Jimmy Butler joins history, Donovan Mitchell returns to Utah and much more

The NBA beefed up its Tuesday night menu with an atypical seven-game slate. There were several stars in action too, and they didn’t disappoint. For starters, Jimmy Butler almost made history, Donovan Mitchell made his much-anticipated return to Utah to face his former team and the shorthanded Suns upset a Warriors team that’s 17-5 at home and got Steph Curry back in the lineup.

Oh yeah, go Joel Embiid and James Harden absolutely annihilated the Pistons.

In case you missed it, here’s a quick overview of all the notable fantasy performances from around the Association.

Jimmy Butler converted all 23 free-throw attempts (career-high) in a one-point win over the Thunder. The record for most consecutive free-throws in a game without a miss belongs to James Harden, who went 24-for-24 against the Spurs in 2019. Butler is now second on this list, tying Dominique Wilkinswho also went 23-of-23 against the Bulls in 1992.

Butler finished with 35 points (6-17 FG, 0-1 3PT, 23-23 FT) with seven rebounds, four assists, four steals, three blocks and two turnovers. He scored 68.4 fantasy points (FPTS), the third-highest mark on Tuesday. He converted a critical and-one in the game’s final moments to seal the W.

Victor Oladipo played one of his best games of the season, scoring 19 points (7-16 FG, 3-8 3PT, 2-2 FT) with four rebounds, four assists and two steals. He’s still available in 45% of Yahoo leagues, which means those in shallow leagues should pick him up, especially while Kyle Lowry (knee soreness) is out.

Josh Giddey posted his second triple-double of the season with 48 FPTS (18 points, a season-high 15 rebounds, 10 assists with a block and six turnovers).

Philly ran the Pistons out of the gym, and it was primarily James Harden and Joel Embiid’s doing. Harden almost had a triple-double at halftime (finished with 16 points, 12 rebounds and 15 assists, two steals and 55.9 FPTS) while Joel Embiid continued his torrid scoring pace, dropping 36 points with 11 rebounds, one assist, two blocks and 53.7 FPTS.

The Raptors flamed down on the Hornets from deep, knocking down 20 three-pointers, their highest of the season. Pascal Siakam finished with 28 points, eight rebounds and seven assists and Gary Trent Jr. continued his scoring surge with 24 points to help pace the Raptors.

However, I was more drawn to Terry Rozier. He barely missed going 14-19 from the field. He’s now put together a couple of good games in a row, ending up with 33 points, five rebounds, five assists, a steal and 48.5 FPTS. La Melo Ball also put up a significant double-double with 24 points, 14 assists, four rebounds and 47.8 FPTS.

Darius Garland chipped in 21 points, Evan Mobley swatted four shots (tying a season-high), but Donovan Mitchell was locked in once again. He went off for 70 fantasy points against his former team and was the top-scorer for Tuesday’s slate. He dropped 46 points (14-27 FG, 7=18 3PT, 11-11 FT) with five rebounds, six assists, three steals and zero turnovers.

Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Cleveland Cavaliers is a fantasy star

Donovan Mitchell delivered a phenomenal fantasy performance in his return to Utah. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

Despite his stellar performance, the Jazz have never backed down from a fight this year (or at least we know Jordan Clarkson hasn’t), and they rallied late to spoil Mitchell’s return to Salt Lake City. Clarkson scored nine straight points in crunchtime to eke out a two-point win over the Cavs. Clarkson finished with 41.2 FPTS, while soon-to-be All-Star Laurel Markkanen delivered his 15th double-double of the season and totaled 47.7 FPTS.

Golden State Warriors (113) at Phoenix Suns (125)

The Suns took a first-quarter lead and didn’t look back, defeating the Warriors on their home floor in a stunning victory. Mikal Bridges led the way for Phoenix with 26 points (10-18 FG, 1-3 3PT, 5-7 FT) with nine rebounds, five assists, one steal, three blocks and only one turnover. Bridges was the second-highest-scoring SF on Tuesday with 55.3 FPTS.

Duane Washington Jr. was a solid streamer in points and H2H leagues, scoring 21 points (6-17 FG. 4-4 FT) with five assists, five triples, one steal and four turnovers in 27 minutes of action. I’d stream Washington Jr. in H2H leagues, as he’s only 23% rostered.

The Suns have two games left in Week 13, and they’ll be without Chris Paul and Cameron Payne for the rest of the week. Damion Lee had 33.4 FPTS and was one of Yahoo’s best-value daily fantasy plays last night at only $10. Maybe we should’ve expected some added motivation after he received his 2022 NBA Championship ring before tip-off.

On the Warriors’ side, Steph Curry struggled from the field (8-22 FG), non-factor AndrĂ© Iguodala was coughed and Jordan Poole put up the most fantasy points for the Dubs, scoring 43 FPTS. The Warriors were out of sync for most of the night, and the Suns played above expectations. But that’s the randomness we love about the NBA!

In another upset, Franz Wagner scored 15 of his team-high 29 points in the fourth quarter to beat a Blazers team that’s now lost four straight and eight of their last 10 games. Though the Blazers lost, we can thank Damian Lillard for one of the plays of the night, serving up a facial on Jalen Suggs:

Lillard topped 30 points for the 11th time this season and totaled 42.3 FPTS to lead the Blazers, while Paolo Bancaro was the top fantasy scorer for the Magic, putting up his seventh double-double of the season and achieving 41 FPTS.

No Paul Georgeno problem. Kawhi Leonard put on a clinic, scoring a season-high 33 points (9-12 FG, 3-5 3PT, 12-12 FT) along with nine rebounds, four assists, four steals, one block and two turnovers across 36 minutes. It was a quintessential H2H stat line, as fantasy managers have been waiting for this version of Kawhi all season. He had 62.8 FPTS which was the fourth-highest on Tuesday. Norman Powell also provided 27 points to help the Clippers end their six-game losing streak. Powell is available in 56% of Yahoo leagues, so if he’s sitting on waivers in shallow leagues, now is a good time to pick him up.

Then there’s Luka Doncic, who continues to put up MVP-like numbers. He finished with 69.7 FPTS (43 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, three triples, two steals and three turnovers). He was the second-highest scorer on Tuesday and unsurprisingly carried the Mavericks, with Tim Hardaway Jr. being the only other player to score over 15 points in this matchup.

A great night of NBA basketball, and lucky for us, we get to run it back again on Wednesday!

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