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Dose: Legendary LeBron

Sunday, December 17, 2017


It was an extremely entertaining Saturday night in the NBA, highlighted by a legendary performance courtesy of LeBron James, as well as monster nights from Giannis Antetokounmpo, Karl-Anthony Towns and, believe it or not, Michael Beasley.


After recapping Saturday night’s activity, we’ll wrap up the Dose by taking a quick look at a few important players that are facing injury issues for Sunday’s games.


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Nightly Notables:
LeBron James continues to amaze. King James notched another triple-double on Saturday, tallying 29 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in Cavs’ win over the Jazz. It was his third in Cleveland’s last four games, and the 60th trip-dub of his illustrious career, which moves LeBron past Larry Bird into sixth on the NBA’s all-time list. The Cavs have won 17 straight games in which James has recorded a triple-double. LeBron has been absolutely on fire this month. He’s registered at least 25 points, eight assists and seven rebounds in each of the Cavs last six contests. James, who will turn 33 later this month, is averaging 28.3 points (on 56.0 percent shooting), 10.7 rebounds, 11.5 assists, 2.0 treys and 2.0 steals over this stellar six-game stretch. Those fantasy GM’s that were able to snag LeBron with a late first-round pick have been enjoying a wonderful profit, as James has jumped up to No.2 overall in nine-category leagues this season.


Russell Westbrook scored 25 points and added seven rebounds, seven assists, two steals and four turnovers on Saturday. Westbrook logged a ridiculous 52-minutes on Friday, so it’s entirely understandable his rebound and assist totals were slightly below average in this one.


Michael Beasley was phenomenal in the Knicks victory over the Thunder on Saturday, matching his season-high 30 points and tacking on five rebounds, four assists and two 3-pointers in 38 minutes. Starting in place of the injured Kristaps Porzingis (knee), Beasley was devastatingly efficient, shooting 11-of-18 from the floor and 6-of-7 from the charity stripe. If Porzingis remains sidelined for Monday’s game in Charlotte, Beasley will once again be a very popular DFS play.


Josh Richardson exploded for career-high 28 points in Miami’s win on Saturday. He also added three rebounds, two assists, one steal, three blocks and six 3-pointers. After a frustratingly slow start to the 2017-18 campaign, J-Rich has turned it on of late. He has scored in double figures in nine of Miami’s last 10 games and is averaging 15.8 points (on 55.1 percent shooting), 3.2 rebounds, 1.1 steals, 0.9 blocks and 2.6 triples over this current ten-game span. This is the Richardson GM’s thought they were getting when they drafted him back in October.


The Wolves inexplicably lost at home to Phoenix on Saturday night, but the loss can’t be pinned on Karl-Anthony Towns. KAT authored another stellar all-around line, finishing with 28 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, one block and two steals. He also matched a career-high by canning four 3-pointers. It was Towns league-leading 24th double-double of the season and his seventh straight game with at least 11 boards.


Marc Gasol registered 30 points, 10 rebounds two assists and three steals across 33 minutes in Saturday's loss to Boston. Gasol also knocked down four 3-pointers and was 11-of-19 from the field.


Alex Len scored 12 points, pulled down a career-high 19 rebounds and dished out six assists across 28 minutes off the bench in the Suns shocking win over Minnesota on Saturday. Len also added two steals and a block. Phoenix's center rotation is an unpredictable mess, but Len has shown flashes of his intriguing upside of late.


Giannis Antetokounmpo, unsurprisingly, stuffed the stat sheet on Saturday, finishing with 28 points, nine rebounds, five assists and four steals. Over the eight games the Bucks have played in December, Giannis is averaging 31.4 points (on 53.8 percent shooting), 11.4 boards, 4.5 assists and 2.1 steals.


James Harden (knee) was a game-time decision on Saturday, and was reportedly quite close to sitting, but managed to suit up and finished with 31 points, six rebounds, five assists and four 3-pointers. It sounds like Harden is planning to continue to play through the nagging knee pain… Harden’s tag-team partner, Chris Paul, tallied 25 points, six assists and five rebounds in 36 minutes. It was CP3’s fifth straight game with at least 20 points and six dimes. His per-game averages over this recent five-game stretch are mind-boggling: 26.0 points (on 54.4 percent shooting), 5.6 rebounds, 7.6 assists 3.4 treys and 3.0 steals.

 

Editor’s Note: FanDuel is hosting their Super Duel for a Difference contest this Sunday, where you can win tickets to the Big Game in Minneapolis! Support a good cause and compete for an unforgettable grand prize.

 

On The Radar:
C.J. McCollum scored a game-high 25 points in the Blazers win over the Hornets on Saturday. He also added two rebounds, three assists and four 3-pointers. C.J.’s backcourt mate, Damian Lillard, finished with 18 points, seven rebounds, 11 assists, one steal and three 3-pointers… Jusuf Nurkic tallied 14 points, five rebounds, one block and two turnovers across 25 minutes. It was Nurk’s second game back, and he has logged 25 minutes in both contests. He should start to see his playing time creep up towards 30 minutes next week.

