By Johnny Askounis/ email@example.com
Jonas Valanciunas scored a career-high 39 points behind a career-high seven made three-pointers leading the New Orleans Pelicans to the win, 123-104, against the Los Angeles Clippers Monday evening. The Lithuanian big man had 15/24 from the field. Pulling down 15 rebounds shaped his 18th double-double in the 2021-22 NBA Regular Season. He became the fourth player in league history with at least 35 points, 15 rebounds, and seven threes in a single game.
Spanish Willy Hernangomez paired nine points with six rebounds. Czech teammate Tomas Satoransky did not score in ten minutes but registered three assists and one rebound. For the hosts, Serge Ibaka ended up with 13 points and six rebounds, German Isaiah Hartenstein tapped five points, three rebounds, and two assists, and Croatian starter Ivica Zubac was limited to four points and four rebounds, while French Nicolas Batum stayed in the health and safety protocols.
Another monster European double-double, Montenegrin Nikola Vucevic combining 30 points with 14 rebounds powering the Chicago Bulls to the home win, 133-119, over the Charlotte Hornets. He made 12/19 field goals, including 6/6 from beyond the arc. Five assists and two blocks to complete the solid performance. Fellow Montenegrin Marko Simonovic and Lithuanian Arnoldas Kulboka were inactive for their respective teams.
Finnish Lauri Markkanen banked in a season-high 24 points along with eight rebounds, two assists, and one steal for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the away win, 114-96, versus the Dallas Mavericks. Spanish reserve Ricky Rubio lasted 28 minutes with seven points, seven rebounds, six assists, and one steal to his name. Turkish forward Cedi Osman was sidelined with lower back soreness.
On the opposite end, Luka Doncic went for 25 points, ten assists, and ten rebounds. Kristaps Porzingis had nine points, five rebounds, and four blocks until exiting with a right ankle sprain in the second half. German Maxi Kleber finished with 13 points and Serbian Boban Marjanovic with ten points. French Frank Ntilikina remained out due to a right calf strain.
A losing triple-double for Domantas Sabonis as well. The Lithuanian recorded 16 points, a personal-best 25 rebounds, and ten assists but the Indiana Pacers were edged, 100-98, by the Minnesota Timberwolves on the road. Over the 36 minutes on the court, he added one block. Georgian teammate Goga Bitadze had one point, two rebounds, and one block coming off the bench.
Nikola Jokic, supported by his brothers Strahinja and Nemanja sitting behind the bench, got 24 points, 15 rebounds, and seven assists as the Denver Nuggets prevailed, 120-111, over the Miami Heat. Slovenian Vlatko Cancar was silent in a limited appearance and French Petr Cornelie stayed on the bench. Turkish Omer Yurtseven pulled down a couple of rebounds for the losing side.
French Rudy Gobert posted a 21-point, 16-rebound double-double plus three assists helping the Utah Jazz defeat the Portland Trail Blazers, 129-107, at Vivint Arena. Croatian Bojan Bogdanovic contributed 13 points, four rebounds, and two assists. The third European starter of the matchup, Bosnian Jusuf Nurkic put up a 24-point, 10-rebound double-double but was held to the wrong end of the result.
Franz Wagner dropping 27 points to go along with six rebounds and five assists fell short for the Orlando Magic in the loss, 101-96, against the Philadelphia 76ers. His brother Moritz Wagner did not play, while Lithuanian Ignas Brazdeikis had one steal through seven minutes. Turkish Furkan Korkmaz of the Sixers was held to two points in a rough shooting night.
The Houston Rockets beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, 102-89. Turkish Alperen Sengun chipped in four points, four rebounds, three assists, and one steal. German Daniel Theis did not leave the bench and Spanish Usman Garuba was inactive. For the visitors, French Theo Maledon had four points and Serbian Aleksej Pokusevski two points with Czech Vit Krejci on a G League assignment.
Austrian Jakob Poeltl logged 14 points, 11 rebounds, two blocks, one assist, and one steal pushing the San Antonio Spurs to the 116-99 victory opposite the Washington Wizards. Israeli Deni Avdija had two points limited to 1/6 from the field and Latvian Davis Bertans missed all of his four shots. French Joel Ayayi was held to his G League assignment.
Philadelphia 76ers – Orlando Magic 101-96
Miami Heat – Denver Nuggets 111-120
Chicago Bulls – Charlotte Hornets 133-119
Houston Rockets – Oklahoma City Thunder 102-89
Minnesota Timberwolves – Indiana Pacers 100-98
Dallas Mavericks – Cleveland Cavaliers 96-114
San Antonio Spurs – Washington Wizards 116-99
Utah Jazz – Portland Trail Blazers 129-107
Los Angeles Clippers – New Orleans Pelicans 104-123
1. Brooklyn Nets 14-6
2. Chicago Bulls 14-8
3. Miami Heat 13-8
4. Washington Wizards 13-8
5. Milwaukee Bucks 13-8
6. Charlotte Hornets 13-10
7. New York Knicks 11-9
8. Philadelphia 76ers 11-10
9. Cleveland Cavaliers 11-10
10. Atlanta Hawks 11-10
11. Boston Celtics 11-10
12. Toronto Raptors 9-12
13. Indiana Pacers 9-14
14. Detroit Pistons 4-16
15. Orlando Magic 4-18
1. Golden State Warriors 18-2
2. Phoenix Suns 17-3
3. Utah Jazz 14-7
4. Dallas Mavericks 10-9
5. Los Angeles Clippers 11-10
6. Minnesota Timberwolves 11-10
7. Los Angeles Lakers 11-11
8. Memphis Grizzlies 10-10
9. Denver Nuggets 10-10
10. Portland Trail Blazers 10-11
11. Sacramento Kings 8-13
12. San Antonio Spurs 6-13
13. Oklahoma City Thunder 6-14
14. New Orleans Pelicans 6-17
15. Houston Rockets 4-16
Photo Credit: Getty Images