>> Houston-Denver NBA basketball game, February 28, 2023. From left, Denver's Nikola Jokic and Houston's Alperen Sengun.
New York – Denver's basketball players consolidated their position as the best team in the Western Conference with a 133:112 victory over Houston. The most valuable player of the past two NBA seasons, Nikola Jokic, already recorded the 100th triple double in his career for 14 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. He loses six triple-doubles to LeBron James, who is fifth in the all-time list, and seven to fourth-place Jason Kidd.
Photogallery: Basketball NBA 2022/23
This season, Jokic collected a triple double in 24 games and performed 15 of them in the last 20 games. “Nikola is a unique person who doesn't want credit for this. He just wants to help the team win its first title,” Denver coach Michael Malone said. “I appreciate everything he can do. We don't take him for granted,” he added.
“I appreciate the way we played, it makes me happy. All the other accolades, contracts and stuff like that, I don't want to say they come naturally , but it's not something I would definitely try to do. It's nice, but it will be best if I look at it all after the end of my career,” said Jokic.
Denver's best scorer was with 32 points Jamal Murray. Jalen Green and Tari Eason each scored 17 points for Houston, which is the worst team in the competition.
An excellent performance crowned with a triple double was also performed by Ja Morant. Even thanks to his 39 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, Memphis defeated the weakened Los Angeles Lakers 121:109. The third quarter was key for the development of the game, during which Morant hit 10 of 12 shots and the Grizzlies outscored the opponent 47:35.
Xavier Tillman contributed 18 points and 11 rebounds in the win. On the other hand, Anthony Davis scored 28 points and 19 rebounds. The Lakers noticeably missed D'Angelo Russell and especially LeBron James, who will be out for at least two weeks due to a leg injury.
Memphis is second in the Western Conference. The Lakers are not making it to the playoffs, with a record of 29-33, they are twelfth and lose one game to tenth place New Orleans.
Dallas is not doing well with the pair of stars Luka Dončič – Kyrie Irving and has lost the fourth of five games. They lost to Indiana 122-124, although Doncic had 39 points and eight rebounds. Irving added 16 points and nine assists, but hit just seven of 18 shots and missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer.
“It's not just about two players. Let's talk about the whole team, that's how we play. We win and lose as a team,” said Dončič after the match. The Pacers were led by Tyrese Haliburton with 32 points, pivot Myles Turner added 24 points.
The premiere of new Atlanta coach Quinn Snyder did not go well, the Hawks lost to Washington at home 116:119. They mainly did not defend Bradley Beal, who gave 37 points. Trae Young had the same record for Atlanta. Czech representative Vít Krejčí did not participate in the match.
The results of Tuesday's NBA games:
Atlanta – Washington 116:119, Brooklyn – Milwaukee 104:118, Dallas – Indiana 122:124, Golden State – Portland 123:105, Houston – Denver 112:133, LA Clippers – Minnesota 101:108, Memphis – LA Lakers 121:109, Oklahoma City – Sacramento 117:123, Toronto – Chicago 104:98, Utah – San Antonio 94:102.
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