Borrowed Lakers bowed against defending champion Toronto and refreshed Clippers taught the young Pelicans a lesson on Saturday in the NBA, on a day also marked by the 53 points of TJ Warren merged with Indiana.
– Who’s the champion? –
The Lakers of LeBron James have only one ambition, to win the coronation in the NBA. But there is a champion determined to defend his title, as Toronto has demonstrated with authority (107-92).
These Raptors rather act as black cats for LA defeated for the 11th time in a row in six years, by this opponent who once again practiced simple, fair and effective basketball, in the wake of Kyle Lowry (33 pts, 14 rebounds, 6 passes).
Two days after the victory against the Clippers, the Lakers appeared tired like Anthony Davis, reduced to 14 points, far from the 34 scored 48 hours earlier. James (20 pts, 10 rebounds, 5 assists) also lacked juice in the money time, his time usually.
They will therefore wait a while to secure their first place in the West. The Raptors meanwhile consolidate their 2nd place in the East.
– The Clippers pluck the Pelicans –
After the Angelino derby lost by nothing, they took revenge on New Orleans (126-103) to consolidate their 2nd place in the West, allowing Doc Rivers to overtake Celtics legend Red Auerbach in 11th place among coaches in the highest number of wins (939).
Los Angeles, who had a lead of up to 42 points, was carried by Paul George, irresistible at long distance (8/11, 28 pts) and Kawhi Leonard (24 pts 6 rebounds, 5 assists). And did not go far from the NBA record for the number of three-pointers scored in a game by a team (27).
Pelicans side (11th), where Zion Williamson was preserved (7 pts, 5 rebounds in 14 minutes), this second defeat in a row does not help them in their objective to hang the qualifying dam for the play-offs.
– The Thunder strikes down Utah –
Oklahoma City (5th in the West) was one of the nice surprises of the season before the coronavirus interrupted it in early March. Almost five months later, she confirms that she has not lost any of her verve, as did the Jazz (110-84).
The difference was made at the address (53.2% success against 39.1%). The leader Chris Paul guided his family (18 pts, 7 assists, 7 rebounds), perfectly assisted by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (19 pts, 6 assists).
The Jazz (4th) lacked spring in attack like Donovan Mitchell (13 pts) and Mike Conley (12 pts). Rudy Gobert yet effective (5/6) was limited to 10 points (7 rebounds).
– TJ Warren catches fire –
There are evenings like this, when the basket seems bigger than a swimming pool. This was the case for the back of Indiana (5th), author of 53 points (9/12 behind the arc) which were not too much to knock out (127-121) the 76ers (6th).
Warren, who put in a final long-range field goal ten seconds from time to secure the win, broke his personal best points scoring record, approaching the franchise’s, held by fellow “crazy shooter” Reggie Miller (57).
“I’m just doing what I do best – putting the ball in the basket. I just wanted to lead the team offensively,” he commented soberly.
What eclipses the impressive performance of Joel Embiid whose 41 points (at 15/23) and 21 rebounds were in vain.
– Miami in the right rhythm –