After Milwaukee on Tuesday, Denver is the second team to qualify for the 2023 NBA playoffs, thanks to its success in Detroit. Sacramento and Phoenix, who won again on Thursday, should soon get their tickets as well.
Fifth consecutive qualification for the play-offs for Denver! The Nuggets are having a great season and could finish first in the Western Conference for the first time in their history (started in 1967). Nevertheless, they remained on four defeats in a row and the doubt began to settle within the franchise of Colorado. After losing to Chicago, San Antonio, Brooklyn and Toronto, it was better to win against the worst team in the League, Detroit, and it was done, with a 100-119 victory. But it was not until the last ten minutes of this very tight encounter to see the Nuggets break away (14-33 in the last quarter), thanks in particular to Nikola Jokic, who finished with 30 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists. Runner-up to Denver, with four victories less, Sacramento continues to approach a first qualification in the play-offs since… 2006, and the Kings signed a nice 96-101 success on the floor of Brooklyn. A 42nd victory which assures the Californians a first season with a positive record since…2006! The Kings took control of this game before halftime and did not let go, in the wake of a Domantas Sabonis to 24 points and 21 rebounds.
Phoenix recovers, Milwaukee falls from above
At four victories from Sacramento, we find Phoenix, fourth, which ended a three-game losing streak by winning 113-116 in Orlando. In this match where they never counted more than twelve points in advance, the Suns of Devin Booker (19pts) scared each other until the end, and it was finally a block from Josh Okogie on a 3-point shot from Paolo Banchero three seconds from the end that saved them. This same Okogie had been decisive five minutes earlier by scoring 3 points to allow his team to lead 101-104. In the East, the leader Milwaukee made a misstep by losing at home against Indiana, who can still dream of the play-in (123-139). Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Bucks (25pts, 9rbds) nevertheless led for the first three quarters, but then completely collapsed, conceding a 22-35 in the last twelve minutes. In the absence of Tyrese Haliburton, Andrew Nembhard stood out, with 24 points and 5 assists on the clock.
NBA / REGULAR SEASON
Thursday, March 16, 2023
Detroit Pistons – Denver Nuggets : 100-119
Stats of Killian Hayes (DET): 34 minutes of play, 10 points (5/12 on shots including 0/3 at 3pts, 0 free throws attempted), 1 rebound, 7 assists, 1 interception, 2 blocks, 4 lost balls , 4 faults
Toronto Raptors – Oklahoma City Thunder : 128-111
Stats of Ousmane Dieng (OKC): 13 minutes of play, 3 points (1/3 on shots including 1/2 to 3pts, 0 free throws attempted), 1 assist, 2 fouls
Olivier Sarr’s stats (OKC): 10 minutes of play, 0 points (0 shots, 0 free throws attempted), 1 rebound, 2 blocks, 1 lost ball, 3 fouls
Brooklyn Nets – Sacramento Kings : 96-101
Milwaukee Bucks – Indiana Pacers : 123-139
Phoenix Suns – Orlando Magic : 116-113