Around the Association: Grizzles Win Again, LeBron Comes Alive, Return of Randle

Around the Association: Grizzles Win Again, LeBron Comes Alive, Return of Randle

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.

Here is all you need to know from what was a great, five-game slate Tuesday night: 

Nightly Notables

Ja and the Grizzlies keep rolling with win over Cavs

  • In a matchup between two of the more surprising teams this season, the Grizzlies were able to earn their sixth straight win after a 110-106 win in Cleveland. Ja Morant was once again phenomenal and came up clutch for Memphis late while finishing with 26 points (9-21 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 8-9 FT), five rebounds, six assists, two blocks and two steals across 34 minutes. Since returning from his knee injury, the young star has averaged 27.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 6.4 assists across 32.5 minutes per game while Memphis has gone 6-2 in that span.
    • After going four straight games without reaching the 20-point mark, Jaren Jackson looked good for Memphis as he dropped in 22 points (7-14 FG, 3-8 3Pt, 5-5 FT), three rebounds, one assist and one steal across 29 minutes. This has not quite been the monster breakout season for Jackson that some predicted, but the forward is still a key member of the Grizzlies' rotation.
  • Darius Garland missed Cleveland's last four contests due to COVID protocols, but the Most Improved Player candidate looked like he had not missed a beat during Tuesday's loss. The Vanderbilt product ended with a team-high 27 points (9-26 FG, 3-10 3Pt, 6-6 FT), four rebounds and 10 assists across 36 minutes. Dating back to before he was placed in the league's health and safety protocols, Garland now has five straight 20 point outings.
    • Jarrett Allen must be happy to have his playmaking guard back. The big ended with 22 points (11-14 FG), 12 rebounds, two assists, three blocks and one steal in 34 minutes while being on the receiving end of many Garland oops. In fact, Allen's 22 points were the most he has recorded in his last eight appearances.

Suns prove to be to much for New Orleans 

  • The Phoenix Suns traveled to New Orleans on Tuesday and easily took care of business after a 123-110 win over the Pelicans. Devin Booker was in his bag, dropping in 33 points (12-24 FG, 3-6 3Pt, 6-6 FT), nine rebounds and four assists in 32 minutes. The All-Star guard is averaging 29.4 points per game over his last five appearances.
    • Chris Paul: 11 points (5-11 FG, 1-2 3Pt), 15 assists and five rebounds in 35 minutes.
  • Devonte' Graham had one of his better outings of the season despite the losing effort. The first-year Pelican recorded a season-high 28 points (9-18 FG, 6-12 3Pt, 4-5 FT), six assists, one rebound and one block in 36 minutes. Graham's inconsistent continues on as this was his first time scoring over 20 points in his last four appearances.
    • Jonas Valanciunas: 25 points (10-18 FG, 0-2 3Pt, 5-6 FT), 16 rebounds and two assists in 35 minutes.

FVV and Raps run over Spurs

  • Fred VanVleet needs to be an All-Star. The guard helped push the Raptors over the Spurs by a score of 129-104 while dropping 33 points (12-23 FG, 7-14 3Pt, 2-2 FT), seven assists, two rebounds and two steals over 32 minutes. This is VanVleet's third straight game dropping over 30 points while he is averaging 33.0 points and 7.0 assists over that span.
    • Scottie Barnes came awfully close to posting his first career triple-double, finishing with 11 points (7-13 FG, 2-2 3Pt, 2-4 FT), nine rebounds, eight assists, one steal and one block across 32 minutes. Something tells me it won't be long before the dynamic rookie finds himself recording his first triple-double.
  • This was a pretty ugly game for the Spurs as they continue to wait on getting their star point guard Dejounte Murray back in the lineup.
  • Jakob Poeltl had a solid game against his former team, dropping 19 points (9-13 FG, 1-5 FT), 12 rebounds and four assists in just 22 minutes of action. The 26-year-old has recorded double-figure scoring totals in five straight games, but his god-awful 34.7 free-throw shooting percentage continues to damage his fantasy value in category leagues.
    • I liked what I saw out of Josh Primo during the loss. The rookie out of Alabama recorded a career-high 15 points (4-10 FG, 2-6 3Pt, 5-6 FT), five rebounds, four assists and two blocks in 27 minutes of action. This was Primo's first time reaching double-figures as he has seldom been used this season, but the literal youngest player in the league has now seen over 15 minutes in two straight showings for the Spurs.

