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Unbeaten, Golden State won in Oklahoma City a fourth straight NBA success on Tuesday, while the Lakers, without LeBron James, narrowly won in San Antonio, and Utah beat Denver where Nikola Jokic was hit in the knee. law.
You had to go back to six years, when they had the best regular season in league history (73 wins, 9 losses) before falling in the final against Cleveland, to find such a debut for the Warriors. At the time, they had won 24 straight wins before conceding a first setback.
It will be very difficult for them to achieve such a feat, because Kevin Durant is now in Brooklyn and Klay Thompson (Achilles tendon) is preparing his return for Christmas, but what they collectively achieve is convincing. Against OKC (106-98), Stephen Curry (23 pts, 6 rebounds) showed the way, Andrew Wiggins (21 pts) and Damion Lee (20 pts) followed and Draymond Green (8 pts, 9 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals) was helpful.
Golden State remains in the lead in the West, ahead of Utah, the other team still undefeated in the conference, which followed with a third victory against Denver (122-110).
Cleveland Cavaliers v Denver Nuggets MATTHEW STOCKMAN GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP
The turning point of the match came shortly before the break, when Rudy Gobert (23 pts, 16 rebounds), otherwise excellent, involuntarily hit Jokic’s right knee. Untenable until then (24 pts, 6 assists, 6 rebounds), the reigning MVP, contused, did not play the second period and the Jazz knew how to take advantage of it.
“I do not think it is too serious,” then reassured Nuggets coach Michael Malone.
LeBron James on the bench (ankle), providing his teammates with tactical advice during the time-outs, the Lakers suffered, but had the last word at the Spurs, after extra time (125-121).
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They owe their second consecutive victory to Anthony Davis (35 pts, 17 rebounds, 4 blocks), who scared his right knee, and to Russell Westbrook, author of his first big performance (33 pts, 10 rebounds, 8 assists) under the purple and gold jersey.
Like the tap of the first and the winning penetration of the second, for the last four points of the match, individual talent made the difference for L.A., against the collective game of San Antonio set up by Gregg Popovich.
The latter may regret the free throws missed in the 4th quarter by the Austrian pivot Jakob Poeltl, yet in verve (27 pts, 14 rebounds), and the victory shot missed by Dejounte Murray, author of a triple-double (21 pts, 15 assists, 12 rebounds).
In New York, the Knicks offered the Sixers (112-99) for the first time since 2017, ending a series of fifteen losses. They made the difference in the second quarter, by inflicting a big gap (39-16) on their opponents.
If Kemba Walker was New York’s top scorer (19 pts), the performance was collective since five players scored at least 10 points. Among them, Julius Randle (16 pts, 11 rebounds, 7 assists) and Evan Fournier (18 pts, 4 assists), who defended particularly well, helping to muzzle Joel Embiid (14 pts to 2/7, 5 stray balls).
Finally, for their first of the season at home, the Mavs defeated the Rockets (116-106), thanks in particular to 26 points from Luka Doncic (14 rebounds, 7 assists) who was quite clumsy (10/25).