• Stephen Curry

    We are all witnesses of a historic season by this season’s Golden State Warriors, as they secured their 72nd win of the regular season in San Antonio for the Spurs’ first home loss of the season in a 92-86 win. Stephen Curry led the way with 37 points on 13-of-22 shooting (4-of-9 3PTs, 7-of-7 FTs) with five rebounds, five assists and two steals in 35 minutes. Curry has now made a three-pointer in 151 straight regular season games, extending his own NBA record. Comparisons to the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls will live on forever, but make no mistake, this team is special in its own way. The Warriors will chase history for their final regular season game on Wednesday at home against the Memphis Grizzlies.

    While the watch for 73 is on, the NBA continues in the background. Playoff spots and playoff positioning is at stake, much to the joy of fantasy owners with players fighting to play every minute. Sunday featured a nine-game NBA slate. Let’s take a look at yesterday’s studs and duds:

    STUDS

    The Rockets have been playing desperate for a month and James Harden is proving it to fantasy owners. Harden erupted again on Sunday for 40 points (14-for-31 FGs and 6-for-8 FTs) with six threes, 13 assists, four boards, and four steals in a 130-110 win over the Lakers. He has carried many to fantasy championships this season with his incredible stat lines down the stretch. Houston has two games left this season and you can absolutely count Harden to play a ton in both and have an extremely high usage rate. Enjoy.

    It is nice to be able to still write about Kobe Bryant having a great night while I still can. Kobe showed flashes of his former self in a vintage line, shooting 10-for-22 from the field for 35 points, four threes, two boards, one assist and two steals. “I remember my first ever game against him,” said Trevor Ariza, who was assigned to Kobe for most of the night. “He had 40. My last one he had 35, so I guess I got a little better.” Kobe expects to play in the Lakers’ final two games. Use him if you are feeling nostalgic.

    Picking on the studs from desperate teams is a theme at this point of the season. Add the Utah Jazz to the list. Gordon Hayward stuffed the stat sheet, shooting 8-for-16 from the field and 4-for-4 from the line for 22 points, nine boards, five assists, two steals, two threes and one block. Rudy Gobert double-doubled for the Jazz with 16 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks. His mid-round value has remained steady over the last two weeks. Derrick Favors was a late scratch due to right knee soreness and Trey Lyles (22 points, four threes, six rebounds, two assists) was excellent in his place, but you can’t rely on him unless Favors is out again. The Jazz will be battling for a playoff spot to the bitter end, so keep using their studs.

    Since the Wizards were eliminated over the past week, shutdowns have occurred left and right. Marcin Gortat seems to be the last man standing and has quickly become the main beneficiary on offense. Gortat was an outstanding 10-for-11 from the field for 21 points, 13 boards, four assists and one block in 31 minutes on Sunday. He did have doctors take a look at his back a few weeks ago, so monitor his status for the Wizards’ two remaining games in case they decide to shut him down as well. If Gortat continues to play, expect more of the same gaudy numbers.

    The biggest shutdown on the Wizards was John Wall, who will not return this season. Ramon Sessions has taken over Wall’s point guard duties and needs to be owned in leagues everywhere. Sessions did his best Wall impression with 15 points, 11 assists, five rebounds, one steal and one three ball in 36 minutes for Sunday’s 113-98 win over the Hornets. With two games left, use and abuse this opportunity for Sessions.

    Blake Griffin had his best game since his 45-game absence, posting 17 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists and two steals in 33 minutes of play in Sunday’s 98-91 win over the Mavs. Patient owners should be extremely satisfied with the amount of minutes and productivity. You can expect Doc Rivers to rest Blake in one of the Clippers’ remaining two games this week, so proceed with caution.

    The Heat finally gave Hassan Whiteside a start on Sunday. Whiteside shot 5-for-7 from the field and 8-for-8 from the free throw line for 18 points with 15 boards, one steal and two blocked shots. His rise in free throw percentage has vaulted him to a first round fantasy asset since the all-star break. Whiteside will get a fat paycheck this offseason.

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