Basketball's greatest rivalry is between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics. The two franchises have met a record 12 times in the Finals, dating back to 1959. With 17 championships each, these two storied franchises are tied for most in the league. Both teams understand the importance of this game.
James scored 30 points, grabbed four rebounds, delivered five assists and made two 3-pointers in 36 minutes. It was his first game with at least 30 points and 65% shooting this season. James dominated in many ways. In addition to making seven of 11 field goals off the dribble, he had an outstanding game as a defender, holding the Celtics to only two field goals on nine attempts, his lowest field goal percentage as a defender this season.
In addition to his 17 points, Davis accumulated 16 rebounds, three assists, two steals, and two blocks. Westbrook also scored 24 points, with 11 assists and a steal. James, Davis, and Westbrook scored 42 points in the paint combined, as many as the entire Celtics team.
Let's explore some of the highlights, lowlights, and takeaways below.
Evan Fournier, New York Knicks: 7 points (3-8 FGs), 3 rebounds, 1 assist
After missing one game, Dallas Mavericks point guard Luka Doncic returned without restrictions. In 37 minutes, he had 28 points, six rebounds, nine assists and three 3-pointers against the Brooklyn Nets. The Mavericks will play two back-to-backs over the next week, so he could get a night off in the near future
In his return from a two-game absence, Mavericks center Kristaps Porzingis shot only 35.2% from the field, but scored 17 points, collected 12 rebounds, five assists, a steal, a block, and one 3-pointer in 31 minutes. He is taking advantage of his opportunities this season, as his usage rate is 26.2%. Perhaps he will get a night off sooner rather than later like Doncic.
If Doncic and Porzingis get a night off soon, Jalen Brunson may be on the streaming radar. In 24 minutes off the bench, he had 10 points, one rebound, three assists and one 3-pointer. He contributes to multiple statistical areas with 20.2 P/40 (points per 40 minutes), 5.4 R/40 (rebounds per 40 minutes) and 6.8 A/40 (assists per 40 minutes).
Kevin Durant scored 24 points, collected seven rebounds, three assists, a steal, one block, and a 3-pointer against the Mavericks in 41 minutes. The Nets small forward now has 771 career 20-point games, tying Wilt Chamberlain for ninth place all-time. Coach Steve Nash wants Durant to play fewer minutes, as he averages 36 MPG, but a slight reduction would not significantly impact his fantasy value. This season, he has an Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%) of 57.3%.
In 42 minutes, James Harden recorded 23 points, nine rebounds, 12 assists, three 3-pointers, a block and shot 53.8% from the field. A 15% turnover ratio is the only blemish on the shooting guard's statistical resume this season.
Since he's accrued consistent minutes the last two weeks, power forward James Johnson has been a 15th round player in category formats. He had 12 points, four rebounds, four assists, a steal, a block, and two 3-pointers against the Mavericks. Johnson is available in 99.7% of ESPN leagues.
This season, Patty Mills has been an incredible value, but unfortunately he contributes only points and three pointers. His field goal percentage was a dreadful 36.4% with 10 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists. Mills has played 30 or more minutes in 10 of his last 11 games, but his field goal percentage fluctuates.
RJ Barrett seems to be over his stomach bug, as he scored 32 points and grabbed five rebounds, dished out two assists, and stole two balls. His seven 3-pointers against the Spurs are a career best.
Barrett drills career-high 7 triples in win vs. Spurs
RJ Barrett pours in 32 points, including a career-high seven 3-pointers, as the Knicks take down the Spurs.
In addition to scoring 18 points, Alec Burks racked up four rebounds and five assists. The Knicks guard has scored 10 or more points in five straight games. Burks should be rostered in all leagues. According to ESPN, he is available in 72.6% of leagues.
Knicks point guard Immanuel Quickley scored 16 points, six rebounds, two assists and a steal in 26 minutes against the Spurs. He scored 10 or more points in 11 of his last 15 games. Quickley is available in 95.7% of ESPN leagues.
Doug McDermott had 13 points, three assists, and three 3-pointers in 25 minutes for the Spurs. As a result of Keldon Johnson's sprained ankle, he may see a slight bump in minutes. Stream McDermott if you need points and threes. He's available in 92.6% of ESPN leagues.
Talen Horton-Tucker scored 12 points and had six rebounds, four assists, two steals, and a block. Considering James was active, this stat line was encouraging. On the other hand, Horton-Tucker shot 35.7% from the field and committed three turnovers.
Malik Monk scored 10 points, two rebounds, two assists and a steal in 19 minutes off the bench for the Lakers. With 16.9 P/40 (points per 40 minutes) he's worth adding in deeper formats. Monk is available in 90% of ESPN leagues.
Jayson Tatum recorded 34 points, eight rebounds, three assists, a steal, and a block in 34 minutes. In the absence of Jaylen Brown, the small forward led the Celtics in scoring. Tatum tied Jerry West for most 30 point games in the rivalry before turning 24 (regular season only) with his fourth career 30-point game against the Lakers.
Analytics advantage for Wednesday
The Atlanta Hawks, Phoenix Suns, Spurs and Lakers won't take part in Wednesday night's massive 13-game slate. You can identify some DFS values by using per minute ratings. Per-game averages do not evaluate a player's performance accurately. P/40 (points per 40 minutes), A/40 (assists per 40 minutes) and R/40 (rebounds per 40 minutes) are available on our player pages.
Ayo Dosunmu, Chicago Bulls: Dosunmu made his first career start this week with DeMar DeRozan (COVID-19) and Alex Caruso (hamstring) out. He scored 11 points, added eight assists, six rebounds, a steal, and a three pointer while grabbing six rebounds and playing 42 minutes. He makes for an intriguing DFS play tonight against the Cleveland Cavaliers without DeRozan and Caruso. Dosunmu averages 14 P/40, 5.0 R/40, and 2.5 A/40 this season.