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Wemby follows in Shaq’s footsteps, Jokic headlines European double-double surge



By Eurohoops team /

With 12 games on the program, European players were expected to be in the spotlight, and they didn’t disappoint.

Victor Wembanyama wasn’t the top scorer in the San Antonio Spurs‘ 111-118 road win over the Utah Jazz, but he dominated in his own way. The French star finished the match with 19 points, eight rebounds, and six assists on 7-15 shooting from the field, but his six blocks stood out.

Therefore, Wemby became the first rookie to reach 300 steals and blocks in a season since Shaquille O’Neal. The Frenchman had 21 games this season with five or more blocks, and the next-best player in the NBA at the moment is Brook Lopez, with nine such matches. That’s the most 5-block games by a rookie since Shaquille O’Neal.

A couple of other European players also performed well in the Utah—San Antonio clash, with Lauri Markkanen scoring 25 points for the hosts and Jeremy Sochan almost reaching a double-double for the Spurs with 17 points and nine rebounds. Cedi Osman followed with nine points, seven boards, and six assists.

Nikola Jokic may not have played one of his best games, but he still almost recorded a triple-double. The Serbian center had 22 points, 10 assists, and nine rebounds in the Denver Nuggets‘ 97-104 loss to Kevin Durant and the Phoenix Suns.

Interestingly, all three of the West’s top three seeds suffered the same number of losses, with the Oklahoma City Thunder losing for the 22nd time to the Houston Rockets, 126-132, in overtime.

The Minnesota Timberwolves stayed at 22 defeats after beating the Detroit Pistons 106-91, with another European player reaching a double-double as Rudy Gobert scored 11 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.

Nikola Vucevic was another European player who reached a double-double. The Montenegrin center had 22 points and 12 rebounds in a 125-99 win over the Indiana Pacers.

Clint Capela also had a double-double in the Atlanta Hawks‘ 120-106 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers, scoring 13 points and 10 rebounds. Bogdan Bogdanovic added 16 points, and Tuomani Camara had 17 for the losing side.

The Washington Wizards lost in overtime to the Brooklyn Nets 119-122. Deni Avdija was another European who double-doubled, scoring 17 points and 12 rebounds. Dennis Schroder was on the verge of joining him, scoring 21 points with eight assists for the Nets.

Last, but not least, Vasilije Micic scored double digits in two columns, scoring 11 points with 12 assists in the Charlotte Hornets‘ 118-111 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Aleksej Pokusevski came close with 10 points and seven rebounds.

NBA results:

Charlotte Hornets – Cleveland Cavs 118-111 (Micic 11p, 12as, Pokusevski 10p, 7r, Bertans 5p)
Orlando MagicGolden State Warriors 93-101 (F. Wagner 14p, M. Wagner 6p, 7as)
Washington Wizards – Brooklyn Nets 119-122 OT (Avdija 17p, 12r – Schroder 21p, 8as)
Atlanta HawksPortland Trail Blazers 120-106 (Bogdanovic 16p, Capela 13p, 10r, Krejci 7p – Camara 17p, Rupert 7p, 6r, 5as)
Philadelphia 76ers – LA Clippers 107-108 (Batum 9p – Zubac 11p)
Toronto RaptorsNew York Knicks 101-145 (Bojan 18p, Hartenstein 15p)
Chicago BullsIndiana Pacers 125-99 (Vucevic 22p, 12r, Bitim 3p)
Memphis Grizzlies – LA Lakers 124-136 (Aldama 6p)
Minnesota TimberwolvesDetroit Pistons 106-91 (Gobert 11p, 14r, Garza 2p – Evbuomwan 3p)
Oklahoma City ThunderHouston Rockets 126-132 OT
Utah Jazz – San Antonio Spurs 111-118 (Markkanen 25p, 6r, Yurtseven 2p – Wembanyama 19p, 8r, Sochan 17p, 9r, Osman 9p, 7r)
Denver NuggetsPhoenix Suns 97-104 (Jokic 22p, 10as, 9r)

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