UTA @ DET: It looked good for the Pistons at halftime with an 11-point lead, but the Jazz took command in the third quarter and held on for a hard-earned road win. Jamaal Tinsley (illness) played six scoreless minutes, so Alec Burks (12 PTS) got extra run, but it was Al Jefferson (20 PTS, 10 REB) and Paul Millsap (17 PTS, 7 REB) who led the way as usual. A modest double-double by Greg Monroe (12 & 10) was marred by seven turnovers and Brandon Knight (16) missed a late 3-pointer that would have tied the game.
HOU @ PHI: We gave you this, gift-wrapped, yesterday morning. Jrue Holiday (30 PTS, 9 AST, 4 STL) led the rested Sixers over the exhausted Rockets, with plenty of help from Thaddeus Young (18 PTS, 12 REB) and a surprisingly spry Jason Richardson (16). It was the fourth game in five nights for Houston, who could have mailed it in, but hung tough. James Harden (29 PTS, 9 REB, 6 AST) and Chandler Parsons (23 PTS, 9 REB) were particularly impressive in defeat.
PHO @ CHI: Nothing is impossible, apparently. Phoenix winning on the road is highly improbable at the best of times, and trouncing the Bulls in Chicago was the second-last thing I expected. The very last was Michael Beasley (who had scored six points in two weeks) exploding for 20 off the bench. This was reminiscent of New Year’s Eve, when the Bulls were horrible in a home loss to Charlotte. Without Jared Dudley (hand) it was Beasley and Luis Scola (22 PTS, 7 REB) who did most of the damage.
MEM @ DAL: The Mavs easily made it two in a row as the Grizzlies came out flat after a thrilling home win on Friday. Dirk Nowitzki (17 PTS, 6 REB, 3 AST) didn’t need to play more than 27:45; this was all over by halftime. Shawn Marion scored 20 in 26 minutes, but everyone’s fantasy numbers on both teams are skewed by the lopsided result — reserves played much of the second and third quarters, then all of the fourth.
MIA @ SAC: My prediction that DeMarcus Cousins (11 PTS, 8 REB) would manhandle Chris Bosh (if DMC wasn’t suspended) missed by a mile. Mario Chalmers was on fire, draining ten 3-pointers for 34 points in the game of his life. LeBron James (20 PTS, 7 AST, 5REB, 5 STL) played just 29 minutes as the Kings were lifeless. Only Isaiah Thomas, who scored 21 of his career-high 34 in the meaningless third quarter, provided a spark.
January 13 Games
NOH @ NYK: This one starts at noon EST, so don’t delay in setting your lineups. Obviously, it’s another chance for Carmelo Anthony to shine; the question is, who else will step up for the Knicks? J.R. Smith and Tyson Chandler are solid fantasy plays, but don’t dismiss the Hornets, who have won four in a row. Greivis Vasquez is averaging 17.7 PTS, 11.3 AST and just 2.3 TO in six January games, and Al-Farouq Aminu, dropped in countless fantasy leagues, has re-emerged as the starting SF with determined defense.