NBA Wrap February 13th
IMAGE: KSL Sports
RED-HOT INGLES AND JAZZ CONTINUE WINNING WAYS
When Aussie Joe Ingles saw his first three go down, he knew right away it would be his night.
Ingles tied his career-high with 27 points knocking down 7 of 9 from behind the arc as the Utah Jazz are off to its best 26 game start to a season in franchise history defeating the Milwaukee Bucks 129-115.
Utah’s anchor in the middle Rudy Gobert had 27 points and 12 rebounds, while Donovan Mitchell finished with 26 points and 8 assists for the Jazz who have won 17 of 18.
Sixth Man of the Favourite Jordan Clarkson scored 25 points in 31 minutes off the bench.
Giannis Antetokounmpo strung a monster game with 29 points, 15 rebounds and 6 assists for the Bucks who have dropped two straight.
The story of the game was the red-hot shooting of Ingles who started the game blazing knocking down four triples in the first period as Utah took a 35-31 lead at the end of one. The Jazz further established its momentum wave going ahead 51-38 on Bojan Bogdanovic’s three leaving Bucks Coach Mike Budenholzer to use a timeout.
Coach Bud’s strategy paid off as Milwaukee narrowed the gap to eight only for Utah led by Ingles to bury another couple of triples including one of dazzling team ball movement leaving Georges Niang on the bench in disbelief.
Utah led 69-52 at intermission.
As the theme has gone by over this unbelievable streak for Utah, the selfless play to find the open man in the right spots has been key. Building on its late opening half run, the Jazz inflated the lead to 21, though Milwaukee fought back using a 14-7 run to finish the third down fourteen.
On three occasions early in the final stanza, Milwaukee threatened to get the deficit under double-digits, but the consistent power of the Jazz with Mitchell, Gobert who had a couple of rim-rattling jams and Clarkson proved too much to overcome.
JOKIC, MURRAY HELP NUGGETS KNOCK OFF THUNDER
Trailing 19 late in the opening half with its offence ice cold, it would have been time to panic for Denver.
Not these Nuggets though, led by Nikola Jokic with 22 points, 13 rebounds and 9 assists and Jamal Murray also with 22 as Denver rallied to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder for the second time this season 97-95.
Justin Jackson in his first season with the Thunder led the team with 20 points – its third successive loss, including two in Overtime against Champions Los Angeles Lakers.
Offence proved hard to generate for Denver as missed shot after missed shot eventuated, finding themselves down 50-31 with 2:50 left. The Nuggets turned its superstar Jokic who scored seven points part of a 9-3 to end the half down 13.
A similar trend to start the second half, with OKC threatening to create separation hurrying four triples from long distance to build the lead back up to 15. Again with their backs to the wall, Denver conjured another response tightening the screws defensively out scoring the Thunder 19-10 for the rest of the period with Murray making a 36-footer at the buzzer.
Building on its third-quarter momentum, the Nuggets whittled away further at OKC’s lead to three when Murray made an excellent behind pass to Paul Millsap for a driving layup. OKC had a response building its lead back out to eight (89-81).
The pendulum swung back in Denver direction rattling off 12 successive points capped off by Will Barton’s triple to give the home side a 93-89 lead with 43.3 seconds left, in the process restricting OKC to five successive empty buckets and three critical turnovers.
In the final minute Denver iced the games behind free throws from Murray and Monte Morris to ensure a second consecutive victory.
In other games around the Association:
Terry Rozier put on a spectacular offensive display scoring a 41 points to go with 6 assists as the Charlotte Hornets beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 120-114 despite playing with only eight men.
Malik Beasley having a career-best season led the Timberwolves with 31 points, but only had 15 after the first 12 minutes.
Julius Randle was hard to handle on the interior and exterior leading the Knicks with 24 points and 18 rebounds as New York grounded down the Washington Wizards 109-91.
Impressive Rookie Immanuel Quickley had 16 off the bench for the Knickerbockers who hammered the Wizards on the boards 65-46.
Russell Westbrook led Washington with 23 points, 9 rebounds and 10 assists as the team was without Bradley Beal for the first time this season due to rest.
DeMar DeRozan put up 23 points, 6 rebounds and 8 assists as the San Antonio Spurs led by as much as 42 before going on to beat the stumbling Atlanta Hawks 125-114.
Luka Doncic had a career-high 46 points along with 8 rebounds and 12 assists and his sidekick Kristaps Porzingis posted 36 points knocking down eight threes as the suddenly hot Dallas Mavericks beat the New Orleans Pelicans 143-130.
Pelicans superstar Zion Williamson too had a career-high scoring 36 points.
2-time Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard scored 33 points as the Los Angeles Clippers completed a mini two-game road trip by cruising past the Chicago Bulls 125-106.
Rookie Saddiq Bey had a career-night scoring 30 points and 12 rebounds and the Detroit Pistons beat the Boston Celtics 108-102 despite leading-scorer Jerami Grant being held to 15 points.
Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 33 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists while Jaylen Brown had 27 for the green team who have lost four of six.
Anthony Davis was unstoppable posting 35 points and 9 rebounds as the Los Angeles Lakers erased an early 20 point first-quarter deficit to overpower the Memphis Grizzlies 115-105.
Gary Trent Jr had his radar on target scoring 26 points and the Portland Trailblazers won its third straight game beating the reeling Cleveland Cavaliers 129-110.
Nikola Vucevic posted 42 points and 9 rebounds as the Orlando Magic won for only the fourth time in nineteen games beating the Sacramento Kings 123-112.
By Juri Bilcich