey has a solid performance shooting from the field, he totals a season-low to assists. The rookie out of Australia has been one of the best first-year players all season long and if he can keep up some consistent play, he may turn into a real solid fantasy option by the end of the year.
  • Franz Wagner: 16 points (6-11 FG, 1-2 3Pt, 3-3 FT), nine rebounds, one assist and two turnovers in 33 minutes.
    • The Michigan product was one rebound shy of finishing with his first career double-double. Wagner impressed during Orlando's win once again and had quite an efficient performance. The rookie also had a clutch and-one dunk where he showed off his surprising athleticism.
  • Davion Mitchell: Seven points (2-7 FG, 1-5 3Pt, 2-2 FT) four assists, four rebounds, three steals and one turnover in 21 minutes.
    • "Off Night" had a great defensive performance, swiping away three steals in Sacramento's loss. Mitchell's inconsistency as a scorer still makes him hard to trust in fantasy formats.
  • Alperen Sengun: Zero points (0-2 FG), two rebounds and one turnover in five minutes.
    • Coach Stephen Silas gave me a real head-scratcher here. Sengun had honestly been one of the more impactful players for Houston as of late, but saw a season-low five minutes during Houston's loss. Hopefully, this is not a trend and Sengun finds himself back in the Rockets' regular rotation in no time.
  • Herbert Jones: Four points (2-2 FG), five rebounds, two steals, one assist and one block in 24 minutes.
    • The second-rounder saw a reserve-high 24 minutes during the Pelicans' loss to the Heat. While Jones certainly has proved that he probably should have gone higher in the actual draft, he still remains a weak fantasy option for the time being, especially with Brandon Ingram back in the lineup.
  • Jeremiah Robinson-Earl: Eight points (3-9 FG, 0-5 3Pt, 2-2 FT), nine rebounds, one assist, two steals and one block in 26 minutes.
    • JRE continues to start for the Thunder and continues to play well. It feels like every single year Sam Presti finds a new late-round big-man gem for OKC. Robinson-Earl has started his past four contests and is averaging 7.0 points and 9.0 rebounds during that span. He can be worth consideration for a roster spot in deeper leagues.

Looking Ahead to Thursday night 

  • The Miami Heat and Washington Wizards match up in a clash between Eastern Conference playoff hopefuls.
  • While the teams are quite a bit different, we get a 2015-18 Finals rematch between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers.
  • The Toronto Raptors head to Utah to battle the Jazz.
  • Likely All-Stars Ja Morant and Paul George aim to duel it out in Memphis

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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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