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West Leadership Race Still On; Mavericks Biggest Gainers


PhilBoxing.com




All three contenders for Western Conference leadership played today, with only two winning. Yet they remained just half a game to one game off each other ensuring that the race for the top is still on as the season winds down to its last eight games for each.

The biggest gainers of the day though are the Dallas Mavericks who improved to a share of the 5th place with a road win against the Houston Rockets in the process setting back the latter's play-in bid.

The Denver Nuggets, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Minnesota Timberwolves all have games today but only the Nuggets and the Thunder won, with OKC posting temporary leads of half a game and a game respectively as Minnesota lost.

The Nuggets routed the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers, 130-101 to raise their record to 52-23. The Nuggets were again without Jamal Murray and drew just 8-point performance from Aaron Gordon. But Nikola Jokic who as usual topped for Denver with 26, got superb support from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (22), Michael Porter Jnr (19), Reggie Jackson (16) and Chris Braun (11) for the breakaway win.

The Thunder nipped the New York Knicks, 113-112 at the Madison Garden Arena to take the temporary leadership with a record of 52-22. With the OKC's 1-2 punch Shai Gilgeous Alexander and Chet Holmgren not as productive, Jalen Williams led the Thunder attack with 33 points in collaboration with Josh Giddy who chipped in 16 points apart from topping the team in rebounds (13) and assists (12). Still, SGA managed to score 19 points including the jumpshot that decided the game after Jalen Brunson had given the Knicks the lead with four ticks left. Brunson who led the Knicks with 30 points, missed a last jumper in a bid to turn the game around.

The Minnesota Timberwolves lost its home game to the Chicago Bulls, 109-101 and saw its record dropped to 51-23, a game behind the leading Thunders. The Bulls were bannered by Demar Derozan (27), Alex Caruso (21), Nikola Vucevic (19) and Coby White (17). The Timberwolves were led by Anthony Edwards with 21 and Ruby Gobert who added 19, however the team is missing a piece of its Twin Towers in Karl Anthony Towns who remained out with injury.

Dallas Mavericks gained a tie for the 5th place with the New Orleans Pelicans both with a record of 45-29 following a 125-107 road win over the Houston Rockets on the dominant all around performance of MVP candidate Luka Doncic (47 points, 12 rebounds, 7 assists).

The loss set back the Rockets in its bid to vie for a play-in berth vis a vis the current 10th placer Golden State Warriors who won again today, a 117-113 road victory over San Antonio Spurs. The Warriors at 40-34 have a two games lead over the Rockets (38-36).

The author Teodoro Medina Reynoso is a veteran boxing radio talk show host living in the Philippines. He can be reached at teddyreynoso@yahoo.com and by phone 09215309477.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Teodoro Medina Reynoso.


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