Super Giannis at the "curtain's fall" of 2022
The "Greek Freak" was on the court for 37 minutes and 50 seconds and finished the game with 13/22 2-pointers, 1/1 3-pointers, 14/21 shots, 20 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks and 5 turnovers. Bobby Portis had an important contribution to the victory of the "deers" who had 22 points and 14 rebounds. In fact, he scored 11 points in the first twelve minutes, when most of his teammates were trying to find their... footing. Instead, Thanasis Antetokounmpo was not used. In the Timberwolves camp, which was missing the ailing Rudy Gober and the injured Karl-Anthony-Towns, Anthony Edwards led the way with 30 points, while Luca Garza and Jalen Nowell each added 16 points in their fifth straight loss Minnesota.
Meanwhile, LeBron James celebrated his 38th birthday with an impressive performance to help the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Atlanta Hawks 130-121. The "king" nearly became the first player in league history to achieve a triple-double figure on his birthday, as he finished the game with 47 points (14/22 2-pointers, 4/6 3-pointers, 7/8 shots), 10 rebounds , 9 assists, 1 block and 5 turnovers in the 39 minutes and 38 seconds he was on the floor. Still, he became the fourth player 38 or older in NBA history to score at least 45 points in a game, following Michael Jordan (3 times), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Jamal Crawford. LeBron James reached 70 career games with 40+ points, passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Rick Barry for eighth on the all-time list, and is now only 527 points behind Abdul-Jabbar for first place list of the NBA's all-time leading scorers.
From there, the Warriors celebrated their fourth straight victory, beating the Portland Trail Blazers in San Francisco 118-112. Jordan Poole scored 41 points for the hosts and Klay Thompson added 31, including a key 3-pointer with 1:36 left in the game, as the Warriors tied their best home record. NBA at 16-2. In the opposing "camp", Damian Lillard did his best to lead the Blazers to success after halftime and finished the game with 34 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists.
Finally, CJ McCollum hit 11 3-pointers and scored a total of 42 points, while Zion Williamson added 36 points and the Pelicans beat the Sixers 127-116 in New Orleans. McCollum hit three straight 3-pointers in a span of 42 seconds in the second quarter, giving the Pelicans a 16-point lead (56-40), while he was 7/11 at halftime and 11/16 in the game. It's worth noting that McCollum broke the New Orleans record for 3-pointers, which was held by Peja Stojakovic with 10, a feat he accomplished against the Lakers in 2007 (when the team was the New Orleans Hornets).
In summary, in the early morning NBA games, the following results were noted:
Atlanta-LA Lakers 121-130
New Orleans-Philadelphia 127-116
Golden State-Portland 118-112
New York 18-18
Oklahoma City 15-20
LA. Clippers 21-16
Golden State 19-18
LA. Lakers 15-21
New Orleans 23-12
San Antonio 12-23