Sat Mar 25 3:20am ET
Field Level Media
Jordan Poole saved 19 of his team-high 33 points for the fourth quarter, Stephen Curry broke a late tie with two of his 29, and the Golden State Warriors overcame a 46-point performance by Joel Embiid to topple the visiting Philadelphia 76ers 120-112 on Friday night in San Francisco.
Klay Thompson chipped in with 21 points for the Warriors, who won their third straight overall and ninth in a row at home to maintain their No. 6 position in the Western Conference playoff race.
Tobias Harris had 23 points and Tyrese Maxey 21 for the 76ers, who led by as many as 11 points in the fourth quarter despite the absence of James Harden, out with a sore Achilles.
The loss, just Philadelphia's second in its last 11 games, cost it a game in its battle with the Boston Celtics for the No. 2 spot in the East.
Kings 135, Suns 127
Domantas Sabonis finished with 27 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, Kevin Huerter scored a team-high 29 points, and host Sacramento weathered 62 combined points from Devin Booker and Terrence Ross to knock off Phoenix.
Sacramento withstood a 57.1 percent shooting first half for Phoenix, as the Suns led by as many as 14 points before intermission. A 23-9 run in the first 5:59 out of the locker room quickly flipped the game in the Kings' favor. Huerter's 3-pointer broke a 76-76 tie and gave Sacramento a lead it never relinquished the rest of the way.
Booker finished with 32 points, 14 in the fourth quarter, and Ross' 30 points marked a season high. The Kings extended their lead over Phoenix for third place in the Western Conference to six games, while the Suns slid to fifth, a half-game behind the Los Angeles Clippers.
Bucks 144, Jazz 116
Grayson Allen torched his former team for 25 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 24 with 11 assists to lead Milwaukee's thumping of short-handed Utah in Salt Lake City.
Allen, drafted 21st overall by Utah in 2018, hit three quick 3-pointers and scored the first 11 points of the game as the Bucks led the whole way. Pat Connaughton netted 22 points, Jrue Holiday added 18 points and nine assists and Brook Lopez totaled 17 points, 14 boards and seven blocks for the NBA-leading Bucks, who have won three straight.
Italian rookie Simone Fontecchio led Utah with 26 points, while Kelly Olynyk chipped in with 16 points and seven rebounds. The Jazz played without injured starters Lauri Markkanen, Jordan Clarkson and Collin Sexton.
Wizards 136, Spurs 124
Corey Kispert scored 26 points and Deni Avdija added 21 points and 11 rebounds for host Washington, which was at its best in the fourth quarter while beating San Antonio.
The Wizards led by a point after a back-and-forth third quarter but took charge for good with a 22-8 run over the first 5 1/2 minutes of the final period.
Keldon Johnson led all scorers with 30 points for the Spurs.
Celtics 120, Pacers 95
Boston overcame the return of Indiana point guard Tyrese Haliburton to post a home victory.
Jayson Tatum scored a game-high 34 points and had seven rebounds for the Celtics, who made 18 3-pointers -- 14 more than the Pacers.
Haliburton and Myles Turner each scored 20 points to lead Indiana, which trailed by 29 in the fourth quarter.
Grizzlies 151, Rockets 114
Luke Kennard made a career-high 10 3-pointers, Desmond Bane scored 25 points and Memphis rolled past visiting Houston.
The Grizzlies extended their winning streak to five games and have won eight of nine. Kennard finished with 30 points. Memphis made a franchise-record 25 3-pointers.
Jabari Smith Jr. and Kevin Porter Jr. scored 20 points apiece for Houston. Smith added eight rebounds while Porter had six rebounds, seven assists and two steals. Rookie Tari Eason matched his career high of 21 points.
Hornets 117, Mavericks 109
P.J. Washington scored 28 points and Gordon Hayward had 25 as short-handed Charlotte dealt a devastating blow to host Dallas' postseason hopes.
