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RotoBaller NBA Recap: The Warriors Extend Their Lead Out West

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 nine contests and some of the NBA's top contenders in action. The Los Angeles Lakers saw their playoff hopes dwindle even further with a 118-109 road loss to the Phoenix Suns. LeBron James played 41 minutes on the night, putting together 27 points, nine rebounds and 16 assists, but his run of not missing the playoffs since his second season in the league seems to be coming to an end. The Lakers are 4.5 games back of the eighth seed and have the eighth hardest schedule remaining in their final 19 games.

The Golden State Warriors pulled off a three-point road victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. The Warriors were without Klay Thompson on the night but received big offensive performances from Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins. After only reaching 20 points once in his first 14 games as a member of the Warriors, Cousins has contributed three straight performances of at least 20 points, scoring 25 on Saturday. Golden State currently has a 1.5 game lead over the Denver Nuggets for the top seed out West and are the favorites to capture the NBA Title at odds of -250, according to the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.

And the Milwaukee Bucks fell on the road to the Utah Jazz by a score of 115-111. Milwaukee was without Eric Bledsoe and Malcolm Brogdon, who both missed the second leg of the back-to-back after Friday's massive victory in Los Angeles. Brogdon has been dealing with an ailment to his foot, but this was the first time he missed any action because of it. The Bucks are going to make sure everyone is ready for their playoff run so expect unplanned absences down the stretch if the team suspects anything to be wrong. As for the Jazz, Donovan Mitchell was sensational on the night, scoring 46 points on 15-32 shooting from the field, adding three rebounds, six assists and five three-pointers. The Jazz trailed 90-73 with 9:39 left in the game before Mitchell scored 19 points in the final 8:10. Part of the loss can be chalked up to the Bucks hitting a wall, but full credit should be given to the Jazz for their resiliency. Our three main takeaways of the night are still to come, so without further ado, let's dive a little deeper into the March 2nd slate.

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Derrick Favors Has One Of His Best Games Of The Year

Derrick Favors scored 23 points to go along with 18 rebounds, one steal and three blocks on 10-for-12 shooting in Utah's massive victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. Rudy Gobert was horrible on the night, and Favors experienced a slight uptick in playing time after receiving most of Gobert's minutes at center down the stretch.

The Jazz overcame a 17-point deficit in the final 10 minutes, and Favors was front and center as being one of the reasons why. The former third pick in the 2010 draft has averaged 16.2 points, 12.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 2.2 blocks and 0.6 steals since the All-Star break and is a must-own everywhere.


Brook Lopez Hosts A Block Party

Brook Lopez blocked a season-high seven shots against the Utah Jazz on Saturday, adding 16 points, seven rebounds, one steal and four three-pointers in 29 minutes. Lopez had six of his blocks come in the first six minutes, and he has been producing insane numbers over his previous five games, averaging 13.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.6 blocks and 2.2 three-pointers.

The 30-year-old is a unique fantasy commodity due to his exceptional production in threes and blocks and he starting to heat up as the season comes to an end. Lopez has been a top-50 nine-category producer on the year and has top-25 upside due to his unusual skill set.


Gary Harris Struggles In Return To The Starting Lineup

It is difficult to view this season as being anything other than a disappointment for Gary Harris. Harris has dealt with injuries, shooting slumps and inconsistent playing time with the starters. On Saturday, Harris finally made his return to the starting lineup for the first time since late-January, scoring eight points with two assists, one block, one steal and one three-pointer.

Malik Beasley was sensational during the time that Harris missed, and there is a real possibility that the Michigan State product doesn't fully get his role back this season. Still, though, Harris needs to be owned in most leagues and will hopefully start to find some rhythm here shortly.


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