Randle and Barrett handle Pacers

  • Julius Randle made his return to the Knicks' lineup after missing the team's last two contests due to COVID protocols and the All-Star forward provided a much-needed spark to the roster.
  • New York handled a short-handed Pacers squad by a score of 104-94.  Randle recorded 30 points (12-20 FG, 2-7 3Pt, 4-6 FT), 16 rebounds, four assists and one steal in 39 minutes. This was Randle's first 30-point outing in his last seven appearances as this season has still been a major down-year for last year's most improved player.
    • While most of the eyes were on Randle for his return, RJ Barrett actually led the Knicks in scoring with 32 points (12-20 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 6-8 FT), eight rebounds, three assists and one steal in 42 minutes. The Duke product is averaging 23.0 points over his last four contests and does emerge as a decent sell-high candidate if you are bearish about his outlook the rest of the season.
  • Keifer Sykes really stood out to me in this one. This man belongs in the league. The 28-year-old rookie made his second career start and finished with a team-high 22 points (8-16 FG, 4-8 3Pt, 2-3 FT), six assists, four rebounds and one steal in 38 minutes. I would add him while you can because I am seriously not confident in how long Malcolm Brogdon is still a Pacer.
    • You know it's not going to be the best game for the Pacers when the team's best player was Sykes and the second-best was Duane Washington. The rookie out of Ohio State made his third straight start for Indiana and finished with 17 points (6-16 FG, 1-7 3Pt, 4-7 FT), four assists, two rebounds and one steal over 36 minutes.

LeBron comes alive late 

  • One of the better games of the season came in Los Angeles as the Lakers and Kings were involved in a tightly contested battle. LeBron James came alive late and helped push the Lakers to a 122-114 win while finishing with 31 points (12-26 FG, 3-10 3Pt, 4-5 FT), five rebounds, five assists and one block in 36 minutes.
  • James scored 14 points in the fourth quarter while this performance was just another elite display of talent that we have become accustomed to seeing as of late. James is averaging a ridiculous 34.3 points, 9.9 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game over his last nine showings.
    • Malik Monk keeps rolling as of late for LA. The sharpshooting guard came up clutch late as well and finished with 24 points (8-15 FG, 6-11 3Pt, 2-4 FT), four rebounds, four assists, one block and one steal over 37 minutes. Monk is going nuclear as of late, posting 20.7 points per game over his last seven appearances.
    • Talen Horton-Tucker: 19 points (9-13 FG, 1-2 3Pt, 0-1 FT), four rebounds, six assists and two steals in 33 minutes.
  • De'Aaron Fox looked good for the Kings in the defeat, ending with 30 points (12-21 FG, 2-4 3Pt, 4-4 FT), three rebounds and six assists over 33 minutes. This was his first time topping the 30-point mark in his last eight showings while he continues to average nearly five less points per game than last seasons mark.
    • Buddy Hield is starting to heat up from deep. He recorded 26 points (8-18 FG, 7-13 3Pt, 3-3 FT), five rebounds, two assists, one block and one steal across 33 minutes and now has back-to-back games with seven triples.

Best and Worst of the Night

  • Best of the Night: Fred VanVleet - 33 points (12-23 FG, 7-14 3Pt, 2-2 FT), seven assists, two rebounds and two steals over 32 minutes.
  • Worst of the Night: Myles Turner - Five points (2-4 FG, 0-2 3Pt, 1-1 FT), seven rebounds, two blocks and one assist over 32 minutes.
  • Rookie of the Night: Josh Primo - 15 points (4-10 FG, 2-6 3Pt, 5-6 FT), five rebounds, four assists and two blocks over 27 minutes.

A Look Ahead to Wednesday Night

  • Kyrie Irving is set to make his season debut when the Nets travel to Indiana to face the Pacers.
  • I am excited to see what happens when Cade Cunningham and the Pistons take on LaMelo Ball and the Hornets.
  • Stephen Curry and Luka Doncic are set to meet in Dallas as the Warriors come to town.
  • Lots of young and fun talent in the Thunder and Timberwolves matchup.
  • Western Conference rivals, the Jazz and Nuggets, meet for a showdown in Denver.

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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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