The Clippers knocked out the Lakers again (106-111) with an irresistible final match straight. Kawhi Leonard was again the master of the derby, of a stellar duel this season in the NBA. It was the second time this campaign and the Clippers were facing each other, as it happened in the opening game of October (112-102) they got away with it again.
The defeat was a hard setback for the Lakers for being against the rival of the rivals at the moment and because, in addition, it is the fourth straight. The LeBron James team will continue to lead the Western Conference, but its advantage is being reduced and it already has three teams, Denver, Houston and the Clippers, on its heels. The victory of the Clippers calls into question the real solidity of the Lakers, more regular so far, but vulnerable in some of the direct duels against their most important rivals.
The Lakers came to dominate by 15 points, but the Clippers were redone in a great third quarter (23-35) and arrived more whole and played more accurately in the tight final game. A plug from Beverly to LeBron a little more than three seconds to the end ended up being decisive. The quality of Kawhi Leonard prevailed. The MVP of the last final, when he won the ring with the Raptors, got 35 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists. He was seconded by Harrell, with 18 points, and Paul George, who despite his bad percentages, added 17 points and 5 rebounds.
Lebron James , absent from an injury in the last match, started very badly, with 0 out of 7 in triples. But he started singing and, although he only scored two of the 12 triples he threw, he finished with 23 points, 9 rebounds and 10 assists. Nor was Anthony Davis successful in the triples, but he contributed 24 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Kuzma added 25 points, but the contribution of the rest of the team was much more discreet.
Golden State has suddenly revived and done it big, knocking Houston (116-104). It was the third victory followed by the Warriors, the team devastated by injuries and errors in their sports management, which He went from winning three titles in five consecutive finals, to occupy the last place of the Western Conference.
Still without Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, the Warriors beat one of West’s top favorites. Houston also added four straight wins and ranks third in the Conference. But the Warriors were able to dominate the rebound, defend better and show themselves as a more compact team. The result was that they claimed the 22 points and 15 rebounds of Damion Lee, the 20 points of D’Angelo Russell, although he only scored one of the 10 triples he threw, the 20 points and 11 rebounds of Draymond Green, and the best overall contribution of your second unit. The five Warriors starting players achieved double digits.
The Rockets succumbed because they insisted on long-distance shooting. They threw 51 triples and scored 16 (31%). Russell Westbrook He missed the 10 he threw. And yet, and of his 11 of 32 in field shots, he was the top scorer of his team with 30 points, plus 12 rebounds and 5 assists. James Harden did not reach the amazing numbers which averages this season and stayed at 24 points and 11 assists. Danuel House added 18 points, and Clint Capela, 10 points and 11 rebounds.
The injuries make a dent in the Raptors. They added their second straight defeat, this time against the Celtics (102-118). The absences of Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol and Norman Powell depleted last season’s champions. After falling on Sunday in the extension against Indiana, the Canadian team could not stop the excellent streak of the Celtics, which add four consecutive victories and cling to second place in the Eastern Conference, only surpassed by Milwaukee. And this, despite the fact that Boston also accumulates significant casualties such as Marcus Smart and Grant Williams.
Jaylen Brown, with five triples and 30 points, Kemba Walker, also with five triples and 22 points, commanded the Boston offense. Tatum, with 11 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists; Hayward who, after losing the last three games due to a foot injury, returned to the team with 14 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists; and Enes Kanter, with 12 points and 11 rebounds provided balance and consistency to his team’s game.
The 27 points of VanVleet; the 24 of Chris Boucher, who is performing well above what he had done in the two and a half seasons he has been in the NBA; Kyle Lowry’s 14 points and 8 rebounds; and the 12 points and 8 rebounds of Serge Ibaka They were not enough against the Celtics, who dominated especially in the first and third quarters, scored six more triples and captured 11 more rebounds.
Turkish centerman Ennes Kanter played his first game outside the United States since visiting Toronto when he was a Knicks player on November 10, 2018. After Kanter criticized Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, his country’s government withdrew his passport. The pivot, who confessed that he feared for his life because of that controversy, did not travel with the Knicks to London in January and, after being transferred to Portland in February, he also did not travel to Toronto to play a game on March 1.
Kanter appeared at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, in the prolegomena of the game against the Raptors, in a shirt with the inscription: “Freedom for ALL”. And he played with some shoes in which he had written the word “Freedom”
The Sixers triple rain contrasted with the seven that failed Giannis Antetokounmpo. Those of Philadelphia beat the leader of the East (121-109) and broke the record from the maximum distance of the franchise with 21 hits of the 44 they threw (48%).
Joel Embiid set the tone near the hoops with 31 points and 11 rebounds, in addition to contributing to the triple festival with three targets. Tobias Harris scored five triples and 22 points; Ben Simmons refrained from throwing from so far away, but shone in everything else with 15 points, 7 rebounds, 14 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. Josh Richardson with 18 points and four triples and Furkan Korkmaz, also with four triples and 16 points, completed the absolute dominance of the Sixers. Antetokounmpo, with the 0 of 7 in triples, 18 points and 14 rebounds, and Khris Middleton, with 31 points and 8 rebounds, and George Hill, with 15 points, could barely mitigate the downpour that fell to the Bucks.