Around the Association: Recapping An Electric 12-Game MLK Day Slate

Around the Association: Recapping An Electric 12-Game MLK Day Slate

This article is part of our NBA Daily Recap series.

Nightly Notables

Devin Booker explodes

  • Devin Booker was deep in his bag during the Suns' 121-107 win over the Spurs. The shot-creating guard ended with a season-high 48 points (18-33 FG, 5-13 3Pt, 7-8 FT), five rebounds, six assists and three steals across 34 minutes. Booker is on a tear as of late and is averaging 37.7 points per game over his last three appearances.
    • Chris Paul was up to his usual playmaking self and really helped push the Suns to victory with a strong fourth quarter. The veteran dimer recorded 15 points (7-12 FG, 1-4 3Pt), five rebounds, 12 assists, two steals and two blocks across 32 minutes.
    • Bismack Biyombo: 17 points (8-10 FG, 1-4 FT), 14 rebounds, one assist and one steal over 24 minutes. Deandre Ayton did not play due to an ankle injury.
  • Jakob Poeltl had one of his better games of the season despite the losing effort. The Utah product ended the game with 23 points (9-12 FG, 5-7 FT), 14 rebounds, four assists and two blocks over 29 minutes of action. This was Poeltl's first 20-point outing in over a month as he continues to be one of the bigger fantasy disappointments this season.
    • Dejounte Murray: 18 points (7-16 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 2-2 FT), eight rebounds and four assists over 31 minutes of play.

Heat and Raptors duel

  • Perhaps the best game out of our loaded MLK slate occurred in Miami as the Raptors came into town. The game was back and forth throughout but ended with Miami getting the win by a score of 104-99. Jimmy Butler was great in the win, dropping a triple-double with 19 points (6-14 FG, 7-8 FT, 0-1 3Pt), 10 rebounds, 10 assists and one steal over 36 minutes of action. He has been on a passing tear as of late, averaging 9.7 assists per game over his last three showings.
    • Welcome back, Bam Adebayo. The dominant big made his first appearance since November after being out with a hand injury. Adebayo finished with 14 points (4-12 FG, 6-7 FT), nine rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block across 31 minutes in his first action back.
    • Tyler Herro: 23 points (8-16 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 6-6 FT), four rebounds, three assists and two steals across 34 minutes.
  • Despite essentially playing just six players, the Raptors really put up a fight in this one but were not able to come away with the victory. Pascal Siakam neared a triple-double with 18 points (9-20 FG, 0-2 3Pt), six rebounds, 10 assists, five steals and one block across 42 minutes. The dynamic forward is averaging 23.5 points, 10.0 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 2.0 steals per game over his last 10 appearances.
    • Chris Boucher had a solid showing as pretty much the only reserve to see extended action on the court Monday. The Canadian native finished with 23 points (7-13 FG, 2-4 3Pt, 7-9 FT), 10 rebounds and two blocks. He really is such a unique player. There are not many bigs who are as dynamic on defense and can step into any three-point shot as well.

Trae comes up clutch

  • The Milwaukee Bucks had solid control of their showing against the Hawks on Monday throughout the first three quarters, however, once the fourth quarter hit, it was Trae Time. Young ended with 30 points (7-17 FG, 2-6 3Pt, 14-14 FT), four rebounds, 11 assists and one steal over 39 minutes, leading the Hawks to a 121-114 win. Young scored 15 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter, but what really stood out to me throughout the game was his passing. The All-Star was dishing dimes left and right and is without a doubt a top-five passer in the league.
    • De'Andre Hunter ended with 20 points (6-17 FG, 2-6 3Pt, 6-6 FT), nine rebounds, two assists and one block over 34 minutes during the win. The Virginia product is starting to find his scoring touch as the season progresses, dropping at least 15 points in three out of his last four showings since returning from injury.
  • Despite the loss, Khris Middleton absolutely balled out for Milwaukee. Khash Money produced 34 points (11-22 FG, 4-9 3Pt, 8-8 FT), seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks over 35 minutes. Surprisingly, this was Middleton's first 30-point outing of the season!
    • Giannis Antetokounmpo did his thing during the loss as well. The two-time MVP ended with 27 points (8-20 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 10-14 FT), six rebounds, six assists, one steal and one block across 36 minutes. Antetokounmpo is averaging a ridiculous 31.4 points, 10.0 rebounds and 6.9 assists over his last 10 contests.

