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RotoBaller NBA Recap: Spencer Dinwiddie Outduels Kemba Walker


Welcome to the RotoBaller NBA recap. In this feature, we highlight three fantasy basketball takeaways from the previous night's slate of games. Following the usual light schedule on Tuesday, there was a lot of action on Wednesday with 10 games on the docket. This is the 11th time this year that at least two-thirds of the league's teams have played a midweek game. While only two of the five Christmas Day games were decided by single-digits, there was a whole bunch of drama on Wednesday as eight of the contests ended with the difference being less than 10 points. This includes one overtime game as well as a double-overtime game.

The game of the night had to be the Nets thrilling 134-132 double-overtime victory over the Hornets as Spencer Dinwiddie outdueled Kemba Walker. Dinwiddie poured in a game-high 37 points as he drained a season-high seven triples to go along with 11 assists. It was his third 30th-point game off the bench tying Clifford Robinson for the most in franchise history. Dinwiddie, who opened up the second overtime period with a four-point play, scored nine of the team's 20 points in overtime while also contributing two assists during the extra sessions. Meanwhile, Walker tried to put a dagger through the Nets heart late in regulation as he went on a personal 12-2 run to give the Hornets an eight-point lead with three minutes left. But the Nets changed defenses and were able to force overtime by outscoring the Hornets 18-10 the rest of the way. Walker finished with 35 points on 13 of 26 shooting from the field for his 10th 30-point outing of the campaign. Joe Harris, whose steal and layup with 3.4 seconds left in the second overtime period gave Brooklyn the victory, also had a big game as did Jeremy Lamb.

Dinwiddie, RotoBaller's Fantasy Player of the Night, compiled 54.9 fantasy points, according to NBA.com. However, that total was only the third most on the evening as Anthony Davis, who put up 32 points and 18 rebounds, led the way with 60.6 fantasy points. Devin Booker had the second most fantasy points (59.4) as he contributed 35 points along with eight assists and seven rebounds in the Suns 122-120 overtime victory over the Magic. The rest of the article will look at three of these players and how they impact the fantasy basketball world.

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Rodions Kurucs Produces Second Straight Double-Double

The 2018 second-round draft choice finally got back into the Nets' rotation at the beginning of December, but the 6-foot-9 small forward has really picked up his play after replacing Allen Crabbe (knee) in the starting lineup against the Wizards on Dec. 14. Kurucs recorded his second straight double-double last night with 13 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, one block, and three steals last night. He is the first rookie to post double-doubles in consecutive games since Terrence Williams accomplished the feat during the 2009-10 season. The rookie, who set career-best marks in rebounds and tied his season high in steals,  was 6-for-9 from the field and 1-for-3 from beyond the arc.

Kurucs has been excellent the last three games as he has been contributing on the defensive end and filled the stat sheet for the first time versus the Hornets. He has scored in double-figures in three straight games, which ties a season high, and has now posted a blocked shot in five consecutive games. The 20-year-old has produced 53 points, 25 rebounds, three blocks, and four steals during this three-game stretch.

The Latvian native has reached double-figures in seven of his 12 outings this month. He is averaging 12.9 points, six rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.1 three-pointers while shooting 53.3 percent from the field and 40 percent from beyond the arc as a starter. Perhaps more importantly, the Nets are 6-1 with him in the starting lineup and have won nine of 10 overall. It remains to be seen what coach Kenny Atkinson will do with the rotation once Crabbe, who is day-to-day returns, but it is all but assured the No. 40 overall draft selection will remain in the rotation. Saying that, 12-team fantasy owners need to see if Kurucs is still available on the waiver wire and nab him if he is.

 

Montrezl Harrell Swats Away A Career High Tying Five Shots

Harrell hasn't been as consistent this month as he was in November, but the 6-foot-8 power forward has been much better in that respect recently. Harrell was absolutely awesome last night in the Clippers 127-118 victory over the Kings, posting 22 points along with nine rebounds (five offensive), and a career-tying five blocks as well as one assist and two steals. He did most of his heavy lifting in the second quarter as he chipped in nine points to finish the first half with 15. The 24-year-old made eight of 12 shots from the field overall and was six of seven from the free throw line.

Last night marked his sixth-straight game in double-figures as he has made 44 of 69 (63.7 percent) shots from the field. He has also hauled in six or more caroms in five of the six outings. Harrell is averaging 18.2 points, 6.7 rebounds along with 2.3 assists and 1.5 blocks during this stretch.

While the fourth-year pro hasn't seen a ton of minutes, he has still provided top-100 fantasy value. Harrell registered the fourth-most fantasy points on the night with 54.3 and he has produced 34.5 fantasy points over his last six contests

 

Malik Beasley Pumps In A Career-High 22 Points

The third-year pro turned in his best game of the season last night, compiling a career-high 22 points along with seven rebounds, three assists and one steal in a 111-103 loss to the Spurs. It was his second 20-point game of the season. He tied his season highs with eight field goals and four triples. The 19 field goal attempts were a season high.

Beasley, who has been much better in December, is enjoying the best stretch of the season. The 22-year-old has scored in double-figures in three straight games, for the first time this season, totaling 45 points. He also has grabbed 12 rebounds, doled out eight assists and come up with seven assists during this stretch. Beasley also didn't commit a turnover against the Spurs, marking the second straight game that has occurred, meaning that he still has turned the ball over just five times this month.

Beasley has taken advantage of several injuries including to Gary Harris, Will Barton and Isaiah Thomas. He currently has top-150 value in nine-category fantasy with his most valuable contribution coming in three-pointers, steals, and turnovers. However, it is likely that his value will become all most extinct when all Nugget players become healthy.

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