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BBNBA: Malik Monk Spoils De’Aaron Fox’s Return

(NBAE | Getty Images)

(NBAE | Getty Images)

Good morning, folks. When one ‘Cat comes back from injury, two more get sidelined. Let’s talk NBA.

RECAP

Monk drops 23 as Fox returns from injury

Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox made his long-awaited return from an ankle injury that has shelved him since Nov. 8. The former Wildcat came off the bench against the Charlotte Hornets, posting 19 points, eight rebounds, and two steals in 29 minutes while shooting 6-13 from the field.

”It was nice to get De’Aaron Fox back out there,” Kings coach Luke Walton said, according to AP. ”I thought he looked good and was moving well, created some good looks and opportunities for us and we will continue to get better and learn from this game.”

Fox missed a total of 17 games for the Kings, who went 9-8 during that span.

Hornets’ guard Malik Monk popped off for 23 points on 9-12 shooting (2-4 from deep) to go along with a career-high 10 rebounds. It was his first career double-double and five of his boards came in the fourth quarter alone. It was one of those ultra encouraging games from the third-year pro, as his NBA journey has been a bumpy ride of constant ups and downs.

Before Monk recorded 23 points on Tuesday night and 14 points on Sunday night, he had gone nine straight games without posting double-digit scoring numbers. He averaged just 17.6 minutes over that stretch and looked more like a bench piece than a rebuild figure. He’s been reinvigorated the last two games, let’s hope he can keep it up.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist appeared in 14 minutes for Charlotte, adding seven points on 2-3 shooting. In off-the-court Hornets news, P.J. Washington Jr. underwent surgery to repair a fractured finger he recently suffered. His status will be updated when it becomes available.

The Hawks are so bad they made the Knicks think they’re good

Yes, that is a real quote from a real person on an NBA team that is currently 7-21 in the standings. The New York Knicks decimated the poor Atlanta Hawks, 143-120, thanks to 17 point performances from both Kevin Knox and Julius Randle.

Knox was 7-14 from the field and 3-9 from beyond the arc while Randle shot 7-15 from the field to go along with 11 rebounds for his 11th double-double of the season.

The Hawks are 6-22 and now losers of five straight games.

Davis and Booker watch from the pine

Both Anthony Davis (LAL) and Devin Booker (PHX) were dressed in street clothes during their team’s respective matchups on Tuesday night.

Davis sat out the Lakers 105-102 loss to the Indiana pacers with an ankle injury that he suffered in Los Angeles’ previous outing against the Hawks on Sunday. With the loss, the Lakers road-game winning streak has come to an end at 14 games. Rajon Rondo registered seven points, five rebounds, and seven assists for L.A.

For the Phoenix Suns, Booker sat out his third straight game due to a nagging forearm injury. The Suns fell to the other team in L.A., the Clippers, by a score of 120-99. Patrick Patterson dropped in two triples for the Clips in the win.

Neither Booker or Davis are expected to miss an extended period of time.

Other notes

Watch Keldon Johnson explode for 28 points in the G League. He’s been the leading scorer for the Austin Spurs this season.

With how bad the San Antonio Spurs have been recently, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Johnson earn some NBA minutes in the coming weeks.


Check out the full stat sheet below.

STATISTICS

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Malik Monk (CHA)110-102 W vs. SAC239-12 (2-4)104102+1126
De'Aaron Fox (SAC)102-110 L @ CHA196-13 (2-6)28203-329
Kevin Knox (NYK)143-120 W vs. ATL177-14 (3-9)22311-123
Julius Randle (NYK)143-120 W vs. ATL177-15 (0-1)112001+1622
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (CHA)110-102 W vs. SAC72-3 (1-1)00000+814
Rajon Rondo (LAL)102-105 L @ IND72-9 (1-4)57101-425
Patrick Patterson (LAC)120-99 W vs. PHX62-4 (2-4)40001+612
Wenyen Gabriel (SAC)102-110 L @ CHADNP-Inactive----------------
Devin Booker (PHX)99-120 L @ LACDNP-Forearm----------------
Anthony Davis (LAL)102-105 L @ INDDNP-Ankle----------------
P.J. Washington Jr. (CHA)110-102 W vs. SACDNP-Finger----------------
Darius Miller (NOP)101-108 (OT) L vs. BKNDNP-Achilles----------------

TONIGHT IN THE NBA

7:00: Hornets (Kidd-Gilchrist, Monk, Washington-out) @ Cavaliers (Knight)

7:00: Raptors @ Pistons

7:00: Bulls @ Wizards (Wall-out)

7:00 (ESPN): Heat (Adebayo, Herro) @ 76ers

8:00: Pelicans (Miller-out) @ Timberwolves (Towns)

8:00: Grizzlies @ Thunder (Diallo-out, Gilgeous-Alexander, Noel)

9:00: Magic @ Nuggets (Murray, Vanderbilt)

9:30 (ESPN): Celtics (Kanter) @ Mavericks

10:00: Warriors (Cauley-Stein) @ Trail Blazers (Labissiere)

Article written by Zack Geoghegan

Covering all things NBA. Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan