Jokic scores 35 points and spoils the party in Los Angeles

2024-03-03T06:01:19+00:00 2024-03-03T10:16:29+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

03/Mar/24 06:01

LeBron James becoming the first player with 40,000 career points does not stop the Denver Nuggets

By Johnny Askounis/

The latest edition of NBA Saturdays was not all about LeBron James. The Denver Nuggets outlasted the Los Angeles Lakers, taking some attention away from the first player to score 40,000 points in the NBA Regular Season.

A brilliant performance by Serbian Nikola Jokic pushed his side to a 124-114 victory in Arena on Saturday. The Joker made 16/25 field goals, including clutch efforts down the stretch. He combined 35 points with ten rebounds, seven assists, and one block over 39 minutes. Slovenian teammate Vlatko Cancar remains out indefinitely, projected to miss the entire 2023-24 season since having left knee surgery in August. Following the game, the Joker greeted Serbian legends in attendance, Novak Djokovic and Vlade Divac.

Needing nine points to hit the milestone, James got the job done with a layup early in the second quarter. The game was paused to honor him with a video tribute. Ending up with a team-high 26 points, he anticlimactically settled with a loss in a historic evening.

Alperen Sengun helped the Houston Rockets in taking down the Phoenix Suns, 118-109, in Footprint Center. Connecting 9/21 from the field, the Turkish center posted a 21-point, 10-rebound double-double alongside two steals, two assists, and one block over 33 minutes. Serbian teammate Boban Marjanovic stayed on the bench. Forced to an early exit to a neck spasm after 17 minutes of action, Bosnian Jusuf Nurkic went for seven points, ten rebounds, five assists, one steal, and one block for the hosts.

Lauri Markkanen packing 25 points was not enough for the Utah Jazz in Kaseya Center. The Finnish forward added six assists, four rebounds, two steals, and one block as his side fell to the Miami Heat, 126-120. Turkish Omer Yurtseven drew seven points and five rebounds, while Croatian Luka Samanic did not generate a stat over five minutes. More European action on the winning end with Serbian Nikola Jovic finishing with eight points, four assists, three rebounds, and one steal.

More European showings on NBA Saturdays

Brooklyn NetsAtlanta Hawks 114-102 (Dennis Schroder 14pts, 8ast, 2reb, 2blk – Bogdan Bogdanovic 13pts, 6reb, 1ast, 1stl, Clint Capela 11pts, 10reb, 2ast, 1stl, Vit Krejci INA)
Memphis GrizzliesPortland Trail Blazers 100-107 (Santi Aldama 21pts, 8reb, 3ast, 1blk – Toumani Camara 15pts, 7reb, 1ast, 1stl, 1blk, Rayan Rupert 1reb)


Eastern Conference

1. Boston Celtics 47-12
2. Cleveland Cavaliers 39-20
3. Milwaukee Bucks 40-21
4. New York Knicks 35-25
5. Philadelphia 76ers 34-25
6. Miami Heat 34-26
7. Orlando Magic 34-26
8. Indiana Pacers 34-27
9. Chicago Bulls 28-32
10. Atlanta Hawks 26-34
11. Brooklyn Nets 24-36
12. Toronto Raptors 22-38
13. Charlotte Hornets 15-45
14. Detroit Pistons 9-50
15. Washington Wizards 9-51

Western Conference

1. Minnesota Timberwolves 42-18
2. Oklahoma City Thunder 41-18
3. Denver Nuggets 42-19
4. Los Angeles Clippers 38-20
5. New Orleans Pelicans 36-25
6. Phoenix Suns 35-25
7. Sacramento Kings 34-25
8. Dallas Mavericks 34-26
9. Golden State Warriors 32-27
10. Los Angeles Lakers 33-29
11. Utah Jazz 27-34
12. Houston Rockets 26-34
13. Memphis Grizzlies 20-41
14. Portland Trail Blazers 17-42
15. San Antonio Spurs 12-48

-Teams ranking first through sixth advance directly to the Playoffs
-Teams ranking seventh through tenth compete in the Play-Ins

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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