Celtics crush Nets, Lillard outwits Morant
Boss of the Eastern Conference, Boston corrected (139-96) the Nets who occupy 4th place on Wednesday, while Damian Lillard still distinguished himself with 42 points.
It was not necessary to arrive late at the TD Garden to attend a game a little tight. By the end of the first quarter, Boston was already leading (46-16) thanks to a diabolical address behind the arc (8/11, 26/54 in the end), Jayson Tatum already sounding the charge since he succeeded 18 of his 31 points (9 rebounds). The result was logically a walk in the park, the lead of the C’s peaking at 49 units in the last quarter, with contributions from Jaylen Brown (26 pts) and Robert Williams III (16 pts, 9 rebounds). In the ranks of Brooklyn, totally overwhelmed in defense in the absence of his best player Kevin Durant (knee), but also of Ben Simmons (knee) and TJ Warren (tibia), Kyrie Irving deceived (20 pts).
In Philadelphia, where, 48 hours earlier, the Magic played them a very bad trick on their floor, the Sixers (3rd) laboriously took their revenge (105-94). In the fourth quarter, James Harden (25 pts, 10 assists, 9 rebounds) had to take responsibility in attack, because Joel Embiid, excellent until then (28 pts, 11 rebounds), suddenly disappeared, scoring no points in the last 12 minutes. Something extremely rare for the contender for the MVP trophy. On the Orlando side (13th), Paolo Banchero, number 1 in the last draft, who shone on Monday (29 pts), was this time contained (13 pts, 9 rebounds).
In the West, Portland (11th), which is fighting for a place in the play-offs, brought back a convincing success from Memphis, yet in the lead throughout, before losing ground three minutes from time. And as almost every time when the time comes for money-time, it was Damian Lillard (also 10 assists, 8 rebounds) who was dominating, since this swing in the score resulted from his nine points scored, with in particular two consecutive prize baskets. Faced with the star of the Blazers, the nugget opposite, Ja Morant, shone in vain, close to the triple-double (32 pts, 12 assists, 9 rebounds).
Rudy Gobert still on the side
Despite this sixth setback in seven games, the Grizzlies retain their 2nd position, ahead of Sacramento, which inflicted a sixth defeat in a row (119-109) on San Antonio. The Kings relied on Domantas Sabonis (34 pts at 15/20 on shots, 11 rebounds) and De’Aaron Fox (31 pts, 10 assists). Minnesota, for its part, managed a nice comeback at home against the Warriors, who had a 14-point lead with 11 minutes remaining, to win after extra time (119-114). The Timberwolves, deprived of Rudy Gobert, still bothered by a pain in the right groin, owed their salvation to D’Angelo Russell, who planted 14 points in a row in three minutes (29 in total) in the last quarter- time. Then it was Anthony Edwards (27 pts) and Naz Reid (24 pts, 13 rebounds) who forced the decision in “overtime”.
On the Golden State side, Stephen Curry was prolific (29 pts, 10 rebounds) but clumsy (8/21), like the winning shot, yet well within reach, missed three seconds from the buzzer. More generally, it is the poor management at the end of the match that the “Dubs” have paid for, also weighed down by too many stray bullets (17). Result, they give up their 6th place to the Wolves, but remain ahead of the Suns (8th) crushed in Phoenix by the Atlanta Hawks (132-100).