Around the Association: 76ers Handle LeBron-less Lakers, Splash Bros Shine

Around the Association: 76ers Handle LeBron-less Lakers, Splash Bros Shine

This article is part of our NBA Daily Recap series.

Welcome to Around the Association! This article will serve as a comprehensive recap of the previous night's NBA action, taking you through all of the biggest performances, notable box scores, injury updates and any other fantasy-relevant headlines from around the league.

Here is all you need to know from just a two-game slate Thursday:

Nightly Notables

76ers pull away from Lakers as LeBron sits

  • I was excited to see Joel Embiid's 76ers matchup against LeBron James' Lakers, but James was unfortunately forced to be sidelined with left knee soreness. After a fairly close first half, Philadelphia was able to pull away late and won the contest 105-87.
  • Embiid finished with a team-high 26 points (9-20 FG, 0-5 3Pt, 8-13 FT), nine rebounds, seven assists, one steal and two blocks over 34 minutes of play. While the MVP candidate broke a six-game streak of scoring at least 30 points, I thought this was one of his best all-around outings of the season. Embiid is averaging 4.3 assists per game on the season, which would set a new career-high for the 27-year-old.
    • Tobias Harris continues to get back into rhythm, finishing with 23 points (10-15 FG, 3-5 3Pt), five rebounds, four assists and two steals over 34 minutes. The veteran forward is averaging just 18.7 points per game on the season but has averaged 23.0 points per game over his last five appearances. 
    • Matisse Thybulle did his thing on defense, ending with four steals and a block during the win
    • Tyrese Maxey: 14 points (5-14 FG, 2-6 3Pt, 2-4 FT), seven rebounds, 10 assists and two blocks over 38 minutes.
  • With James on the sidelines, Anthony Davis got to show everyone not to sleep on his skills. The All-Star forward recorded 31 points (14-21 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 3-3 FT), 12 rebounds, one assist, two steals and four blocks across 33 minutes of play. While the injury concerns are always a real liability for Davis, I think he is at the point where his skill level is truly under-appreciated. The 28-year-old does have a career 26.91 PER, which is good for third all-time, trailing only Michael Jordan and his teammate LeBron James.
    • Russell Westbrook had a decent game in the loss. The struggling point guard ended with 20 points (9-15 FG, 2-3 3Pt), four rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block over 34 minutes. He also had six turnovers which marked his 19th time this season recording five or more giveaways. The return of Davis will eventually help take the pressure and load off Westbrook, which in turn should result in more stable fantasy statistics. 

Splash Bros look like their old selves

  • Although Draymond Green (back) was still on the sidelines, the Warriors' 124-115 win over the Timberwolves really gave me some 2016 Warriors vibes. Stephen Curry went off for a swagger-filled 29 points (10-20 FG, 6-10 3Pt,  3-3 FT), eight rebounds, six assists and three steals over 38 minutes.
  • Coming into last night's contest, Curry was shooting just 29.1 percent from deep over the month of January. Hopefully, last night's performance indicates better things to come out of the greatest shooter of all time.
    •  Klay Thompson had easily his best game since making his return. The sharpshooter ended with 23 points (9-16 FG, 5-9 3Pt), five rebounds, four assists and one block over 27 minutes. Thompson is averaging 15.8 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists across 22.6 minutes per game in his first eight appearances since returning to the court. Last night's performance indicates better things are to come. His 27 minutes marked the most he has seen this year.
    • All-Star STARTER Andrew Wiggins ended finished with 19 points (7-12 FG, 5-8 3Pt, 0-2 FT), five rebounds, four assists, one steal and two blocks over 35 minutes.
  • Despite the losing effort, Karl-Anthony Towns continued his dominant season. The big man finished with 31 points (12-22 FG, 2-6 3Pt, 5-6 FT), 12 rebounds, six assists and two steals in 36 minutes. Towns currently ranks as the ninth-best fantasy option on a per-game basis this season. 
    • Despite some rough outside shooting, Anthony Edwards also had a really solid game coming off his 40-point outing Wednesday. The Georgia product totaled 27 points (8-18 FG, 2-11 3Pt, 9-9 FT), six rebounds, six assists and two blocks in 37 minutes. Edwards is averaging 26.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.0 blocks per game over his last five showings.

Best and Worst of the Night

  • Best of the Night: Stephen Curry - 29 points (10-20 FG, 6-10 3Pt,  3-3 FT), eight rebounds, six assists and three steals over 38 minutes.
  • Worst of the Night: Malik Beasley - Four points (2-11 FG, 0-8 3Pt) and one assist over 20 minutes.

A Look Ahead to Friday night

  • Will LeBron James return for the Lakers as they travel to Charlotte to face the Hornets?
  • The Hawks look for their sixth straight win when the Celtics come to town.
  • DeMar DeRozan makes his first appearance back in San Antonio since joining the Bulls
  • The Timberwolves look to bounce back when they face the Suns in Phoenix.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael Spero
Michael writes in the NBA and NCAAF departments for RotoWire. He is a big-time fan of both the Bulls and Nuggets. Michael spends his time playing pick-up or anxiously rooting for his fantasy teams.
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