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RotoBaller NBA Recap: James Harden Experiences Injury Scare

Welcome to the RotoBaller NBA Recap. In this feature, we highlight three fantasy basketball takeaways from last night's slate of NBA games. Friday had nine games in action, and all carried a playoff implication of some sort. The Charlotte Hornets defeated the Washington Wizards 112-111 on a Jeremy Lamb game-winning three-point basket with 51.5 seconds left. The victory keeps the Hornets one-game back of the Miami Heat for the eighth seed out East, and the two teams will face each other in a critical game next Sunday.

The Orlando Magic outdueled the Dallas Mavericks 111-106. Terrence Ross scored 22 points on eight-for-16 shooting from the field to also keep the Magic one-game behind the Heat for the final playoff spot in the East. It is turning into a three-team race for the last seed, but the Orlando Magic do hold a slight edge given their schedule. Miami will face the fifth hardest schedule down the stretch, Charlotte the eight most difficult and Orlando 28th.

And the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 118-110. Lou Williams led the way with 40 points, adding seven rebounds, five assists, four steals and four three-pointers. With the victory, the Clippers moved into the seventh seed, a half-game above the San Antonio Spurs for the eighth seed and four and a half clear from the chasing Sacramento Kings. Our three main fantasy takeaways are still to come, so without further ado, let's dive a little deeper into the March 8th slate.

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Justise Winslow Fills Up The Stat Sheet On Friday

Justise Winslow scored 16 points to go along with nine rebounds, nine assists, one steal and one three-pointer in 35 minutes against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Winslow's production did see a spike against the lowly Cleveland defense, but the most critical factor was that Goran Dragic only played 16 minutes after missing two games with a strained left calf.

Dragic is no longer a must-hold player down the stretch in fantasy leagues, and it appears likely that Winslow's playing time should not be too heavily impacted for the time being by Dragic's return to the lineup. Winslow is averaging 15.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, 6.6 assists, 1.0 steal and 1.4 three-pointers in his last five games and the Duke product seems to have hit his stride again. The 22-year-old is only owned in 56 percent of Yahoo leagues. However, that number will quickly start to climb, and he should be owned in all standard settings.


James Harden Undergoes X-Ray On Right Wrist

James Harden scored 31 points with 10 rebounds, seven assists, two steals and three three-pointers during Friday night's game against the Philadelphia 76ers. Unfortunately, Harden left the game briefly in the first half after taking a fall and experienced some pain throughout the night. The injury came to Harden's non-shooting wrist, and he left the arena before speaking with the media to undergo a precautionary X-Ray.

Harden has been wearing tape on that wrist even before tonight's contest, and it is possible that he ends up missing a game or two to heal up. The Rockets are on a roll right now, and he might try to convince head coach Mike D'Antoni to let him suit up, but the Rockets have bigger aspirations than regular season games at this point. Consider him questionable for Sunday's game against the Mavericks, and if you made me guess, I would say he sits out the contest.

Bobby Portis Posts Efficient Line

Bobby Portis made 10 of 16 shots on Friday night, adding 23 points, nine rebounds, three assists, one block and three three-pointers in 25 minutes against the Charlotte Hornets. Portis' output led all Wizards in scoring, and the 24-year-old is averaging a double-double over his last five games in points and rebounds.

Portis has continued to start over Thomas Bryant and has averaged 26.0 minutes a night in his four games in March. Portis has a favorable schedule of 4-4-4 over the next three weeks and needs to be owned and started in most standard leagues. You can still find the Arkansas product roaming free in nearly 35 percent of Yahoo leagues so do your due diligence when looking through the waiver wire.

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