By Johnny Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
DeMar DeRozan’s game-winning jumper earned the San Antonio Spurs the win, 119-117, over Texas rival, Dallas Mavericks on Sunday. Austrian Jakob Poeltl contributed 12 points, eight rebounds, four blocks, and a couple of assists. Three European starters for Dallas with Latvian Kristaps Porzingis jumping out posting a 31-point, 15-rebound double-double. Slovenian Luka Doncic finished with 29 points and seven assists. Italian Nicolo Melli went for six points with German Maxi Kleber sidelined due to right lower leg soreness.
Domantas Sabonis with 18 points, 15 rebounds, and nine assists fell just shy of a triple-double but helped the Indiana Pacers hold on for the 132-125 victory versus the Memphis Grizzlies. Fellow Lithuanian Jonas Valanciunas matched his NBA-best 34 points and season-high 22 rebounds but his monster double-double was not enough for the W. Georgian Goga Bitadze also took part in the action with seven points and six rebounds off the bench for the winning side.
Ricky Rubio dialed in five three-pointers for a total of 17 points, plus nine assists and four rebounds, as the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Chicago Bulls, 121-117. Fellow Spanish teammate, Juan Hernangomez was limited to one rebound and one assist. Plenty of Europeans on the losing end, Montenegrin Nikola Vucevic had 18 points, German Daniel Theis 13 points, Czech Tomas Satoransky ten points, and Finnish Lauri Markkanen eight points.
With Serge Ibaka still sidelined, Croatian Ivica Zubac delivered a 13-point, 10-rebound double-double to go along with seven assists as the streaking Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Detroit Pistons, 131-124. French teammate Nicolas Batum added 14 points, nine rebounds, three blocks, and three assists coming off the bench. Another France representative, Sekou Doumbouya did not score in 17 minutes for the guests.
Slovenian Goran Dragic had seven points for the Miami Heat in the away win, 107-98, against the Portland Trail Blazers. Bosnian Jusuf Nurkic returning to the starting lineup produced six points, nine rebounds, four assists, and three blocks for the hosts, while his reserve Enes Kanter ended up with ten points.
Giannis Antetokounmpo missed his fifth straight game with a sore left knee but the Milwaukee Bucks comfortably secured the 124-87 victory over the Orlando Magic. His brother, Thanasis Antetokounmpo, accounted for seven points, five rebounds, and two blocks, while Latvian Rodions Kurucs registered his first five points as a Buck.
Spanish Willy Hernangomez went for six points and seven rebounds helping the New Orleans Pelicans take down the undermanned Cleveland Cavaliers, 116-109. On the opposite end, Turkish reserve Cedi Osman finished with 15 points and German starter Isaiah Hartenstein got ten points.
The New York Knicks recovered after blowing an 18-point lead to prevail, 102-96, facing the Toronto Raptors at home. Young French guard Frank Ntilikina, in a rare but limited appearance, did not register a stat.
In matinee meetings, the Boston Celtics shut down the Denver Nuggets overcoming a triple-double by Nikola Jokic, and the Atlanta Hawks rallied past the Charlotte Hornets with fellow Serbian Bogdan Bogdanovic producing a scoring season-best.
Charlotte Hornets – Atlanta Hawks 101-105
Denver Nuggets – Boston Celtics 87-105
Cleveland Cavaliers – New Orleans Pelicans 109-116
Orlando Magic – Milwaukee Bucks 87-124
Dallas Mavericks – San Antonio Spurs 117-119
Memphis Grizzlies – Indiana Pacers 125-132
Minnesota Timberwolves – Chicago Bulls 121-117
New York Knicks – Toronto Raptors 102-96
Los Angeles Clippers – Detroit Pistons 131-124
Portland Trail Blazers – Miami Heat 98-107
1. Philadelphia 76ers 36-17
2. Brooklyn Nets 36-17
3. Milwaukee Bucks 33-20
4. Atlanta Hawks 29-25
5. Miami Heat 28-25
6. Charlotte Hornets 27-25
7. Boston Celtics 28-26
8. New York Knicks 27-27
9. Indiana Pacers 25-27
10. Chicago Bulls 22-30
11. Toronto Raptors 21-33
12. Washington Wizards 19-33
13. Cleveland Cavaliers 19-34
14. Orlando Magic 17-36
15. Detroit Pistons 16-38
1. Utah Jazz 40-13
2. Phoenix Suns 37-15
3. Los Angeles Clippers 37-18
4. Denver Nuggets 34-19
5. Los Angeles Lakers 33-20
6. Portland Trail Blazers 31-22
7. Dallas Mavericks 29-23
8. Memphis Grizzlies 26-25
9. San Antonio Spurs 25-26
10. Golden State Warriors 25-28
11. New Orleans Pelicans 24-29
12. Sacramento Kings 22-31
13. Oklahoma City Thunder 20-33
14. Houston Rockets 14-39
15. Minnesota Timberwolves 14-40
Photo Credit: Getty Images