He made himself want. But the big moment came. After a little faux pas by the New York Knicks, where he was cut before his baptism, Luca Vildoza This Friday he managed to become the 16th Argentine to play in the fantastic NBA. And he did not do it with any shirt: in the third point of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, he debuted with the jersey of the last champion of the competition, the milwaukee bucks.
And the man from Mar del Plata did it with the right foot. In 8’02”, he contributed three points (1-3 in triples), three assists, two steals, a defensive rebound (in addition to a lost ball and three personal fouls) in his franchise’s 111-81 victory in Chicago against the Bulls to make the series 2-1.
Coach Mike Budenholzer arranged for Vildoza to come on late in the game to replace Patrick Connaughton when the score was 97-64 (+33). Junk time? Perhaps. But Luca knew how to take advantage of it with three luxury assists for Thanasis Antetokounmpo (twice) and Jordan Nwora who, late in the night, were already viral.
He was the third player in NBA history to debut directly in a postseason game. On the other hand, Juan Ignacio Sánchez, Rubén Wolkowyski, Emanuel GinobiliCarlos Delfino, Andrés Nocioni, Fabricio Oberto, Walter Herrmann, Luis Scola, Pablo Prigioni, Nicolás Laprovittola, Nicolás Brussino, Patricio Garino, Facundo Campazzo, Gabriel Deck and Leandro Bolmaro are no longer alone in the gallery of Argentines who played in the best basketball world league
Before Luca entered with his number 6, there was a game that the former Quilmes from Mar del Plata and Baskonia enjoyed from the substitute bench.
The defending champion Bucks bounced back without Khris Middleton — injured in the knee — from Wednesday’s loss to their home crowd and advanced 2-1 in this Eastern series. the greek Giannis Antetokounmpo He barely had to be on the court for 29 minutes, recording 18 points, 7 rebounds and 9 assists. Milwaukee had shooting guard Grayson Allen as its top scorer, with 22 points.
The Bulls stars had a disappointing performance. Montenegrin center Nikola Vucevic had 19 points while shooting guard Zach Lavine and forward DeMar DeRozan had 15 and 11 points.
When not: Giannis Antetokounmpo dump.
On the track, the Bucks bit from the get-go. Aggressive, forceful in the paint and from the three-point line, they took a 16-point lead in the first quarter, pushed by three consecutive 3-pointers by Grayson Allen that stripped the Bulls.
Vucevic, who scored the Bulls’ first six points from 3-point range, couldn’t stop the Bucks from escaping. Chicago shot 33 percent (7-for-21), to the Bucks’ more than 50 percent (12-for-23), and the margin widened even further in the second quarter. DeRozan, key to Milwaukee’s victory, had little success, fending off several wide-open 3-pointers to try to get closer, but couldn’t finish.
And it is that Milwaukee defended aggressively and forced the Bulls to look for three-point shots, without success. Dominant in all areas of the field, Bobby Portis climbed the light 44-22 that doubled Chicago, in which the only one to show the way was Caruso. The margin touched 24 points and was set at 19 at halftime, after Giannis, who had barely scored two points in the first quarter, contributed eight in the second.
Thanasis Antetokounmpo also did his thing: Vildoza assisted him a couple of times.
The Bucks did not stop stepping on the accelerator in the third period, in which Giannis led the way with a powerful dunk for 70-44 and in which Matthews, Graysol Allen and Connaughton, tremendous in the triples, extended the margin to a very tough 87-54.
Part of the United Center dedicated whistles to the Bullswho kept chaining lost balls, and many fans began to leave the stadium at the beginning of the last period. Bobby Portis hit two consecutive triples, one to close the third period and another to open the fourth, which determined an unappealable 93-59.
DeRozan finished the third period with just nine points and never entered the game, which became a hall of honor for the Bucks in the closing minutes. In that framework, Vildoza appeared. Will he have more minutes this Sunday from 2:00 p.m., when they meet again in the fourth game of the series?
Jordan Nwora, the other assisted by Luca. (EFE)
Atlanta won (almost) over the buzzer
With a game-winning basket from Trae Young, the Atlanta Hawks gave excitement to their playoff series against the Miami Heat on Friday. They beat Miami 111-110 and reduced the deficit to 2-1 in this first-round playoff in the NBA Eastern Conference.
the giddy Bring Young he was again the savior of the Hawks scoring 10 of the team’s last 13 points. After a missed shot by Jimmy Butler, Young received the ball with just 10 seconds on the clock, ran down the field into the opposition zone and hit a jump shot over Butler himself that put the Hawks ahead just 4 .4 seconds from the horn. The Heat had the final possession but Butler, who finished with 20 points, missed a forceful 3-pointer. “I just wanted to try to get to the basket. I didn’t want to settle for a 3 so I tried to get to the rim and get a foul or a basket,” he explained later. Young, who finished with 24 points and 8 assists.
The Hawks came to face the abyss in the third quarter, when the Heat dominated by up to 16 points and caressed a 3-0 in the series that no team has come from in the history of the playoffs.
Young and the decisive double.
Miami, the top seed in the East, had a crucial victory on their hands thanks to a spectacular 21-0 run in the third quarter that put them ahead 84-68. His veteran point guard Kyle Lowry (6 points and 5 assists) then had to leave the game due to a left leg injury and the rest of the Heat could not contain Atlanta’s comeback.
The fourth game of the series will be played on Sunday again in Atlanta, where Friday’s clash began with almost an hour of delay due to the search of a suspicious package in the vicinity of the field.
Trae Young’s joy after having defined the game. (AFP)
Suns bounced back
In the last clash on Friday, the Phoenix Suns regained control of their series with a 114-111 win at the New Orleans Pelicanswho could not take advantage of Devin Booker’s injury loss.
The Suns, the top seed in the West, leaned on veteran Chris Paul in the decisive moments to achieve a victory with which they advance 2-1 in the tie. At 36 years old, Paul showed that he is still one of the best late-game players in the NBA, scoring 19 of his 28 points in a terrific fourth quarter.
The point guard also added 14 assists to his tally without a single turnover.
Chris Paul and another night of entertainment for the Suns.
Until Paul took control of the game, center DeAndre Ayton (28 points and 17 rebounds) had carried the weight of the Suns’ offense in the absence of Booker due to a hamstring problem. The Pelicans lost in the second quarter to their young center Jaxson Hayes, ejected for a strong push to Jae Crowder under the Suns basket.
Forward Brandon Ingram scored 34 points and shooting guard CJ McCollum another 30 for the Pelicans, who will have another opportunity on their court next Sunday.
Chris Paul, a cool old man.
The best ten plays of Friday, April 22 in the NBA
The program for Saturday
*Toronto Raptors (0)-Philadelphia Sixers (3), at 15 in the Eastern Conference.
*Utah Jazz (1)-Dallas Mavericks (2), at 5:30 p.m. in the Western Conference.
*Brooklyn Nets (0)-Boston Celtics (2), at 8:30 p.m. in the Eastern Conference
*Minnesota Timberwolves (2, with the possible presence of Leandro Bolmaro)-Memphis Grizzlies (2) at 23 in the Western Conference.