Jokic, Fournier among big-time Euro-showings in openers

2021-10-21T09:27:15+00:00 2021-10-21T09:31:40+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

21/Oct/21 09:27

European superstars, including reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic, did not waste time to make some noise

By Johnny Askounis/

The Denver Nuggets tipped of the 2021-22 NBA Regular Season with a convincing win, 110-98, against the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday. They fell into a 16-point hole in the first half but dominated after the break holding the hosts to 40 points. Serbian superstar Nikola Jokic was instrumental in the comeback enjoying a solid showing to start his defense of the 2020-21 NBA MVP award with a game-high 27 points paired with 13 rebounds.

Evan Fournier was 6/13 from long-range in the season-opener, including the go-ahead triple in the second overtime. The French swingman poured 32 points overall for the New York Knicks in the win, 138-134, against his former team, Boston Celtics. German Dennis Schroder paired 12 points with eight assists coming off the bench for Boston, while teammate Jaylen Brown posted a career-high 46 points after spending most of the recent days in quarantine due to COVID-19.

Furkan Korkmaz exploding with four three-pointers in the fourth quarter distanced the Philadelphia 76ers for the 117-97 victory versus the New Orleans Pelicans on the road. The Turkish swingman also dished out five assists lasting 20 minutes coming off the bench. The visitors overcame the challenges of Lithuanian starter Jonas Valanciunas at nine points and 12 rebounds, and Czech Tomas Satoransky going scoreless in nine minutes.

Croatian Bojan Bogdanovic scored a game-high 22 points, and French Rudy Gobert posted a 16-point, 21-rebound double-double as the Utah Jazz strolled past the Oklahoma City Thunder, 107-86. For the losing side, French Theo Maledon had four points, three assists, and two rebounds, while Serbian Aleksej Pokusevski and Czech Vit Krejci were both held to zero points through 15 and three minutes, respectively.

Israeli Deni Avdija logged eight points and seven rebounds, while European teammate Davis Bertans was limited to two assists without one single point for the Washington Wizards in the win, 98-83, against the Toronto Raptors. British OG Anunoby posted an 11-point, 10-rebound double-double, fellow starter Slovenian Goran Dragic had six points and Ukrainian Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk added four points for the hosts.

Montenegrin Nikola Vucevic banked in a 15-point, 15-rebound double-double helping the Chicago Bulls in the away win, 94-88, opposite the Detroit Pistons. On the losing end, French Killian Hayes started but did not score on 0/6 field goals, still recorded five rebounds and a couple of assists in 20 minutes.

Domantas Sabonis missing his shot in the dying seconds of the exciting opener for both sides sealed the win, 123-122, for the Charlotte Hornets over the Indiana Pacers. The Lithuanian big settled with a game-high 33 points to go along with 15 rebounds and two assists in the losing effort.

Austrian Jakob Poeltl registered 12 points, 13 rebounds, and seven assists for the San Antonio Spurs in the comfortable win, 123-97, over the Orlando Magic. Euros on the losing side, Franz Wagner with 12 points, Moritz Wagner with seven points, and Ignas Brazdeikis with two points.

Turkish Cedi Osman with 15 points, Spanish Ricky Rubio with 12 points, and Finnish Lauri Markkanen with ten points were not enough for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the loss, 132-121, to the Memphis Grizzlies.

Bosnian Beast Jusuf Nurkic took off with a 20-point, 14-rebound double-double but the Portland Trail Blazers comeback fell short as the Sacramento Kings held on for the 124-121 victory on the road.

Turkish Alperen Sengun and German Daniel Theis both finished with 11 points, and Spanish Usman Garuba recorded four points for the Houston Rockets as the Minnesota Timberwolves cruised to the win, 124-106.

Wednesday results:

Charlotte HornetsIndiana Pacers 123-122
Detroit PistonsChicago Bulls 88-94
New York KnicksBoston Celtics 138-134 D-OT (128-128, 116-116)
Toronto RaptorsWashington Wizards 83-98
Memphis GrizzliesCleveland Cavaliers 132-121
Minnesota TimberwolvesHouston Rockets 124-106
New Orleans PelicansPhiladelphia 76ers 97-117
San Antonio SpursOrlando Magic 123-97
Utah JazzOklahoma City Thunder 107-86
Phoenix SunsDenver Nuggets 98-110
Portland Trail BlazersSacramento Kings 121-124


Eastern Conference
1. Milwaukee Bucks 1-0
2. Philadelphia 76ers 1-0
3. Washington Wizards 1-0
4. Chicago Bulls 1-0
5. New York Knicks 1-0
6. Charlotte Hornets 1-0
7. Atlanta Hawks 0-0
8. Miami Heat 0-0
9. Indiana Pacers 0-1
10. Boston Celtics 0-1
11. Detroit Pistons 0-1
12. Cleveland Cavaliers 0-1
13. Toronto Raptors 0-1
14. Brooklyn Nets 0-1
15. Orlando Magic 0-1

Western Conference
1. San Antonio Spurs 1-0
2. Utah Jazz 1-0
3. Minnesota Timberwolves 1-0
4. Denver Nuggets 1-0
5. Memphis Grizzlies 1-0
6. Golden State Warriors 1-0
7. Sacramento Kings 1-0
8. Dallas Mavericks 0-0
9. Los Angeles Clippers 0-0
10. Portland Trail Blazers 0-1
11. Los Angeles Lakers 0-1
12. Phoenix Suns 0-1
13. Houston Rockets 0-1
14. New Orleans Pelicans 0-1
15. Oklahoma City Thunder 0-1

Photo Credit: Getty Images