Steph exceeds 3000 triples in his career but the Warriors yield to the Nuggets. James drags the Lakers to their first success after 5 knockouts Milwaukee and Miami also smile
The night of records. Steph Curry is the first ever to break down the wall of 3000 in his career but fails to complete the comeback on the Nuggets of the unleashed Nikola Jokic. LeBron James becomes the third ever to surpass 36,000 points and leads the Lakers to success in Houston in his first time as a starting center. They are the main protagonists of an Nba night with 8 games. Here’s how it went.
Golden State Warriors-Denver Nuggets 86-89
A triple. The number 3000 of his career, the first ever to cross this milestone. That’s all it takes for Steph Curry to ignite after disastrous three-quarters and turn what seemed like a foregone Nuggets victory, 60-36 ahead at half-time, into a heart-pounding match. In the end Denver wins anyway (17 won-16 lost so far) because Michael Malone also has an MVP in his small arsenal: Nikola Jokic. The Serbian is decisive with 22 points, 18 rebounds and the block that prevents Jonathan Kuminga from crushing the parity on 88 with 3 seconds on the clock. Steph’s spells in the last quarter relaunch Golden State (27-7) after the disaster of the first half: even without Draymond Green, one of the 3 Warriors in the protocol (the Nuggets have only one player), the defense levels up (29 points from Denver in the second half) and the sensational comeback becomes reality when Payton, on Curry’s assist, crushes 84-84 with 1’04 “from the end. After Jokic’s block, Campazzo is 1/2 from the line and the Warriors have 2 “left to try the extra triple: Kerr draws a scheme for Steph, but Denver’s defense doesn’t give up and then Iguodala takes the shot, blatantly wrong. For the Nuggets second success in a row, for the Warriors first stop after 3 wins.
Golden State:Curry 23 (1/2 from two, 5/14 from three, 6/7 free throws), Wiggins 21, Payton 11. Bounces: Wiggins 8. Assist: Curry 4, Iguodala 4.
Denver: Jokic 22 (8/14, 0/5, 6/8 tl), Barton 21, Rivers 8, Hyland 8, Nnaji 8. Rimbalzi: Jokic 18. Assist: Campazzo 7.
Houston Rockets-Los Angeles Lakers 123-132
A year and three months ago, in the Finals in the bubble, LeBron James was the Lakers’ starting point guard. In Houston he started as a starting center for the first time in his career, jumping for the tap-off with Christian Wood. The result hasn’t changed: LeBron remains incredible, even within hours of his 37th birthday. It is the King James show, 32 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists, who leads the Lakers (17-18) to the very difficult victory in Houston (10-25) that closes the streak of 5 defeats. The team still led by David Fizdale needed a win and that one they got, even if they had to fight to the end with the fierce worst team in the West, who finished with 7 players in double figures (the best Jalen Green, 24 points) and laid bare all the problems of the Lakers defense. To cover them it took all the talent of the three players included in the list of the best 75 ever that Los Angeles has available: in addition to LeBron (3rd ever over 36,000 points in his career) Russell Westbrook (second triple double) shone in a row, 24-12-10, but definitely heavier than that of Christmas with the Nets) and Carmelo Anthony (24 points and 9 rebounds). The game changes with 2’35 “from the end: the replay cancels the interference on the basket whistled against LeBron that would have put Houston ahead 118-116. The Lakers win the duo and start from there for the 7-0 run that puts them safe.
Houston:Green 24 (4/7, 4/9, 4/5 tl), Porter 22, Wood 22. Rimbalzi: Nwaba 7. Assist: Porter 9.
LA Lakers:James 32 (8/14, 3/5, 7/9 tl), Monk 25, Westbrook 24, Anthony 24. Rimbalzi: Westbrook 12. Assist: James 11.
Orlando Magic-Milwaukee Bucks 110-127
Everything easy for the champions in the first of two games in Orlando: dragged by Giannis Antetokounmpo (28 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists), the Bucks (23-13) win the fourth game in a row, condemning the Magic (7-28) to the 3rd consecutive defeat. Orlando was down 72-45 at the break before discovering Franz Wagner, who put 27 of his 38 points (career high) in the second half adding some spice to the finale. For Orlando, the bad news also arrived after the game: Hassani Gravett, a regular play holder, has entered the Covid protocol.
Orlando:F. Wagner 38 (8/12, 4/8, 10/10 tl), Carter 19, Harris 13. Rimbalzi: Carter 10. Assist: Gravett 4, Harris 4, Carter 4, Hampton 4.
Milwaukee:G. Antetokounmpo 28 (9/15, 1/4, 7/10 tl), Middleton 21, Portis 19. Rebounds: Portis 7. Assist: Holiday 10.
