Kobe tribute

It was an emotional night in Los Angeles, as the Lakers returned to the court for the first time since the sudden death of franchise icon Kobe Bryant.
The team honored the fallen star by adding a memorial patch to their jerseys. Members of the visiting Trail Blazers were also thinking of Bryant and his family prior to the game.
And finally, LeBron James would deliver an emotional speech to close out the pre-game festivities.


NIGHTLY RECAP

The focus for fantasy owners on Friday was a seven-game NBA slate and seven-game NHL slate on DraftKingsHere’s how DK Live recapped some of Friday’s most noteworthy fantasy NBA and NHL performances:

Kyrie Irving explodes for 54 points in win vs. Bulls — Say what you will about Irving’s ($9,000; 71.25 DKFP) time so far with Brooklyn, but the highs have certainly been high. Take Friday’s performance in a 133-118 victory over Chicago. The former All-Star was nearly perfect all evening long, dropping an eye-popping 54 points on 19-for-23 shooting. That is simply insane. The hot shooting night was enough to give Irving his third game of over 45 points so far in 2019-20, making him the first player in Nets franchise history to accomplish the feat. The fact he’s done so in just 19 starts is equally crazy. Irving would add five rebounds and five assists to his final line to finish with 70-plus DKFP since he scorched Minnesota for 50 back in his Brooklyn debut. — Garion Thorne

James Harden breaks out of slump in win vs. Mavericks — It had been awhile since Harden (75.0 DKFP) had truly produced a solid DFS performance. In fact, you’d have to go all the way back to Jan. 14 to find his last game above 55.0 DKFP and to Jan. 8 to find his last game at 5x value. Well, he broke out of his winter slump in a big way on Friday. Houston took down a short-handed Dallas team by a score of 128-121, with Harden leading the charge. The All-Star collected 35 points, grabbed 16 rebounds and dished out six assists in the winning effort, while also coming up with four steals. Russell Westbrook ($10,500; 58.5 DKFP) chipped in with 32 points of his own, but this was definitely Harden’s time to shine. — Garion Thorne

Giannis Antetokounmpo barely misses a triple-double in loss vs. Nuggets — It’s strange how Antetokounmpo’s (71.25 DKFP) DFS value works. Due to the fact that Milwaukee tends to blow out its opponents, the Greek Freak is sometimes in a better spot when the Bucks are actually losing. Case and point, Friday’s 127-115 defeat at the hands of Denver. Antetokounmpo was forced to play 32 minutes due to the script, mustering 31 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists. It’s the first time he’s exceeded 70.0 DKFP since Dec. 16 – another loss, that one vs. Dallas. For the Nuggets, Michael Porter Jr. (37.75 DKFP) was incredible, finishing with a double-double of 15 points and 11 boards. However, Porter did leave the game in the fourth quarter with an ankle issue. — Garion Thorne

Kristaps Porzingis steps out with Luka Doncic (ankle) out — Due to a monster game from James Harden (75 DKFP), Porzingis’ 56 DKFP were for naught, but it was encouraging to see the Mavs’ star put up a big stat line. Doncic has been ruled out for at least the next six games and could be out until after the All-Star break, so we can expect more big games from Porzingis going forward. He scored 35 points to go along with 12 rebounds and is now averaging over 50 DKFP in game without Luka. J.J. Barea ($3,600) started in place of Doncic and was a great value play. He put up 29.75 DKFP and came an assist shy of a double-double. — Greg Ehrenberg

Kris Dunn (knee) exits early vs. Nets — After suffering a right knee injury less than 15 seconds into Friday’s contest against Brooklyn, Dunn was ruled out for the remainder of the night. It’s another tough break for a Chicago team that has been ravaged by ailments as of late, including prolonged absences from Wendell Carter Jr. (ankle) and Lauri Markkanen (pelvis). Dunn had been stepping into the void, too. The former lottery pick had been averaging 28.2 DKFP in his past six starts, really leaning on his defensive abilities. In fact, Dunn came into Friday with the NBA’s highest steal rate (3.8%). Look for Denzel Valentine ($3,300) to pick up a few minutes going forward. — Garion Thorne

Dario Saric (ankle) exits early Friday vs. Thunder — The Suns quickly ruled Saric ($3,900) out for the rest of the game after he was diagnosed with an ankle sprain. He got hurt four minutes into the game and didn’t score a bucket, so he finishes with just two rebounds and 2.5 DKFP. If Saric is forced to miss time, the Suns are going to be incredibly thin in the frontcourt. Aron Baynes, Frank Kaminsky and Cam Johnson have all been out with injuries. — Greg Ehrenberg

For a full leaderboard of Friday’s fantasy NBA scoring, download the DK Live app or head over to live.draftkings.com.

And here’s how DK Live recapped some of Friday’s most noteworthy fantasy NHL performances and news:

Mika Zibanejad notches three points in win vs. Red Wings — Detroit is essentially a cheat code for DFS at this juncture of the season, but all the points count the same at the end of the night. On Friday, it was New York’s turn to get a kick at the can, as the Rangers took down the Red Wings by a score of 4-2. Zibanejad (27.3 DKFP) probably wasn’t complaining about the opportunity, though. The 26-year-old had been a little quiet in January after a 10-goal month of December, having found the back of the net just twice in his nine games. Zibanejad would flip the script this evening, finishing the tilt with a goal and two assists – his fourth performance with at least three points in 2019-20. Artemi Panarin (27.0 DKFP) chipped in with a goal on seven shots. — Garion Thorne

