Rookie Neemias Queta makes history

2021-12-18T08:04:00+00:00 2021-12-18T08:04:41+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

18/Dec/21 08:04

More and more players entering the NBA’s health and safety protocols, including multiple Europeans

By Johnny Askounis/

The Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Sacramento Kings, 124-105, in a historic NBA Regular Season game for Portuguese basketball.

Neemias Queta became the first player from Portugal to appear in an NBA game but missed all his four shots in eight minutes. Coming out of Utah State, he was selected with the 39th overall pick of the 2021 draft. His first game featured five rebounds, one assist, and one block. Ukrainian Alex Len was among the latest bunch of players entering the league’s health and safety protocols. For the winning side, French Killian Tillie produced eight points and two steals, but compatriot Yves Pons did not get on the board in a brief showing. Spanish Santi Aldama was held out because of right calf soreness.

Nikola Jokic banked in a 20-point, 10-rebound double-double to go along with seven assists and three steals in the Denver Nuggets away win, 133-115, versus the Atlanta Hawks Friday. The Serbian reigning NBA MVP made 8/12 from the field while going through foul trouble. Slovenian Vlatko Cancar had six points and two assists, and French Petr Cornelie one point and one block. For the hosts, Italian Danilo Gallinari produced eight points and four rebounds, and French Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot five points, two rebounds, and two assists as a starter with Serbian Bogdan Bogdanovic sidelined due to a right ankle injury.

With Giannis Antetokounmpo in the health and safety protocols, the Milwaukee Bucks fell, 116-112, to the New Orleans Pelicans in overtime. Jonas Valanciunas contributed 24 points in the win. Both Spanish Willy Hernangomez and Czech Tomas Satoransky had two points each off the bench. Georgian Sandro Mamukelashvili went for six points in the losing effort, while Thanasis Antetokounmpo was out with his brother due to a right calf strain.

Serbian Nemanja Bjelica was limited to 2/7 field goals but the Golden State Warriors won, 111-107, visiting the Boston Celtics. He ended up with seven points, four rebounds, three assists, and one block. Enes Kanter Freedom got six points and five rebounds for the hosts, while German Dennis Schroder was sidelined with a non-COVID illness and Spanish Juancho Hernangomez in the health and safety protocols.

A late jumper sank by Lonnie Walker IV pushed the San Antonio Spurs to a 128-126 victory and snapped the Utah Jazz eight-game winning streak. Austrian Jakob Poeltl punched in 14 points, five rebounds, three assists, two blocks, and one steal. On the opposite end, French Rudy Gobert posted a 16-point, 14-rebound double-double and Croatian Bojan Bogdanovic scored 16 points as well.

German Franz Wagner with 27 points, six rebounds, four rebounds, and one steal was not enough for the Orlando Magic in the loss, 115-105, to the Miami Heat. His brother Moritz Wagner and Lithuanian Ignas Brazdeikis moved into the health and safety protocols. Turkish Omer Yurtseven combined five points with 12 rebounds for the winning side.

Bosnian Jusuf Nurkic fouled out with ten points, four rebounds, and two assists in 15 minutes but the Portland Trail Blazers snapped a seven-game losing streak, defeating the Charlotte Hornets, 125-116. Lithuanian Arnoldas Kulboka was on a G League assignment by the Grizzlies.

Elsewhere, the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Los Angeles Lakers, 110-92. In his return to the NBA, Isaiah Thomas had 19 points.

Friday results:

Orlando MagicMiami Heat 105-115
Atlanta HawksDenver Nuggets 115-133
Boston CelticsGolden State Warriors 107-111
New Orleans PelicansMilwaukee Bucks 116-112 OT (103-103)
Utah JazzSan Antonio Spurs 126-128
Minnesota TimberwolvesLos Angeles Lakers 110-92
Portland Trail BlazersCharlotte Hornets 125-116
Sacramento Kings – Memphis Grizzlies 105-124


Eastern Conference
1. Brooklyn Nets 21-8
2. Chicago Bulls 17-10
3. Milwaukee Bucks 19-12
4. Cleveland Cavaliers 18-12
5. Miami Heat 18-12
6. Charlotte Hornets 16-15
7. Washington Wizards 15-15
8. Philadelphia 76ers 15-15
9. Atlanta Hawks 14-15
10. Boston Celtics 14-15
11. Toronto Raptors 13-15
12. New York Knicks 13-16
13. Indiana Pacers 13-18
14. Orlando Magic 5-25
15. Detroit Pistons 4-23

Western Conference
1. Golden State Warriors 24-5
2. Phoenix Suns 23-5
3. Utah Jazz 20-8
4. Memphis Grizzlies 19-11
5. Los Angeles Clippers 16-13
6. Los Angeles Lakers 16-14
7. Denver Nuggets 15-14
8. Dallas Mavericks 14-14
9. Minnesota Timberwolves 14-15
10. Sacramento Kings 12-18
11. Portland Trail Blazers 12-18
12. San Antonio Spurs 11-17
13. New Orleans Pelicans 10-21
14. Houston Rockets 9-20
15. Oklahoma City Thunder 8-19

Photo Credit: Getty Images