Lakers figure it out

  • The Lakers had dropped three straight games heading into Monday's showdown with the Jazz. However, Los Angeles was able to get back on track with a 101-95 win at home.
  • LeBron James continued his outstanding play with 25 points (9-20 FG, 4-8 FT, 3-8 3PT), seven rebounds, seven assists, one steal and one block across 37 minutes of action. Russell Westbrook continued to struggle with his shot, dropping 15 points (5-14 FG, 1-4 3Pt, 4-4 FT), eight rebounds and three assists, but he was still able to perhaps have the poster of the season after jamming all over Rudy Gobert.
    • Stanley Johnson played a surprise role as the hero for LA late in the contest. The journeyman wing ended 15 points (7-9 FG, 1-2 3Pt, 0-1 FT), five rebounds, three assists, one steal and two blocks across 24 minutes while dropping 10 of his points in the fourth quarter.
  • Mike Conley dropped a team-high 20 points (6-12 FG, 5-9 3Pt, 3-4 FT), to go with one rebound and four assists over 28 minutes during the loss. This was Conley's first time reaching 20 points in his last five contests.
    • Donovan Mitchell struggled with his shot but still came close to dropping a triple-double with 13 points (6-19 FG, 0-8 3Pt, 1-1 FT), eight rebounds, seven assists, one steal and one block over 36 minutes.
    • Rudy Gobert: 19 points (6-8 FG, 7-8 FT), 16 rebounds, one steal and three blocks over 36 minutes.

Ja and Grizzlies spin past Bulls

  • Well, the Bulls have officially gone from the hottest team in the league to the coldest team in a matter of a few games. The Memphis Grizzlies eased to a 119-106 win at home, marking the Bulls' fourth consecutive loss. Ja Morant led the way with 25 points (9-17 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 6-7 FT), four rebounds, three assists and one steal across 31 minutes. The MVP candidate has the Grizzlies now sitting at 31-15, good for third in the Western Conference.
    • My personal pick for Most Improved Player, Desmond Bane, matched Morant's scoring total with 25 points (10-17 FG, 3-7 3Pt, 2-3 FT), three rebounds, four assists and one steal. Bane is averaging 17.7 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game this season while ranking as the 43rd overall nine-category fantasy option on a per-game basis.
  • The Bulls are really struggling without Zach LaVine (knee) in the lineup. DeMar DeRozan scored a team-high 24 points (10-24 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 4-4 FT) to go with five assists across 32 minutes during the loss. DeRozan is averaging just 21.4 points in the three games since LaVine exited early (this does include that game that LaVine left after playing just four minutes)
    • While there is not much to be happy about for the Bulls, it seems like they have struck gold with second-round rookie Ayo Dosunmu. The Chicago native finished with 15 points (7-12 FG, 1-3 3Pt), 10 rebounds, six assists, five steals and two blocks across a team-high 38 minutes. Dosunmu is averaging 18.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 8.0 assists over the last two games while starting for LaVine. He is rostered in just 2.5% percent of all ESPN leagues. Pick him up before it's too late.

Doncic's triple-double squeaks Dallas past OKC

  • The Dallas Mavericks got off to a very good start against the Thunder and were up by over 20 points in the third quarter. However, OKC stormed back and cut the deficit to two points with 3 seconds left. The Thunder had a chance to win the game at the buzzer, but usual dimer Josh Giddey's cross-court inbound pass was intercepted by Tim Hardaway and the Mavericks won the contest 104-102.
  • Despite some rough shooting, Luka Doncic finished with a triple-double, totaling 20 points (4-17 FG, 0-6 3Pt, 12-14 FT), 11 rebounds, 12 assists, three steals and three blocks over 38 minutes of play. Doncic is averaging 22.6 points, 11.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists per game over his last five showings.
    • Jalen Brunson: 14 points (5-13 FG, 0-3 3Pt, 4-4 FT), five rebounds, eight assists and two steals across 37 minutes of action.
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was outstanding despite falling short to Dallas. SGA recorded a team-high 34 points (11-18 FG, 1-4 3Pt, 11-12 FT), six rebounds, five assists and two steals over 37 minutes. This marks his third 30-point outing in his last four showings.
    • Luguentz Dort: 18 points (7-14 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 2-2 FT), seven rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block over 36 minutes.

Best and Worst of the Night 

  • Best of the Night: Devin Booker - 48 points (18-33 FG, 5-13 3Pt, 7-8 FT), five rebounds, six assists and three steals across 34 minutes.
  • Worst of the Night: Tobias Harris – Seven points (3-11 FG, 1-2 3Pt), one rebound and one assist across 25 minutes before fouling out.
  • Rookie of the Night: Ayo Dosunmu -15 points (7-12 FG, 1-3 3Pt), 10 rebounds, six assists, five steals and two blocks across 38 minutes.

Quick Hitters 

  • With LaMelo Ball (illness) out of the lineup for Charlotte, Miles Bridges exploded for a career-high 38 points (14-20 FG, 5-9 3Pt, 5-5 FT), 12 rebounds, five assists, one steal and one block during the team's 97-87 win over the Knicks. This was the high-flying wing's first 30-point outing in over a month.
    • Terry Rozier: 22 points (8-18 FG, 4-11 3Pt, 2-2 FT), six rebounds, seven assists and one steal over 35 minutes.
  • It was an ugly game for the Knicks during their loss to the Hornets as no player topped 20-point for them. RJ Barrett finished with 18 points (7-18 FG, 2-6 3Pt, 2-4 FT), 12 rebounds, five assists and two steals across 38 minutes in the defeat.
  • Life without Kevin Durant (knee) has begun for the Nets, as they fell 114-107 to the Cavaliers. Darius Garland finished with a team-high 22 points (10-19 FG, 2-5 FT), six rebounds, 12 assists and two steals across 36 minutes in the win.
  • With no KD, Kyrie Irving led Brooklyn in the scoring department, totaling a season-high 27 points (12-23 FG, 3-6 3Pt), seven rebounds, nine assists and one steal across 37 minutes.
    • James Harden: 22 points (5-12 FG, 2-4 3Pt, 10-15 FT), seven rebounds, 10 assists and two steals over 40 minutes of action.
  • The league is just in a better place now that CJ McCollum (lungs) is back playing for Portland after missing the team's last 17 showings. The 30-year-old finished with 16 points (7-13 FG, 2-4 3Pt), one rebound, two assists, one steal and one block in 28 minutes of action in his return and helped push the Trail Blazers to a 98-88 win over Orlando. McCollum is in a pretty good spot to start putting up some big fantasy numbers with Damian Lillard (abdomen) out for the foreseeable future.
    • Jusuf Nurkic: 21 points (10-21 FG, 0-3 3Pt, 1-2 FT), 22 rebounds, two assists, four steals and two blocks across 35 minutes.
  • Jayson Tatum led the Boston Celtics to a 104-92 win over the New Orleans, dropping a team-high 27 points (9-18 FG, 0-4 3Pt, 9-11 FT), eight rebounds, three assists and one steal over 37 minutes. After some early-season struggles, Boston has now won five of its last six and is finally above .500
    • Jaylen Brown: 23 points (8-17 FG, 3-7 3Pt, 4-4 FT), eight rebounds and two assists across 34 minutes.
  • Brandon Ingram neared a triple-double in the Pelicans' loss to the Celtics, finishing with 15 points (6-19 FG, 0-4 3Pt, 3-3 FT), 10 rebounds, six assists and one steal over 35 minutes.
  • One of the more surprising outcomes of MLK Day's eventful action came in Washington as the Wizards took down the 76ers by a score of 117-98. Seven Wizards players reached double-figures yet not one player topped 20 points in the solid team effort. Kyle Kuzma ended with 15 points (6-13 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 2-4 FT), 16 rebounds, four assists, one steal and three blocks over 29 minutes of play while also absolutely destroying Joel Embiid with this poster.
    • Thomas Bryant had his first good game of the season, ending with 15 points (6-11 FG, 1-4 3Pt, 2-4 FT), five rebounds, one assist and one block over 15 minutes. Washington will be an interesting team to watch as the trade-deadline approaches as it really does not make too much sense to hold on the trio of Bryant, Montrezl Harrell and Daniel Gafford.
  • Joel Embiid may have gotten posterized by Kyle Kuzma, but the elite center still had a very productive game in the loss to Washington. He ended with 32 points (10-20 FG, 3-4 3Pt, 9-10 FT), eight rebounds and one assist across 29 minutes.
    • Tyrese Maxey: 18 points (5-10 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 8-9 FT), four rebounds, three assists and one steal over 31 minutes.
  • The Clippers only beat the Pacers by a score of 139-133, but the game really was not that close as LA had control throughout essentially the entire contest. Nicolas Batum finished with a season-best 32 points (11-16 FG, 7-10 3Pt, 3-3 FT) to go with five rebounds, three assists and two blocks across 36 minutes.
    • Reggie Jackson must have recently put springs into his shoes. The veteran point guard dropped in 26 points (6-14 FG, 1-7 3Pt, 13-14 FT), five rebounds, three assists and three steals while also having two monster dunks late in the win.
  • Caris LeVert led the way for the Pacers during the loss, totaling 26 points (9-18 FG, 2-6 3Pt, 6-6 FT), nine rebounds, four assists and one steal over 34 minutes. The Michigan product has now topped 20 points in six out of his last seven showings.
    • With Myles Turner (foot) sidelined, Goga Bitadze had a career-outing with 17 points (7-9 FG, 1-1 3Pt, 2-2 FT), eight rebounds, two assists and two blocks in 24 minutes of action off of the bench.
    • Chris Duarte: 24 points (10-14 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 2-2 FT), seven rebounds, six assists and three steals in 34 minutes.

A Look Ahead to Tuesday Night

  •  Just a two-game slate tonight featuring a pair of fairly uninspiring matchups.
  • The Timberwolves get to face their former coach, Tom Thibodeau, when they travel to the Big Apple to take on the Knicks
  • The Pistons will do everything they can to try and shock the world when they travel to San Francisco to face the Warriors.

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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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