Howard Ejected, Lakers Lose; Battle of NYC Tops Monday Afternoon Games

There’s plenty of NBA basketball on Martin Luther King Day, beginning at 1:00 EST. Several games are on national TV and League Pass will get a workout. Be sure to set your fantasy lineups early, as six of the nine games begin before 7:00 pm, the ‘normal’ start time on Monday evenings.

January 20 Game Recaps

LAL @ TOR: Lakers fans must be annoyed with Dwight Howard for picking up two technicals and playing just 17 minutes. His fantasy owners, especially those of us who used him in daily leagues, are livid. Add trash-talking to an array of other skills for journeyman Alan Anderson: 14 PTS, 3 STL, 2 REB and a career-high 8 AST. Anderson previously tried ‘poking the bear’ against DeMarcus Cousins and nearly succeeded; this time it worked perfectly. Kobe Bryant scored 26 points the hard way — on 32 shots, with six turnovers — and Pau Gasol (25 PTS, 5 REB) not only started, he played a lot of C, as Earl Clark (14 PTS, 14 REB) took over at PF after Howard’s ejection. Toronto has blown several other big leads this year, so the packed house was getting nervous in the fourth quarter, but Jose Calderon (22 PTS, 9 AST) and Ed Davis (18 PTS, 8 REB) had very good afternoons and the real difference was Landry Fields (18 PTS, 10 REB, 4 STL) in by far his best game as a Raptor.

DAL @ ORL: Seven Dallas players scored in double figures, led by Shawn Marion (20 PTS, 10 REB, 4 AST, 3 STL), who was the Matrix Reloaded for one night. The bench has solidified, with Vince Carter (15 PTS, 6 AST) making the most of consistent minutes and Elton Brand (14 PTS, 6 REB, 2 STL) actually starting the second half ahead of Chris Kaman (13 PTS, 8 REB, 1 STL, 1 BLK). At PG, Darren Collison (11 PTS) had nine assists to just one turnover. The good news for the Magic was Glen Davis (24 PTS, 6 REB, 6 AST, 2 STL) showing no back or shoulder pain and Jameer Nelson (20 PTS, 6 REB, 5 AST) continuing his torrid January despite a tender hip. The bad news is, they let the Mavs shoot 50% and gave up 111 points. SF remains a serious problem for Orlando, with neither DeQuan Jones nor rookie Moe Harkless stepping up in the absence of Hedo Turkoglu (hand). They often go small, with J.J. Redick (18 PTS, 4 AST, 4 REB) bumping Arron Afflalo (16 PTS, 6 REB, 3 AST) to the 3 spot.

BOS @ DET: The Pistons roared out to an 18-point lead, let most of it slip away, then poured it on again for a surprisingly easy victory. Brandon Knight (15 PTS, 5 AST, 6 REB) partially atoned for a poor game in London, though he turned it over seven times and left briefly to have a ‘rolled’ ankle treated. Boston shot less than 40%; Rajon Rondo was 4-16 from the floor and committed 9 TO, which diminished a near triple-double (8 PTS, 9 REB, 15 AST) and Avery Bradley (6 PTS in 19 minutes) was quiet in his return from sore ribs. Brandon Bass was scoreless in just 10:20 and may have lost his starting job. Will Bynum (15 PTS, 5 AST) stayed hot off the bench for Detroit, and rookie Andre Drummond (16 PTS, 7 REB) continues to impress.

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