“We cannot walk alone”, chanted Martin Luther King. A leitmotif repeated everywhere Monday in the NBA, in order to celebrate his memory on the sidelines of the 14 matches on the program, except by the Celtics who made a real jumper alone to correct the Lakers.
. Celtics Crush Lakers
At the start of the third quarter, while his team was already leading by twenty points, Jaylen Brown rose to dunker with two hands on LeBron James. This image alone symbolizes Boston’s overwhelming victory over Los Angeles (139-107).
The shock of “MLK Day”, which opposed the two most successful franchises in history (17 for the C’s, 16 for L.A.), fizzled despite a cannon departure from the Lakers (13-3). Boston then rose in intensity, showing a total physical commitment, without the Californians having the weapons to respond.
James tried well (15 pts, 13 assists, 7 rbds) but was too alone. Anthony Davis, back from his pelvis injury, was perhaps not ready (9 pts, 4 rbds) and lacked rhythm anyway.
Opposite, Jayson Tatum shone (27 pts) and the 13 Celtics entered the game scored. A collective victory with 55.9% success in shots which allows them to remain 4th in the East.
Despite this second defeat in three games, the Lakers remain leaders in the West. Utah and Denver, winners of Indiana (118-88) and Minnesota (107-100), took the opportunity to approach four victories in second place shared with the Clippers.
. Milwaukee continues, Miami tears off
The Bucks’ seventh consecutive success against Chicago (111-98) took shape in the third quarter, barely later than in their last outings. Giannis Antetokounmpo spent a minute more on the floor than usual, achieving a triple-double (28 pts, 14 rbds, 10 assists) dominating.
Milwaukee, who shot at 57.7%, remains untouchable in the East, still followed from afar in 2nd place by Miami, who overcame Sacramento (118-113) after extra time.
The Heat, whose “rookie” Kevin Nunn scored 25 points in the absence of Jimmy Butler (hip), now has 19 wins for a single loss at home, but also 7 wins out of 7 after extra time. So it was not the perfect place or the right time for the Kings to end their streak, now five.
. Toronto, Philadelphia, four in a row
It took ten Raptors to defeat a single Hawk, as point guard Trae Young flew through the proceedings, with 42 points and 15 assists, in the Toronto win (122-117) in Atlanta.
All players scored in the ranks of the defending champion, Nick Powell having been the most prolific (27 pts). Result, a fourth consecutive success which allows him to remain 3rd in the East.
The Sixers also won a fourth straight victory in Brooklyn (117-111) and Ben Simmons was the great craftsman with a triple-double: 34 points (personal best equaled) at 12/14 in shooting, 12 rebounds, 12 assists, plus 5 interceptions and 2 blocks.
In the persistent absence of Joel Embiid (finger), Philly remains 6th in the East.
. Lillard, le MVP du MLK day
Damian Lillard broke his personal best points record (61, 10 rebounds, 7 assists) against Golden State beaten after extra time by Portland (129-124).
The point guard, who also set a new points record for a Blazers player, managed 11 long-haul baskets, including the one that pulled the tie at the end of regular time under the disgusted eyes of Stephen Curry.
. Houston, we have a problem
The Rockets led 14 points against Oklahoma City, entering the fourth quarter. But they collapsed, taking 40 points in twelve minutes to lose (112-107).
Russell Westbrook, however, put all the ingredients with 32 points, 12 assists, 11 rebounds. The 146th triple-double of his career and also the first against his former team. This allows him to become, a few weeks after LeBron James, the second player in history to have successfully completed a “TD” against each of the teams in the League.
The Rockets, who harvested three points (9/45), James Harden (29 pts) who alone committed a terrible 1/17, are four consecutive losses but remain 6th in the West, followed closely by OKAY.
The results of the North American Basketball Championship (NBA) after the matches played on Monday:
Boston – LA Lakers 139 – 107
Portland – Golden State 129 – 124
Phoenix – San Antonio 118 – 120
Utah – Indiana 118 – 88
Minnesota – Denver 100 – 107
Charlotte – Orlando 83 – 106
Cleveland – New York 86 – 106
Miami – Sacramento 118 – 113
Houston – Oklahoma City 107 – 112
Memphis – New Orleans 116 – 126
Milwaukee – Chicago 111 – 98
Brooklyn – Philadelphie 111 – 117
Atlanta – Toronto 117 – 122
Washington – Detroit 106 – 100