Penguins win in overtime after blowing lead — It seemed like the Penguins were cruising to a win over the Flyers when they scored three goals in the second period. Instead, Philly clawed back and tied the game in the third period. Pittsburgh bounced back in overtime and Sidney Crosby (20 DKFP) scored an unassisted game-winning goal. It was his only goal of the game, but he also added a pair of assists for a nice stat line. Evgeni Malkin was also a solid contributor, racking up a goal, two assists and 21.5 DKFP. — Greg Ehrenberg

Alex Ovechkin makes history in win vs. Senators — When you’ve led the NHL in goals in eight separate seasons, the total starts to get into historic territory. On Friday, Ovechkin (36.5 DKFP) found himself in some pretty amazing company. With the 695th goal of his professional career, the 34-year-old moved past Mark Messier into eighth place in the league’s all-time record books. That marker was also Ovechkin’s 37th of 2019-20, his third goal of tonight’s game and the icing on the cake in a 5-3 Washington victory over Ottawa. Somehow, Ovechkin now has managed three hat tricks in his past four contests and 12 goals in his past five games overall. He’s in the zone. — Garion Thorne

Tuukka Rask saves 37 shots in win over Jets — Rask starting has meant good things for the Bruins in recent games. After today’s win, Boston has won five of the past six games that he’s started. Rask also has at least 33 saves in all of his January starts. He finished with 29.1 DKFP today, making him the highest scoring goalie of the slate. He’s somebody to roster whenever starting for the Bruins. — Greg Ehrenberg


A LOOK AHEAD

Saturday has a nine-game NBA main slate on DraftKings. Set your lineups here: NBA $35K Mid Range Jumper [Single Entry].

Here’s an early look from DK Live at some notable NBA injuries.

Kawhi Leonard (back) questionable to play Saturday vs. Timberwolves — After Kawhi was an extremely late scratch in the Clippers’ loss to the Kings on Thursday, he’s questionable to play against Minnesota. Paul George came back from a nine-game absence, but was on a restriction and only played 19 minutes. Los Angeles can never seem to get healthy and the return of one player seems to mean another guy has to get hurt. The Clippers have only played one game all season with the entire roster healthy. PG would be in line for extra usage if Leonard is out again, but he’s tough to trust as a fantasy option until we know he’s going to play his normal minutes. — Greg Ehrenberg

Kemba Walker (knee) and Enes Kanter (hip) are questionable Saturday vs. 76ers — Kanter suffered the hip injury last week against Memphis, and his missed the last four games for Boston. Kanter was playing some of his best games of the season prior to the injury, specifically helping the C’s on the glass. A key piece of why the Celtics are 0-3 against Philly this season is the size differential, so getting Kanter back would be a crucial piece to this game. Walker’s missed some occasional time this season with knee soreness, and although he’s playing well lately, he’s another crucial question mark for Saturday’s Atlantic Division showdown in Boston. Check back on Saturday for updates, as rostering players in this game will hinge upon Kemba and Kanter’s status’. — Julian Edlow

Al Horford (knee) probable to play Saturday vs. Celtics — After missing Thursday’s loss against Atlanta due to left knee soreness, Horford ($6,500) has been listed as probable to play Saturday versus Boston. The veteran is in the midst of one of his better stretches of play in 2019-20, having exceeded 33.0 DKFP in eight of his past 10 starts. However, much of that success did align with Joel Embiid ($9,600) being sidelined. In fact, Horford possesses a lowly 10.4% usage rate when sharing the court with the All-Star so far this season, a figure which has translated into just 0.65 DKFP per minute of action. He’s an underwhelming DFS asset in a nine-game slate. — Garion Thorne

De’Andre Hunter (ankle) questionable to play Saturday vs. Mavericks — After logging 36 minutes in Atlanta’s victory over Philadelphia on Thursday, Hunter ($4,600) has been listed as questionable to play Saturday against Dallas with a left ankle sprain. It would be unfortunate if the rookie is eventually unable to suit up, as the Mavericks have surrendered the most DKFP per game to opposing small forwards so far this season. Hunter’s also enjoyed a prolonged stretch of stable production as of late, averaging 15.0 points across his past seven starts. With DeAndre’ Bembry (hand) having already been ruled out, Hunter’s possible absence could open up a lot of extra minutes for Cam Reddish ($4,200). — Garion Thorne

Evan Fournier (back) questionable Saturday vs. Heat — Fournier played the road half of this home and home, but is questionable for Saturday against Miami due to a back issue. He has missed only one game so far this season, and in that contest, Markelle Fultz went nuclear, scoring 48.75 DKFP. This season with Fournier off the floor, Fultz sees a 4.6% increase in usage. Terrence Ross would get the start at the two should Fournier miss, and sees a 3.5% increase in usage when the French-man is not on the floor with him. — Anthony Amico

Kendrick Nunn (Achilles) is probable Saturday vs. the Magic — Nunn has missed the past three games for the Heat due to a sore left Achilles but said the soreness is feeling much better. He is optimistic that he’ll return Saturday in a good matchup against Orlando. When he faced them earlier this season, he played just 23 minutes in a blowout and had 13.75 DKFP. If he is able to return, Duncan Robinson or Tyler Herro will likely head to the bench while Goran Dragic and Dion Waiters will play reduced roles off the bench. — Zach Thompson

PJ Washington (ankle) is questionable Saturday at Spurs — Washington suffered the injury during Thursday’s loss to the Wizards, leaving his status up in the air for Saturday’s game in San Antonio. If the rookie’s unable to go, it’ll likely open up some extra minutes and usage across Charlotte’s frontcourt, leaving Miles Bridges likely as the biggest beneficiary. The Spurs have been soft defensively up front this season, so Washington’s potential absence could leave some value worth capitalizing on. Check back on Saturday for updates on Washington’s status. — Julian Edlow


For up-to-the-minute news, analysis and lineups, download the DK Live app and follow DK Live on Twitter @dklive.


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