By Johnny Askounis/ email@example.com
Europeans Aleksej Pokusevski and Olivier Sarr took over leading the Oklahoma City Thunder to the win, 117-96, versus the Phoenix Suns Sunday. The Serbian forward picked up his first triple-double behind 17 points, 12 assists, and ten rebounds, and the French center set his NBA-high at 24 points coming off the bench. Czech Vit Krejci packed 11 points, eight assists, and six rebounds, while French Theo Maledon and Jaylen Hoard added nine and four points, respectively. Moving to the league-leading Suns, Danish Gabriel Lundberg missed three shots and put in one assist in his NBA debut with Croatian Dario Saric (knee) still stuck on the injury list since the 2021 NBA Finals.
In the penultimate NBA Sundays edition of the 2021-22 Regular Season, Serbian Nemanja Bjelica produced a season-high 19 points to go along with 12 rebounds, six assists, and two blocks helping the Golden State Warriors secure the away win, 109-90, against the Sacramento Kings. Ukrainian Alex Len and Portuguese Neemias Queta did not log playing time for the home side. Lithuanian Domantas Sabonis (knee) remained sidelined.
Croatian Ivica Zubac posted a 16-point, 14-rebound double-double as the Los Angeles Clippers rolled the New Orleans Pelicans, 119-100. German Isaiah Hartenstein paired 12 rebounds with nine rebounds and French Nicolas Batum six rebounds with five assists. For the losing side, Lithuanian Jonas Valanciunas was held to eight points and nine rebounds, and Spanish Willy Hernangomez did not play.
Making 5/7 field goals, Turkish Alperen Sengun generated a 14-point, 15-rebound double-double plus four assists and one block in 33 minutes but the Houston Rockets were bested, 139-132, by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Coming off the bench, Usman Garuba logged six points behind 3/3 shots and grabbed six rebounds. German Dennis Schroder (shoulder) was not cleared to return to action.
French Killian Hayes put in ten points and seven assists helping the Detroit Pistons overcome a 19-point, 17-assist double-double by Tyrese Haliburton and beat the Indiana Pacers, 121-117. As for the hosts, Georgian Goga Bitadze had six points until exiting due to right foot soreness. Sidelined since late December, Spanish Ricky Rubio (knee) stayed on the injury list.
Turkish Omer Yurtseven threw in six points, two rebounds, and one assist for the Miami Heat in the 114-109 victory versus the Toronto Raptors. Ukrainian Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk did not leave the bench and British OG Anunoby (thigh) was a late scratch for the hosts. Also, German Isaac Bonga (toe) picked up an injury on his G League assignment.
French Evan Fournier was held to two points in a 15-minute effort but the New York Knicks routed the Orlando Magic, 118-88. With German Franz Wagner (ankle) out, Lithuanian Ignas Brazdeikis scored 13 points in his first NBA start and Moritz Wagner logged 18 points and pulled down nine rebounds coming off the bench for the Magic.
The Washington Wizards were crushed by the Boston Celtics, 144-102. Latvian Kristaps Porzingis had 17 points, Israeli Deni Avdija finished with ten points, and Czech Tomas Satoransky combined seven points with seven assists in the losing effort. Starting for the hosts, German Daniel Theis scored six points.
Turkish Furkan Korkmaz recorded one rebound and one steal lasting seven minutes as the Philadelphia 76ers edged the Cleveland Cavaliers, 112-108, to clinch a Playoffs berth. For the Cavs, Finnish Lauri Markkanen had 16 points and Turkish Cedi Osman three points.
Missing Austrian Jakob Poeltl (back), the San Antonio Spurs banked in a key win, 113-92, over the Portland Trail Blazers. Among the multiple unavailable Blazers, Bosnian Jusuf Nurkic (foot) remained on the injury list.
Boston Celtics – Washington Wizards 144-102
Milwaukee Bucks – Dallas Mavericks 112-118
Los Angeles Lakers – Denver Nuggets 118-129
Indiana Pacers – Detroit Pistons 117-121
Cleveland Cavaliers – Philadelphia 76ers 108-112
Orlando Magic – New York Knicks 88-118
Houston Rockets – Minnesota Timberwolves 132-139
Oklahoma City Thunder – Phoenix Suns 117-96
San Antonio Spurs – Portland Trail Blazers 113-92
Toronto Raptors – Miami Heat 109-114
Sacramento Kings – Golden State Warriors 90-109
Los Angeles Clippers – New Orleans Pelicans 119-100
1. y-Miami Heat 51-28
2. y-Boston Celtics 49-30
3. y-Milwaukee Bucks 48-30
4. y-Philadelphia 76ers 48-30
5. Chicago Bulls 45-33
6. Toronto Raptors 45-33
7. Cleveland Cavaliers 43-36
8. Atlanta Hawks 41-37
9. p-Charlotte Hornets 40-38
10. p-Brooklyn Nets 40-38
11. x-New York Knicks 35-44
12. x-Washington Wizards 34-44
13. x-Indiana Pacers 25-54
14. x-Detroit Pistons 23-56
15. x-Orlando Magic 20-59
1. y-Phoenix Suns 62-16
2. y-Memphis Grizzlies 55-23
3. y-Golden State Warriors 50-29
4. y-Dallas Mavericks 49-30
5. Denver Nuggets 47-32
6. Utah Jazz 46-32
7. Minnesota Timberwolves 45-34
8. p-Los Angeles Clippers 39-40
9. New Orleans Pelicans 34-44
10. San Antonio Spurs 33-45
11. Los Angeles Lakers 31-47
12. x-Sacramento Kings 29-50
13. x-Portland Trail Blazers 27-51
14. x-Oklahoma City Thunder 23-55
15. x-Houston Rockets 20-59
y-clinched Playoff berth
p-clinched Play-In berth
Photo Credit: Getty Images