Dusseldorf While most Europeans are sleeping, the North American professional leagues are buzzing. What happened that night in football, basketball and ice hockey.
Basketball: Kleber strong again – Mavericks win for first time since 2016 in Utah
In the third game of the playoffs without star Luka Doncic, the Dallas Mavericks got their second win and in the NBA every chance of getting into the next round. More than six years after their last success in Salt Lake City, the Mavericks with national basketball player Maxi Kleber won Thursday night (local time) after a remarkable 126:118 performance against the Utah Jazz. Doncic is out with a calf injury.
As with Monday’s win in Dallas, Kleber had a strong night and contributed 17 points. He hit four of his five three-point attempts. The Mavericks now lead 2-1 in the series. In best-of-seven mode, whoever has four wins first advances to the next round.
“It’s definitely good, especially in the playoffs. It’s very difficult to play here, the fans are very loud,” Kleber told the German press agency. “When they’re on the rise, it’s easy to be intimidated, but we showed strength today and we had some players who ended up taking charge.”
Jalen Brunson was the Mavericks’ top pitcher with 31 points. “Being a 2-1 lead in the playoffs is extremely good, but we also know that they are very hungry right now and will go out on Saturday and of course play a little more physically,” Kleber said. “So it won’t be easier, but a second win in Utah would be nice too,” he added.
“We have a lot of character in this locker room. We just keep playing. This group believes in itself, we talked a lot about defense and we had stops when we needed to,” said coach Jason Kidd. “In a hostile environment against a good team that is being well trained, we put ourselves in a position to win.” After a tight first quarter, the Mavs pulled out and never fell behind, Kidd left it open whether Doncic can play Saturday.
Basketball: Memphis with an epic comeback
The Memphis Grizzlies made a spectacular comeback with the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Grizzlies were already 26 points behind in the second quarter (21:47) before starting to catch up and win the game with 104:95. Memphis tied the series 2-1 with the fourth-largest comeback in NBA playoff history.
The Grizzlies turned up the heat, especially in the fourth quarter. With a run of 21:0, they tied the game eight minutes before the end and won the final stage 37:12 (!).
In the third game of the night, the Golden State Warriors set a clear course for the next round. The San Francisco team won 118-113 at the Denver Nuggets and faces a sweep with their third win in three games. Stephen Curry and Jordan Poole scored 27 points, with Klay Thompson contributing 26 points. With the Nuggets, last year’s MVP Nikola Jokic’s 37 points didn’t stop the next loss.
Ice Hockey: Shock Absorbers for Seider and Detroit
German ice hockey player Moritz Seider has suffered yet another setback in the North American NHL professional league. The 21-year-old lost to the Detroit Red Wings against title contenders Florida Panthers by 2:5, despite an early lead, it was his third bankruptcy in the last four games.
While his German teammate Thomas Greiss was not used, Seider received the second longest ice time on his team with 21:39 minutes. However, the defender has not been involved in any goals, so he still has 48 points ahead of the last four games of the main round.
Detroit is already out of the playoffs and will miss the playoffs for the sixth year in a row. The traditional team had already made the play-offs from 1991 to 2015. The Panthers, in turn, secured first place in the Eastern Conference ahead of time and thus secured their home advantage for the playoffs.