By Johnny Askounis/ email@example.com
Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving shined in long-awaited returns combining for 33 points in the Brooklyn Nets win, 119-114, versus the Washington Wizards Sunday evening. The losing side missed several key players, among them Latvian sharpshooter Davis Bertans.
Deni Avdija rocked his first NBA appearance connecting all of his shots, 3/3 twos, and 3/3 threes for 15 points in 24 minutes as a starter. He certainly did not look like a rookie at the Barclays Center.
Mo Wagner got 13 points, seven rebounds, and four assists in 18 minutes, Isaac Bonga scored four points, and Anzejs Pasecniks two. Apart from the Euros, another player directly connected with the Old Continent, Anthony Gill was in action for one rebound on his stat sheet.
The hosts had a couple of Europeans coming off the bench, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot at 11 points and Rodions Kurucs at five.
Elsewhere, Danilo Gallinari logged in 17 points, including ten in the first quarter, and Bogdan Bogdanovic went for 18 for the Atlanta Hawks in the win, 116-107, versus the Orlando Magic at the State Farm Arena. Both European stars came off the bench.
Starter Clint Capela, Swiss big, posted a 12-point, 12-rebound double-double in the final home preseason game for the Hawks. He looked healthy and ready to go for the 2020-21 Regular Season.
On the other end, Nikola Vucevic registered a 14-point, 15-rebound double-double. Evan Fournier added on the packed European field with 13 points.
French Sekou Doumbouya highlighted the Detroit Pistons win, 99-91, over the New York Knicks, with a team-high 23 points in only 18 minutes. He was 8/11 from the field in yet another friendly rematch of the NBA preseason.
Rookie Killian Hayes, picked 7th in the recent draft out of ratiopharm Ulm, had six points, five rebounds, four assists, and two steals as a starter. Ukrainian Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk sank three points, but Deividas Sirvydis and Dzanan Musa remained out.
For the losing side, French international Frank Ntilikina fouled out with just three points. Teammate RJ Barrett punched in a game-high 25 points.
A strong fourth quarter pushed the Chicago Bulls past the Houston Rockets, 104-91. Despite the “W”, Lauri Markkanen was held at three points off 1/10 shots. A left knee issue impacted the Finnish star. Czech floor general Tomas Satoransky sat out.
On the plus side for the Houston organization, James Harden and P.J. Tucker are expected to practice with the team Monday. This development does not really alter their current status though.
Nemanja Bjelica had 12 points for the Sacramento Kings in the win, 121-106, against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center. The Serbian forward was among the eight players of the winning side in double-digits.
Jusuf Nurkic donning his hair a bit red threw in four points for the losing side. Coming off the bench behind the Bosnian center, Enes Kanter scored eight points.
The Los Angeles Lakers using only eight players beat the Los Angeles Clippers, 131-106, in the second preseason meeting of the two sides. Marc Gasol was in as the starting center with six points, five assists, and four rebounds, but Dennis Schroder was among the sidelined players.
On the opposite end, Nicolas Batum started for nine points and Serge Ibaka maintained his spot in the opening lineup packing eight points. The third European, Ivica Zubac paired six points with six rebounds.
Photo Credit: Washington Wizards on Twitter