By Johnny Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
The Los Angeles Lakers enjoying LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and German Dennis Schroder back in action, defeated the Indiana Pacers, 122-115, to stay in the race for 6th in the Western Conference and a direct playoff berth. Davis and James combined for 52 points, and Schroder went for 14 points after being sidelined the past two weeks. Georgian Goga Bitadze registered ten points, seven rebounds, and four blocks in a rare start with Lithuanian Domantas Sabonis among the multiple Pacers out.
The Bucks beat the Heat 122-108 with Jimmy Butler missing the game due to back pains. Giannis Antetokounmpo finished the night with 15 points, nine rebounds, and four assists, while Slovenian Goran Dragic scored 17 points off the bench for the losing side and Serb Nemanja Bjelica was a starter for Miami and had 11 points.
Croatian Dario Saric, starting for only the third time in the 2020-21 Regular Season, logged 13 points, six rebounds, and two steals as the Phoenix Suns blew out the San Antonio Spurs, 140-103, to retain hope for the top-seed of the Western Conference in the 2021 Playoffs. The hosts missed head coach Gregg Popovich and several key players, including Austrian Jakob Poeltl.
The Brooklyn Nets overcame a sluggish start to defeat the Chicago Bulls, 105-91. French Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot entered for the last minute but stayed off the board. Finnish Lauri Markkanen finished with 14 points and Montenegrin Nikola Vucevic posted a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double for the losing side with fellow Europeans, Daniel Theis and Tomas Satoransky, sidelined.
French Evan Fournier had 18 points and six assists for the Boston Celtics in the 123-108 victory versus the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Spanish connection of the losing side, Ricky Rubio and Juan Hernangomez posted four and three points, respectively.
The New York Knicks dropped an 18-point lead but managed to take down the Charlotte Hornets, 118-109. in overtime. Frank Ntilikina’s participation was limited but the French guard contributed defensively in the last play of regulation.
Brooklyn Nets – Chicago Bulls 105-91
New York Knicks – Charlotte Hornets 118-109 OT (104-104)
Indiana Pacers – Los Angeles Lakers 115-122
San Antonio Spurs – Phoenix Suns 103-140
Minnesota Timberwolves – Boston Celtics 108-123
Milwaukee Bucks – Miami Heat 122-108
1. Y-Philadelphia 76ers 48-23
2. Y-Brooklyn Nets 47-24
3. Y-Milwaukee Bucks 46-25
4. Y-New York Knicks 40-31
5. Y-Atlanta Hawks 40-31
6. Y-Miami Heat 39-32
7. y-Boston Celtics 36-35
8. y-Charlotte Hornets 33-38
9. y-Washington Wizards 33-38
10. y-Indiana Pacers 33-38
11. x-Chicago Bulls 30-41
12. x-Toronto Raptors 27-44
13. x-Cleveland Cavaliers 22-49
14. x-Orlando Magic 21-50
15. x-Detroit Pistons 20-51
1. Y-Utah Jazz 51-20
2. Y-Phoenix Suns 50-21
3. Y-Denver Nuggets 47-24
4. Y-Los Angeles Clippers 47-24
5. Y-Dallas Mavericks 42-29
6. Portland Trail Blazers 41-30
7. Los Angeles Lakers 41-30
8. y-Golden State Warriors 38-33
9. y-Memphis Grizzlies 38-33
10. y-San Antonio Spurs 33-38
11. x-New Orleans Pelicans 31-40
12. x-Sacramento Kings 31-40
13. x-Minnesota Timberwolves 22-49
14. x-Oklahoma City Thunder 21-50
15. x-Houston Rockets 17-54
Y-clinched playoff berth
Photo Credit: Getty Images