Three teams entered Thursday’s three-game slate boasting 3-2 first-round leads and all three favorites came out on top in the end. The Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, and Dallas Mavericks advanced to the second round with victories. Stars showed up in a big way for each team, and we’ll review the notable stat lines here before giving away a Fantasy tip for Friday’s lone matchup between the Memphis Grizzlies and Minnesota Timberwolves.
Embiid entered Thursday having attempted less than 10 free throws in three straight games for the first time since November. The 76ers star struggled in Games 4 and 5 after suffering a thumb injury but came through to prevent a Game 7. Embiid totaled 33 points, 10 rebounds, two steals and three blocks. He finished as the top scorer on the slate and has momentum on his side ahead of Philly’s second-round matchup with the feisty Miami Heat.
Doncic was cold from the field on Thursday with 24 points on 8-of-21 shooting, but came close to a triple-double in the Mavericks’ latest win. He grabbed nine boards and tallied eight dimes in his well-rounded showing. Only Embiid scored more Fantasy points than Doncic, who fell just short of recording a third consecutive playoff double-double.
Paul had the most efficient shooting night in NBA playoff history against his former team on Thursday. He was a perfect 14-for-14 from the field with 33 points, five rebounds, and eight assists. Paul sank his lone 3-point attempt and all four of his free throws in the contest while Devin Booker struggled in his first game back from a two-game layoff. Now the Suns will look to rest ahead of their second-round series against the Mavericks.
Who to play
Bane’s been on fire over the Grizzlies’ past three playoff games. The TCU product has led all players with 57 field goal attempts since Game 3 and has made them at nearly a 50 percent clip. While Ja Morant has been the best player in the series, the support he’s gotten from his backcourt partner shouldn’t be overlooked ahead of Friday’s game. He’s raised his regular-season scoring average by around five points this postseason and is a must-play in single-game DFS contests on Friday.
Still deciding who to lock in for your DFS roster? We’ve identified a player worth locking in and one to avoid ahead of tip-off below, but you can get my full selection of stud and value plays at each position by heading over to SportsLine.