Aussie trio Giddey, Exum and Ingles all step up in NBA

Australian trio Josh Giddey, Dante Exum and Josh Ingles have all played important roles in victories for their respective NBA teams.

Giddey came up just two assists shy of a triple-double as the Oklahoma City Thunder claimed a 134-120 win over the Utah Jazz on Monday (Tuesday AEDT).

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 30 points in three quarters for the Thunder.

OKC had five other players in double points, including Giddey, who racked up 12 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in just 24 minutes of court time.

Teams had been backing off Giddey because of his shooting struggles, but he made the Jazz pay by moving and making himself more available around the hoop.

“He’s having to evolve right now with the way he’s getting played off ball, and I thought tonight he did a nice job of that,” Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said of the Boomers star.

"He found some cuts, he had really good ball movement plays, he’s made good passes in the middle of the floor. That’s something we’ve adjusted to.”

Ousmane Dieng had a season-high 18 points on 6-for-7 shooting off the bench for the Thunder, who sit second in the Western Conference standings and have won four of their past five games.

Rookie Keyonte George scored a season-best 30 points for Utah.

Jazz scoring leader Lauri Markkanen sat out for the eighth straight game with a strained left hamstring.

Exum was an important contributor with 16 points as the short-handed Dallas Mavericks outlasted the Memphis Grizzlies 120-113.

Luka Doncic again led the way for the Mavs with 35 points.

Dallas were without five key players because of injury, including Australian Josh Green, Tim Hardaway Jr and Kyrie Irving.

Jaren Jackson Jr scored a season-high 41 points for Memphis.

Veteran swingman Ingles led Orlando's first-half scoring with 12 points as the Magic downed the Cleveland Cavaliers 104-94.

Ingles left the game in the third quarter with a sprained left ankle but returned in the fourth.

Paolo Banchero top-scored with 20 points for the Magic, who have now won 11 of their past 13 games.

Bennedict Mathurin scored 30 points as the Indiana Pacers handed the Detroit Pistons their 20th straight loss, 131-123.

Tyrese Haliburton had 14 points and 16 assists for Indiana in their first game since last weekend's 123-109 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA In-Season Tournament final.

with AP

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