A 12-game night in the NBA had drama galore with two games going into overtime, a buzzer-beater finish in Dallas, two star teams slugging it out without their star players and Russell Westbrook making even more history.
Westbrook passes Wilt as Thunder cruise
The Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Utah Jazz 112-104 as Russell Westbrook put on another triple-double masterclass to finish the contest with 33 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds. It was his 32nd triple-double of the season as he moved past the legendary Wilt Chamberlain into second on the all-time season triple-doubles list. Nigerian-American Victor Oladipo also had a hot night as he scored 22 points. Enes Kanter contributed 16 points and six rebounds and Taj Gibson scored 15 points and also grabbed six boards.
None of the Jazz starters scored in double digits. Off the bench Dante Exum had the team’s high score with 22 points and Alec Burks weighed in with 21 points and seven rebounds.
Stars miss out as Spurs thrash Warriors
The San Antonio Spurs added to the Golden State Warriors’ recent misery as they handed them a lesson, winning 107-85. Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and the injured Kevin Durant all missed out for the Dubs, whilst Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge were just two of the Spurs who sat out— Leonard due to the NBA’s concussion protocols and Aldridge with a minor heart arrhythmia.
Patty Mills was on fire as he scored 21 points, knocking down five of his seven 3-point shots. Kyle Anderson scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Davis Bertans also scoring 13 points.
The Warriors saw a career-high scoring night for Ian Clark who finished with 36 points in the loss. Zaza Pachulia had a double-double 11 points and 12 boards and Matt Barnes scored 14 points.
King James triple-double stops Magic
LeBron James was imperious as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Orlando Magic 116-104 in Florida. King James finished the night with 24 points, 13 assists and 12 rebounds. Close behind was Kyrie Irving who scored 22 points and also had eight rebounds and seven assists. Tristan Thompson ended the game with a 14-point, 13-rebound double-double.
Nikola Vucevic was the top performer for the Magic as he scored 20 points and pulled down 16 boards. Aaron Gordon scored 16 points and Algerian-French guard Evan Fournier finished with 15 points. DRC-born center Bismack Biyombo scored six points and claimed eight rebounds.
The Milwaukee Bucks are clinging on to that playoff spot in the East with a 102-95 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Nigerian-Greek phenomenon Giannis Antetokounmpo was a standout in a solid team effort, as he scored 18 points, dished seven assists and grabbed four boards. Tony Snell scored 19 points for the Bucks and Matthew Dellavedova ended with 16 points. South Sudanese-Australian big man Thon Maker started the game but could play only five minutes and didn’t score.
The Timberwolves had a massive showing from Karl-Anthony Towns who weighed in with a big double-double of 35 points and 14 rebounds. Ricky Rubio scored 22 points and dished eight dimes, Andrew Wiggins scored 11 points and Senegal’s Gorgui Dieng finished the game with seven points and six rebounds.
In other results from around the league, the Detroit Pistons beat the New York Knicks 112-92, Anthony Davis scored 46 points and grabbed 21 rebounds on his birthday as the New Orleans Pelicans got the better of the Charlotte Hornets 125-122 in overtime, the LA Clippers won their clash with the Philadelphia 76ers 112-100, the Miami Heat hammered the Toronto Raptors 104-89, the Atlanta Hawks won their game against the Memphis Grizzlies 107-90 and the Denver Nuggets beat the Sacramento Kings 105-92. The Washington Wizards needed overtime to win their game against the Portland Trail Blazers 125-124 and Devin Booker’s buzzer beater helped the Phoenix Suns edge the Dallas Mavericks 100-98.
By Cyrus Rogers