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Fantasy Week 20 | NBA Week 20

NBA roundup: Kings stun Warriors, advance in tourney

Wed Nov 29 2:07am ET
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Malik Monk banked in a tough 13-footer with 7.4 seconds left, Stephen Curry was then harassed into an off-target 37-footer at the buzzer, and the Sacramento Kings won West Group C of the NBA in-season tournament with a 124-123 victory over the visiting Golden State Warriors on Tuesday.

DeAaron Fox scored 29 points as the Kings finished group play 4-0 to advance to the tournament quarterfinals. Sacramento will play host to the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday.

Curry and Andrew Wiggins put up 29 points apiece for the Warriors, who could have forged a three-way tie atop the group with a win but instead finished 2-2 after losing Chris Paul and Gary Payton II to leg injuries during the game.

Golden State led by as many as 24 points but got outscored 69-51 in the second half.

Nets 115, Raptors 103

Mikal Bridges scored 22 points, including the tiebreaking three-point play with 4:15 remaining, as Brooklyn pulled away to beat Toronto in the final game of group play in the NBA in-season tournament in New York.

Despite winning their third straight and finishing 3-1 in Group C, the Nets were eliminated from the tournament. Brooklyn, Orlando and Boston finished 3-1 but the Nets lost the point-differential tiebreaker to the Celtics.

Spencer Dinwiddie led the Nets with 23 points, and Royce O'Neale and Cameron Johnson added 18. Pascal Siakam (17 points, 10 rebounds) and Scottie Barnes (17 points, 11 rebounds) each had a double-double for Toronto.

Celtics 124, Bulls 97

Boston won East Group C by beating visiting Chicago in the final NBA in-season tournament group-play game for each team.

To win Group C, Boston needed to defeat Chicago by at least 23 points and needed Brooklyn to beat Toronto by no more than 18 on Tuesday. The two results allowed the Celtics to win a three-way tiebreaker with Brooklyn and Orlando.

Jaylen Brown led Boston with 30 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and Jayson Tatum finished with 21 points. Coby White and DeMar DeRozan each tossed in 19 for the Bulls, who have lost their last five games and eight of their last nine. Chicago has also dropped its past seven road games.

Knicks 115, Hornets 91

Julius Randle posted a double-double for host New York, which booked a berth in the knockout round of the NBA in-season tournament with a wire-to-wire win over Charlotte Hornets.

The Knicks finished 3-1 in East Group B and grabbed the East's wild-card spot. They will visit East Group B winner Milwaukee in a quarterfinal game on Dec. 5. Milwaukee beat the Knicks 110-105 in the tournament opener for both teams on Nov. 3.

Randle had 25 points and 20 rebounds on Tuesday for the Knicks, who have won eight of their past 11 games. Immanuel Quickley scored 23 points and fellow New York reserve Josh Hart added 17 points. Brandon Miller led the Hornets with 18 points.

Bucks 131, Heat 124

Damian Lillard scored 13 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter to lead visiting Milwaukee past short-handed Miami, clinching the Bucks a spot in the quarterfinals of the NBA in-season tournament.

Lillard also dished a team-high nine assists while Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 33 and grabbed 10 rebounds as Milwaukee won East Group B with a perfect 4-0 record in group play.

Miami, without Jimmy Butler (ankle) and Tyler Herro (ankle), among others, was led by Bam Adebayo with 31 points and 10 rebounds. The Heat finished 2-2 in tournament play and were eliminated.

Timberwolves 106, Thunder 103

Anthony Edwards scored 21 points before leaving in the second half because of a hip injury as Minnesota held to edge Oklahoma City in Minneapolis.

Rudy Gobert finished with 17 points and 16 rebounds for Minnesota, which won for the 13th time in 17 games to start the season. The Timberwolves improved to 3-1 in Group C of the in-season tournament but failed to advance.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 32 points to lead Oklahoma City, which fell to 1-3 in the tourney after already having been eliminated from advancing. Chet Holmgren, who starred in high school in Minnesota, finished with 16 points and eight rebounds.

Cavaliers 128, Hawks 105

Donovan Mitchell scored a game-high 40 points and added 11 rebounds to help lead Cleveland past visiting Atlanta.

The result left Cleveland with a 3-1 record in East Group A play during the NBA in-season tournament, but it wasn't enough for the Cavaliers to advance to the quarterfinals. Atlanta finished group play 1-3.

