This article is part of our NBA Daily Recap series.
Welcome to another weekend edition of Around the Association. It was a wild 13-game slate full of close finishes and highlight plays. The Utah Jazz keep on rolling while the Lakers continued their struggles. Bennedict Mathurin erupted again and there was just absolute madness in OKC.
Without further ado, let's dive in.
LeBron James Exits Early
- The Clippers were able to defeat the Lakers 114-101, but the main fantasy story from the game was the early departure of LeBron James due to a groin issue. The 37-year-old forward called the issue a "spasm" or "strain". James still ended the contest with 30 points (12-22 FG, 4-9 3Pt, 2-4 FT), eight rebounds, five assists and two steals over 32 minutes. The Lakers next take the floor Friday against the Kings.
- Anthony Davis was solid in the defeat, ending with 21 points (9-16 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 3-4 FT), nine rebounds, three assists and one block in 35 minutes. AD is averaging 23.0 points, 10.2 boards, 2.5 assists, 1.9 blocks and 1.4 steals over his first 10 appearances of the season.
- Paul George kept his strong play going during the Clippers' win, recording 29 points (10-17 FG, 2-7 3Pt, 7-9 FT), six rebounds, four assists, two blocks and one steal over 36 minutes. George has topped 26 points in each of his past five games while averaging 30.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.8 steals per game over that span.
- Norman Powell: 18 points (5-10 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 6-7 FT), one rebound, three assists and one steal across 24 minutes.
2-OT Madness in OKC
- The most thrilling game of the slate came between the Bucks and the Thunder in Oklahoma City. Milwaukee was without both Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) and Jrue Holiday (ankle) but was still able to eke out a 136-132 win in double overtime.
- Jevon Carter had a career outing with 36 points (15-27 FG, 5-10 3Pt, 1-2 FT), four rebounds, 12 assists and one steal in 45 minutes. While 30-point double-doubles will not be the norm for Carter, the West Virginia product seems to be a more-than-viable fantasy option whenever Holiday is out.
- Brook Lopez is making a pretty good case to be the most underrated player in the league. The veteran center ended with 24 points (11-23 FG, 1-6 3Pt, 1-2 FT), 13 rebounds, one assist, five blocks and one steal across 46 minutes while also sinking a free-throw to send the contest to its second overtime. Lopez ranks as the 18th overall nine-category fantasy option while averaging 15.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game to begin the year.
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander went off once again in the defeat, finishing with a season-best 39 points (13-25 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 11-13 FT), four rebounds, four assists and two blocks in 46 minutes. SGA has scored 30 or more points in five out of his last six showings while averaging 33.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.7 steals per game over that span. The 24-year-old is the second-best nine-category fantasy player thus far, ranking only behind Stephen Curry.
- Josh Giddey recorded his fourth double-double of the season with 18 points (9-19 FG, 0-4 3Pt, 0-2 FT), 15 rebounds and six assists across 44 minutes. The second-year pro is averaging 13.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game to start the season. However, Giddey's 50 percent clip from the free throw line and 28.6 percent clip from deep have him sitting as the 236th overall nine-category fantasy option thus far.
Durant Erupts Again
- All of a sudden things are starting to look a bit better for the Nets. In Jacque Vaughn's first game as Brooklyn's official head coach, the team cruised past the Knicks by a score of 112-85. Kevin Durant exploded for 29 points (10-19 FG, 1-5 3PT, 8-10 FT), 12 rebounds, 12 assists, one steal and two blocks in 35 minutes. Throughout the first four games of Kyrie Irving's suspension, Durant is averaging 28.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 1.8 steals across 36.8 minutes of action.
- Ben Simmons came off the bench once again as Brooklyn continues to get the forward back accumulated. The first-year-Net recorded six points (3-6 FG), nine rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block over 23 minutes of action.
- Seth Curry: 23 points (7-13 FG, 6-11 3PT, 3-3 FT) three rebounds, two assists and one steal in 23 minutes.
- This was not a pretty game for the Knicks, who now sit at 5-6 to start the season. Julius Randle continued his recent uptick in offensive production, ending with 24 points (7-15 FG, 4-8 3PT, 6-9 FT) and added 11 rebounds and three assists in 31 minutes. The 27-year-old forward is averaging 28.0 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists over his last three outings.