 

Nicolas Batum scored a season-high 23 points to go along with four rebounds, five assists, no turnovers and five 3-pointers on Saturday. He got red-hot in the third quarter, when he poured in 18 of his 23. This is notable because he hadn’t scored more than 17 points in any single game this season prior to Saturday night… Kemba Walker struggled with his shot in this one, finishing just 7-of-26 from the floor. He scored 14 points and salvaged his fantasy night by chipping in six rebounds, six assists and two steals.


Paul George finished with 18 points, nine rebounds, four assists, two steals, one block and four 3-pointers in 37 minutes on Saturday. George’s overall numbers have been disappointing this season, but he’s been exceptional on the defensive end. PG-13 leads the NBA in steals at 2.5 swipes per game… Carmelo Anthony was just 5-of-18 from the floor for 12 points with five rebounds, one assist, one steal and two 3-pointers in 32 minutes in OKC’s loss to the Knicks. He failed to score a single point in the second half. This is NOT the way Melo envisioned his return to MSG going down.


Courtney Lee has another solid game on Saturday, finishing with 20 points, five rebounds, four assists, two steals and three triples in 32 minutes. Although he seems to fly under the radar, Lee has been of the more pleasant surprises in fantasy hoops this season. He currently ranks inside the top-50 overall in nine-cat leagues… Speaking of surprises, Jarrett Jack had one of his better all-around games on Saturday. Jack tallied 12 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and three steals.


Milos Teodosic scored career-high 13 points on Saturday, adding six rebounds, five assists and two 3-pointers. He was just 5-of-14 from the floor but logged a career-high 28 minutes. He’ll see plenty of playing time and shot attempts as long as he can stay healthy. Milos is a strong buy-low candidate right now… DeAndre Jordan scored 12 points and ripped down a game-high 20 rebounds… Lou Williams had scored at least 17 points in 11 straight games coming into Saturday, but was held to just 13 points in this one. He missed 12 of his 16 field goal attempts. Lou Will did manage to dish out seven assists.


Taj Gibson recorded another double-double on Saturday, finishing with 18 points, 10 rebounds, one assist and two blocks across 40 minutes. Gibson has logged over 36 minutes in 11 of the Wolves last 13 games… Jimmy Butler exited Saturday’s game briefly with what appeared to be a minor back issue, but returned to the contest and finished with 10 points, six rebounds, two assists and three steals in 37 minutes.


Ekpe Udoh started at center for the shorthanded Jazz and stuffed the stat sheet on Saturday. He finished with nine points, seven rebounds, six blocked shots, three assists and three steals in 33 minutes. With both Rudy Gobert (knee) and Derrick Favors (eye) sidelined, Udoh made the most of his opportunity. If Favors is unable to play on Monday, Udoh will once again be a DFS darling… Donovan Mitchell scored 26 points in 36 minutes on Saturday, but added just two rebounds, one assist and one steal to round out his line. He also turned the ball over four times.


Isaiah Canaan came out of nowhere to tally 15 points, five rebounds, seven assists and one 3-pointer in 27 minutes in the Suns victory over the Wolves on Saturday. Mike James was smacked with a DNP-CD in this game and Canaan took his spot in the rotation… Dragan Bender busted out of a nasty slump, finishing with a career-high 17 points to go along with two rebounds, one assist and five 3-pointers in 30 minutes.


Jayson Tatum bounced back from a dud on Friday to finish with 19 points, nine rebounds, two steals, two blocked shots and an assist across 34 minutes Saturday night in the Celtics victory over the Spurs. Tatum, who leads the league in 3-point percentage, was 2-of-2 from behind the arc… Kyrie Irving scored 20 points (on 7-of-17 shooting), knocked down four treys, and dished out six dimes… Ol’ Reliable Al Horford registered 15 points, seven rebounds, six assists and a blocked shots in 32 minutes… Aron Baynes had 13 points (on 6-of-8 shooting) and six boards over 28 minutes.


Tyreke Evans (hip) was a game-time call on Saturday, but ended up being cleared to play. He finished with 25 points, five dimes, and three assists in 38 minutes. Evans has now scored at least 22 points in four of his last five games.


Yogi Ferrell had a great game on Saturday, finishing with 17 points, and a career-high 11 rebounds, six assists, one steal and two 3-pointers in 39 minutes. He’ll head back to the bench once Dennis Smith Jr. (hip) is healthy, but is worth a plug-and-play if DSJ misses another game… Maxi Kleber scored a career-high 21 points. He was 9-of-10 from the field and added three rebounds, three blocks and three 3-pointers in 34 minutes… Dirk Nowitzki contributed 19 points (on 8-of-13 shooting), two boards, three assists and three treys.

 

LaMarcus Aldridge spearheaded a remarkable comeback victory over the Mavs Saturday night, as San Antonio scored the final 13 points of the game to win 98-96. Aldridge finished with game-highs in both points (22) and rebounds (14)... Dejounte Murray started in place of Tony Parker (rest) and scored 14 points with six rebounds, four assists and one steal in 24 minutes… Pau Gasol was virtually invisible, finishing with zero points, one rebound and one assist in 15 minutes.


Khris Middleton tallied 23 points, three treys, six rebounds, two assists and two steals over 34 minutes on Saturday... Malcolm Brogdon had 20 points (on 7-of-12 shooting), four rebounds, two assists, two blocked shots and a steal.


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