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Fantasy NBA Daily Notes: Hawks backcourt starting to soar

Atlanta's Kevin Huerter has seen his fantasy stock rise over the last few games. Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Trae Young was back in the lineup for the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night after missing the team's previous contest with a hamstring injury. He delivered a strong performance that included 36 points and 10 assists, but it was backcourt partner Kevin Huerter who delivered the most impressive line for fantasy managers in a win against the visiting Suns.

Huerter tallied 23 points, 15 rebounds, and eight assists in the victory and has now averaged 17.8 PPG, 7.0 RPG, and 4.3 APG (with clean shooting percentages) over his last eight appearances. You can find the man they call "Red Velvet" floating in free agency in roughly 52% of ESPN leagues.

Meanwhile, the big line from Young -- which included 21 points in the final quarter -- marked his eighth game of at least 30 points and 10 dimes this season, breaking a tie with LeBron James for second-most such performances in the NBA. Luka Doncic is the leader with 12.

Tuesday recap

Highlights

Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz: 22 points (9-12 FG), 18 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks

Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers: 43 points (14-22 FG), 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 1 TO

Lowlights

Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors: 5 points (2-6 FG), 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 TO

Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers: 0 points (0-5 FG), 8 rebounds

Tuesday takeaways

  • Ja Morant led the young Grizzlies to a victory over the Rockets with 26 points -- tied for his second-most this season -- while making 10-of-11 shots from the floor, good for his highest field-goal percentage in any game this season. The Grizzlies are enjoying a six-game winning streak, which is their longest since 2016-17. It's not just Morant shining in the Memphis backcourt, as savvy SG Dillon Brooks continues to fill the bucket and remains available in free agency in the majority of ESPN leagues.

  • In a performance marked by elite efficiency, Leonard became the first Clippers player to score at least 40 points in less than 30 minutes in Los Angeles' win over the Cavaliers.

  • Speaking of efficient scoring, Dwight Powell of Dallas delivered 21 points while making all nine of his shots from the floor, tied for the most makes without a miss in any game of his career. The likely return of Kristaps Porzingis on Wednesday night will curb some of Powell's scoring output, but he should continue to be effective at a shallow center spot for fantasy managers.

  • In the loss to the Clippers, Cleveland's Darius Garland became just the second rookie to record 10 assists in a game this season, a feat Morant has accomplished seven times.

Injuries of note

  • A long absence for Minnesota's Karl-Anthony Towns could conclude Wednesday night against the Pacers, but in the past the team has listed him as questionable only to see him sit out. If he can come back, it would be a major boon for fantasy managers missing this elite statistical force.

  • Detroit's surging forward Christian Wood is battling a sore right knee and is considered questionable for Wednesday's matchup with the Celtics in Boston. Rookie wing Sekou Doumbouya and combo forward Markieff Morris both become intriguing streaming plays if Wood sits.

  • The Mavericks' Porzingis is listed as probable Wednesday night against the Kings, signaling we should see the star big man back on the floor after an eight-game absence due to a knee ailment.

Analytics advantage for Wednesday

James Harden's 41 points in the loss to Morant's squad on Tuesday marked his fifth straight 40-point game versus the Grizzlies, good for the longest streak of 40-point games against a single opponent by any player since the 1976-77 NBA merger. Beyond Harden's historic scoring exploits, shooting guard Eric Gordon enjoyed a big workload with Russell Westbrook resting. He has averaged 19 PPG during the past week. You can find Gordon in free agency in three-quarters of ESPN leagues.

Portland is on the schedule Wednesday night for Houston. The Trail Blazers rank 24th in defensive rating, allowing 111.9 points per 100 possessions to opponents. That's why this game has a robust slate-high projected total of 236 points. Stacking around Houston's and Portland's star-driven backcourts in DFS play, and streaming with the likes of Gordon and Ben McLemore from Houston and Kent Bazemore from Portland in redraft formats, could be quite rewarding.

Top players to watch on Wednesday

  • Kyrie Irving and the Nets kick off Wednesday's rich slate at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN against the 76ers in Philadelphia. Irving has scored at least 35 points in his last two games against the 76ers. For some context, Irving has never scored at least 35 points in three straight games against any one opponent in his career.

  • Joel Embiid is nursing a hand injury that required surgery last week and will miss both of Philadelphia's ESPN matchups this week, which includes Wednesday against the Nets and Friday against the Bulls.

  • Al Horford is averaging 16.7 PPG in the games Embiid has missed this season, compared to just 11.1 PPG in games where Embiid has played. Focusing on Horford in DFS against a susceptible Brooklyn frontcourt could pay off.