Darius Garland added 19 points and eight assists for Cleveland. Evan Mobley added 17 points and 19 rebounds. The Hawks were paced by Bogdan Bogdanovic and De'Andre Hunter, who each had 18 points.

Mavericks 121, Rockets 115

Luka Doncic flirted with a 40-point triple-double while Kyrie Irving scored 22 of his 27 points in the second half as Dallas rallied for a home win over Houston in the group-play finale of the NBA in-season tournament.

Doncic posted 41 points, nine rebounds and nine assists for the Mavericks, who wound up 2-2 in West Group B, the same as the Rockets.

Alperen Sengun recorded 31 points, nine rebounds and six assists while Jabari Smith Jr. and Dillon Brooks scored 16 points apiece for the Rockets, who would have clinched a spot in the tournament quarterfinals with a win.

Player Notes
Jalen Brunson Sun Mar 3 11:00pm

New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (knee) was injured in Sunday night's win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Playing less than one minute, the former Villanova Wildcat exited with what appeared to be a severe left knee injury. However, it seems the Knicks dodged a bullet, with head coach Tom Thibodeau reporting that X-rays were negative. Even more promising, Thibodeau added that Brunson has a knee contusion, which is certainly fantastic news. The 27-year-old has had the best season of his career in 2023-24, averaging 27.7 points, 6.7 assists, and 3.8 rebounds. The Knicks don't play again until Wednesday against the Atlanta Hawks. But based on the update from Thibs, Brunson could be out there. On the other hand, the Knicks need him healthy if the team hopes to advance deep into the postseason, so he could miss a game or two until he's fully healthy. If that's the case, Miles McBride, scoring 16 points on Sunday evening, would make a fine addition to most fantasy rosters.

Khris Middleton Sun Mar 3 10:10pm

Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton (ankle) is officially out on Monday against the Clippers. The 32-year-old is nearing a month on the shelf, although he has practiced in a limited capacity of late. However, with Middleton still out of the equation, Jae Crowder should continue to take his place in the lineup. Crowder has averaged only 5.4 points and 4.1 rebounds in 14 starts this season, making him an unattractive fantasy option under normal circumstances. Yet, with Giannis Antetokounmpo (Achilles) in danger of missing Monday's game, Crowder could be much more aggressive on both sides of the floor.

Jordan Clarkson Sun Mar 3 9:50pm

Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson (illness) isn't listed on the NBA's official injury report heading toward Monday's contest against the Washington Wizards. The veteran wasn't feeling well and didn't suit up on Saturday against the Miami Heat, allowing Talen Horton-Tucker to get more involved. Clarkson combined for just nine points in his previous two games, so fantasy managers may have concerns about putting him into their lineups. However, with Lauri Markkanen (hip) ruled out for Monday night, Clarkson could benefit significantly from a production standpoint.

LeBron James Sun Mar 3 9:50pm

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (ankle) has been tagged as questionable for the Monday night contest against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The superstar forward made history during their last game as he surpassed the 40,000 points mark in a loss to the Denver Nuggets. Now, he's back on the injury report as he continues to deal with ankle issues. He's popped up in the injury report many times for the ankle injury but has played in the last five games and clocked over 35 minutes in each of them. If he's unable to play, Cam Reddish or Spencer Dinwiddie could join the starting five, but they've been a bit too inconsistent to be surefire streaming options.

Walker Kessler Sun Mar 3 9:40pm

Utah Jazz center Walker Kessler (foot) won't play in Monday's game against the visiting Wizards. The 22-year-old will now miss his third consecutive contest because of a sprained foot. As a result, Taylor Hendricks should continue to fill the hole in the lineup. The 2023 No. 9 overall pick has shown flashes of promise in five starts this season, averaging 9.4 points and 5.8 rebounds. While Hendricks has a way to go before becoming a universal option for all fantasy lineups, he should remain more productive while Kessler is on the shelf.

Bilal Coulibaly Sun Mar 3 8:40pm

Washington Wizards forward Bilal Coulibaly has been cleared to return on Monday after a three-game absence. According to Josh Robbins of The Athletic, Coulibaly was cleared from the injury report after putting in a full team practice on Sunday. The rookie started in four consecutive outings before getting hurt and he's been getting more consistent minutes over the last month or so. So far this year, Coulibaly is averaging 8.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.4 turnovers across 26.7 minutes per game. His inconsistent output has made him more fantasy-relevant in deeper leagues, so his return doesn't make him an automatic start.

