Did you know that Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey has made the largest scoring leap in the league this season? The second-year breakout guard has increased his scoring average by 8.5 points from his rookie season and last night flashed impressive passing prowess in producing the first double-double of his career in a win over the visiting Los Angeles Lakers.
Maxey was helpful for fantasy purposes, even in a game that saw him sink only five of 14 shots from the floor. The Kentucky product swatted two shots and even flirted with a triple-double in the victory. Maxey, at 21 years old, is 10th in the league in minutes per game and impressively ranks 65th overall on the Player Rater.
The looming trade deadline could see Philadelphia make sizable shifts to its rotation, but it appears Maxey is an important part of the process now.
Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers: 31 points (14-21 FG), 12 rebounds, 2 steals, 4 blocks
D'Angelo Russell, Minnesota Timberwolves: 8 points (3-10 FG), 4 rebounds, 5 assists
The Lakers fell to 5-8 when LeBron James does not play this season Anthony Davis shot 10-for-10 in the paint, his most makes without a miss in the paint in a game in his career. It was also his 120th career 30-point, 10-rebound game, the most in the NBA since he entered the league in 2012-13.
It wasn't just Davis who delivered a solid performance for the Lakers and fantasy managers, as Russell Westbrook shot 60% from the field against Philadelphia and has shot at least 47% from the floor in four straight games. Westbrook has had some fairly amazing second-half splits the past few seasons, so maybe he's warming up for such a run?
The Sixers' Joel Embiid grinded his way to 26 points in the win and now has scored at least 25 points in 16 straight games, good for the second-longest such streak in team history. Defensive dynamo Matisse Thybulle was brilliant in his 29 minutes of play. The Washington product tallied four steals and one block and now has 11 steals and four blocks over his past three games.
The "Splash Brothers" were, well, splashing last night. In a win over the Timberwolves, Klay Thompson encouragingly set season highs with 23 points and five 3-pointers. Stephen Curry and Thompson both made at least five 3-pointers in the same game for the 36th time as teammates, by far the most in NBA history. First time All-Star Andrew Wiggins chipped in with five 3-pointers of his own.
Injuries of note
D'Angelo Russell left last night's loss due to a shin contusion and did not return. We'll learn more about this injury today, since the team plays Phoenix this evening.
The Pacers have upgraded Domantas Sabonis to questionable due to an ankle sprain. Malcolm Brogdon and Myles Turner won't play for the Pacers, setting up Chris Duarte and Oshae Brissett as worthy streaming targets in deeper formats.
Analytics advantage for Friday
Saddiq Bey has been quite the scoring force in Grant's place, while Isaiah Stewart is an ideal streaming target given this plus matchup with an Orlando team allowing 56.4 DraftKings points per game to centers this season. Stewart posted a rough outing against Denver recently, but has topped 24 minutes of run in four of his last five games.
Jarred Vanderbilt, Minnesota Timberwolves: This power forward has tallied multiple steals in four straight and has been productive on the glass and as a passer. The floor can prove low for someone without much of a scoring touch, but there's real upside for a full line from this versatile player in a game against the Suns with the highest point total on the slate.