Lauri Markkanen helps Jazz climb at the top of the Western Conference

2022-11-20T10:13:53+00:00 2022-11-20T10:15:05+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

20/Nov/22 10:13

The Jazz are the best team in the West right now.

By Eurohoops team/

When the season began, the Utah Jazz was considered a team that was supposed to be tanking and be focused on rebuilding after trading three of its stars last summer. Apparently, the players, including Lauri Markkanen, didn’t get the memo.

Markkanen produced 23 points plus 10 rebounds as the Jazz defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 118 – 113 to now sit at the top of the Western Conference standings with a 12 – 6 record. The Finnish forward shot 7-13 from the field, including 3-5 triples.

Jusuf Nurkic had 18 points and seven rebounds for the Blazers but he and his teammates suffered their third loss over the last four games. They will look to recover at the Milwaukee Bucks Tuesday (22/11) which will be easier said than done as Giannis Antetokounmpo and co. will also want to bounce back after a defeat by the Philadelphia 76ers and the… ladder incident.

It would’ve been a perfect night for Franz Wagner at the Indiana Pacers if not for the very last play of the game. After leading the Orlando Magic throughout the game with 29 points, plus five rebounds, the German forward drove to the basket for the game-winner but missed and the Pacers took a 114  -113 win.

Wagner hit 5-9 3-pointers, to tie his career-high in the NBA during the 31 minutes he spent on the floor.

Jakob Poeltl (20 points, eight rebounds) won the “battle” of the European bigs against Iviza Zubac (three points, 11 rebounds) but the San Antonio Spurs fell short 97 – 119 against the Los Angeles Clippers.

In Atlanta, Clint Capela posted 18 points plus 14 rebounds as the Hawks beat the Toronto Raptors 124 – 122.  Juancho Jernangomez had his top performance this season with 10 points plus nine boards.

The rest of Saturday’s NBA results and notable Euro Scorers:

Philadelphia 76ersMinnesota Timberwolves 109 – 112 (Rudy Gobert eight points, 13 rebounds)