- RJ Barrett: 16 points (5-14 FG, 2-4 3PT, 4-8 FT), six rebounds, three assists and one steal in 30 minutes.
Utah Won't Slow Down
- The Utah Jazz continue to prove they are no joke after taking down the Hawks 125-119 in Atlanta. Lauri Markkanen dropped a new season-high 32 points (9-18 FG, 6-8 3Pt, 8-8 FT) to go with eight rebounds and one block over 31 minutes. The All-Star candidate is averaging 22.7 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists across his first 13 appearances this season.
- Jordan Clarkson ended with another strong showing, producing 23 points (7-18 FG, 2-7 3Pt, 7-7 FT), four rebounds and five assists over 34 minutes. This outing marked the veteran's fifth straight game with at least 20 points.
- Walker Kessler looked great in his limited run, totaling 12 points (6-6 FG, 0-1 FT), six rebounds, one assist and three blocks over 16 minutes.
- Trae Young made his return to the court after missing Atlanta's previous contest with a leg injury. The All-Star guard recorded 22 points (10-28 FG, 2-5 3Pt), four rebounds, nine assists and two steals over 35 minutes. Overall, it has been a strong season for Young, but the 24-year-old is currently shooting at a career-low 37.8 percent from the field. Young ranks as the 56th overall nine-category fantasy option to begin the season.
- Dejounte Murray kept his hot streak going, dropping 26 points (11-20 FG, 1-5 3Pt, 3-4 FT), six rebounds, five assists and one block over 37 minutes. Over his last seven showings, Murray is averaging 25.1 points, 8.0 assists and 5.9 rebounds per game.
- De'Andre Hunter: 22 points (9-15 FG, 1-6 3Pt, 3-3 FT), three rebounds and one steal over 32 minutes.
Morant and Bane lead Grizz in OT
- Ja Morant and Desmond Bane made Grizzlies history by being the first pair of teammates to both record at least 30 points, five rebounds and five assists in the same game. Even better, Memphis was able to defeat the Spurs 124-122 in overtime. Morant ended the game with 32 points (14-25 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 2-3 FT), five rebounds, five assists and one steal over 39 minutes. This marked Morant's second straight outing with at least 30 points.
- Bane matched Morant with 32 points (12-23 FG, 5-10 3Pt, 3-3 FT), six rebounds and six assists over 39 minutes. The third-year pro is breaking out this season, averaging 24.7 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game while ranking as the 23rd overall nine-category fantasy asset this season.
- The Spurs had a chance to walk away with a win but Devin Vassell's three-point attempt at the buzzer was just off. The Florida State product still ended with 22 points (9-21 FG, 4-10 3Pt), three rebounds, six assists and one block over 39 minutes. After scoring just 12.3 points per game last year, Vassell is averaging 20.0 points to go with 4.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.0 steals through his first eight appearances this season.
- Jakob Poeltl: 22 points (10-12 FG, 2-5 FT), nine rebounds, four assists and two steals over 36 minutes.
Kings Spoil Mitchell's Big Night
- After beginning the season 0-4, the Kings have now moved to 4-6 on the season after defeating the Cavaliers 127-120 in Sacramento. It was a pretty balanced team effort for the Kings with Domantas Sabonis leading the team in scoring. The All-Star big recorded 21 points (5-8 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 11-12 FT), five rebounds, six assists and three steals over 35 minutes. Sabonis is averaging 16.8 points, 10.4 boards, 6.1 dimes, 1.0 steals and 0.6 blocks through his first 10 appearances.
- Harrison Barnes reached the 20-point mark for just the second time this season, ending with 20 points (6-8 FG, 2-4 3Pt, 6-8 FT), nine rebounds, three assists and two steals across 35 minutes. It has been a bit of a down year for the veteran forward whose 10.9 points per game is nearly 6.0 whole points less than his last year's average of 16.4.
- Cleveland may have lost, but Donovan Mitchell provided yet another elite performance. Mitchell recorded 38 points (16-28 FG, 6-14 3Pt), five rebounds, four assists and one steal over 39 minutes. Mitchell has reached at least 30 points in eight out of his first 10 appearances with his new team and currently ranks as the No. 8 overall nine-category fantasy option this season.
- Caris LeVert did a little bit of everything in the loss, totaling 21 points (9-18 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 2-2 FT), 10 rebounds, six assists and two steals in 38 minutes. It is definitely encouraging to see the 28-year-old produce solid fantasy numbers even with Mitchell and Darius Garland back in the lineup. LeVert is averaging 14.1 points, 5.8 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game this season.
