Lots of interesting details were seen in last night’s strongest basketball league in the world.
The evening began in Cleveland where the Cavaliers suffered a first defeat in front of home fans this season, losing to the Washington Wizards 85:97. Washington was going through a result crisis lately, and All-Star point guard of the team, John Wall, was a pale shadow of one of the most dominating NBA players.
However, Wizards’ point guard rose to the occasion and was a real deal last night. He ended the match with impressive statistical parameters, booking a strong double-double of 35 points and 10 assists beside 5 steals and 4 rebounds. Marcin Gortat also recorded a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds while Bradley Beal had a bad shooting night although he reached the figure of 19 points, he shot 6-19 from the field and was very poor for three points 1- 10. Luckily for him, that didn’t harm his team.
On the other hand, LeBron James didn’t have his evening. The four-time MVP of the NBA playoffs, last night, scored 24 points with 13 rebounds and 4 assists, but struggled with the ball, recording 9 turnovers. Neither Kevin Love was at a high level; for the second time this season he stopped on a single-digit number of points ending the match with 8, with 2-10 shooting and 8 rebounds.
Philadelphia 76’ers, counting the last season, set a negative record in the history of American professional sports after 28 consecutive defeats. However, the bad series has ended for Philly, who finally tasted victory tonight by defeating the Los Angeles Lakers in their Wells Fargo Center with 103:91.
Although, the Philadelphia’s victory was a sensation itself, the match was marked by the home return of Kobe Bryant, who played for the last time in hometown. Bryant started in the good mood and scored 9 points after only 75 seconds. Kobe, who was not shy to shoot the basket, finally ended the match with 20 points with a bad shooting percentage from the field 7-26 and 4-17 for three points and only 2-4 from a stripe.
He had help from Jordan Clarkson, who scored 19 points. The second pick from the last draft, DeAngelo Russell, chipped in with 12 points and 4 assists. Robert Covington was dominant for the home side and ended the match as the first scorer with 23 points while the rookie center Jahlil Okafor recorded 12 points and 5 rebounds.
Brooklyn Nets defeated the Phoenix Suns in their Barclays Center 94:91. The match was marked by Brandon Knight, who scored 26 points with 9-18 from the field, Eric Bledsoe stood at 17 points and seven assists. Tyson Chandler missed the duel; his place in the starting lineup was filled by Alex Len, who has enrolled double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds. A former Brooklyn’s player Mirza Teletovic scored 12 points in 19 minutes with a 4-9 beyond the arc. Brook Lopez was the best in the home team; he scored 22 points while Jack, Ellington, and Larkin chipped in with 11.
Orlando Magic recorded fourth win in a row after almost three years. The team from Florida outscored Minnesota in the away game with 96:93. Nikola Vucevic was a key player for the Magic with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Andrew Nicholson scored 15, Alfred Payton 14, Victor Oladipo and Tobias Harris with 13, and Evan Fournier with 12. The match could easily go into overtime if Andrew Wiggins hit both free throws in the final moments to even the score. The young Canadian had one more chance but shot “air ball” with the sound of sirens. Despite all this, last year’s first pick was the top scorer of his team with 27 points and 9-15 from the field. Kevin Martin added 16.
Memphis Grizzlies defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 113:104. Marc Gasol had the match of career and bullied the one of the best NBA players, Anthony Davis. Gasol finished the game with career-high 38 points, added 13 rebounds, 6 assists, and even 4 blocks. He was 11-22 from the field, with perfect 16-16 from the free throw line. Mario Chalmers scored 11 off the bench, the same as Mike Conley. Matt Barnes and Courtney Lee added 13 each while Zach Randolph scored 14 points. The biggest new for the Pelicans is a return of Tyreke Evans after missing first 17 games due to an injury. Evans ended the match with 20 points and 10 assists. Anthony Davis shot only 4-15 from the field but was on the brink of triple-double performance since he had 17 points, 14 rebounds, and 9 blocks. However, that wasn’t sufficient for the win.
Finally, the Dallas Mavericks have won the match after overtime in Portland 115:112. Deron Williams contributed with a season-high 30 points along with 8 assists. Dirk Nowitzki was excellent as well; he finished the game with 28 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists. Zaza Pachulia posted a monstrous double-double with 14 points and 21 rebounds. On the other hand, Damian Lillard was the alpha and omega of his team, he scored 25 points, handed out 10 assists, but the Blazer fell short at the end. Leonard scored 23 while Henderson added 20.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Washington Wizards 85:97
Philadelphia 76’ers vs. Los Angeles Lakers 103:91
Brooklyn Nets vs. Phoenix Suns 94:91
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Orlando Magic 93:96
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Memphis Grizzlies 104:113
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Dallas Mavericks 112:115