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Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard connected on just four of 15 shots to score only 13 points in the 24-point loss to the Rockets on Monday. Lillard did salvage his line with 11 assists and six rebounds but did have four turnovers in 35 minutes of action. After his smoking hot start, Lillard has hit a wall and is shooting just 21.7% from the floor and 18.2% from three while averaging just 14.7 points in his previous three games. We know this funk won't last much longer, so hang in there owners.
Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams shot 5-for-10 from the field and finished Wednesday's 94-93 loss to Sacramento with a 12-point, 11-rebound double-double, adding four assists and two blocks. He now has four double-doubles for the month after entering December with only three double-doubles for the season. Despite the lack of double-doubles, Adams is actually close to averaging one with 10.9 points and 9.4 rebounds. He has a good matchup next against the Nuggets, who have struggled to guard centers all season and who have given up the 10th-most rebounds per 48 minutes to the position.
Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul reminded everybody of the good old days on Wednesday, registering 12 assists in a 94-93 loss to Sacramento. CP3 also had a chance to win the game for OKC, but he missed the final shot in the dying seconds. With that Paul also missed a double-double, as he shot only 3-for-9 from the field on his way to eight points. Two of his makes came from three-point range. Paul's line also included seven rebounds and a career-high matching three blocks. It's only the third game of the season in which Paul has delivered 10-plus assists. He'll likely have a tough time getting there in the next matchup as well against Denver and their great defense.
Sacramento Kings power forward Marvin Bagley made his long-awaited return to the lineup on Wednesday, logging 23 minutes off the bench and scoring 11 points in a win against the Thunder. He also had six rebounds and blocked one shot, while shooting 5-for-13 from the field. Bagley missed 22 games with a broken right thumb that he, unfortunately, suffered in the very first game of the season. The 20-year-old had a solid rookie campaign and he really has the world at his feet. Bagley and the rest of the Kings get a very nice matchup next against the Knicks and their awful defense.
Sacramento Kings shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanovic capped off a 17-point night with the game-winning shot on Wednesday against OKC, making it 94-93 with a trey with just 17 seconds left on the clock. He shot only 2-for-7 in the game from downtown, so this was a really gutsy effort. His overall shooting performance was fine with a 7-for-12 record from the field. Bogdanovic has been slumping a bit after he enjoyed a very good November, but the guy is a great scorer and you can't keep him quiet for long. The Kings take on a pair of struggling teams before the week is done, so expect Bogdanovic to produce a couple of more solid outings against the Knicks and Warriors.
Sacramento Kings shooting guard Buddy Hield stretched his run with 20-plus points to nine games on Wednesday, finishing a 94-93 win over OKC with a game-high 23 points. He had five triples in the game and shot 9-for-24 overall from the field. It wasn't a good shooting night, but he made up for it with six rebounds, six assists, and two steals. The Kings have now won three straight and they have a great chance to extend the winning streak even further in matchups against the Knicks and the Warriors. The Knicks have done pretty well against shooting guards, but they are still an awful squad and will likely struggle to keep up with the Kings. The Warriors allow the most three-point attempts per game in the league and they are one of the worst defensive sides against shooting guards.
New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday continued his excellent play on Wednesday when he scored 21 points while adding six assists and six rebounds in the 15-point loss to the Bucks. Holiday was efficient shooting the ball making 8-for-11 from the floor and four makes from three while adding two blocks, but it was not all great for Holiday as he turned the ball over eight times. Holiday has been providing early-round value for owners after his slowish start and is showing no signs of slowing down. His next outing will be against his former team, the 76ers on Friday.
New Orleans Pelicans power forward/center Jaxson Hayes provided an excellent line in just 24 minutes in the loss to the Bucks on Wednesday. Hayes scored 12 points with five boards while added an assist with two blocks and two steals while connecting on 4-for-5 from the floor. Derrick Favors (conditioning) continues to miss time, but is due back any day, although it seems like he is dealing with some conditioning issues. Saying this, Hayes could still hold value for the meantime, so hang onto him until Favors suits up and proves he is ready to go.
New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram connected on 9-for-22 shooting en route to 25 points, but it was not enough in the loss to the Bucks on Wednesday. Ingram did not provide much else with just a single assist and three makes from three while turning the ball over four times. Ingram has seen his defensive numbers nearly disappear as he has recorded zero blocks and just a single steal in his last four games. Either way, Ingram has been awesome this season and owners have to be more than pleased with his early-round production up until now.
Milwaukee Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe needed just 13 shots to record a team-high 29 points in the easy win over the Pelicans on Wednesday. Bledsoe was hot as he nailed five of six attempts from three while drilling all four of his free throws while adding six assists, three rebounds, and two steals in just 25 minutes of action. With Giannis Antetokounmpo (quad) taking the night off, Bledsoe became the primary ball-handler and saw his usage nearly double to 30.3% with the Greek Freak out. This was a good bounce-back game for Bledsoe as he has been struggling as of late.
Milwaukee Bucks shooting guard/small forward Khris Middleton connected on 11 of 22 shooting to score 24 points in the 15-point win over the Pelicans on Wednesday. Middleton stepped up with Giannis Antetokounmpo (quad) taking the night off as he added a make from three with five boards and four assists while chipping in two steals and just a single turnover. Middleton made the most of his extra usage and has been providing some steady lines for owners as of late. The Bucks are smoking hot right now and they will look to keep their win streak alive on Friday when they face the Grizzlies.
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