Stephen Curry is chasing both the real and fantasy MVP awards, scoring 42 points -- and draining 11 3-pointers -- as his Golden State Warriors downed the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday. Curry has made a whopping 29 3-pointers over his last three games, good for the most ever over any three-game span in NBA history.
Just like in the real MVP race, Nikola Jokic is likely in the lead by a wide margin, but it's worth noting that Curry is firmly second behind Denver's dynamic center on the ESPN Player Rater. Curry's hot scoring stretch started at the end of March and he has now recorded eight straight games with 30-plus points -- the longest streak by a Warriors player since Rick Barry, way back in 1967. During this span, Curry has scored 311 total points, surpassing Hall-of-Famer Bernard King for the most points over an eight-game span by any player age 33-or-older.
Working the waiver wire throughout the NBA's marathon of a season is critical to success in fantasy hoops, but having top fantasy selections such as Jokic and Curry living up to (and even exceeding) statistical expectations is an important part of what drives fantasy championships.
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors: 42 points (14-20 FG), 6 rebounds, 8 assists
Last night's NBA slate was defined not just by Curry and Westbrook producing prolific lines, but also by a series of clutch shots around the league. Luka Doncic did some Luka Doncic stuff, sinking a one-legged, one-handed, game-winning 3-pointer over the Grizzlies that had just a 17% of going in. Looking deeper on the Dallas roster, sixth man Jalen Brunson dished nine dimes and could help those in deeper leagues down the stretch.
Reggie Jackson was also quite clutch last night. The Clippers' combo guard sank two big shots in the final seconds during a comeback victory over the Pistons. While the absence of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George helped drive Jackson's 29-point showing, he has actually been quite productive ever since Patrick Beverley went down with an injury a few weeks back. Rostered in roughly 15% of ESPN leagues, Jackson is a solid pickup ahead of the weekend.
Another game, another triple-double for Westbrook, who brought his career total to 170 last night. Westbrook sits 11 shy of matching Oscar Robertson for the most triple-doubles in NBA history. Westbrook also reached 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists in just his 47th game of the season. That is the second-fewest games in NBA history needed to reach those marks, with only Robertson doing it faster (42 games in 1961-62).
Last night offered the first glimpse of Denver's rotation sans Jamal Murray. The immediate take is that PJ Dozier -- and not Facundo Campazzo or Monte Morris -- is the guard to target in the wake of Murray's injury. Available in free agency in nearly every ESPN league, Dozier scored 15 points and registered four dimes and three steals in a win over Miami.
Injuries of note
Atlanta has ruled out John Collins, De'Andre Hunter, and Cam Reddish for tonight's matchup against Milwaukee. Trae Young is listed as questionable due to a calf injury that sidelined him for the team's last game. Danilo Gallinari is also questionable to play this evening.
Analytics advantage for Thursday
The Cavaliers host Curry's Warriors. Even though it's the second leg of a back-to-back for Golden State, building around Curry in DFS lineups is smart, as Cleveland has allowed 46.7 DraftKings points to shooting guards over the last 15 games, the third-highest allowance during this stretch. For those seeking a streaming option from the Warriors, wing Kent Bazemore has averaged 14.5 points over the last two games and should be busy again tonight with Kelly Oubre Jr. likely sidelined.
Top player to watch on Thursday
Given Atlanta's wave of wing injuries, all signs point to another big line from Bogdan Bogdanovic in tonight's matchup with Milwaukee. A strong candidate to lead the Hawks in minutes this evening, Bogdanovic has scored 55 points over his last two games.