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Basketball Daily Dose

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Dose: Another LeBron Trip-Dub

Sunday, March 4, 2018


Saturday’s seven-game slate provided plenty of highlights, including yet another triple-double from LeBron James, some scorching shooting by Lonzo Ball, and a dominant effort from Andre Drummond.


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


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Notable Numbers:
Detroit has lost eight of their last ten games, but those losses can’t be pinned on Andre Drummond, who has been doing every possible to push the Pistons towards the playoffs. Drummond was terrific once again on Saturday, finishing with 22 points (on 9-of-16 shooting), 18 rebounds, two assists, four steals and two blocks. The only negatives were his five turnovers and his 4-of-8 shooting from the free-throw stripe. It was the fourth time this season that Drummond has had at least 20 points, 18 boards and two blocks in the same game, more than any other player in the league.


Blake Griffin had been struggling mightily coming into the weekend, but he bounced back on Saturday night. Griffin poured in 31 points and chipped in four rebounds, six assists and three 3-pointers in 36 minutes in the loss to Miami. It’s the first time he has scored more than 25 points as a member of the Pistons.


LeBron James’ incredible 2017-18 campaign continued on Saturday night when King James recorded his 13th triple-double of the season. Lebron scored 25 points, dished out 15 assists and grabbed ten rebounds. It was the third 25/15/10 game of James’s career. Russell Westbrook is the only active player with more such games (10). Over the Cavs last ten contests, LeBron is averaging a mind-boggling 28.9 points (on 53.8 percent shooting) 10.5 rebounds and 11.4 assists.


James Harden struggled a bit with his shot on Saturday, but still found ways to help carry the Rockets to their 15th straight win. Hard was 6-of-18 from the floor, but registered 26 points, seven rebounds, ten assists, five steals, one block and three 3-pointers. It’s his 11th straight game with 25-plus points, which matches Giannis Antetokounmpo for the longest streak in the NBA this season. Remarkably, it’s also the second time Harden has had at least 25 points, ten dimes, five boards and five steals in a game this season. No other player has even one such game.


Lonzo Ball was on fire from downtown in the Laker surprising road victory in San Antonio on Saturday night. Ball knocked down a career-high six 3-pointers, including three in a row in the contest’s closing minutes to push the Lakers past the Spurs. Lonzo also registered 11 assists, seven rebounds, two blocked shots, a steal and just two turnovers. Over the first 25 games of Ball’s NBA career, he shot 24.6 percent from downtown and averaged 1.2 treys. In the four games he’s played since returning from his knee injury, Lonzo is averaging 3.5 triples while shooting 63.6 percent from 3-point territory.


Pau Gasol (knee) returned to action on Saturday against the Lakers and just missed posting a triple-double. With LaMarcus Aldridge (right ankle sprain) sidelined, Gasol was a focal point of the Spurs offense. He scored a team-high 19 points and added ten rebounds, eight assists, and three blocked shots.


Russell Westbrook scored a game-high 30 points on Saturday. The issue was he needed 31 shots to put up those 30 points Although Russ was just 12-of-31 from the floor, including 1-of-5 from behind the 3-point line, he did add 11 rebounds, six assists and a blocked shot.

 

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On the Radar:
The Grizzlies were extremely short-handed on Saturday, with four of their five leading scorers sidelined. JaMychal Green (illness) returned to the lineup and took advantage of the opportunity and posted an impressive all-around stat line. Green finished with 10 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists, three steals and two blocks in 37 minutes... Jarell Martin tallied 19 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and one 3-pointer in 35 minutes… Ben McLemore scored a game-high 20 points (just one shy of his season-high) and added seven rebounds, four assists, one steal and two 3-pointers in 38 minutes.


All five Magic starters scored in double-figures in their win over Memphis, which could cost Orlando in the Tankathon Race to Last Place. Aaron Gordon scored 14 points and added eight rebounds, two assists, two blocks, two steals and three turnovers. Nikola Vucevic had 19 points and six boards. D.J. Augustin finished with 16 points, five assists and three rebounds. Mario Hezonja contributed 16 points, two rebounds, two assists, one steal, three blocks and two 3-pointers in 22 minutes off the bench.


