Luka Doncic led the Dallas Mavericks to a fifth straight win with another triple-double. The Boston Celtics beat the LA Clippers in the best game.
Meanwhile, NBA history was being made in Indiana. Buddy Hield converted the fastest three-point shot of all time in the win over Cleveland.
Charlotte Hornets (10-26) – Oklahoma City Thunder (15-20) 121:113 (BOXSCORE)
- Another small sign of life from the Hornets, who have now won three of the last 14 games. LaMelo Ball, on the other hand, is still good, leading Charlotte to victory with 27 points (9/15 FG, 5/10 3-pointers), 10 rebounds and 9 assists.
- 7 of those 27 points came in the final 4:14 minutes of the game, which the Hornets won 18:10. With 50 seconds to go, Ball had the answer ready from downtown, after Lu Dort also cut it to -4 from the outside. A turnover from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander finally sealed Thunder’s bankruptcy.
- SGA had delivered a thrilling duel with the ball. The Thunder Guard scored 28 points (11/23 FG), and Dort (22.5/7 threes) and Josh Giddey (21.7/15, 10 rebounds) also broke the 20-point mark. What OKC couldn’t do was stop. Charlotte hit 55% from the field and scored 66 points in the area, the Hornets’ centers in particular often struggled.
- Among others, the choice n ° 15 Mark Williams (17, 7/7, 13 rebounds) recorded the first double-double of his career. The center suffered ankle problems at the start of the season but was now favored over Nick Richards in the rotation. PJ Washington (25, 10/13) and Mason Plumlee (14, 6/7) were also extremely effective.
Indiana Pacers (19-17) – Cleveland Cavaliers (22-14) 135:126 (BOXSCORE)
- After just three seconds, it was clear which direction this game would go. Immediately after the tip, the ball landed with Buddy Hield, who immediately pulled the trigger and sank the fastest three-pointer in NBA history. The guard broke the record set by fellow Pacers player Reggie Miller in 2000 after 4 seconds from downtown.
- Overall, the line was excellent for Indiana. Of just 31 attempts, 19 found their way through the trap, Hield (25) sinking five of six attempts. Tyrese Haliburton (29, 6/8 3P, 9 assists) also had a hot hand and was nearly unstoppable, especially in the first three sections.
- Nevertheless, the game has long been balanced. Donovan Mitchell scored 28 points for Cleveland, but he too ran out of juice in the fourth quarter (only 1/6 FG). Cleveland therefore lost a 7-point lead in the final quarter because the role players now also delivered for the Pacers. Pacers coach Rick Carlisle was already in the locker room, he was sent off in the third quarter.
- Bennedict Mathurin (23, 7/14) and Aaron Nesmith (22, 7/10) provided important plays, while an And-1 from Haliburton provided the necessary distance. Nesmith also handled the night’s action by putting Jarrett Allen (19, 14 rbds) on a poster with a furious Dunk Cavs center. Notice how high the attacker is in the air when they dive.
Boston Celtics (26-10) – LA Clippers (21-16) 116:110 (BOXSCORE)
- A few weeks ago, the Celtics suffered their heaviest defeat of the season at the Clippers (93:113), and now they are taking their revenge at home at TD Garden. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum each scored 29 points for the hosts and brought the game home with free throws in the closing stages.
- However, the most important play of the evening came from Derrick White (15, 6/8 FG), who blocked a Paul George lay-up attempt at +3 with 33 seconds left, in which he sharply rotated and cleared the Clippers star on the assist side. This prevented the guests from making a late comeback, with the Celtics still leading by 10 points just under three minutes before the end, but Boston failed to make a single field goal after that.
- This marks the end of a seven-game home streak for the Celtics. The last four games were successfully played, the first three games were lost. Besides the Jays, Marcus Smart (17.7/15, 9 assists) and Robert Williams (12.6 rebounds) were particularly impressive.
