The Miami Heat equaled the Chicago Bulls at the top of the Eastern Conference in a long and exciting NBA day for the Martin Luther King holiday (twelve games) in which the Los Angeles Lakers broke their losing streak and the Phoenix Suns continued shining.
Heat 104, Raptors 99
Jimmy Butler (triple-double with 19 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists) led the Miami Heat to a tight victory against the Toronto Raptors that allows the Florida franchise to share the leadership of the East with the Chicago Bulls after having won 7 of their last 10 games.
The good news is accumulating for the Heat who brought Bam Adebayo back after a month and a half out due to injury (14 points, 9 rebounds and 2 assists).
In the Raptors, who only lowered their arms after a triple by PJ Tucker with 20.7 seconds to go, Chris Boucher was the top scorer (23 points and 10 rebounds).
Lakers 101, Jazz 95
Stanley Johnson, with 10 points in the fourth quarter, was the unexpected hero of the Los Angeles Lakers, who after three straight losses and immersed in a very worrying dynamic, took breath with their comeback against the Utah Jazz.
LeBron (25 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists) and Russell (15 points including a huge slam dunk in the second quarter) joined forces for the Lakers while Rudy Gobert stood out for the inaccurate Jazz (36.9% shooting from the field). (19 points and 16 rebounds) and Mike Conley (20 points and 4 assists).
Suns 121, Spurs 107
The 48 points of an extraordinary Devin Booker (in addition to his 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals) were an impossible slab to lift for the San Antonio Spurs in their matchup against the Phoenix Suns who have won four straight and have opened a gap with the Golden State Warriors leading the West.
Jakob Poeltl (23 points, 14 rebounds and 4 assists) was the offensive benchmark for the Spurs who held out until the last quarter but suffered 51.6% of the Suns’ field goals.
Mavericks 104, Thunder 102
The Dallas Mavericks suffered until the last moment to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder and thus add their third victory in a row.
Luka Doncic got a triple-double (20 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists) but he was very unlucky (4 of 17 in field goals, 0 of 6 in triples).
In the Thunder, who had a possession to tie or win the game and ended up losing that ball, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander stood out (34 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists).
Hawks 121, Buckes 114
After losing their last five games, the Atlanta Hawks caught their breath with an important victory against none other than the current NBA champions, the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Hawks were far superior in the fourth quarter (38-26) and that allowed them to come back from a game in which they had been behind in the first three quarters.
Trae Young (30 points, 4 rebounds and 11 assists) led the stampede in the last minutes of the Hawks while Khris Middleton (34 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists) was the most effective player of a Bucks that went from more to less .
Blazers 98, Magic 88
The Portland Trail Blazers took home the victory against the Orlando Magic in the return game of CJ McCollum (16 points) after more than a month without playing due to injury.
Brothers Franz and Moritz Wagner (14 points each) were the Magic’s attacking benchmarks.