Miami Heat-Washington Wizards 119-112
With only 8 usable players (including Max Strus, who entered the Covid protocol an hour before the tap-off), Miami (22-13) takes the fourth win in a row against Washington (17-17), a good springboard to start a series of 7 trips from San Antonio on Wednesday. Driven by Tyler Herro (32 points off the bench), Jimmy Butler (25 with 15 assists) and Duncan Robinson (26 with 8 triples), the Heat built an advantage of up to 28 points that the Wizards managed to reduce in the final despite the 8 players absent per protocol.
Miami:Herro 32 (4/12, 5/7, 9/10 TL), Robinson 26, Butler 25. Rimbalzi: Yurtseven 14. Assist: Butler 15.
Washington: Dinwiddie 24 (2/6, 4/10, 4/5 tl), Kuzma 22, Bertas 19. Rebounds: Gafford 11. Assist: Dinwiddie 11.
Toronto Raptors-Philadelphia 76ers 109-114
Despite Joel Embiid’s 36 points, still dominant, it is a 6-0 run in the last 55 ”that allows Philadelphia (18-16) to move to Toronto (14-17) and I would take the second win in a row. The Raptors, with 5 players still in protocol, had a hard time with the best night of their career by Chris Boucher (28 points and 19 rebounds) and Pascal Siakam (28, 6 and 8 assists). Philadelphia, in addition to Embiid, bit with Tobias Harris’ first triple double in career (19-12-10) who put 4 of the 6 points in the decisive set from the line.
Toronto:Boucher 28 (5/7, 5/7, 3/4 tl), Siakam 28 (11/17, 0/4, 6/6 tl), Trent 19. Rimbalzi: Boucher 19. Assist: Siakam 8.
Philadelphia:Embiid 36 (9/13, 2/3, 12/14 tl), Harris 19, Niang 19. Rimbalzi: Harris 12. Assist: Harris 10.
Minnesota Timberwolves-New York Knicks 88-96
In the game of the main defenses, with both teams under 42% from the field, New York (16-18) took the lead at the beginning of the second half and never gave up, winning the fourth victory at home in Minnesota (16-18) in the last 6 games to try to go back. The best was the center Mitchell Robinson, 14 points and 18 rebounds, a new high of the season. Minnesota, with Towns and Russell still in protocol and Edwards out but not ready to play, has lost for the fourth time in their last 5 outings.
Minnesota:Beasley 20 (4/7, 4/16), McDaniels 18, Nowell 11. Rimbalzi: Knight 7, Beverley 7. Assist: Beverley 7.
New York:Robinson 14 (7/8, 0/2 tl), Fournier 13, Randle 13. Rimbalzi: Robinson 18. Assist: Quickley 4.
New Orleans Pelicans-Cleveland Cavaliers 108-104
Also down by 23 points, New Orleans (13-22) invents a sensational comeback pushed by Temple’s triple (5 times per target) and by the best night of his career by Herbert Jones (26 points) to knock out Cleveland (20-14) and win for the 5th time in the last 6 outings. The Cavs, who have found rookie Evan Mobley (22 points) after Covid, are shaking for Ricky Rubio: he was dominating (27 points, 13 rebounds, 9 assists), he came out at 2’32 “at the end with a worrying injury to the left knee.
New Orleans:Jones 26 (8/14, 2/4, 4/4 tl), Graham 18, Temple 17. Rimbalzi: Valanciunas 10. Assist: Graham 5, Satoransky 5.
Cleveland: Rubio 27 (7/18, 3/7, 4/4 tl), Love 24, Mobley 22. Rebounds: Rubio 13. Assist: Rubio 9.
Sacramento Kings-Oklahoma City Thunder 117-111
Forty-eight hours after shaming her coach, Sacramento (14-21) regains the victory she was missing from 3 games by beating Oklahoma City (12-21), which she had won 4 of the previous 5. Merit above all of Tyrese Haliburton, excellent with 24 points and 10 assists, and the defense of the Kings (left with only two players in the Covid protocol) who kept the Thunder attack (6 unavailable, plus coach Daegnault) at 38.9% shooting. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s 33 points were not enough for Okc.
Sacramento: Haliburton 24 (4/6, 5/8, 1/1 tl), Hield 21, Barnes 17. Rimbalzi: Jones 14. Assist: Haliburton 10.
Oklahoma City: Gilgeous-Alexander 33 (8/19, 1/5, 14/17 tl), Dort 19, Wiggins 14. Rimbalzi: Dort 8, Williams 8. Assist: Gilgeous-Alexander 5.
December 29 – 07:48
© REPRODUCTION RESERVED