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RotoBaller NBA Recap: New Orleans Suffers Improbable Loss

DraftKings FanDuel daily fantasy basketball

Welcome to the RotoBaller NBA Recap. In this feature, we highlight three fantasy basketball takeaways from last night's slate of NBA games. Saturday featured confusion out in New Orleans, a dismantling in Oklahoma City and an ejection in Denver. Since we are on the topic, let's begin there. The Denver Nuggets escaped the Indiana Pacers 102-100. Nikola Jokic led the way with 26 points, seven rebounds, and five assists but was ejected from the contest with 2:56 left in the fourth quarter. Jokic gave an earful to the referee and was hit with two straight technical fouls, but aside from it almost costing Denver the game, we shouldn't see any further punishment from what transpired on Saturday night.

The Golden State Warriors decisively manhandled the Oklahoma City Thunder on the road 110-88. The victory gives the Warriors their second straight win over a playoff team out West without Kevin Durant and keeps them one game above the Denver Nuggets for the top seed. Golden State appears to be entering playoff mode and will be the overwhelming favorites to capture their third straight title.

And the Phoneix Suns won a circus ending over the New Orleans Pelicans 138-136. Already up by three points, New Orleans secured a rebound and called their final timeout with 7.7 seconds left in the game. While inbounding the basketball, guard Elfrid Payton attempted to call a timeout that they didn't have, but officials stepped in and ruled New Orleans had picked up a five-second count instead, turning it over to Phoenix. The Pelicans quickly fouled Devin Booker on the first inbounds play with 6.5 seconds remaining, using the team's final foul. The Pelicans' bench signaled for them to use another foul so Phoenix would just shoot two free throws, but the message apparently didn't get across. Josh Jackson ended up getting a clean look at three with 1.1 seconds left to tie the game and presumably send it into another overtime, but head coach Alvin Gentry signaled for a timeout - just seconds after he told Payton not to call a timeout - and the Pelicans were assessed a technical foul. Booker hit both to seal the victory, and the Suns walked out of New Orleans with one of the stranger victories we have seen all season. Our three main fantasy takeaways of the night are still to come, so without further ado, let's dive a little deeper into the March 16th slate.

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Caris Levert Could Be Expendable In Fantasy

Caris LeVert struggled on Saturday, scoring just six points on three of 12 shooting to go along with one rebound, four assists and two steals in 27 minutes against the Utah Jazz. LeVert drew the start for the injured Allen Crabbe (knee) but continued his poor run of basketball.

LeVert has only averaged 8.4 points over his previous five outings and has a terrible schedule going forward. The 24-year-old draws the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday, but the Nets will only have two games next weekend, making him droppable for teams that need the extra games down the stretch of the season.

Jalen Brunson Should Be Owned In All Standard Leagues

Jalen Brunson scored 16 points with two rebounds, seven assists, and two three-pointers over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday. Brunson has averaged 21.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 5.6 assists, and 2.0 three-pointers in his previous five games, and with four contests coming up next week and a possibility that Luka Doncic could be limited, the 22-year-old should be picked up in all standard leagues.

Kelly Oubre Continues To Shine

Kelly Oubre scored a career-high 32 points to go along with six rebounds, two assists, two steals, and two three-pointers in 43 minutes against the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday.

Oubre has produced top-30 value in nine-category leagues during the past two weeks and hasn't turned in a dud performance since the All-Star break. Oubre is a massive steal for anyone who was lucky enough to grab him on the waiver wire and could be a game-changer during the fantasy playoffs.

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