Friday night featured nine great games in the NBA, including two in which African talents Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo helped their respective teams get crucial wins.
Sixers squash Hornets
The Philadelphia 76ers beat the Charlotte Hornets 102-93. Cameroonian rookie sensation Joel Embiid led Philly with 24 points and eight rebounds, Dario Saric had 15 points and six rebounds, while Ersan Ilyasova finished with 12 points and three rebounds.
French-Cameroonian guard Nicolas Batum had 19 points and five rebounds for the Hornets, Kemba Walker had 17 points and four rebounds, and Cody Zeller finished with a 16-point, 10-rebound double-double.
Raptors maul Nets
The Toronto Raptors beat the Brooklyn Nets 132-113. DeMar DeRozan had 28 points and four rebounds, Kyle Lowry had 20 points, six rebounds and six assists, while DeMarre Carroll finished with an 18-point and 11-rebound double-double.
Bojan Bogdanovic led the Nets with 23 points and four rebounds, Brook Lopez had 20 points and five assists, while Joe Harris ended the game with 11 points and four rebounds.
Bucks trample Heat
The Milwaukee Bucks beat the Miami Heat 116-108. Jabari Parker had 24 points and five rebounds, Greek-Nigerian Giannis Antetokounmpo had 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and Greg Monroe had a 16-point, 11-rebound double-double.
Hassan Whiteside and Goran Dragic combined for 38 with 19 points apiece, Luke Babbitt had 16 points and five rebounds, while Tyler Johnson had 14 points and five assists.
Timberwolves stop Thunder
The Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 96-86. Karl-Anthony Towns had a 29-point, 17-rebound double-double, Andrew Wiggins had 19 points and six rebounds, Ricky Rubio had a 14-point, 14-assist double-double, and Senegalese center Gorgui Dieng finished with four points and three rebounds.
Russell Westbrook led OKC with a 21-point, 11-rebound and 12-assist triple-double, Enes Kanter had 21 points and eight rebounds, and Nigerian-American guard Victor Oladipo had 19 points and five rebounds.
The Orlando Magic beat the Portland Trail Blazers 115-109. Nikola Vucevic had a 30-point, 10-rebound double-double, Elfrid Payton had 19 points, four rebounds and seven assists, Congolese forward Serge Ibaka had a 13-point, 10-rebound double-double, and DRC-born center Bismack Biyombo finished with two points and five rebounds.
The Blazers were led by Damian Lillard with 34 points and eight rebounds, CJ McCollum had 26 points, Evan Turner had 16 points and four rebounds and Nigerian forward Al-Farouq Aminu had eight points and seven rebounds.
In other Friday night games, the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Sacramento Kings 120-108, the Utah Jazz beat the Detroit Pistons 110-77, the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Houston Rockets 110-105 and the Boston Celtics beat the Atlanta Hawks 103-101.
By Kaunda Chama