Doncic, Jokic bank wins with late surges

2020-01-03T07:13:07+00:00 2020-01-03T07:13:07+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

03/Jan/20 07:13

Europeans gave it their best on Thursday evening with Luka Doncic and Nikola Jokic landing victories.

By John Askounis/

No Kristaps Porzingis (right knee) for the Dallas Mavericks, but Luka Doncic put up a game-high 31 points including 15 in the final period guiding the Dallas Mavericks to the 123-111 victory over the Brooklyn Nets at the American Airlines Center. He also notched 13 boards, seven assists and one block on Thursday night. Maxi Kleber added 18 points, four rebounds, three rejections and one dime, and Boban Marjanovic ten points and seven rebounds. The visitors featured Dzanan Musa at his NBA-best 14 points and three assists, Rodions Kurucs at eight points, three dimes, three rebounds and a couple of steals and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot at seven points, four assists and four boards.

Despite foul trouble, Nikola Jokic held on for 12 points in the fourth quarter and 22 overall for the Denver Nuggets in the 124-116 win opposite to the Indiana Pacers at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse. He also pulled down seven rebounds in the 2019-20 Regular Season contest. Juan Hernangomez did not play and Vlatko Cancar was inactive. As for the visitors, Domantas Sabonis went for 18 points, nine boards, nine assists, two interceptions and one block in losing effort. Goga Bitadze was in action as well with one point and a couple of rebounds to his name, but Naz Mitrou-Long (right ankle) remained out.

Clutch efforts by Bojan Bogdanovic and Rudy Gobert pushed the Utah Jazz to the 102-98 victory against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center. Bogey scored a team-high 19 points to go along with his six boards, one assist and one interception, while his European teammate threw in a 17-point, 12-rebound double-double, block three shots as well. Lauri Markkanen’s 18 points, eight boards, two assists and one steal went to waste. Tomas Satoransky had eight points, four dimes and two interceptions in losing effort, but Adam Mokoka did not leave the bench.

Goran Dragic with 13 points, two rebounds, one dime and one block from the bench was among main contributors for the Miami Heat in the 84-76 victory over the Toronto Raptors at the AmericanAirlines Arena. Serge Ibaka led the visitors with 19 points, blended in ten rebounds and a pair of rejections as well. Fellow European starter OG Anunoby posted a 12-point, 12-rebound double-double to go along with his three dimes and two interceptions. Marc Gasol (left hamstring) stayed on the injury list.

The Sacramento Kings snapped their losing streak with a 128-123 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies at the Golden 1 Center. Bogdan Bogdanovic contributed with 16 points, two boards and a pair of assists from the bench, while starter Nemanja Bjelica had eight points, five rebounds, a couple of dimes and a pair of blocks. On his part, Jonas Valanciunas posted an 18-point, 12-rebound double-double for the losing team, also dished a couple of assists, but Marko Guduric did not play.

Dennis Schroder chipped in with 19 points, three dimes, one steal and one rebound for the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 109-103 victory over the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center. Danilo Gallinari added 13 points, five boards and two assists. Jakob Poeltl notched four points, four rebounds, three dimes and a pair of blocks for the hosts with Marko Belinelli on the bench and Luka Samancic on his G League assignment.

The Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Detroit Pistons, 118-108, at the Staples Center. Ivica Zubac helped out with eight points, five rebounds, four rejections and one assist. Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk notched 14 points, a pair of assists and a couple of boards as part of the starting unit alongside Sekou Doumbouya who combined his first NBA first-five gig with ten points, 11 rebounds and one steal.

Cedi Osman banked three shots beyond the arc for a total of 18 points, also posted a pair of assists, one board and one steal, but the Cleveland Cavaliers lost, 109-106, to the Charlotte Hornets at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Teammate Ante Zizic did not leave the bench, neither did Nicolas Batum and Willy Hernangomez of the winning side.

Battle of banged-up team saw the Minnesota Timberwolves march to a 99-84 win versus the Golden State Warriors at the Target Center. European action was limited to Alen Smailagic and his seven points, three boards, one assist and one steal for the losing team.


Eastern Conference
1. Milwaukee Bucks 31-5
2. Boston Celtics 23-8
3. Miami Heat 25-9
4. Toronto Raptors 23-12
5. Philadelphia 76ers 23-13
6. Indiana Pacers 22-13
7. Brooklyn Nets 16-17
8. Orlando Magic 15-19
9. Charlotte Hornets 14-23
10. Chicago Bulls 13-22
11. Detroit Pistons 12-23
12. Washington Wizards 10-23
13. Cleveland Cavaliers 10-24
14. New York Knicks 10-24
15. Atlanta Hawks 7-27

Western Conference
1. Los Angeles Lakers 27-7
2. Denver Nuggets 24-10
3. Los Angeles Clippers 25-11
4. Houston Rockets 23-11
5. Dallas Mavericks 22-12
6. Utah Jazz 22-12
7. Oklahoma City Thunder 19-15
8. San Antonio Spurs 14-19
9. Portland Trail Blazers 14-21
10. Phoenix Suns 13-21
11. Minnesota Timberwolves 13-21
12. Sacramento Kings 13-22
13. Memphis Grizzlies 13-22
14. New Orleans Pelicans 11-23
15. Golden State Warriors 9-27

Photo Credit: Getty Images