Lauri Markkanen Sun Mar 3 8:20pm

Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen (quad) has been ruled out for Monday against the Washington Wizards. The All-Star wing hasn't missed a game since December 21 and even played a total of 40 minutes in their last contest on Saturday. With Walker Kessler (foot) also ruled out, the frontcourt is going to be very thin, and it's unclear at the moment how much time Markkanen will have to miss with this quad contusion. They'll likely opt for a smaller lineup with John Collins at center and Taylor Hendricks remaining in the starting power forward spot. Talen Horton-Tucker and Brice Sensabaugh are the two that are most likely to move into the starting five while Omer Yurtseven will get the backup center minutes.

Jalen Brunson Sun Mar 3 8:00pm

New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (leg) suffered an apparent non-contact injury to his leg in the opening minutes of their Sunday night game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Based on the replays, it looked to be a knee injury, which would make the non-contact part of it even scarier if that's the case. The injury took place in the first minutes of the game and he hasn't returned to the game since. He tried putting weight on his leg to walk back to the locker room but had to be helped off by teammates. Further updates will likely come out after the team can take some X-rays and an MRI, so fantasy managers will want to stay tuned. In the meantime, Miles McBride and Donte DiVincenzo will likely see a lot of the point guard duties.

Jakob Poeltl Sun Mar 3 7:50pm

Toronto Raptors center Jakob Poeltl (finger) left the game against the Charlotte Hornets in the second quarter with a dislocated pinky finger. During his 15 minutes of playing time, Poeltl finished with eight points, three assists, two rebounds, one block, and one turnover while shooting 4-for-6 from the floor. The veteran big man has provided a much-needed inside presence since returning from injury. In the 13-game stretch since then, he's averaged 12.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.9 blocks, and 1.5 turnovers per game. Kelly Olynyk has seen some added opportunities and should move into the starting five if Poeltl has to miss any more time. Jontay Porter would also get some more minutes from the bench.

Ben Simmons Sun Mar 3 7:40pm

Brooklyn Nets forward Ben Simmons (back) remains on the injury report but was at least listed as questionable while he still suffers from nerve impingement in his lower back. Simmons has been out for the last three games after appearing in three consecutive games before that. The 27-year-old has appeared in 15 total games so far this season and he vowed to give the team everything he has whether he's hurt or fully healthy. When he plays, he has some value in deeper fantasy leagues, but his value is very limited since he hasn't been on the court. If he has to miss another game, Jalen Wilson and Dorian Finney-Smith will continue to see more minutes.

Bradley Beal Sun Mar 3 7:30pm

Phoenix Suns guard Bradley Beal (hamstring) is listed as probable for their game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The star combo guard played in their last game on Saturday against the Houston Rockets but he was only able to play 20 minutes. In that time, he registered just seven points, two rebounds, two assists, and two turnovers while shooting 3-for-6 from the floor. It's unclear how many minutes he'll receive in this matchup but with Devin Booker (ankle) ruled out, they'll need contributions from Beal to get a win over a very good Thunder team. Grayson Allen and Eric Gordon will likely play big roles if Beal can't put it in a full workload.

Jaren Jackson Jr. Sun Mar 3 6:40pm

Memphis Grizzlies forward/center Jaren Jackson Jr. (quadriceps) isn't expected to play on Monday in Brooklyn. The reigning Defensive Player of the Year has missed the previous two games because of a quadriceps issue. It's unlikely the Grizzlies will rush him back, considering the team is a long shot to make the postseason. At any rate, until Jackson is back on the floor, Lamar Stevens could remain in the starting lineup. However, Stevens isn't a consistent scorer, making him hard to trust for fantasy purposes.

Jerami Grant Sun Mar 3 6:30pm

Portland Trail Blazers forward Jerami Grant (quadriceps) is doubtful ahead of Monday's game in Minnesota. He logged 15 minutes on Saturday night against Memphis before exiting with quadriceps soreness, so an injury designation was expected. The Blazers are hurting on the offensive end, considering Malcolm Brogdon (elbow), Scoot Henderson (adductor), and Shaedon Sharpe (abdomen) aren't available. To make matters worse, Deandre Ayton (hand) may not be ready to return. As a result, Anfernee Simons should be the No. 1 option on the offensive end. At the same time, Toumani Camara and Jabari Walker could see a significant uptick in fantasy production.

