Around the Association: Ja Dazzles, Hornets Go Off, Cleveland Makes Statement

Around the Association: Ja Dazzles, Hornets Go Off, Cleveland Makes Statement

This article is part of our NBA Daily Recap series.

Welcome to Around the Association! 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 a wild night across the league

Nightly Notables 

Hornets go nuclear against Pacers

  • The Pacers traveled to Charlotte to face the Hornets and after one half of play, Indiana was trailing by just one point. However, the Hornets went off for 87 second-half points en route to a 158-126 victory.
  • Charlotte's extreme scoring total broke the franchise's scoring record. LaMelo Ball snapped for 29 points (11-16 FG, 3-4 3Pt, 4-5 FT), 10 rebounds, 13 assists, one steal and one block across 38 minutes. The second-year pro currently ranks as the 14th overall nine-category fantasy option on a per-game basis.
    • Kelly Oubre had a career game as he went off for 39 points (12-18 FG, 10-15 3Pt, 5-6 FT), five rebounds, three assists and two steals over 35 minutes. This marked Oubre's fourth 30-point outing of the year.
  • Indiana continues to be incredibly short-handed as it is still without Myles Turner (foot), Domantas Sabonis (ankle) and Malcolm Brogdon (Achilles). Goga Bitadze has really taken advantage of his increased playing time as he recorded 17 points (8-12 FG, 0-2 3Pt, 1-2 FT), six rebounds and two assists over 18 minutes. The 22-year-old is averaging 14.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game over his last four appearances.
    • Lance Stephenson: 14 points (5-10 FG, 0-2 3Pt, 4-6 FT), six rebounds and 10 assists across 28 minutes.

Ja explodes yet again

  • Ja Morant is on one as of late. With the game very tight in the final minutes, Morant and company took over to win the game 118-110. The soon-to-be first-time All-Star finished with 41 points (15-28 FG, 3-5 3Pt, 8-10 FT), five rebounds, eight assists and two steals over 37 minutes. Morant dazzled with his signature athletic finishes and dimes all game long. The MVP candidate is on a tear over his last four outings, averaging 36.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 8.5 assists per game over that span.
    • Jaren Jackson: 20 points (7-16 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 5-5 FT), three rebounds, three assists and one steal over 31 minutes.
  • Despite the losing effort, Dejounte Murray continued upon his impressive season. The do-it-all guard ended with 16 points (5-17 FG, 0-3 3Pt, 6-7 FT), 10 rebounds, 11 assists and two steals over 38 minutes. This marked Murray's 10th triple-double this season which puts him second in the league, just one behind Nikola Jokic. I am not sure if he will make it to the All-Star game this year, but he certainly has a deserving enough case.
    • Jakob Poeltl had a great game on both sides of the floor during San Antonio's defeat. The 7-foot-1 center totaled 18 points (8-8 FG, 2-4 FT), seven rebounds, five assists, two steals and four blocks over 32 minutes. Poeltl is starting to improve his play after a rough start to the season, averaging 18.6 points, 9.8 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game over his last six appearances,
    • Devin Vassell: a team-high 20 points (8-16 FG,1-7 3Pt, 3-4 FT) and four rebounds over 29 minutes off the bench.

It's time to take Cleveland seriously

  • The Milwaukee Bucks came into Cleveland looking to ease their selves to a win, but the Cavaliers had other plans. After being outscored by nine points in the first quarter, Cleveland stormed back and took complete control of the game, eventually winning 115-99.
  • Kevin Love went off as he continues to shine as a reserve this season. The veteran forward ended with 25 points (9-16 FG, 5-8 3Pt, 2-2 FT), nine rebounds, two assists and two steals over 26 minutes. I just love how Cleveland is built this season. The team's starting lineup's average age is just 22, but their entire bench is filled with veterans such as Kevin Love, Rajon Rondo and Cedi Osman.
    • Speaking of Osman, the Turkish forward ended with 23 points (8-17 FG, 6-14 3Pt, 1-1 FT), three rebounds, four assists and two steals over 34 minutes.
    • Darius Garland: 19 points (7-12 FG, 3-5 3Pt, 2-3 FT), two rebounds, eight assists and one steal over 25 minutes.
  • Even though Milwaukee walked away with the loss, Giannis Antetokounmpo was his usual self, totaling 26 points (7-13 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 11-12 FT), nine rebounds, three assists and one steal over 29 minutes. The two-time MVP has started to really develop that whip pass to the corner from the elbow and it is quickly becoming a pretty signature dime from him.
    • Bobby Portis: 22 points (10-15 FG, 1-4 3Pt, 1-2 FT), seven rebounds, one assist and one block.

