Good reason for Anthony's rough night
After totaling 109 points in his previous three games, Carmelo Anthony was awful on Wednesday. It turns out there was a very good reason for this.
Early in the New York Knicks' loss to the Toronto Raptors, a DeMar DeRozan elbow hit a driving Anthony in the right arm. Melo reported playing with numbness throughout the night, during which he managed just 12 points while missing 19 of 24 shots.
The bicep injury is serious enough that Anthony is considering skipping the All-Star Game. Whether he'll miss any time for the Knicks post-break remains to be seen.
• James Harden (ankle) was expected to play on Wednesday, but after he experienced pain and soreness in warmups, the Houston Rockets held him out against the Los Angeles Clippers. Harden, too, is a question mark for All-Star weekend, but of course with the game in Houston, he has considerable incentive to play.
• Yeah, we're just getting started with the injury talk. Eric Gordon was a DNP after spraining his right hand in shootaround. Wesley Matthews didn't return after spraining his right ankle in the opening minutes of the Portland Trail Blazers' loss to the New Orleans Hornets, and David West (eye) was unavailable for the Indiana Pacers. Others who remained sidelined on Wednesday included Deron Williams (ankle), Larry Sanders (back), Danilo Gallinari (sinus infection), Andre Iguodala (neck) and Andrei Kirilenko (quad).
• The injury outlook did improve for the San Antonio Spurs, who actually had Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili on the court together for the first time since Jan. 13. Parker (24 points, 7 assists), was his usual stellar self, while Duncan (13 points and 5 blocks in 25 minutes) and, especially, Ginobili (just 9 minutes) were eased back in.
• After missing the previous game with a sore back, Chauncey Billups returned with a season-high 19 points against the Rockets on Wednesday. The Clippers face the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, and Billups is expected to suit up again. It would be the first time Billups has played on consecutive days this season (of course, it's only his seventh game overall in 2012-13), so he could be limited. Still, if you're in a daily lineup league and you have the roster space, Billups could get you a couple of treys.
• Antawn Jamison is another plug-in possibility for Thursday. While Earl Clark (foot) is expected to go for the Lakers, Jamison played down the stretch on Tuesday, finishing with 19 points and 10 boards in 33 minutes. The veteran is available in more than 90 percent of ESPN.com leagues.
• Gordon Hayward (shoulder) missed his 10th straight game on Wednesday, and a report that he experienced pain during Tuesday practice is concerning. However, a return immediately following the break or soon thereafter remains a distinct possibility. Hayward is approaching 50 percent availability in ESPN.com leagues, and I believe he's well worth stashing. At the very least, check for further updates during the next few days.