This Friday the second day of the return of the NBA in the Orlando bubble and had three of the league's great players at a high level. Giannis Antetokounmpo, James Harden and Luka Doncic They dominated the scene and showed that, despite the stoppage of almost five months after the partial suspension of the season on March 11 as a result of the advance of the coronavirus pandemic, they returned at a very high level of competition.
In the match that faced the Milwaukee Bucks and at Boston Celtics, two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, chosen as Most valuable Player in the last season he confirmed his status as a candidate to repeat the award that the NBA gives to the top basketball player of the moment. Antetokounmpo was decisive for the franchise with the best record in the league – 54 wins and 12 losses – to stay with an important victory by 119-112.
Giannis closed the meeting with a fabulous spreadsheet: he scored 36 points (14-20 on court shots), took 15 rebounds and distributed 7 assistsBut the statistic that marked the value of his time on the field for Mike Budenholzer's team was that in the 32 minutes that Milwaukee's 34th was on the field, the Bucks achieved a +18 difference against the Celtics.
In addition to his dominant game, the Greek was the protagonist of a surprising dump in the beginning of the game: when they were little more than three and a half minutes from the first quarter, Giannis took the rebound in his hoop, ran the entire field and passed the ball to Donte DiVincenzo. The baseman then returned the ball to the team star, who jumped almost from the free-throw line and extended his right arm to power off the basket.
Another of the great confrontations of the night in the NBA starred Houston and Dallas, two of the most powerful teams in the Western Conference. In one of the stadiums of the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex there was a duel of pure offensive vertigo that ended with Rockets overtime win by bulky 153-149.
In what was Harden's first official game on the season restart, The beard completed another incredible performance: the evening ended with 49 points (14-20 on the court), 9 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals and a single loss in 43 minutes. Whether from the long distance, distributing the ball or penetrating to generate fouls and go to the free line – it was 21 times throughout the game -, number 13 in Houston led the comeback in the fourth quarter and in overtime with 17 of his points at the decisive moments of the match.
"Our spirit in the comeback was huge and one of the keys. Legs, conditioning and the desire to win. We work a lot on this after training so our legs have to be prepared, especially the small players," said the figure of the match. in dialogue with the press in the Orlando bubble.
Thanks to another spectacular individual performance, the leader in points scored in the NBA with an average of 34.6, became the second highest scorer in Rockets history, as he edged out former franchise baseman Calvin Murphy to lag behind only the two-time champion and one of the top 50 players in league history, Hakeem Olajuwon. The one who also contributed in the Houston victory was Russell Westbrook, who finished with a double double: he had 31 points and 11 rebounds.
For his part, Doncic again demonstrated that, despite the defeat of the Mavericks, his performance will be decisive for the team's future on the way to the playoffs which will begin on August 13. The Slovenian finished the game with 28 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists to add the triple double – two digits in three statistical categories – number 15 so far this season and become the first player in NBA history to arrive. at that amount before turning 22.
Beyond the work of Luka, who also suffered 8 turnovers and finished with a poor three-point shooting percentage (1-9), the other Dallas player who stood up was Kristaps Porzingis, who contributed 39 points and 16 rebounds, but that was not enough to keep the win.
MORE ABOUT THIS TOPIC:
The exciting tribute of NBA players during the United States anthem
Fishing, games and training: the intimacy of NBA stars in Disney's "bubble"