The NBA rollercoaster continued last night as the San Antonio Spurs topped the Atlanta Hawks to scale the summit of the Western Conference and the NBA itself. The playoff picture is also less clear with a few surprise losses pegging the top performers back.
Spurs continue to dominate Hawks in San Antonio
The San Antonio Spurs beat the Atlanta Hawks 107-99. Kawhi Leonard played again having sat out a few games due to the NBA’s concussion protocol. He was unstoppable as he top scored with 31 points. Patty Mills continued his red-hot form as he scored 15 points and dished nine assists. David Lee and Danny Green combined for 28 points, both scoring 14 points each.
The Hawks were led in scoring by Gambian-German Dennis Schroder who poured in 22 points and finished with 10 assists for a double-double. Tim Hardaway Jr scored 17 points off the bench. Paul Millsap contributed 16 points. South African-Swiss forward Thabo Sefolosha scored nine points and claimed five rebounds while Dwight Howard only scored seven points and grabbed 11 boards.
Jazz have Clippers singing the blues
The Utah Jazz beat the LA Clippers 114-108 in a Western Conference battle. All-Star Gordon Hayward led the way for the Jazz as he fired in 27 points. George Hill poured in 19 points, took down eight rebounds and passed six assists. Rudy Gobert recorded a double-double 11 points and 10 rebounds. Senegalese-French big man Boris Diaw scored five points and claimed three boards.
Chris Paul was the game’s high scorer with 33 points, also finishing the game with seven assists. JJ Redick scored 16 points, Austin Rivers ended with 15 points, DeAndre Jordan scored 12 points and claimed seven boards. Blake Griffin was held to eight points and nine rebounds. Cameroonian Luc Mbah-a-Moute scored six points.
Timberwolves stop Wizards in their tracks
The Timberwolves got the better of the Washington Wizards 119-104 in a surprise result in Minnesota. The Wizards are flying high in the Eastern Conference standings and were brought down to earth. Western Conference player of the week Karl-Anthony Towns scored a massive 39 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Ricky Rubio also recorded a double-double of his own with 22 points and a franchise-record 19 assists. Andrew Wiggins ended the game with 15 points and Senegalese center Gorgui Dieng scored 10 points, pulled down nine rebounds and blocked three shots.
Eastern Conference player of the week John Wall was the Wizards’ best player as he scored 27 points. Bradley Beal scored 20 points and Bojan Bogdanovic added 12 points off the bench.
High-flying Nuggets add to Lakers’ woes
An impressive team effort from the Denver Nuggets got them the 129-101 over the LA Lakers. Jamal Murray and Will Barton combined for 44 points off the pine, both scoring 22 points apiece. Nikola Jokic and Danilo Gallinari both scored 18 points in the win. Mason Plumlee finished with a 15-point, 10-rebound double-double.
The Lakers saw Ivica Zubac weigh in with a big performance for a 25-point, 11-point double-double. Jordan Clarkson started the game and scored 19 points. Brandon Ingram scored 14 points.
In other results in the NBA, the Chicago Bulls beat the Charlotte Hornets 115-109, the Toronto Raptors humbled the Dallas Mavericks 100-78 and the Sacramento Kings edged Orlando Magic 120-115.
By Cyrus Rogers