- Garland was held in check with just six points (1-9 FG, 1-4 3PT, 2-4 FT) and eight assists across 38 minutes of play.
- Damian Lillard carried the Trail Blazers to a 105-95 win over the Hornets, dropping 26 points (8-16 FG, 6-12 3Pt, 4-8 FT), six rebounds and seven assists across 36 minutes. In his first two games since returning from his calf injury, Lillard is averaging 22.5 points and 6.5 assists across 35.5 minutes of action.
- Drew Eubanks slid into Portland's starting center role due to Jusuf Nurkic being out with a thigh injury. The 25-year-old ended with a season-high 14 points (6-7 FG, 2-4 FT) to go with eight rebounds, two assists and three blocks over 22 minutes.
- Shaedon Sharpe also finished with a season-best 17 points (7-10 FG, 1-4 3Pt, 2-2 FT) while grabbing four rebounds over 28 minutes. It is encouraging to see the rookie produce numbers even with Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons back in the lineup.
- Jerami Grant was also held out of Wednesday night's game, which falls on the fist half of a back-to-back set. The Blazers plat New Orleans on Thursday night.
- The Hornets are missing LaMelo Ball (ankle) badly after dropping their sixth straight loss. Terry Rozier ended with a team-high 18 points (6-20 FG, 5-13 3Pt, 1-1 FT), five rebounds and five assists across 34 minutes. Rozier is averaging 20.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists across his first three contests since returning from an ankle injury.
- Mason Plumlee: 16 points (7-10 FG, 2-5 FT), 12 rebounds, four assists and one block over 32 minutes.
- Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown were both stellar in Boston's easy 128-112 win over Detroit. The Celtics now sit at 8-3 to begin the season.
- Jayson Tatum: 31 points (10-20 FG, 5-11 3PT, 6-7 FT), one rebound, five assists, one steal and one block in 32 minutes.
- Jaylen Brown: 30 points (11-19 FG, 2-6 3PT, 6-7 FT), seven rebounds, three assists and one steal in 30 minutes.
- It would be wrong not to mention Sam Hauser's strong outing in Boston's win. The sharpshooter ended with 24 points (9-15 FG, 6-12 3PT) and two rebounds in 32 minutes. Hauser is averaging 13.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.5 3PM across 20.5 minutes per game over his last four appearances.
- Jaden Ivey is starting to get in a good groove for Detroit, finishing with 19 points (6-12. FG, 2-5 3Pt, 5-7 FT), 10 rebounds, six assists and one steal over 31 minutes. Ivey has now dropped back-to-back double-doubles, averaging 17.0 points, 10.5 rebounds and 6.0 assists over that short span.
- Jalen Duren also had a strong game in the loss to Boston. The rookie big recorded 10 points (5-8 FG), 10 rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block in 30 minutes. This marked Duren's second career double-double.
- Nikola Jokic was hampered by foul trouble all night but was still able to help the Nuggets rally to a 122-119 win against the Pacers. The back-to-back MVP ended with 24 points (10-20 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 3-3 FT), four rebounds, six assists, two steals and a block in 21 minutes.
- Aaron Gordon: 18 points (5-8 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 7-9 FT), 16 rebounds, six assists, a steal and a block in 34 minutes.
- Bennedict Mathurin exploded off the bench once again, finishing with 30 points (10-17 FG, 6-9 3Pt, 4-6 FT), two rebounds and a steal in 25 minutes. The rookie forward is averaging 20.4 points per game through his first 11 career games.
- Tyrese Haliburton: 21 points (9-15 FG, 3-8 3Pt), a rebound, 11 assists and three steals in 33 minutes.
- Franz Wagner helped lead Orlando to a 94-87 win over the Mavericks behind 22 points (9-17 FG, 0-3 3Pt, 4-4 FT), three rebounds and six assists in 33 minutes. The second-year pro is averaging 23.0 points and 5.6 assists over his last five showings.
- Wendell Carter: 13 points (5-9 FG, 1-2 3Pt, 2-2 FT), 12 rebounds, three assists and a block in 34 minutes.
- Luka Doncic was finally held to under 30 points for the first time this season in Dallas' loss to Orlando, ending with 24 points (9-29 FG, 2-11 3Pt, 4-7 FT), six rebounds, six assists, three steals and two blocks in 35 minutes in the defeat.