The Hornets, who had lost five of their previous six games, shot 48.3 percent from the field to shake off recent offensive doldrums. Charlotte received a boost from the return of rookie center Mark Williams, who missed time with a thumb injury but provided 13 points and eight rebounds. Dennis Smith Jr. (illness), who also left Thursday night's game, had 13 points and nine assists.
Luka Doncic scored 34 points to go with 10 rebounds and eight assists for the Mavericks. Guard Kyrie Irving was back after missing Wednesday night's loss to Golden State with a foot injury, supplying 18 points. Dwight Powell and Christian Wood had 14 points each.
Lakers 116, Thunder 111
Anthony Davis scored 15 of his 37 points in the first quarter and added 15 rebounds as Los Angeles got off to a fast start and held on for a victory over visiting Oklahoma City.
The Lakers registered their third consecutive win and reached .500 for the first time this season. Dennis Schroder scored 21 points and Lonnie Walker IV added 20 for the Lakers, who defeated the Thunder for the second time this month and moved one game ahead of Oklahoma City in the Western Conference standings.
Josh Giddey scored 27 points and grabbed 17 rebounds and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander also had 27 points for the Thunder, who dropped consecutive games for the first time since losing five in a row from Feb. 23-March 1.
Raptors 118, Pistons 97
Pascal Siakam compiled 32 points, nine assists and five rebounds as host Toronto defeated Detroit.
Chris Boucher added 19 points off the bench for the Raptors, who have split the first two games of a four-game homestand.
Jaden Ivey had 20 points and eight assists for the Pistons, who have lost 16 of their past 17 games.
Bulls 124, Trail Blazers 96
Zach LaVine recorded 33 points on 12-of-20 shooting and had eight assists to lead hot-shooting Chicago to a convincing victory over host Portland.
Nikola Vucevic added 23 points on 10-of-13 shooting and collected 15 rebounds for Chicago, which was without leading scorer DeMar DeRozan (quadriceps). Coby White had 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting and registered nine assists as the Bulls made 57.1 percent of their shots, including a torrid 17 of 28 from 3-point range.
Shaedon Sharpe scored 24 points for Portland, which played without Damian Lillard (calf) and fellow starters Jusuf Nurkic (knee), Jerami Grant (quadriceps) and Anfernee Simons (foot). Portland (32-41) is 3 1/2 games out of the last play-in spot in the Western Conference.
Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul was informed on Wednesday that he will be waived by the team. The 38-year-old soon becomes an unrestricted free agent and intends to play "several more years", per Chris Haynes. It's a significant cost-cutting measure by Phoenix, but Paul is still guaranteed about half of the $60 million he was owed over the next two seasons. The contending Suns now look to retool their roster for another championship push during the upcoming campaign. As for Paul, the first-ballot Hall of Famer immediately represents one of the most coveted players on the open market for squads in win-now mode. The 11-time All-NBA playmaker ends his three-year stay in the desert averaging 15.1 points, 9.5 assists, 1.6 steals, and 2.2 turnovers per game. Paul notably led the association in free-throw percentage (93.4%) in 2020-2021 and APG (10.8) during 2021-2022.
According to Zach Lowe of ESPN, many within the Lakers' organization want D'Angelo Russell to remain with the team. The 27-year-old averaged 17.4 points, 6.1 assists, and 2.9 rebounds in 17 games with LA last season. He also shot 41.4% from behind the arc in those appearances and was instrumental in helping the Lakers make a deep playoff push. Unfortunately, Russell didn't play well in the postseason. However, the club needs a point guard, especially since adding Kyrie Irving isn't a lock. That said, Los Angeles reportedly isn't looking to offer Russell a max contract, so there will certainly be more to this situation in the coming weeks.
According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo.com, the Rockets are expected to target free-agent center Brook Lopez. The 35-year-old was still a reliable fantasy contributor last season, averaging 15.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks. He also shot a career-high 37.4% from deep and appeared in 78 games, his most since 2018-19. That said, if Lopez signs with Houston, his production will likely drop, considering the team has Alperen Sengun in the middle. But with the Bucks strapped for cash and looking to retain Khris Middleton, Milwaukee may be unable to afford to bring Lopez back.