Hassan Whiteside had just six points and seven boards in 18 minutes Thursday’s loss, but made his presence felt on Saturday. Whiteside grabbed a game-high 19 rebounds and chipped in eight points, one assist and one block in 25 minutes. Bam Adebayo (personal) was unavailable on Saturday, which may have been a factor in Whiteside’s playing time… Josh Richardson had another solid all-around effort, finishing with 17 points, four rebounds, two assists, two steals, two blocks and one 3-pointer. J-Rich has at least two steals in each of his last five games, and is averaging 3.6 thefts per game over that five-game stretch… Kelly Olynyk scored 17 points with five rebounds, four assists, one steal and three 3-pointers in 23 minutes… James Johnson, who has been struggling, started in place of Justice Winslow and finished with 14 points, two rebounds, three steals, and two 3-pointers in 27 minutes.


J.R. Smith returned from a one-game suspension Saturday night and finished with 19 points, two rebounds and two assists across 35 minutes. Smith scored all 19 points in the second half… George Hill had 17 points (on 6-of-10 shooting), four assists, four rebounds, four 3-pointers and just two turnovers in 34 minutes… Larry Nance tallied 14 points (including a monster dunk over Mason Plumlee) and eight rebounds.


The Nuggets guards were dominant in their win over the Cavs on Saturday night in Cleveland. Gary Harris, Jamal Murray and Will Barton combined for 71 points. Harris poured in a game-high 32 points and chipped in four assists, two boards and six triples. Harris made 10 of his 17 field goal attempts, including 6-of-10 from deep, and all six of his free throws. Barton scored 23 points to go along with eight rebounds, seven assists and four treys in 33 minutes off the bench. Murray had 16 points and five dimes.


Nikola Jokic has had trouble finding his groove offensively with Paul Millsap back in the mix. Jokic was just 3-of-8 from the floor for nine points on Saturday, but did salvage his fantasy night by grabbing seven boards and dishing out eight assists. Millsap logged 26 minutes (the Nuggets want him to work his way back into game shape before throwing him out there for 30-plus minutes) and finished with 11 points, six rebounds, four assists, a steal and a block.


There were plenty of superstars on the floor Saturday night in Houston when the Rockets hosted the Celtics, but Eric Gordon was the game’s high scorer. Gorden poured in 29 points with three rebounds, one assist and seven 3-pointers in 27 minutes… Trevor Ariza scored 21 points with three rebounds, two assists, three assists and four 3-pointers 34 minutes. He had a number of big plays and clutch buckets late in the fourth quarter to propel the Rockets to victory… Clint Capela had eight points and 17 boards.


Kyrie Irving was just 6-of-17 from the field on Saturday, finishing with 18 points, three rebounds, six assists, one steal and two 3-pointers… Al Horford had a disappointing outing. He had 10 points, six boards, and three assists. Horford missed eight of his 12 field goal attempts, including a wide-open 3-pointer in the final minute that would have tied the game… The Boston bench was excellent, with all four reserves scoring in double-digits. Marcus Morris tied his season-high with 21 points and added four rebounds, one assist, three steals and five 3-pointers. Marcus Smart contributed 11 points, six rebounds, five assists, one block and one turnover in 29 minutes off the pine. Greg Monroe had his best game as a Celtic, finishing 18 points, six rebounds, one assist and two blocks over 19 minutes.

 

C.J. McCollum scored a team-high 28 points in the Blazers victory over OKC on Saturday. He shot 10-of-20 from the floor and 6-of-6 from the stripe, and also added eight rebounds and six assists… Damian Lillard had 20 points, seven assists, two treys, one steal and one block. Lillard has now made at least one 3-pointer in 45 straight games, setting a franchise record.


Julius Randle stayed hot on Saturday. He scored 25 points (on 8-of-15 shooting) and added six rebounds, three assists, a steal and a blocked shot… Kentavious Caldwell-Pope logged a game-high 43 minutes and contributed 18 points, 13 rebounds, two dimes, three treys, and three steals. It was KCP’s sixth straight game in double-figures… Isaiah Thomas chipped in 21 points in 29 minutes off the bench. IT scored 29 in his previous outing. It’s just the second time this season he’s scored 20-plus points in consecutive games.


De'Aaron Fox stayed hot on Saturday, finishing with 17 points, four boards, three assists and two steals in 28 minutes. He’s scored at least 13 points in five straight games… Skal Labissiere had 12 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, three blocks and one 3-pointer in 29 minutes off the bench. Skal is a frustrating player to own due to his inconsistency, but he flashed his upside in this one.


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