- After scoring just two points in Dallas' last outing, Spencer Dinwiddie responded with a game-high 29 points (9-19 FG, 4-10 3Pt, 7-8 FT), four rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block in 38 minutes.
- Fred VanVleet carried the Raptors to a 116-109 win over the Rockets, dropping a season-high 32 points (12-26 FG, 7-16 3Pt, 1-1 FT), three rebounds, four assists, four steals and one block over 35 minutes. VanVleet is averaging 29.7 points and 6.3 assists per game over his last three outings.
- Here's a little fun fact, OG Anunoby has recorded at least three steals in six straight contests and seven out of his last eight appearances. The lockdown forward ended Wednesday's win with 27 points (10-20 FG, 4-9 3Pt, 3-4 FT), 10 rebounds, one assist, three steals and one block over 38 minutes.
- Jalen Green was decent in Houston's defeat, supplying 22 points (8-14 FG, 2-6 3Pt, 3-4 FT), six rebounds and six assists over 40 minutes. The second-year guard is averaging 24.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists over his last four outings.
- Tari Eason was everywhere for the Rockets, finishing with 14 points (5-15 FG, 0-2 3Pt, 4-5 FT), six rebounds, five assists and a game-high five steals across just 21 minutes. Eason ranks as the 124th overall nine-category fantasy option thus far.
- Devin Booker led the charge for Phoenix during the team's 129-117 win over Minnesota, totaling 32 points (12-23 FG, 5-7 3Pt, 3-3 FT), four rebounds, 10 assists and two steals over 38 minutes. This marked Booker's first 30-point outing in his last five appearances.
- Cameron Payne looked great while filling in for Chris Paul (heel). The 28-year-old guard ended with 23 points (8-17 FG, 4-9 3Pt, 3-3 FT), six rebounds, eight assists and one steal across 35 minutes. Payne is a great streamer whenever Paul is out of the Suns' lineup
- Mikal Bridges: 31 points (12-20 FG, 2-6 3Pt, 5-5 FT), nine rebounds, five assists, four steals and one block over 42 minutes.
- Rudy Gobert performed well in his first game back from a two-game absence in the league's Health and Safety Protocols. The center supplied a team-high 25 points (8-11 FG, 9-11 FT), 11 rebounds and three blocks over 29 minutes. This marked Gobert's fourth double-double in his first 10 games as a member of the Timberwolves.
- Jaden McDaniels: 24 points (10-14 FG, 2-4 3Pt, 2-3 FT), eight rebounds, three assists and one block over 38 minutes.
- Brandon Ingram's strong second half helped rally the Pelicans to a 115-111 win in Chicago. The 25-year-old recorded 22 points (8-14 FG, 1-2 3Pt, 5-6 FT), nine rebounds, three assists and a steal across 33 minutes. Ingram ranks as the 53rd overall nine-category fantasy option thus far.
- Zion Williamson: 19 points (6-11 FG, 7-8 FT), five rebounds and an assist across 31 minutes.
- DeMar DeRozan exploded for 33 points (14-26 FG, 0-2 3Pt, 5-6 FT), three rebounds, three assists, a steal and a block across 37 minutes. The veteran forward is averaging 24.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.2 assists over 34.4 minutes per game throughout his first 13 appearances this season.
- Zach LaVine: 23 points (9-22 FG, 3-12 3Pt, 2-2 FT), four rebounds, four assists and two steals across 36 minutes.
Best and Worst of the Night
- Best of the Night: Jevon Carter - 36 points (15-27 FG, 5-10 3Pt, 1-2 FT), four rebounds, 12 assists and one steal in 45 minutes.
- Worst of the Night: Darius Garland - 6 points (1-9 FG, 1-4 3PT, 2-4 FT) and eight assists across 38 minutes of play.
- Rookie of the Night: Bennedict Mathurin - 30 points (10-17 FG, 6-9 3Pt, 4-6 FT), two rebounds and a steal in 25 minutes.
A Look Ahead to Thursday Night
- Luka Doncic looks to bounce back when the Mavericks take on the Wizards in Washington.
- The 76ers and Hawks are primed for an exciting contest in Philadelphia.
- Lots of fun talent on the floor during the Trail Blazers and Pelicans contest in New Orleans.