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RotoBaller NBA Recap: James Harden Matches Career-High With 61 Points

Welcome to the RotoBaller NBA Recap. In this feature, we highlight three fantasy basketball takeaways from last night's slate of NBA games. With just about 10 contests remaining for every team this season, we are coming to the closing stretch of what has been an exciting year in the NBA.

The Western Conference appears to be set with who the eight playoff organizations will be this season, although seeding has yet to be determined for any team. The Golden State Warriors and Denver Nuggets are currently tied for the top spot out West, with the Houston Rockets, Portland Trail Blazers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Clippers, Utah Jazz and San Antonio Spurs rounding out the complete list of playoff participants. The Sacramento Kings are technically not eliminated quite yet, but they are six games back of the Spurs for the final position and only have 11 games remaining to try and catch up.

The Eastern Conference isn't quite as clear-cut, even if the top three seeds appear to have their positions nearly secured. The Milwaukee Bucks are leading the way with a 54-19 record, followed by the Toronto Raptors, Philadelphia 76ers, Indiana Pacers, Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons, Brooklyn Nets, and Miami Heat. The Heat own a half-game lead over the Orlando Magic for the final position and are two and a half games up on the Charlotte Hornets and 5.5 clear of the Washington Wizards. Miami and Orlando will face off on Tuesday in what appears to be a contest that could potentially shift the pendulum one way or the other. Our three main fantasy takeaways from the March 22nd slate are still to come, so without further ado, let's take a deeper dive into the action.

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James Harden Matches Career-High On Friday

For anyone who had already penciled Giannis Antetokounmpo in as the MVP of the league, you may want to reconsider following Harden's explosive performance on Friday night. The 29-year-old made an emphatic statement of why the award should remain with him for the second consecutive season after matching a career-high of 61 points against the San Antonio Spurs while adding seven rebounds, one assist, three steals, and nine three-pointers during the effort.

Harden scored 27 points in the first quarter, which was the second-highest scoring output in franchise history (Vernon Maxwell), and head coach Mike D'Antoni said after the game that he's the only one capable of stopping Harden because he can sit him on the bench. The Rockets star joined Kobe Bryant, Wilt Chamberlain, and Michael Jordan as the only players to have multiple 60-point games in a single season, and Harden has contributed six of the eight 55-plus scoring games in the NBA this year. It remains to be seen if he will be able to eclipse Antetokounmpo for the MVP award, but Harden should be a fixture on many fantasy championship teams this year.

JaVale McGee Plays Best Game Of His Career

JaVale McGee posted career-high totals of 33 points and 20 rebounds on Friday night, adding one assist and six blocks in 35 minutes of action against the Brooklyn Nets.

With the Lakers out of contention, it appeared as if they would turn to their youngsters more down the stretch, but McGee seems to still be apart of the plans for the end of the season after his monstrous fantasy performance. If you own him, you have no choice but to keep rolling with him, and a few more performances like this could be enough to lift you to a title.

Evan Fournier Is Droppable For Desperate Owners

Despite scoring 27 points to go along with eight rebounds, six assists, one block, and three three-pointers in 39 minutes against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday, Evan Fournier is droppable for owners that need help over the weekend.

The Magic are off for the rest of the week, so Fournier isn't a must-hold if you are desperately looking for games on Saturday and Sunday. Overall, it has been a disappointing season for the 26-year-old, even though he has picked things up as of late.

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