NBA: Magic comeback fails at the last second! Pacers shoot Bucks – Kings celebrate

Josh Okogie ends an Orlando Magic comeback attempt at the last second as the Indiana Pacers heat up against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Sacramento Kings are celebrating their first winning season in nearly 20 years.

The Nuggets also have reason to celebrate, the Raptors score on the scoreboard and in the play-in race.

Detroit Pistons (16-55) – Denver Nuggets (47-23) 100:119 (BOXSCORE)

  • Impressive display from the Nuggets starters, who all scored 15 or more points to be crowned early champions of the Northwest Division this year! Denver is the first playoff team in the west. Nikola Jokic was the man of the game with 30 points on 14/18 from the field and 10 rebounds and 9 assists with just 1 turnover.
  • The game was fairly even for almost 40 minutes, then Denver scored 16 straight points and sprinted away with the lead. The Nuggets hit almost 53 percent from the field and dominated in the zone (70-52). Jamal Murray (19, 10 assists) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (20) both hit 7/15 from the field, Aaron Gordon (15, 6/9 FG) grabbed 5 of his 8 rebounds on the opposing board.
  • The Pistons’ top scorer was Rodney McGruder with 20 points at 6/10 from downtown and 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals, Jalen Duren contributed a strong double-double off the bench with 15 points (7/10 FG), 13 Rebounds (5 offensive), 4 assists and 3 steals.

Brooklyn Nets (39-31) – Sacramento Kings (42-27) 96:101 (BOXSCORE)

  • With the win in Brooklyn, it’s clear the Sacramento Kings will end a season with more wins than losses for the first time since 2006! Domantas Sabonis put all doubts to rest by putting up 24 points (8/14 FG), 5 assists and 4 blocks and controlling the boards with 7 of his 21 total rebounds in the ring.
  • Apparently, the Kings did not enjoy this success without a setback, Kevin Huerter had to leave the game after just under six minutes with a thigh injury. Further investigations will follow.
  • The Nets got off to a better start, leading for much of the first quarter and a half, then the Kings took the lead and didn’t give it up. Both teams didn’t do well in the end, but Brooklyn was very careful with the ball (only 6 turnovers). Sacramento made up for it in rebounds (57-41) and points at second chances (16-0).
  • The best net was again Mikal Bridges with 23 points on 7/17 from the field, while Spencer Dinwiddie (18, 7 assists) also did well. Nic Claxton had 14 points and rebounds each.

Toronto Raptors (34-36) – Oklahoma City Thunder (34-36) 128:111 (BOXSCORE)

  • Although the Raptors led the entire second half, they only really set themselves apart in the closing stages of the game. Toronto did that with six players who scored over 15 points. Pascal Siakam led the strong starters with 25 points (9/19 FG), 14 rebounds and 8 assists without affording a turnover.
  • Gary Trent Jr. provided more firepower off the bench with 23 points at 8/11 from the field and 4/6 from downtown, Jakob Pöltl (16, 4/11) grabbed 5 offensive rebounds (12 total) as did Siakam. The Raptors are drawing to a half win against the Hawks, who lost their last two games.
  • For the visitors, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander made his tenth straight game with 25 points or more, having scored 33 or more in each of the past five. So it was already a success for the Raptors to keep SGA at 29 (12/19 FG), none of his teammates provided great support.

Milwaukee Bucks (50-20) – Indiana Pacers (32-38) 123:139 (BOXSCORE)

  • The Pacers are perhaps the team in recent years that has always surprised with fireworks against a top team. Three important offensive players were missing with Tyrese Haliburton, Bennedict Mathurin and Chris Duarte! The scoring was still well distributed against Milwaukee, with eight guests scoring in double digits. Above all Andrew Nembhard with 24 points (10/21 FG) and 5 assists without losing the ball.
  • Indiana had previously lost ten straight games to the Bucks and seemed to be heading towards that end in the first three quarters. Milwaukee was in full control, leading by double digits repeatedly, until the Pacers took the lead at the end of the third period with an 11-0 run. Indiana always got off to a good start with 26:13 points in the fast break.
  • Indiana quickly expanded this lead, Aaron Nesmith (22, 6/9 3P) participated with a hot hand. With 19 points (9/12 FG) and 12 assists, TJ McConnell ensured that the offense continued to run at full speed in the second session. The Pacers hit nearly 56 percent from field and nearly 48 percent from long range (22/46).
  • For the Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way with 25 points (10/17 FG), 9 rebounds and 5 assists, while Jrue Holiday contributed 19 points (8/12) and 11 assists.

Phoenix Suns (38-32) – Orlando Magic (28-42) 116:113 (BOXSCORE)

  • Too bad, after this fight between the Suns and Magic, an overtime would have been particularly exciting. However, Josh Okogie obviously had other plans and Paolo Banchero blocked in the closing seconds on the triple line. Orlando never led after the break but equalized once in the closing stages.
  • The Magic used their athletic advantages as a young group, especially in the fast break, where they scored 26 points and conceded only 2. Markelle Fultz repeated his season best with 25 points (11/17 FG) as well as 7 rebounds, 9 assists and 2 steals. Orlando hit half of his field shots but only 8/28 from beyond the three point line.
  • Franz Wagner contributed 16 points, 10 rebounds and 2 assists and, like Banchero (18, 8 rebounds), hit 7 of his 15 field shots. Cole Anthony assisted with 17 points (5/9 FG) as sixth man, Moritz Wagner (2) only played less than 7 minutes.
  • The Suns ended their short negative series after three games with a good team performance. Devin Booker was already his team’s top scorer with 19 points (7/17). Okogie (15, 2/10 3P) is adapting well to his role with the Suns and defending superbly (3 steals, 3 blocks).
  • Cameron Payne contributed 18 points (3/5 3P) and 5 assists off the bench. Deandre Ayton (16, 7 rebounds) hobbled at the end of the game, according to himself he had problems with the groin.

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