“Nightmare” Luka blows up once more; Giddey gains access to a new weapon

January 2, 2023

Josh Giddey, an Australian, produced a remarkable double-double for the Oklahoma City Thunder against the Charlotte Hornets with 21 points and ten rebounds, although his team was defeated 113-121.


Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Lu Dort each scored 28 points for the Thunder, but LaMelo Ball led the Hornets to a second-half victory over the Thunder with 27 points, ten rebounds, and nine assists. Giddey’s flawless 7-7 performance from the charity stripe had observers and fans gushing about his potential in that area.


The widely accepted claim is that Giddey might maximize his scoring potential by making a concerted effort to get to the foul line more regularly.


Doncic Moves Off Again


With averaging 35 points, 12 rebounds, and 13 assists in the Dallas Mavericks’ 129-114 victory over the Houston Rockets, Luka Doncic maintained his remarkable season.


Doncic achieved a 30-point triple-double in the game’s opening three quarters, only two nights after setting a record with a 60-point triple-double. This was the sixth time in his career that he had done it.


Since the 1997–98 season, there have only been seven occasions of a 30-point triple-double through three quarters, and Doncic owns five of them.


He is currently leading the NBA in triple-doubles this season with eight.


Coach Jason Kidd of Dallas commented, “I thought this was a tremendous team win. We were not dependent on Luka.”


Christian Wood, who scored 21 points against his former squad on 5-of-8 three-point shooting, was primarily responsible for it. He made four more blocks. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 18 points, while Dwight Powell scored 19, his season-high point total off the bench on 8-of-8 shooting.


Former Dallas assistant Stephen Silas, who now coaches the Rockets, gushed about superstar Doncic.


His passing has set him apart from the competition, but now that he is scoring as well, it is impossible to prepare for or defend against him.


Two outstanding plays stood out in particular: the first, a clutch buzzer-beater just before halftime, and the second, an incredible long-range pass for Powell earlier in the first half.


His exquisite passing enabled the Mavericks to score a season-high 25 points in fast breaks.


“Normally, there is none. If not two,” Kidd said.


Jalen Green’s 23 points led the Rockets, but Houston has now dropped seven of its last eight games.


Other results


The Boston Celtics, currently in first place in the Eastern Conference, defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 116-110 on Thursday. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown both scored 29 points in the victory.


With their fourth straight victory, the Celtics (25-10) finished off a seven-game homestand that had started with three losses.


Brown led the Celtics past the 21-15 Clippers twice in the game with runs of seven straight points.


Derrick White made a great block to prevent Paul George from making a basket with 33 seconds left, cutting Boston’s lead to three points. The Celtics maintained control of the game after that.


White reflected on the homestand and the New Year’s Day trip to the Denver Nuggets, who are currently second in the West. “It was obviously a hard start, but we bounced back nicely, and now we have four tough games on the road, and we have to find a way to get wins,” White said.


Kawhi Leonard led the Clippers to score 26 points and eight rebounds, and Paul George added 24.


In addition to Dillon Brooks’ 25 points, Ja Morant contributed a career-high 17 assists as the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Toronto Raptors 119-106.


Despite Pascal Siakam’s outstanding play, who has now scored 25 points or more in his previous six games, the Raptors have dropped five straight home games and eight of their last 10.


Tyrese Haliburton scored 29 points in the Pacers’ 135–126 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, one of four Indiana players to score in the 20-point range.


Rick Carlisle, the head coach of the Pacers, was ejected in the third quarter after vehemently contesting a decision not to call Donovan Mitchell for travel.


Carlisle says, “I’ve been on that guys to stay off the refs, and suddenly it was the mortal sin.”


“That is all I will say about it,” he continued. “I had a lot of lovely text messages during the fourth quarter from folks who agreed with my evaluation.


With a 112-115 loss to the San Antonio Spurs, the New York Knicks dropped their fifth game in a row. Keldon Johnson led the way with 30 points.


Despite scoring a season-high 41 points, Julian Randle could not prevent the Knicks from losing to the next-to-last team in the West and dropping to an 18-18 record.

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