Ilyasova posts season-highs in fill-in start

2019-12-28T07:12:21+00:00 2019-12-28T07:17:18+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

28/Dec/19 07:12

No shortage of European action in six-game NBA night.

By John Askounis/

With reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo (back) watching from the bench, the Milwaukee Bucks overpowered the Atlanta Hawks, 112-86, at the State Farm Arena to improve their W-L tally to 28-5. Starting instead of the Greek Freak, Ersan Ilyasova poured a season-high 18 points, pulled down 17 rebounds, also a personal best for the 2019-20 NBA Regular Season, rejected one shot as well. Thanasis Antetokounmpo added four points, a pair of dimes, one board and one steal. Fellow European Dragan Bender (right ankle) stayed on the injury list. Lone Old Continent representative of the hosts, Alex Len (left ankle) was ruled out for Friday’s contest as well.

Enes Kanter pushed the streaking Boston Celtics to the 129-117 win versus the Cleveland Cavaliers at the TD Garden with 14 points, nine rebounds, three dimes, a pair of steals and a couple of rejections from the bench. Starter Daniel Theis added nine points, six boards, two assists, a couple of interception and a pair of blocks, and naturalized Montenegrin Javonte Green ended up with four points and one rebound. Vincent Poirier (right hand) remained out. As for the losing side, Cedi Osman posted ten points, five boards, four assists, one steal and one rejection, and Ante Zizic finished with eight points, two rebounds and one rejection.

Goran Dragic sank the game-winner with 6.8 seconds left sending the Miami Heat to the 113-112 victory over the Indiana Pacers at the AmericanAirlines Arena. The hosts grabbed a couple of offensive rebounds before the 33-year-old Slovenian guard made the winning bucket to round up his effort with 14 points to go along with his six dimes, three rebounds and one interception. Domantas Sabonis was held at eight points, seven boards, four assists and two interceptions in losing effort, teammate Goga Bitadze did not register any stat in limited action and Naz Mitrou-Long (right ankle) was inactive.

Fresh off being included in the G League Showcase First Team, Alen Smailagic fired four points, one rebound and one rejection in his NBA debut, which was combined with the 105-96 win for the Golden State Warriors versus the Phoenix Suns at the Chase Center. Dario Saric’s 11-point, 10-rebound double-double went to waste, so did his two assists. Ricky Rubio also banked 11 points in losing effort to go along with his four dimes, four boards and one steal. Elie Okobo did not play though.

The Orlando Magic held on for the 98-97 win against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Amway Center with plenty of European aid. Evan Fournier scored a team-high 20 points with 8/14 from the field, also tallied six dimes, a pair of rebounds and a couple of interceptions. Nikola Vucevic notched a 16-point, 12-rebound double-double, dished seven assists as well. Furkan Korkmaz of the visitors went for seven points, three boards and a couple of steals in 22 minutes of action from the bench.

Danilo Gallinari (left ankle) sat out, but Dennis Schroder was on hand with 24 points behind 10/17 from the field for the Oklahoma City Thunder that secured an overtime win, 104-102, versus the Charlotte Hornets at the Spectrum Center. The German guard also put in three dimes and a couple of rebounds. As for the hosts, Nicolas Batum and Willy Hernangomez did not leave the bench.


Eastern Conference
1. Milwaukee Bucks 28-5
2. Boston Celtics 22-7
3. Miami Heat 23-8
4. Toronto Raptors 21-10
5. Philadelphia 76ers 23-11
6. Indiana Pacers 21-11
7. Brooklyn Nets 16-14
8. Orlando Magic 14-17
9. Charlotte Hornets 13-21
10. Chicago Bulls 12-20
11. Detroit Pistons 12-20
12. Washington Wizards 9-21
13. Cleveland Cavaliers 9-22
14. New York Knicks 8-24
15. Atlanta Hawks 6-26

Western Conference
1. Los Angeles Lakers 24-7
2. Denver Nuggets 21-9
3. Los Angeles Clippers 23-10
4. Houston Rockets 21-10
5. Dallas Mavericks 20-10
6. Utah Jazz 19-12
7. Oklahoma City Thunder 16-15
8. Portland Trail Blazers 14-18
9. San Antonio Spurs 12-18
10. Sacramento Kings 12-19
11. Memphis Grizzlies 12-20
12. Minnesota Timberwolves 11-19
13. Phoenix Suns 11-20
14. New Orleans Pelicans 9-23
15. Golden State Warriors 9-24