BRK @ MEM: This was surprisingly lopsided; it was 67-44 at halftime before Brooklyn lost Deron Williams (12 PTS, 6 AST, 5 REB, 2 BLK) to a quad contusion. Marc Gasol (20 PTS, 9 REB) led seven Grizzlies in double figures as both teams went to their reserves in the fourth. Brook Lopez (18 PTS, 4 REB) was the only Net to score in the teens. If you need a guard in a deep league, consider Tony Wroten (11 PTS, 4 REB, 2 AST in 23 minutes) who has stepped into the rotation since Wayne Ellington was traded.
UTA @ LAL: From a fantasy viewpoint, Kobe Bryant (14 PTS, 14 AST, 9 REB, 3 STL) had a much better night than when he scores 30 on 30 shots. Dwight Howard made a somewhat surprising return from a sore shoulder and was energetic (17 PTS, 13 REB, 2 BLK) as the Lakers cruised to an easy win. Pau Gasol (15 PTS, 7 REB, 3 AST) was solid in 25:21 off the bench and Metta World Peace connected on five 3-pointers. Utah never threatened; Derrick Favors (14 PTS, 5 REB, 2 STL) was their best player in 24 minutes off the bench.
SAS @ DAL: The result was expected, as was the high score. DeJuan Blair scoring 22 points in 19 minutes? That was a big surprise. Gary Neal (18 PTS, 6 AST) was also sharp off the Spurs’ bench as they won without Tim Duncan (knee) and players openly teased Gregg Popovich (flu) about not being needed, as assistant Mike Budenholzer is undefeated as a head coach. Kawhi Leonard (10 PTS, 8 REB, 4 STL) returned from that fluke knee laceration and Tony Parker (23 PTS, 10 AST, 4 REB) survived a three-stitch cut over his eye to get the better of Darren Collison (13 PTS, 2 AST). The final score looked close only because of a belated Dallas rally led by Rodrigue Beaubois (19 PTS, 3 REB, 2 AST in only 15:41) but no Dallas starter scored more than Dirk Nowitzki (15), who has yet to find his best form.
HOU @ NOH: Unexpectedly, Greivis Vasquez was awful, getting benched after 1-for-6 shooting in 24 minutes. Eric Gordon (20 PTS) does nothing but score, and Ryan Anderson (19 PTS, 4 REB, 2 BLK) was the only other New Orleans player to do anything noteworthy. Jeremy Lin (13 PTS, 8 AST, 5 REB, 6 STL) bounced back with a fine effort, James Harden (30 PTS, 8 AST, 4 REB) was a perfect 12-12 at the line and Patrick Patterson rewarded his patient owners — I might be the last one — with an 18-point, 13-rebound gem.
GSW @ CHI: Just a bad night at the office for the Warriors. David Lee (23 PTS, 6 REB) and Stephen Curry (21 PTS) were good, not great, and the Bulls were inspired. Kirk Hinrich (25 PTS, 4 AST) had a huge game, and Nate Robinson (22 PTS, 4 AST, 4 REB) did a lot of damage in 21 minutes off the bench. Joakim Noah (14 PTS, 16 REB, 4 AST, 3 BLK) was absolutely dominant, Carlos Boozer (15 PTS, 13 REB, 2 BLK) double-doubled and so did Jimmy Butler (16 PTS, 12 REB) who played a team-high 43:30 and has earned a larger rotation spot even when Luol Deng (hamstring) returns.
MIN @ WAS: As gifted as Ricky Rubio is at passing and stealing the ball, the man can’t shoot. Another 1-for-8 has him at 23% for the season; perhaps he should look for more layups. John Wall (14 PTS, 5 AST, 2 BLK) made his first start, but was needed for only 21 minutes, as the second units on both teams got plenty of run. Jordan Crawford had a game-high 19 in 22:45 off the bench, and rookie Bradley Beal (16 PTS) blocked four shots. Minnesota is an awful team right now; Derrick Williams (18 PTS, 11 REB) was their high scorer. You could take a shot on Mickael Gelebale (15 PTS, 7 REB in 26:20) in a deep league, and hope he gets another 10-day contract.