It’s even worse news than we thought for Tony Parker, whose Grade 2 ankle sprain will keep him out for the next four weeks. His MVP candidacy takes a big hit, and the Spurs will have only eight games left in the regular season if TP returns on schedule.
Join me in welcoming our new fantasy columnist. Joel Gibson makes his debut this afternoon with a preview of Week 19, including a schedule breakdown and roster advice. Don’t miss it.
March 2 Game Recaps
TOR @ MIL: We warned you about Rudy Gay being iffy with back spasms, but had no idea Andrea Bargnani (11 PTS, 7 REB, 3 AST, 2 BLK) would start at C and play 33 minutes. Landry Fields (15 PTS, 7 REB, 4 AST, 4 STL) also started and got nearly 48 minutes in this overtime loss. Kyle Lowry had a bare-minimum triple-double — exactly ten points, assists and boards, plus five steals — and Amir Johnson (19 PTS, 9 REB) made 9 of 11 shots. However, Monta Ellis (23 PTS, 5 REB, 5 AST, 3 STL) took over in OT and the Raptors’ gritty effort came up short. Ersan Ilyasova (29 PTS, 11 REB) was aggressive, Larry Sanders (13 PTS, 12 REB) blocked five more shots and after a couple of quiet games, Brandon Jennings dished out a career-high 19 assists.
BRK @ CHI: Not quite matching his incredible Thursday night performance, Joakim Noah (20 PTS, 10 REB, 5 AST, 4 BLK, 2 STL) was still terrific. Either his foot pain has subsided or he’s learned how to cope with it. Carlos Boozer (20 PTS, 8 REB, 5 STL, 3 AST) is making up for the absence of Taj Gibson (knee) and iron man Luol Deng (8 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST, 3 STL, 2 BLK) played a game-high 44 minutes despite a lot of pain that may require dental surgery. Brook Lopez (22 PTS, 3 REB, 3 BLK) led the tired Nets, who fell behind by 14 at halftime and never seriously threatened.
GSW @ PHI: In a game the Sixers ‘had to win,’ Jrue Holiday (27 PTS, 7 AST, 5 REB, 4 STL) did enough to overcome 8 TO, and Evan Turner (22 PTS, 10 REB, 9 AST) just missed a triple-double. Nick Young (ankle) didn’t play, so Royal Ivey got the start at SG, hitting all six of his shots — four from deep — for 17 points, and Thaddeus Young (14 PTS, 16 REB, 3 REB, 2 STL, 2 BLK) was active all night. The Warriors roared out to an early lead, but four road games in five nights wore them down. Stephen Curry (30 PTS, 8 AST, 3 REB, 3 STL) had a spectacular week with 147 points, all of which he would have traded for one win. Klay Thompson was also on target (29 PTS including 7 3PTM, plus 3 REB, 3 AST, 3 STL) and David Lee double-doubled (13 PTS, 16 REB, 7 AST) to no avail.
MIN @ POR: Enhancing his Rookie of the Year status, Damian Lillard (24 PTS, 6 REB, 4 AST) didn’t commit a single turnover in 39 minutes. Up front, J.J. Hickson (18 PTS, 16 REB, 3 AST) had the dominant night we anticipated. The huge surprise was Portland getting 29 points from its much-maligned bench. Eric Maynor (7 PTS, 12 AST) played some SG as Wesley Matthews (9 PTS) got extra rest, and rookie Meyers Leonard (12 PTS, 8 REB) is improving. Minnesota got a near trip-dub from Ricky Rubio (12 PTS, 9 REB, 9 AST, 3 STL) and another strong performance from Derrick Williams (23 PTS, 9 REB) but you can’t win many games in this league with Greg Stiemsma and Mickael Gelabale as 40% of your starting lineup.