The first-ever NBA matchup between Giannis Antetokounmpo and Zion Williamson took headlines when they faced off at the Smoothie King Center.
Too bad it was the final meeting of the season between these two teams. Nonetheless, the two are expected to give SBOTOP fans their daily dose of NBA 2020 highlights.
Elsewhere, ESPN Insider Adrian Wojnarowski just confirmed a four-way trade between the Hawks, Rockets, Timberwolves, and Nuggets.
The Hawks will get Clint Capela and Nene while the Rockets get their men in Jordan Bell and Robert Covington. The Timberwolves will receive Jarred Vanderbilt, Malik Beasley, Juancho Hernangomez, Evan Turner, and a first-round draft pick while the Nuggets get Shabazz Napier, Gerald Green, Noah Vonleh, and the Rockets’ first-rounder.
Milwaukee Bucks 120-108 New Orleans Pelicans
Zion Williamson immediately became the focal point of the Bucks’ defense given he’s been tearing it up since his much-awaited debut.
Milwaukee defended Williamson aggressively by building a wall around the interior to prevent him from getting his way into the shaded lane, even resorting to giving him a hard foul here and there.
Nonetheless, the super rookie scored 20 points for the Pelicans. However, he only shot 5-for-18 and was -11 on the floor.
The Bucks were led by Giannis Antetokounmpo as he scored 34 points and 17 rebounds. Khris Middleton, meanwhile, contributed 20 points.
After enduring a bad third period, the Pelicans managed to cut the Bucks’ deficit to seven when Zion Williamson scored off of a floater and two free throws after ripping the rebound away from Giannis Antetokounmpo.
However, Milwaukee responded via a layup by Brook Lopez and Wes Matthews’ late trey to push their lead back in double digits and they never looked back.
Topscoring for the Pelicans in the losing effort was Brandon Ingram, who notched 32 points on 12-for-19 shooting. He also added seven rebounds and two steals.
Houston Rockets 125-110 Charlotte Hornets
James Harden is back to his old scoring ways by posting a 40-point game in the second straight game.
The Beard had 40 points and 11 assists as he helped the shorthanded Rockets buck a slow start to upend Charlotte. Clint Capela and Russell Westbrook weren’t able to play due to injuries.
Charlotte led early in the first quarter by outscoring Houston 34-22. However, the Rockets had a 40-point second quarter to draw level at halftime.
In the fourth quarter, the Rockets unloaded a 15-2 run to build a sizeable advantage. Miles Bridges tried to cut the deficit by hitting a three with around 2:30 left, but Harden scored the Rockets’ next seven points to ice the game.
Miles Bridges and Terry Rozier scored 20 markers apiece while Malik Monk added 19 off the bench in the losing effort.
Denver Nuggets 127-99 Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard’s torrid scoring stretch came to a close when he was slowed down by the Nuggets on the road.
The Nuggets swingmen such as Torrey Craig and Gary Harris took turns in containing the Blazers superstar as they held him to 21 points on 8-for-23 shooting.
Stopping Lillard had been a daunting task as the spitfire guard averaged 48.8 points over his last six games heading into Tuesday. Lillard shot a whopping 57-per cent from three at the time, but in this match, he went 1-for-6.
Denver pulled away in the second canto when they outscored Portland 27-10. The home team’s lead even blew up to as high as 34 points in the second half.
It was Nikola Jokic who shouldered the scoring load for the Nuggets. The Serbian center chipped in 29 points, 13 rebounds, nine assists, two steals, and three blocks in just three quarters.
After missing a couple of games due to a sprained ankle, Jamal Murray made his return to the lineup contributing 20 points. Backing him up were the likes of Jerami Grant, Will Barton, and Malik Beasley, who notched 17, 16, and 14 respectively.
Los Angeles Lakers 129-102 San Antonio Spurs
The Lakers completed a series season sweep of the Spurs days after offering their tribute to Kobe Bryant last week in Staples Center.
LeBron James boosted his NBA 2020 chances of winning his fifth MVP award by scoring 19 of his 36 points in the final period while knocking down five three-pointers in a three-minute span.
He also added nine assists and seven rebounds and he would conspire with Anthony Davis and Kyle Kuzma to blow the Spurs away in the final period.
Kyle Kuzma, who has been the subject of numerous trade rumours, pumped in 18 points and 12 rebounds in what was one of his best performances of the season.
Los Angeles took advantage of their size by outrebounding San Antonio 58-28 as the latter only grabbed three in the fourth quarter.
DeMar DeRozan tallied 28 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists for the Spurs, who have lost five of their last seven games.
VISIT OUR BLOG TO GET YOUR FIX FOR ALL OF THE MOST CURRENT BASKETBALL NEWS STORIES & FEATURES