By John Askounis/ email@example.com
Luka Doncic narrowly missed a triple-double on Friday night, but tied his NBA career-best with 42 points to go along with 11 dimes, nine rebounds and one interception for the Dallas Mavericks in the 120-113 win over the Phoenix Suns at the Talking Stick Resort Arena. Maxi Kleber added nine points and seven boards, and Kristaps Porzingis only posted two points with 0/8 from the field, but gathered 13 rebounds, tallied three blocks, a pair of steals and one assist as well. Fellow European Boban Marjanovic did not leave the bench. The hosts had Ricky Rubio at 21 points, nine dimes and one board, Dario Saric at nine points, nine rebounds, two dimes and two blocks, and Elie Okobo at two boards and two assists.
Bojan Bogdanovic matched his season-high with a game-high 33 points and was instrumental in the 103-94 comeback victory of the Utah Jazz over the Memphis Grizzlies at the FedExForum with 16 points in the final quarter, also notched eight rebounds, two dimes and one steal in the regular season contest. Fellow European starter Rudy Gobert posted a 13-point, 13-rebound double-double alongside three assists and a couple of rejections. Jonas Valanciunas had a team-high 22 points with 17 boards, three blocks and a pair of dimes for the hosts, while Marko Guduric put up seven points and three rebounds from the bench.
Comeback win with a European touch for the Milwaukee Bucks as well. Giannis Antetokounmpo poured 11 of his 33 points in the last quarter, also had 12 rebounds, two dimes, two rejections and two interceptions leading the Milwaukee Bucks to the 119-110 victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. Ersan Ilyasova added ten points, but assigned Dragan Bender was inactive alongside Thanasis Antetokounmpo (illness). Cedi Osman’s season-best 20 points was not enough for the Cavs, put up four assists, two boards and a couple of steals as well, while Ante Zizic had one rebound in limited action.
With 12 out of his team-high 25 points coming in the fourth period, Dennis Schroder propelled the Oklahoma City Thunder to the 109-104 victory versus the New Orleans Pelicans at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. He was 11/24 from the field, tallied seven dimes and two rebounds as well. Danilo Gallinari contributed to the “W” with 17 points including three shots beyond the arc, seven boards, five assists, one interception and one block. Nicolo Melli did not score in 11 minutes for the losing side, registered only one steal.
Goran Dragic paced the Miami Heat with a game-high 20 points in the 122-105 victory over the Golden State Warriors at the AmericanAirlines Arena. The 33-year-old Slovenian guard made nine out of his 13 field goal attempts, also notched five boards, four assists and one steal in 27 minutes of work from the bench. The losing side’s Alen Smailagic recovered from his right ankle sprain, but was assigned to G League’s Santa Cruz Warriors.
The Indiana Pacers overcame Trae Young’s career-high 49 points for the 105-104 overtime win against the Atlanta Hawks at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Domantas Sabonis posted a 17-point, 12-rebound double-double to go along with his two dimes and two steals, and Goga Bitadze took down a pair of boards in limited action, but Naz Mitrou-Long was inactive. Alex Len had 15 points, nine rebounds and one interception in losing effort.
Serge Ibaka (right ankle) remained out but the Toronto Raptors defeated the Orlando Magic, 90-83, at the Amway Center. Marc Gasol finished with six points, seven boards and one dime, and OG Anunoby with two points, seven rebounds, four assists and three interceptions. Evan Fournier’s team-high 19 points went to waste, the same for his six assists, four boards and two steals. Injured Nikola Vucevic (right ankle) was out.
With Kostas Antetokounmpo on assignment, the Los Angeles Lakers jumped to 17-2 after the 125-103 win against the Washington Wizards at the Staples Center. For the losing side, Moritz Wagner had seven points, eight boards, one assists, one interception and one block, Davis Bertans six points, three rebounds and two dimes, and Isaac Bonga six points and three boards. Ian Mahinmi (right Achilles) stayed on the injury list.
Jakob Poeltl went for 13 points, six rebounds and four rejections helping the San Antonio Spurs defeat the Los Angeles Clippers, 107-97, at the AT&T Center. Marco Belinelli posted seven points, six boards and two assists, but assigned Luka Samanic was inactive. The lone European of the visitors, Ivica Zubac started, juggled through foul trouble for eight points, five rebounds and one dime.
Mario Hezonja and Jaylen Hoard did not see any action, Jusuf Nurkic (left leg) remained out, but the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Chicago Bulls, 107-103, at the Moda Center. Lauri Markkanen went for 13 points, eight boards and three assists in losing effort, and Tomas Satoransky posted 12 points, eight dimes, three rebounds and one interception. Assigned Adam Mokoka was inactive.
The Philadelphia 76ers beat the New York Knicks, 101-95, at the Madison Square Garden with Furkan Korkmaz on a nine-point, six-rebound, one-assist starting performance. Frank Ntilikina had 13 points, four assists, two boards and one steal for the hosts that dropped to 4-15 with their seventh home loss this year. Lithuanian-born Ignas Brazdeikis remained on the bench for the evening.
Dzanan Musa ended up with four points, two boards, two dimes and one steal for the Brooklyn Nets in the 112-107 win against the Boston Celtics at the Barclays Center. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot did not play and Rodions Kurucs was inactive. Enes Kanter pushed for ten points, six rebounds, one dime and one block, Daniel Theis had two points and three boards in losing effort, and Javonte Green made two points as well. Vincent Poirier did not leave the bench.
Nicolas Batum did not score, but helped the Charlotte Hornets for the 110-107 victory over the Detroit Pistons at the Little Caesars Arena with five rebounds, two dimes and one steal. Willy Hernangomez did not play. Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk notched three points, two dimes and two rebounds for the losing side with Sekou Doumbouya inactive.
1. Milwaukee Bucks 18-3
2. Toronto Raptors 14-4
3. Miami Heat 13-5
4. Boston Celtics 13-5
5. Philadelphia 76ers 13-6
6. Indiana Pacers 12-6
7. Brooklyn Nets 10-9
8. Charlotte Hornets 8-12
9. Orlando Magic 7-11
10. Washington Wizards 6-11
11. Detroit Pistons 6-13
12. Chicago Bulls 6-14
13. Cleveland Cavaliers 5-14
14. Atlanta Hawks 4-15
15. New York Knicks 4-15
1. Los Angeles Lakers 17-2
2. Denver Nuggets 13-3
3. Los Angeles Clippers 14-6
4. Dallas Mavericks 12-6
5. Houston Rockets 12-6
6. Utah Jazz 12-7
7. Minnesota Timberwolves 10-8
8. Phoenix Suns 8-10
9. Sacramento Kings 7-10
10. Portland Trail Blazers 8-12
11. Oklahoma City Thunder 7-11
12. San Antonio Spurs 7-13
13. New Orleans Pelicans 6-13
14. Memphis Grizzlies 5-13
15. Golden State Warriors 4-16
Photo Credit: Getty Images