Monday NBA Late Games Preview
Here is an NBA rundown of Monday’s Late Night Fantasy Basketball matchups to get you ready for your cash drafts. Play at FanPicks now!
Denver Nuggets (33-36) vs Houston Rockets (48-22)
The Denver Nuggets could not figure out a way to slow James Harden on Saturday and ended up with a 109-105 home loss. The Nuggets will get another chance against Harden and the Houston Rockets for the back end of a home-and-home set.
Harden recorded his 19th triple-double of the season and NBA-record seventh with at least 40 points when he went for 40 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists at Denver on Saturday. The triple-double was the fourth straight and second in a row with at least 40 points for the MVP candidate, who has his team comfortably in the No. 3 spot in the Western Conference. The Nuggets are less secure in their standing and occupy the No. 8 spot with the Portland Trail Blazers just 1 1/2 games back – one in the loss column – entering play on Sunday. Saturday’s setback snapped a four-game winning streak for Denver, which plays nine of its final 13 games on the road beginning with Monday’s tilt.
Golden State Warriors (55-14) vs Oklahoma City Thunder (40-29)
The atmosphere won’t be nearly as hostile with Kevin Durant sidelined by a knee injury. The NBA-best Warriors only recently look like they’ve figured out how to win without Durant and will try to find a way to stop Thunder star Russell Westbrook. Durant tilted the balance of power in the NBA when he decided to leave Oklahoma City and head to Golden State last summer, and the Thunder fans expressed their displeasure when the Warriors visited the first time on February 11. Golden State breezed to a 130-114 win in that game and took each of the first three meetings this season by double digits, with Durant averaging 37.7 points.
The Warriors are a different team without Durant in the lineup, however, and Oklahoma City enters the Monday meeting playing some of its best basketball of the season with five straight wins sparked by averages of 26.6 points, 14.4 assists and 10.8 rebounds from Westbrook in that span. Golden State dropped five of seven games after Durant went down but has since won three in a row while Stephen Curry slowly regained his MVP form.
New York Knicks (27-42) vs Los Angeles Clippers (41-29)
The Los Angeles Clippers are trying to fight off the Oklahoma City Thunder in the battle for the No. 5 spot in the Western Conference and got some outside assistance in that quest when the Cleveland Cavaliers decided to take it easy on Saturday. The Clippers will try to turn that momentum into back-to-back wins when versus the New York Knicks. Los Angeles dropped three in a row before the Cavaliers came to town and decided to leave LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love on the bench, leading to an easy 108-78 win for the Clippers.
The Clippers could be in for another easy one against the Knicks, who dropped four of their last five games and count star forward Kristaps Porzingis as day-to-day due to a thigh contusion. New York has been off since suffering a 121-110 home loss to the NBA-worst Brooklyn Nets on Thursday which clinched the franchise’s fourth straight losing season.