Kyle Lowry reveling in full-time role

March, 9, 2011
03/09/11
10:06
AM ET

I was happy to see Aaron Brooks shipped off to the Phoenix Suns before the trade deadline, because for whatever reason, I always confused Aaron Brooks and Kyle Lowry when they both played for the Houston Rockets. They are both small point guards who put up similar stat lines, but there was no confusing them Tuesday night when Brooks faced his old mates for the first time as a Sun.

Brooks came off the pine for the Suns, played just 12 minutes, went 0-for-6 from the field and failed to score a point. Meanwhile, Lowry started for the Rockets, popped off a career-best seven 3s, hit 11 of 18 shots from the field and finished with 32 points and 4 dimes. Lowry is playing great with Brooks out of the picture. In the past five games, he's averaging 22.8 points, 8.0 assists, 4.2 rebounds, 4.0 3s and 1.4 steals per game. He's also shooting 54.7 percent from the floor during that stretch. He's shot only 42.4 percent for his career, so you can expect his shooting to come back down to Earth, but you might as well ride him while he's hot.

Looking back

Andray Blatche played just three minutes Tuesday before injuring his shoulder after being sandwiched by a Brandon Jennings-Luc Richard Mbah a Moute double-team. It didn't look pretty at the time, and he did not return to the court. Blatche will have an MRI taken Wednesday morning, so we should know more about the condition of the joint later Wednesday. The Washington Wizards don't suit up again until Saturday, but because they have nothing to play for, they'll have no reason to push Blatche to play even if the MRI comes back clean.

• On Monday, Kevin Love passed Moses Malone for the longest single-season double-double streak since the ABA-NBA merger, but he also complained of swelling in his left knee Tuesday morning. Apparently, he took a spill during the contest and banged the joint in the process. He skipped practice and on Tuesday underwent a precautionary MRI, which came back negative. Although there wasn't a formal diagnosis, it appears he has nothing more than a contusion. The Minnesota Timberwolves are listing him as day-to-day and a game-time call for their run with the Indiana Pacers at home this evening. It's hard to imagine Love not lacing up his kicks and hitting the glass like his usual beastlike self, though. Keep him in your lineup and look for his 52nd straight double-dip. Love busted up the Pacers' frontcourt for 22 points and 15 bounds when they last met on Feb. 11.

• For the first time in his four-season career, Luis Scola was unable to suit up and play Tuesday night because of a sore left knee. If it was sore enough to keep him from his 312th straight run, it must be in pretty bad shape. The good news is that the Rockets won't play again until Saturday, so he can get some extra rest in. The bad news is the Rockets have a rough matchup with the San Antonio Spurs, which would be a tough test even on two good knees. On Tuesday, Jordan Hill got the start, but Patrick Patterson played more minutes and finished with 18 points and five boards. Neither should make much noise unless this turns out to be a long-term malady for Scola.

Andrew Bogut returned from a three-game absence Tuesday and had a solid game: 14 points (7-of-13 FG), 9 boards and 7 dimes. Bogut appeared to be over his rib injury, but considering his never-ending battle with his body, he's as likely as anyone to miss more games at any given moment.

• The Portland Trail Blazers were expected to keep Brandon Roy from taking part in both games of back-to-back sets, but Roy was on the court for 23 minutes Tuesday after putting in 24 minutes Monday. It's a moot point right now, because he isn't doing much of anything statistically (14 points, 3 3s, no rebounds and one dime last night). Still, he's worth keeping an eye on for the final couple of weeks in deep leagues just in case he feels well enough to do something relevant.

Looking ahead

Chris Paul is slated to undergo more tests regarding his concussion Wednesday before a timetable for his return will be set. Regardless of the testing, CP3 is expected to skip Wednesday night's tilt with the Dallas Mavericks. Jarrett Jack will get the starting nod again after popping off 23 points and three assists Monday against the Chicago Bulls.

• The New York Knicks list Chauncey Billups as questionable for their matchup with the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night. A deeply bruised thigh has sidelined Billups for four games already. After Wednesday night's contest, the Knicks play the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night, then rest until playing the Indiana Pacers on Sunday. With the Knicks thinking long-term for the playoffs, there's a good chance they'll just rest Billups until Sunday, unless he feels significantly better Wednesday and/or Thursday.

Tom Carpenter is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.

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