Bulls squeak past Raptors

  • After what feels like ages, DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine finally shared the court once again as the Toronto Raptors traveled to Chicago. The Bulls got off to a good start and were up by 19 points in the third quarter. However, the Raptors did not give in and stormed all the way back to make it a tight game. Nikola Vucevic drilled a clutch three-pointer to seal the game for the Bulls as they won the contest 111-105.
  • This may have perhaps been the best game Chicago's three All-Stars have had all season long. DeMar DeRozan led the way with a team-high 29 points (11-19 FG, 1-4 3Pt, 6-7 FT), seven rebounds and seven assists across 37 minutes. Zach LaVine was right behind him with 23 points (9-16 FG, 1-5 3Pt, 4-4 FT), eight rebounds, eight assists and one steal across 37 minutes. It's great to see the two of them back on the court with each other.
    • Vucevic may have sealed the game with a clutch three, but he impressed throughout the entire showing. The veteran center ended with 17 points (8-11 FG, 1-2 3Pt), 15 rebounds and eight assists over 34 minutes. Vucevic has now posted five straight double-doubles.
  • Gary Trent was ejected late in the contest, but he continued his recent hot stretch. The Duke product totaled 32 points (11-22 FG, 6-10 3Pt, 4-5 FT), one rebound, two assists and one steal over 33 minutes. Trent has scored 32 points in each of his last two showings as Fred VanVleet has been sidelined with knee soreness. If FVV is forced to miss more time, do not hesitate at all when throwing Trent in your fantasy lineups.
    • Pascal Siakam keeps showing off his improved playmaking with Fred VanVleet (knee soreness) out of the lineup.  Just one game after totaling a career-high 12 dimes, the wing ended with 12 points (3-12 FG, 6-9 FT), seven rebounds, seven assists and three steals over 43 minutes.
    • OG Anunoby: 23 points (10-15 FG, 3-7 3Pt, 0-1 FT), five rebounds, four assists, one steal and two blocks over 37 minutes.

Booker's big night fuels the Suns

  • Don't look now, but the Suns are amidst another winning streak as they earned their eighth consecutive victory after defeating the Donovan Mitchell-less (concussion) and Rudy Gobert-less (calf) Jazz, 105-97.
  • Devin Booker was a star in this one as he led all players in scoring with 43 points (16-28 FG, 2-6 3Pt, 9-11 FT), 12 rebounds, four assists and one steal over 39 minutes. Booker has had an exceptional month of January, averaging 28.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game in 2022.
    • Chris Paul: 21 points (8-17 FG, 1-2 3Pt, 4-6 FT), four rebounds and five assists over 36 minutes.
  • Without their two All-Stars once again, Jordan Clarkson carried the scoring load for the Jazz. The Missouri product totaled 26 points (9-19 FG, 6-12 3PT, 2-2 FT), five rebounds, two assists and one steal off of the bench. Clarkson has topped 20 points in three out of his last four outings.
    • Mike Conley: 16 points (5-12 FG, 1-4 3Pt, 5-5 FT), four rebounds and 10 assists over 32 minutes.

Nuggets hang on against short-handed Nets in Brooklyn

  • The Nets were missing all three of the team's All-Stars when the Nuggets came into town, but Brooklyn was actually ahead at half-time. The Nuggets were able to pull away late in the game and eventually won 124-118. Nikola Jokic continues to just be unstoppable, ending with 26 points (8-13 FG, 2-2 3Pt, 8-8 FT), 10 rebounds, eight assists and one steal over 35 minutes. The reigning MVP has averaged 27.0 points, 13.5 rebounds and 8.5 assists per game over the month of January.
    • Austin Rivers: 25 points (8-11 FG, 7-10 3Pt, 2-2 FT), one rebound, one assist and two steals across 26 minutes off the bench.
  • I impressed with what I saw out of Cam Thomas. The rookie out of LSU finished with a team-high 25 points (8-14 FG, 4-6 3Pt, 5-6 FT), one rebound and one assist over 26 minutes. The kid is a certified bucket and is a serviceable stream if Brooklyn remains short-handed.
    • James Johnson came close to reaching a triple-double is not what I expected to be typing this morning, but here we are. The veteran forward ended with 12 points (5-12 FG, 0-2 3Pt, 2-3 FT), eight rebounds, seven assists and three steals over 38 minutes. 