According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo.com, many around the league expect forward Khris Middleton will remain in Milwaukee. The veteran has a $40 million player option but is searching for a new deal. While there are still doubts Middleton will be back, he sat in during meetings with prospective coaching candidates after the dismissal of Mike Budenholzer. The three-time All-Star had a down year in 2022-23, averaging 15.1 points, 4.9 assists, 4.2 steals, and shooting 31.5% from deep. At any rate, Middleton is an excellent bounce-back candidate for fantasy managers, although he's likely to miss time because of injuries moving ahead.
Brooklyn Nets guard/forward Ben Simmons (back) posted several pictures to social media of a recent on-court session. The 26-year-old had the worst season of his career in 2022-23, averaging 6.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 1.3 steals. He also battled a knee injury before his year ended in February because of nerve impingement in his back. While the images are somewhat promising, nobody knows for sure when he'll be ready to play. Of course, even if Simmons is cleared well ahead of fantasy drafts moving into the 2023-24 campaign, he won't garner the same level of attention he did in the past. However, if the former LSU Tiger is added to Australia's roster for the FIBA World Cup and plays well, that will change.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, guard James Harden is expected to either re-sign with Philadelphia or return to Houston. While the update provides some clarity on Harden's future, nobody will know for sure until at least July. The 33-year-old finished the 2022-23 campaign by averaging 21.0 points, 10.7 assists, and 1.2 steals. He also shot 38.5% from deep, the second-high mark of his career. However, Harden has battled injuries over the years, recently suiting up for only 58 games last season. That said, the veteran likely has a few potent seasons left in the tank, although he'll probably never re-enter the MVP conversation.
Denver Nuggets forward Jeff Green recently mentioned that he'd like to finish his career with the organization. The veteran forward said he plans on playing two more seasons and would like to finish his career in Denver. Green is set to become a free agent this summer after spending each of the last two seasons with Denver. He has basically become a role player, but still contributes in limited playing time. He averaged 7.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in 56 games with Denver this season. The 36-year-old is still able to contribute at a decent level, so it wouldn't be shocking to see the Nuggets bring him back again next season.
Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving is set to become a free agent this summer. The superstar guard recently said he wasn't going to rush into making a decision this offseason. However, his chances of coming back to Dallas are beginning to look better by the day. Irving recently reached out to LeBron James to see if he'd come to Dallas to play. The two of them have spent six seasons on the floor together during their time on the Cleveland Cavaliers. James is still signed for the 2023-2024 season with a player option for the following season. It's worth noting that James has admitted he's unsure about returning to the Lakers next season. That means, James might decide to take up Irving's offer and join him in Dallas. The fact Irving is trying to recruit players to Dallas means that the Mavs have a good chance of resigning him this offseason.
Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (wrist) is reportedly still dealing with soreness and swelling in his right hand. The organization was hopeful that Herro would be able to return at some point during the NBA Finals. Herro has been sidelined since fracturing his wrist at the beginning of the postseason. The 23-year-old said he still feels soreness when he is making his follow through motion. The Heat were hopeful that Herro could return for Game 3, but that seems unlikely right now.
The New York Knicks are reportedly looking into forward Torrey Craig as a possible addition this offseason. Craig will be an unrestricted free agent this summer and the Knicks have a Non-Taxpayer Mid-Level exception worth roughly $12 million. Craig fits the mold as a 3-and-D veteran who would be a solid role player in defensive-minded head coach Tom Thibodeau's rotation. If Craig is on the move this offseason, the Phoenix Suns will have to look at retooling their supporting cast, especially with a new coaching staff.
Miami Heat forward/center Kevin Love is expected to start Sunday night against the Denver Nuggets. Love recently fell out of the rotation after sitting the final two games of the Eastern Conference Finals and the first game of the NBA Finals. Heat could use Love's shooting ability to space the floor against Denver's lengthy frontcourt. Love's return to the starting lineup may push Caleb Martin (illness) to the bench.
Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams is expected to receive interest from multiple teams this offseason. Williams will be a restricted free agent and may be due for a change of scenery. Williams was a DNP-CD in five playoff games for the Celtics before having a prominent role in the Eastern Conference Finals. Rival teams are expected to offer Williams a hefty contract which the Celtics will have to decide if they want to match. With Jaylen Brown eligible for a supermax contract extension, it could prove too costly to keep both.
The San Antonio Spurs are expected to have some interest in New York Knicks guard Evan Fournier during this offseason. Fournier was pushed out of the rotation in New York and has expected to be traded. The Spurs have reportedly had some interest in making a deal for Fournier and would likely not have to give up much. The Spurs would have a mentor for projected first overall pick Victor Wembanyama and the Knicks would be able to unload some cap space as they look to retool this summer.
Miami Heat guard/forward Caleb Martin (illness) will be available for Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night. Martin will suit up against the Denver Nuggets after missing Saturday's practice with an undisclosed illness. Martin shot poorly in Game 1 and may have been feeling some effects of the illness. If Martin is limited in any capacity, Kyle Lowry and Haywood Highsmith would likely see increased roles with Tyler Herro (hand) still out.
Miami Heat guard Gabe Vincent (ankle) is good to go on Sunday against Denver. Vincent sprained his left ankle in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals versus the Boston Celtics and didn't suit up for Game 5. However, he's been good to go since then, although he hasn't been a consistent fantasy producer.
Miami Heat forward Caleb Martin (illness) is questionable ahead of Game 2 of the NBA Finals against Denver. He missed practice on Saturday, which isn't a good sign. However, with Martin being so valuable during the postseason, he'll likely do whatever it takes to get on the floor. At the same time, if he doesn't suit up on Sunday, Kevin Love could move back into the starting lineup. Unfortunately, Love hasn't been an impactful fantasy option, so managers should consider Hayward Highsmith, who had 18 points and two steals in Game 1.
Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (shoulder) is available for Sunday's game against the Denver Nuggets. The 25-year-old has battled shoulder discomfort for quite some time. However, he has been playing through it while wearing a compression shirt for support. It certainly didn't appear to impact his performance in Game 1, as he finished with 26 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, and one block in 40 minutes. Considering Adebayo hasn't had any issues putting up points versus Denver all year, DFS managers should keep him in mind for Game 2.
Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (hand) is out for Game 2 of the NBA Finals against Denver. It seemed there was a chance he could be back after missing nearly all of the postseason with a hand injury. However, Herro won't return for this one, although he's worth monitoring ahead of Game 3 on Wednesday. Unfortunately, Caleb Martin (illness) is questionable, so Miami could be even more shorthanded versus the Nuggets, who are up 1-0 after winning the series opener. If Martin isn't available, Hayward Highsmith, fresh off an 18-point performance in Game 1, will see more than enough attention from DFS participants.
New York Knicks power forward Julius Randle has undergone arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle, the team announced on Saturday. Randle hurt his left ankle near the end of the regular season, missing the final five games, and also tweaked it in the first-round playoff series against Cleveland. The two-time All-Star will be able to resume basketball activities later this summer and is expected to be fully recovered for the start of the 2023-24 season. Randle completed his fourth season in New York averaging a career-high 25.1 points with 10.0 rebounds and 4.1 assists.
Sacramento Kings forward/center Domantas Sabonis (thumb) has not ruled out offseason surgery on his right thumb. He was diagnosed with an avulsion fracture of the ulnar collateral ligament of the thumb all the way back in December and Sabonis managed to play through the issue, helping the Kings end a 16-year postseason drought, but the team would obviously like to get him fully healthy for next season. Sabonis made the All-NBA Third Team this season and was named an All-Star for a third time, averaging 19.1 points, 12.3 rebounds and a career-high 7.3 assists.