Düsseldorf While most Europeans are asleep, the professional leagues in North America are bustling. What happened that night in American football, basketball, and ice hockey.
Basketball: Celtics down 17 points
Although trailing by 17 points, the Boston Celtics do well at the start of the NBA playoffs and are leading 2-0 against the Brooklyn Nets. NBA player Daniel Theis played a big role at 114:107 on Wednesday night (local time) with 15 points and above all a lot of solid defensive work. In the second home game, after trailing, the hosts needed a long stretch of the final quarter to take their first lead with a score of 94:92, but then did not allow the nets around Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to return.
Durant struggled on the defensive, hitting only four of his 17 attempts off the field. In the second half, he scored all his points from free throws. The Nets top player remains the most successful pitcher in the game with 27 points.
Irving did not have a good evening, as he only managed to score four goals of the match. The Australian-born Muslim was briefly indoors in the first quarter, returning from the dressing room with a banana and more food. Irving fasts during Ramadan, and does not eat until after sunset and before sunrise.
The next two games in the playoff series are now in Brooklyn. Whoever has four wins first advances to the next round from the last eight teams.
After a round of power in Toronto, the Philadelphia 76ers are now just one win away from qualifying for the second round. The favorite saved himself against the Raptors in overtime without driving once in regular time. Just 0.9 seconds before the end of the extra five minutes, Joel Embiid fired a superb shot to make it 104-101 for Race 76, completing his third win of the series. Isaac Bonga was not used in birds of prey.
The defending champion Milwaukee Bucks handed the equalizer against the Chicago Bulls. After winning at the start there was 110:114, the outstanding man was Bulls professional DeMar DeRozan with 41 points.
Hockey: Draisaitl and Oilers Take Big Step Toward Playoffs
National ice hockey player Leon Drysittel is almost certain to qualify for a playoff game with the Edmonton Oilers in the NHL. The Oilers beat the Dallas Stars 5-2 Wednesday night (local time) and now have 96 points five games before the end of the North American League main round.
The Vegas Golden Knights, seeded fourth in the Pacific Division, still turned their home game against the Washington Capitals and won 4-3 after overtime, but are seven points behind in one match previously played. Vegas can still get a maximum of eight points in the remaining games. The top three teams in the division are guaranteed a ticket to the playoffs. The Los Angeles Kings are third with 92 points.
The first team in the Western Conference, the Colorado Avalanche with Nico Sturm of Augsburg, lost 3-2 to the Seattle Kraken. The team from Denver is number one in the Central Division and the match ticket has already been secured. For the octopuses around goalkeeper Philipp Grobauer, on the other hand, there are no other opportunities.
With the capitals, Alexander Ovechkin scored twice against Las Vegas and now has 50 goals this season. His ninth season of at least 50 National Hockey League songs is a joint record with Wayne Gretzky and Mike Posey.
Basketball: Magic Johnson raves about Nowitzki
Basketball legend Ervin “Magic” Johnson is a huge fan of Dirk Nowitzki. “I love Dirk! Dirk has changed the game of basketball, the way the ‘big guys’ play now,” said 62-year-old Dirk of Bild (Thursday). “The big guys always play in the basket. With the jump shot, how he made his attacks, how he threw from the line of three, but also from a middle distance, the way he passes – he changed the game for the big players. Johnson Nowitzki doesn’t count five basketball players of all time, “but definitely in the top ten—without a doubt!”