From the point of view of the motivations, there should have been no match: The Orlando Magic they have more than three-and-a-half games to go just to secure tenth place in the Eastern Conference, while the L.A. Clippers they had an open four-hit streak but still needed a win in the Western Conference’s intense playoff run. But NBA matinees can be surprising, and complicit the absence of Kawhi Leonard (out to manage the poor condition of his right knee) the Magic unleashed a strong performance, deservedly taking the Clippers’ on-field success. Absolute protagonists Markelle Fultz and Wendell Carter Jr., who combine for 55 points in twos: 28 for the point guard and 27 with 12 rebounds for the long, accompanied by 20 points by Franz Wagner (author of the triple of the bracket in the last minute of the game) and by 18 from the bench by Cole Anthony. For one evening Paolo Banchero takes a break: his points are 12 with 4/11 shooting and three errors from the bow, but also the unusual 4/9 from the lunette testifies to one cold evening at the shootingin which, however, it is useful with 6 rebounds and 6 assists.
Clippers fifth in the West, but watch out behind
Denver falls again to New York: the Knicks win
Among the Clippers, on the other hand, i 30 points by Paul George to make up for Leonard’s absence, with Ivica Zubac who finishes with 16 points and 16 rebounds (7 in attack) but without leaving a mark, as well as Russell Westbrook’s 14 points with 9 assists, Marcus Morris’ 13 and Robert Covington’s 11. The Clippers still remain fifth in the West with a record of 37 wins and 34 lossesone knockout shy of Dallas and Golden State chasing her in the standings, but it’s clear that a defeat in a game on paper “easy” like this risks weighing at the end of the seasonwhen every race could make the difference.