- Among the Clippers, Kawhi Leonard (26, 11/16, 8 rebounds) was the top scorer, George (24) only really woke up in the fourth quarter. Norman Powell scored 19 points off the bench, Ivica Zubac (13, 11 rebounds) scored a double-double. Boston still had a slight advantage under the boards (49:41), in the final phase two offensive rebounds secured the victory for the hosts.
Toronto Raptors (15-20) – Memphis Grizzlies (21-13) 106:119 (BOXSCORE)
- “It’s unacceptable what we showed today,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said after the game, and it was actually a pretty one-sided thing in Toronto. Ja Morant had no problems with the Canadian defense and always found his teammates for easy points. In the end, it wasn’t just 19 points (9/19 FG) for the All-Star, but also a career-high 17 assists.
- Plus, of course, there were the almost daily dunks for the guard, that’s probably what annoyed Nurse the most. Overall, the Raptors gave up 70 points in the zone and also caught 13 not-necessarily-accurate Grizzlies triples. Chief among them were Dillon Brooks (25, 4/7 3P) and Desmond Bane (16, 3/7 3P).
- The Raptors found no way to keep Steven Adams (14, 17 rebounds, 8 offensive) off the boards. The guests were leading up to 23 points and had everything under control. Pascal Siakam (25, 8/19, 10 rebounds) was Toronto’s best man again before the Cameroonian was fouled in the fourth quarter. Gary Trent Jr. had 20 points (5/7 threes) coming off the bench. The big problem: Every other Raptors player is only hitting 5/21 from range.
San Antonio Spurs (12-23) – New York Knicks (18-18) 122:115 (BOXSCORE)
- Did the bitter defeat in Dallas leave its mark? Just two days later, the Knicks conceded another bust in Texas, although Julius Randle (41, 14/27 FG, 11 rebounds, 7 assists) scored the most points this season. Nevertheless, the guests ran behind almost the entire game and could not make it exciting anymore.
- The Knicks missed injured RJ Barrett, Miles McBride (9) entered the starting five for him. He did his job properly, but then was absent from the bank queues. Evan Fournier (11, 4/6) was cleared to re-involve for 17 minutes after more than six weeks. Also absent is Jalen Brunson, excellently represented by Immanuel Quickley (36 years old, 7 assists).
- Quickley scored 19 of those points in the fourth quarter alone, but the hosts didn’t sweat. Spurs already led by 17 points in the third period and then still had an answer. Keldon Johnson scored 30 points, Romeo Langford (23) set a season high. Jakob Pöltl (9, 12 rebounds) missed a double-double in 28 minutes. Isaiah Hartenstein played 15 minutes for the Knicks and had 4 points, 5 rebounds and 1 steal.
Dallas Mavericks (20-16) – Houston Rockets (10-25) 129:114 (BOXSCORE)
- “He had a rest beer, so he filled the tank,” Jason Kidd said when asked if his star, Luka Doncic, didn’t need a break after the 60-21 triple-double -10. And Doncic gave the right answer on the court by adding another triple-double with 35 points (11/21 FG), 12 rebounds and 13 assists. A buzzerbeater was also back.
- The Slovenian had already achieved this in the third quarter and had only four minutes left in the final game. The Mavs led up to 25 points, with the starting five in particular being dominant. Tim Hardaway Jr. (18. 3/8 3P), Spencer Dinwiddie (15. 3/5 3P) and especially Christian Wood (21.8/15 FG, 5/8 3P, 4 blocks) were hot from long range and used Doncic’s assists.
- “It was a team success,” said Kidd, who noted that this time around Doncic wasn’t too reliant on magic. It was the Texans’ fifth straight win, longest winning streak this season. Dwight Powell completed the team’s good performance with 19 points off the bench.
- But the Rockets also made it easy for Dalas. The Mavs scored 25 points in transition (a season high) and struggled little in the zone (27/38 FG). Jalen Green (17) and Kevin Porter Jr. (23) each hit four threes, otherwise almost no rockets were accurate. The downtown No. 3 also picked Jabari Smith (16, 7/13, 0/4 three).
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