By John Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Missed previous seven games, but Luka Doncic got right back on track with 33 points, 12 boards and eight assists in Thursday’s 130-111 victory for the Dallas Mavericks opposite to the Sacramento Kings at the American Airlines Center. Double-double by Kristaps Porzingis as well with 27 points and 13 rebounds alongside five dimes and three rejections. Maxi Kleber added six points, a pair of blocks and one board, and Boban Marjanovic three points, one rebound and one assist. The visitors had starters Nemanja Bjelica at ten points and seven boards, and Bogdan Bogdanovic at six points, four rebounds and two dimes, but Alex Len (right hip) remained sidelined.
Serge Ibaka returned after a one-game absence with a game-high 28 points, nine rebounds, a couple of rejections and one steal, but the Toronto Raptors dropped their winning streak with the 101-91 loss to the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center. Back in after one game started instead of Marc Gasol (left hamstring), while fellow starter OG Anunoby finished with four points, three boards, one interception and one block. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot notched two points, one rebound and one rejection for the winning side, but Rodions Kurucs did not play and Dzanan Musa was assigned to the Long Island Nets.
Nikola Vucevic posted a 19-point, 10-rebound double-double, also tallied seven dimes, three steals and one rejection for the Orlando Magic in the 116-112 overtime win over the Detroit Pistons at the Amway Center. Evan Fournier scored 19 points as well, also put in three assists, a pair of boards and a couple of interceptions. Off the bench, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk made eight points, three rebounds and one steal in losing effort, and Sekou Doumbouya three points, three boards and a couple of interceptions.
Lakers prevail at Denver
Nikola Jokic sported a 22-point, 11-rebound double-double, but was not enough for the Denver Nuggets that suffered a 120-116 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Lakers at the Pepsi Center. He tallied six dimes, three steals and one block as well, but turned the ball over in a key offensive play of the extra period. Fellow European Vlatko Cancar did not leave the bench. Kostas Antetokounmpo of the winning side was inactive.
Bojan Bogdanovic went for 22 points, seven rebounds and four dimes helping the Utah Jazz to the 116-101 victory against the Miami Heat at the Vivint Smart Home Arena. Fellow starter, Rudy Gobert drew up a 16-point, 20-rebound double-double, also blocked a couple of shots and dished one assist. Goran Dragic came off the bench for the visitors, posted 13 points, five assists and three boards in losing effort.
Domantas Sabonis racked up 15 points, eight boards and four assists for the Indiana Pacers in the 118-111 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse. However, Goga Bitadze did not earn playing time and assigned Naz Mitrou-Long was inactive. Ersan Ilyasova ended up with 12 points, three rebounds and one dime, but Thanasis Antetokounmpo did not get on the court and Giannis Antetokounmpo (personal) sat out.
Brother vs. Brother
Hernangomez matchup at the Target Center with Willy aiding his Charlotte Hornets to the 115-108 road victory versus the Minnesota Timberwolves with eight points, seven boards, one assist and one interception coming off the bench. Fellow European Nicolas Batum did not play. As for Juan Hernangomez, posted a 16-point, 12-rebound double-double as a member of the starting unit, tallied one steal and one rejection as well.
Dario Saric (left ankle) was out, but the Phoenix Suns moved by the Golden State Warriors, 112-106, at the Talking Stick Resort Arena. Elie Okobo chipped in with 12 points, three assists and a pair of boards off the bench. Starter Ricky Rubio threw in nine points, nine dimes, five rebounds and a couple of interceptions. For the losing side, Alen Smailagic sank two points.
Damian Lillard’s early exit helped the Memphis Grizzlies claim the 111-104 win over the Portland Trail Blazers at the FedExForum. Jonas Valanciunas proved helpful as well via his 12-point, 18-rebound double-double supplemented by three rejections and a pair of assists. Marko Guduric did not leave the bench though. Jaylen Hoard did not play either with Mario Hezonja (left ankle) and Jusuf Nurkic (left leg) sidelined.
Road win for Wizards
Coming off the bench, Davis Bertans scored 16 points to go along with his two rebounds, a pair of assists, a couple of steals and one block for the Washington Wizards in the 114-96 victory against the New York Knicks at the Madison Square Garden. Starter Isaac Bonga added 13 points, five boards, three dimes, a couple of interceptions and a pair of rejections.
Ian Mahinmi finished with nine points, ten rebounds, one dime, one steal and one block. Reserve Moritz Wagner had six points, four boards, one interception and one block, but fellow European Anzejs Pasecniks stayed out of the rotation. For the hosts, Frank Ntilikina punched in three dimes, one rebound and one interception in 11 minutes and Ignas Brazdeikis was assigned to the Westchester Knicks.
Cedi Osman was held to three points, six boards, a couple of assists and one rejection, but the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Atlanta Hawks, 127-105, at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. Teammate Ante Zizic (illness) remained out. The same for Clint Capela (right foot) of the losing side.
1. Milwaukee Bucks 46-8
2. Toronto Raptors 40-15
3. Boston Celtics 37-16
4. Miami Heat 35-19
5. Philadelphia 76ers 34-21
6. Indiana Pacers 32-23
7. Brooklyn Nets 25-28
8. Orlando Magic 24-31
9. Washington Wizards 20-33
10. Chicago Bulls 19-36
11. Detroit Pistons 19-38
12. Charlotte Hornets 18-36
13. New York Knicks 17-38
14. Atlanta Hawks 15-41
15. Cleveland Cavaliers 14-40
1. Los Angeles Lakers 41-12
2. Denver Nuggets 38-17
3. Los Angeles Clippers 37-17
4. Utah Jazz 36-18
5. Houston Rockets 34-20
6. Dallas Mavericks 33-22
7. Oklahoma City Thunder 32-22
8. Memphis Grizzlies 28-26
9. Portland Trail Blazers 25-31
10. San Antonio Spurs 23-31
11. New Orleans Pelicans 23-31
12. Phoenix Suns 22-33
13. Sacramento Kings 21-33
14. Minnesota Timberwolves 16-37
15. Golden State Warriors 12-43
Photo Credit: Getty Images