Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Houston Rockets, Rockets win 118-105

Top Performers

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

PTS REB AST FG% 3P% FT% STL BLK
32 3 3 12/21 1/3 7/7 2 0

Alperen Sengun

PTS REB AST FG% 3P% FT% STL BLK
21 19 2 10/17 0/1 1/1 3 2

Key Notes:

Second-year center Alperen Sengun showed off his best Hakeem Olajuwon impression as he finished with a near 20-20 game to help dominate the Oklahoma City Thunder. The ending score may indicate that this game was somewhat competitive, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Led by Jalen Green’s team-high points along with Sengun’s monster performance, the Rockets blitzed the Thunder 42-22 in the second quarter and led in this game by as much as 27 points. The Rockets were firing on all cylinders as all five starters finished in double figures including rookie forward Jabari Smith who had 15 points and 13 rebounds while shooting 5-of-11 from the field.

On the other side, it was pretty much Shai Gilgeous-Alexander on an island by himself. The second-leading scorer for the Thunder was Josh Giddey, who finished with 18 points and five rebounds but, overall, the OKC supporting cast had a rough night shooting the ball. Rookie Jalen Williams shot 4-of-12 from the field to finish with 11 points. Tre Mann was a horrific 1-of-11 from the field and missed all nine of his three-point attempts. One of those nights where Gilgeous-Alexander had to carry the Thunder for the night, but it ended up not being enough.

 

Dallas Mavericks vs. Toronto Raptors, Raptors win 105-100

Top Performers

Luka Doncic

PTS REB AST FG% 3P% FT% STL BLK
24 7 9 8/15 2/4 6/9 2 1

OG Anunoby

PTS REB AST FG% 3P% FT% STL BLK
26 9 2 9/19 2/4 6/7 2 2

Key Notes:

No offense to the Dallas Mavericks’ supporting cast, but this is one of those games that illustrate just how much they are dependent on Luka Doncic. Despite taking only 15 shots (tied for a season-low), Doncic played a team-high 42 minutes and was arguably the only real effective offensive player against the swarming defense of the Toronto Raptors. Dorian Finney-Smith and Spencer Dinwiddie both also had double-digit shot attempts as they combined for 31 points. But what was most disappointing for the Mavs was that the undersized lineups of the Raptors were able to keep Dallas’ bigs in check. The trifecta of Christian Wood, Maxi Kleber, and Dwight Powell combined for only 29 points and 13 rebounds.

Looking at things from Toronto’s perspective, it was all about the elite play of their top two guys, OG Anunoby and Fred VanVleet. Both played 40+ minutes and finished with 26 points apiece to help the Raptors fight back after being down by as much as 15 points in the early portion of the game. The unsung hero of this game though is Chris Boucher, who single-handedly outperformed the Mavericks’ bench and frontcourt, finishing with 22 points and 13 rebounds in 36 minutes while shooting 10-of-19 from the floor.

Boucher is a solid pickup for fantasy to interchange in the lineup week to week. When you look at his game log, he has crazy variance in his performances, which makes sense for an energy guy off the bench. But unlike typical bench scorers, he can rack up stats across the box score to stay effective. Even when just looking at the scoring, Boucher can go from having 0 points in 14 minutes to finishing with a 20+-point double-double the next night. Monitor Nick Nurse’s rotation while guys like Scottie Barnes and Pascal Siakam are out because Boucher may continue to take on a bulk of those backup forward minutes.

The Raptors continue their dominance defending homecourt this season as they improve to 7-2 when playing in Canada.

 

Los Angeles Lakers vs. San Antonio Spurs, Lakers win 143-138

Top Performers

LeBron James

PTS REB AST FG% 3P% FT% STL BLK
39 11 3 11/21 7/12 10/10 1 1

Tre Jones

PTS REB AST FG% 3P% FT% STL BLK
23 8 13 9/13 0/1 5/7 2 0

Key Notes:

Although the combined 281 points may suggest otherwise, this game was physical and chippy. We even got a busted Brodie as an altercation between Russell Westbrook and Zach Collins resulted in a leaking forehead for the former MVP. The Spurs also lost two players Keldon Johnson (26 points and ten rebounds) and Isaiah Roby (ten points) as they both fouled out of this game.

The story of the night was the play of LeBron James. In only his third game back from injury, James was on fire as he finished with a season-high 39 points and was practically automatic from the three-point line. Because the Lakers allowed 138 points, it was obvious that the defensive presence of Anthony Davis was missed. Nonetheless, they were able to hang on with help of guys like Dennis Schroder (21 points0, Lonnie Walker (19 points) and even Wenyen Gabriel gave them 15 points and four rebounds in his 21 minutes off the bench.

After a pretty rough start to the season, the Lakers are 5-1 in their last six games, but for now, they still are only 13th in the Western Conference so they still have a lot of catching up to do.

 

Utah Jazz vs. Phoenix Suns, Suns win 113-112

Top Performers

Jordan Clarkson

PTS REB AST FG% 3P% FT% STL BLK
22 5 5 8/18 2/4 4/4 0 0

Deandre Ayton

PTS REB AST FG% 3P% FT% STL BLK
29 21 3 11/19 0/0 7/9 1 2

Key Notes:

Despite all the fuss this past offseason, Deandre Ayton continues to prove why he is worthy of the max contract he inked this summer. By finishing with 29 points and 21 rebounds, Ayton became the first Suns player with a 28/20 game since Amar’e Stoudemire. He was dominant on both sides of the floor, blocking shots and the Jazz could not keep him off the glass. Devin Booker also had a big night finishing with 27 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists. This was a starter-heavy game offensively for Phoenix, as all five starters finished in double figures while the six players on their bench that played combined for only 20 points.

On the other side, the Jazz continues to play well with their mob-scoring playstyle as they finished with seven players in double figures including the backcourt of Collin Sexton and Jordan Clarkson, who combined for 42 points. Most Improved Player candidate Lauri Markkanen had a rough night shooting the ball (4-of-13 from the field) but still managed to post a double-double with 15 points and ten rebounds.

Utah’s skid continues as their losing streak now is four straight while Phoenix has won four in a row.