Starting Five 1/28/20: No Harden, No Problem for Rockets

Rockets roll without All-Stars

The Houston Rockets looked like they would be huge underdogs against the no. 3 Utah Jazz last night without James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and Clint Capela. To make matters worse, the Jazz are considered one of the NBA’s best defensive teams. But apparently the Jazz must’ve forgotten about Eric Gordon. Gordon who is just a few games in from returning to Rockets lineup lit up the Jazz for 50 points and six rebounds in a 126-117 win last night.

Austin Rivers and Danuel House also stepped up to the tune of 21 points apiece. The loss for the Jazz pushed them down to fourth place in the West while the Rockets are now tied for fifth with the Dallas Mavericks. Aside from Gordon, here are some other big performances from Monday Night:

Top Performers

Buddy Hield, Sacramento Kings

For as much was being made about the Sacramento Kings opting to start Bogdan Bogdanovic and bringing Hield off the bench, Hield still played slightly more minutes, and who knows, the move could’ve been just what Hield needed. In a 133-129 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, Hield finished with 42 points and he knocked down nine three-pointers.

Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat

In Miami’s 113-92 win over the Orlando Magic, big man Bam Adebayo finished with a triple-double in a performance he dedicated to Kobe Bryant. Adebayo had 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. It was the third career triple-double for Adebayo. His two previous triple-doubles also came this season against the Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks.

Andrew Wiggins, Minnesota Timberwolves

In a losing effort against the Sacramento Kings last night, Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins notched a near triple-double with 36 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. Wiggins had it going from long range as well as he knocked down seven of 11 three-point attempts. The Timberwolves are in a slump and have lost their last 10 games, but Wiggins has been one of the few bright spots lately

DeMar DeRozan, San Antonio Spurs

In their second game of a back-to-back, the San Antonio Spurs struggled to close out a game late in the fourth quarter for the second consecutive game. Late game execution has been an issue, but DeRozan continues to play well. He finished with 36 points and 10 rebounds in the losing effort. Unfortunately for DeRozan, some missed free throws by him and teammate Jakob Poeltl, plagued the Spurs as the Bulls made a rally in the fourth.


Marquee Matchups

There are eight games on the schedule for tonight, but here are the ones you should keep your eye on.

Note: The Los Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clippers game that was scheduled for tonight on TNT has been postponed.

New Orleans Pelicans (18-29) at Cleveland Cavaliers (12-34)

  • This is the first game of this interconference matchup this season.
  • The Pelicans had their first win with Zion Williamson on Sunday. He had 21 points and 11 rebounds in limited minutes.
  • The Cavs are coming off a slump-busting win against the Detroit Pistons 115-100 last night, ending their seven-game losing streak..

Boston Celtics (21-26) at Miami Heat (31-14)

  • This will be the second game of this regular-season series between two of the top four teams in the Eastern Conference.
  • Jayson Tatum is listed as doubtful and Enes Kanter is out for Boston. Kendrick Nunn is day-to-day for the Heat.
  • For a more in-depth look at this game, read our matchup preview.

Phoenix Suns (19-27) at Dallas Mavericks (28-17)

  • The Mavericks are coming off a 107-97 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder last night. They were led by Luka Doncic’s 29 points.
  • The Mavs and Suns last played in late November with Dallas coming away with a narrow 120-113 win, with Doncic leading the way with 42 points and 11 assists.
  • Dallas traded a second-round pick to the Warriors last week for Willie Cauley-Stein, who could make his Mavs debut tonight.

Atlanta Hawks (12-35) at Toronto Raptors (32-14)

  • The Raptors have been climbing up the Eastern Conference standings. They’ll be going for their eighth straight win tonight at home.
  • Despite Trae Young’s 42 point, 15 assist effort, the Hawks came up empty in their last game against the Raptors, a 122-117 loss just over a week ago.
  • The Hawks are coming off a 152-133 win over the Washington Wizards. Young had 45 points and 14 assists.

Fantasy Focus

Any night Giannis Antetokounmpo is playing, he has to be considered a fantasy standout. Against Washington tonight, he’s projected to finish with 56.9 points. He has a FanDuel salary of $11.8k. Luke Doncic is also playing tonight and his $11k salary is expected to net fantasy owners 52 points.

If you’re looking for a value player for your lineup, Jaylen Brown somehow has a salary of just $6.2k and that’s expected to pay dividends with 34.7 fantasy points.

For more fantasy basketball information, view our NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Projections page.

Michael is Chief Editor at He has decades of combined experience in traditional print journalism and online media and is the publisher of the Project Spurs Network, which includes 13 team-specific sports media sites and the flagship He is also the creator of the first Spurs podcast and the longest-running sports podcast on the internet, the Spurscast, and was formerly the host of the News 4 San Antonio Sports Roundtable.

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