Joel Embiidwith 50 points, and Luka Doncicwith a huge triple double, led the victories of the Sixers and Mavericks in Wednesday’s NBA matchdayin which the Minnesota Timberwolves placed first overall.
The American basketball league held a 10-game day before the four-way final of the new Cup tournament begins on Thursday in Las Vegas (Nevada), where the Pacers and the Bucks will compete in the Eastern Conference semifinal and the Lakers and the Pelicans in the West.
The beating of the night was carried out by the Dallas Mavericks with a 147-97 victory over the Utah Jazz with an unstoppable performance by Luka Doncic. For the first time in his career, the Slovenian went into halftime already adding a triple double with 29 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, in addition to 6 triples. In the last 25 years Only five other triple doubles have been recorded in the first half of a game of the NBA.
LUKA DONCIC’s numbers in THREE QUARTERS 🤯🪄
First player in history to reach 25+10+10… at halftime! Yes, Luka already had 29 PTS, 10 REB and 10 AST halfway through the game. pic.twitter.com/L5jk2s8WWX
— NBASpain (@NBAspain) December 7, 2023
Given the enormous lead on the scoreboard, Doncic no longer took the court in the last quarter and finished with a total of 40 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists.
The other Dallas figure, Kyrie Irving, scored 26 points against the Jazz who were missing their two top scorers, Lauri Markkanen and Jordan Clarkson.
In Washington, the Philadelphia 76ers needed Embiid’s biggest score of the season to defeat the Wizards, the penultimate place in the East.
The Cameroonian, the season’s top scorer (32 points on average), overwhelmed the local defense, reaching 50 points for the first time this season and the sixth time in his NBA career. The reigning MVP also added 12 rebounds and 7 assists to his tally while his teammate Tyrese Maxey reached 26 points with a three-pointer from half court at the half-time buzzer.
The Wizards, with Jordan Poole as the offensive leader (23 points), suffered their twelfth defeat in the last 13 games.
Below the Wizards, the Detroit Pistons continue to sink even faster and on Wednesday they suffered their 18th consecutive defeat by falling 116-102 against the Memphis Grizzlies led by Desmond Bane, who exploded with 49 points, a career high.
In Los Angeles, the Clippers beat the Denver Nuggets 111-102 on an unusually bad night of Nikola Jokic in the shot. The center, two-time MVP, scored 22 points but with a statistic of 9-32 from the field. He had never missed so many shots in his career but he still ended up posting a triple double with 15 rebounds and 10 assists from him.
The Serbian’s mistake made it easier for the Clippers to overcome a 15-point deficit led by Paul George, with 23 points, and James Harden, with 20 points and 11 assists.
«We began to look like what we are on both sides of the track. “This is a process,” warned Harden, who landed this season in Los Angeles.
The Golden State Warriors, on their side, sweated to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 110-106 on their home court with 31 points from Stephen Curry.
In Minnesota, the Timberwolves defeated the San Antonio Spurs 102-94 thanks to French center Rudy Gobert, who was undefendable this Wednesday by his young compatriot Victor Wembanyama.
Gobert, a 2.16m tall center, finished with 16 points and 21 rebounds while the young Wembanyama, 2.24m tall and number one in the last Draft, this time was left at 12 and 10.
Popovich, fifteen losses in a row
The Spurs led by Gregg Popovich have had 15 consecutive losses while the Timberwolves continue to establish themselves as the big surprise of this campaign and are at the top of the West with a record of 16-4, the best in the league.
“We went through a lot of adversity last year and we came back into preseason with a different mentality and energy,” recalled Gobert, who had kind words for ‘Wemby.’ “I love him very much and I want him to be successful, I am here for him,” he said.
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