Quick Hitters

  • Fresh off one of the greatest comebacks of all time, the Clippers rallied in the fourth yet again to defeat the Magic 111-102 in Orlando. Amir Coffey keeps on rolling with 19 points (5-12 FG, 3-6 3Pt, 6-6 FT), six rebounds, five assists and one steal over 34 minutes. The Minnesota product is averaging 24.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game over his last two outings.
    • Luke Kennard: 17 points (6-9 FG, 2-3 3Pt, 3-3 FT), five rebounds and one assist over 31 minutes.
  • Franz Wagner impressed me last night once again despite the losing effort. The rookie out of Michigan ended with a game-high 21 points (9-12 FG, 2-3 3Pt, 1-2 FT), three rebounds, nine assists and two steals over 34 minutes.
    • Cole Anthony: 19 points (5-11 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 7-7 FT), six rebounds, 11 assists, two steals and one block over 32 minutes.
  • Luka Doncic had a big triple-double as he was able to help push the Mavericks to a 132-112 win over the Trail Blazers in Portland. The All-Star guard ended with 15 points (4-11 FG, 2-6 3Pt, 5-8 FT), 10 rebounds, 15 assists and one steal over 37 minutes. This marked Doncic's six triple-double this season.
    • Jalen Brunson: 20 points (9-15 FG, 2-3 3Pt), six rebounds and 11 assists over 34 minutes.
  • Anfernee Simons had a solid outing despite the losing effort. The young guard ended with a game-high 23 points (9-14 FG, 4-7 3Pt, 1-1 FT), two rebounds and seven assists over 35 minutes.
    • CJ McCollum: 20 points (8-16 FG, 4-10 3Pt, 0-1 FT), four rebounds, six assists and one steal over 35 minutes.
  • The Atlanta Hawks are starting to find their groove as they ran over the Kings by a score of 121-104. It was a beautiful team effort for Atlanta as Trae Young led the way with 17 points (7-18 FG, 3-8 3Pt), three rebounds, 10 assists and four steals over 24 minutes. The Hawks have now won five in a row and have improved to 22-25. I am not saying he will win it, but in terms of value, this might be the best time to take Young to win MVP.
    • Onyeka Okongwu: 18 points (6-9 FG, 6-7 FT), seven rebounds, two assists and one steal over 19 minutes.
  • After a particularly rough outing in his last appearance, Harris Barnes bounced back and finished with 28 points (7-14 FG, 3-5 3Pt, 11-12 FT), nine rebounds and two assists over 36 minutes.
    • Davion Mitchell: 20 points (8-17 FG, 4-9 3Pt, 0-1 FT), two rebounds and six assists over 30 minutes.
  • The Heat stomped all over the Knicks en route to a 110-96 win at home. Duncan Robinson caught fire from deep and finished with 25 points (9-13 FG, 7-11 3Pt), two rebounds, one assist and one block over 26 minutes. Robinson has 18 made threes over his last three games.
    • Jimmy Butler: 22 points (7-8 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 8-9 FT), six rebounds, five assists and two steals over 29 minutes.
  • Wednesday's loss was particularly ugly for the Knicks' starters as RJ Barrett was the only one to score more than 11 points as he ended with 17 points (6-11 FG, 3-5 3Pt, 2-4 FT), three rebounds, two assists and one steal over 24 minutes.
    • Obi Toppin: 18 points (7-9 FG, 2-3 3Pt, 2-2 FT), five rebounds, one assist and one block over 21 minutes off the bench.

Best and Worst of the Night

  • Best of the Night: Devin Booker - 43 points (16-28 FG, 2-6 3Pt, 9-11 FT), 12 rebounds, four assists and one steal over 39 minutes.
  • Worst of the Night: Kemba Walker - Seven points (2-8 FG, 2-7 3Pt, 1-1 FT).
  • Rookie of the Night: Cam Thomas - 25 points (8-14 FG, 4-6 3Pt, 5-6 FT), one rebound and one assist over 26 minutes.

A Look Ahead to Thursday Night  

  • Joel Embiid looks to keep his blazing hot streak alive as a healthy Lakers team travels to Philadelphia.
  • The Timberwolves look to prove they are no joke when they face the Warriors in San Francisco.

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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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