Matisse Thybulle Sun Mar 3 6:20pm

Portland Trail Blazers guard Matisse Thybulle (hip) has drawn a questionable tag for Monday's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The defensive specialist has only missed two games all season, but he's dealing with hip soreness right now which could potentially knock him out of a third game. He hasn't been the best fantasy asset despite getting regular minutes on a rebuilding Blazers squad. If he's unable to suit up, there will be more opportunities for Ashton Hagans, Jabari Walker, and Dalano Banton off of the bench. The former two would be the better streaming options after receiving north of 25 minutes each in the last couple of games.

Deandre Ayton Sun Mar 3 6:20pm

Portland Trail Blazers center Deandre Ayton (hand) is questionable for Monday's matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves. He's missed the last two games because of a sprained wrist, an injury he sustained during a recent loss to the Miami Heat. The 25-year-old hasn't been ruled out, so it seems he's improving. However, if Ayton misses another game, Duop Reath, coming off a 12-point, six-rebound, three-block effort on Saturday versus Minnesota, deserves a spot in every fantasy lineup.

Caris LeVert Sun Mar 3 6:20pm

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Caris LeVert (elbow) won't play in Sunday's contest versus the New York Knicks. After missing Friday's victory over the Detroit Pistons with a sprained right elbow, LeVert is also unavailable on Sunday. Presenting third-round fantasy value in nine-category leagues over the past week, the 29-year-old sixth man is offering 14.3 points on 50.0% shooting from the field, 9.7 assists, 7.7 rebounds, and 1.7 threes per game covering his last three appearances. LeVert aims to return in Tuesday's clash with the first-place Boston Celtics. Isaac Okoro jumped into the Cavs first unit against Detroit, with Sam Merrill taking over as the sixth man. Look for Okoro if in need of a low-end streamer, as he's averaging 11.3 points, 2.6 assists, and 2.0 threes on 44.4% shooting from deep in 25.2 minutes over his latest 10 showings. New York is giving up the third-fewest points per game (109.9).

Donovan Mitchell Sun Mar 3 6:10pm

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (knee) has been downgraded to out for Sunday's game versus the New York Knicks. Mitchell sat out Friday's win over the Detroit Pistons due to soreness in his left knee, and he's unable to go on Sunday as well. A first-round fantasy asset all year long, the 27-year-old perennial All-Star's last 20 games show averages of 29.0 points, 6.8 assists, 5.6 rebounds, 3.8 three-pointers, and 1.8 steals per contest. Tuesday's showdown with the first-place Boston Celtics is Mitchell's next opportunity to take the court. The Knicks are allowing the second-fewest DraftKings points to opposing point guards, but Darius Garland is the clear fantasy beneficiary of Mitchell's absence after burying a season-high eight treys with the keys to the offense all in his lap on Friday. Garland is averaging 23.9 points, 6.1 assists, 2.8 threes, and 1.4 steals through seven outings sans Mitchell this year.

De'Aaron Fox Sun Mar 3 6:00pm

Sacramento Kings guard De'Aaron Fox (knee) was a full participant during Sunday's practice session. Fox has missed two straight games and is currently considered questionable for Monday's game versus the Chicago Bulls. Davion Mitchell and Keon Ellis each started a game in the absence of Fox. Mitchell did little with his opportunity, but Ellis made the most of it with four steals and seven assists. That being said, Ellis appears to be the better streaming choice between the two if Fox is forced to miss this game.

Giannis Antetokounmpo Sun Mar 3 6:00pm

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (Achilles) is considered questionable ahead of Monday's game against the Los Angeles Clippers. He erupted for 46/16/6/1/1 line during Friday's win, so possibly he suffered an injury during that game. The Bucks will likely wait and see how Antetokounmpo feels closer to tip-off before making a final decision. His absence would probably mean a spot start for Bobby Portis. A move to the starting unit would be good news for the fantasy value of Portis. Fantasy managers will need to check back on Monday for another update.

Alex Caruso Sun Mar 3 5:50pm

Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso (hamstring) is listed as questionable ahead of Monday's game against the Sacramento Kings. This is concerning as the Bulls are already thin at the guard spot right now. The absence of Caruso would mean players such as Dalen Terry and Onuralp Bitim would see increased run. Andre Drummond registered 17 points and 26 rebounds when starting for Caruso on Wednesday. Fantasy managers should consider Drummond a strong streaming option with the Bulls banged up.