JAZZ 106 – NETS 117
The Nets, who had climbed in the East in pack format after its horrible start, the tremendous mess of Kyrie Irving and the last blows of the frustrating It was Steve Nash’s, they had four straight losses since a knee injury stopped Kevin Durant dead. Once it appears that he has centered himself and has their things under control (or reserved for his privacy, which is not a small thing) the focus that Kyrie always has on him now pointed to sports, to his usual problems to be a leader, to player-franchise on the court (off it, better not to speak). A matter that drags on from his time in the Cavs before the arrival of LeBron James, which links to his ugly time with the Celtics, etc. But in Salt Lake City, and to finally win without KD (106-117), Kyrie did what he is still capable of doing: enter into scoring combustion, reach a majestic level, display an offensive talent that is, if isolated and debugs, among the largest in the history of this game. The Nets stopped the bleeding (28-17 now) basically because Kyrie devoured some Jazz that are back in the negative (24-25) and that they only have half a game ahead of the first without play-in in the West. The point guard scored 48 points with an excellent shooting series: 18/29 with 8/15 in triples. He also led his team in rebounds (11) and assists (6). In a last quarter that was reached with the game on the wire (83-83), he scored 21 points. When the Jazz cut back seven to put up another tie (102-102) with three minutes and a bit to go, Kyrie made two of the four 3-pointers that sealed the away win. The other two were from Seth Curry, the second after a perfect assist from Kyrie, who played a colossal game. He accompanied the work of Claxton (20 points, maximum efficiency, 4 blocks) and O’Neale who returned to his old home with three three-pointers in the first quarter and good production: 13 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists. In some Jazz that had options until the end despite the heroics of Kyrie, 22 points and 11 rebounds from a Markkanen who was not in a super version, 29 points and 5 assists from a brilliant Clarkson and good minutes from a second unit led by the Sexton quality, 17.
NUGGETS 134 – PACERS 111
The Nuggets scored 134 points and dished out 38 assists in another recital by a launched team, which leads the West (33-13), steps on the Celtics’ feet in what is already a race for the best record in the NBA and seems literally unbeatable on his court, where he is 22-3 and where he has not lost since December 7. This time the victim was the Indiana Pacers (134-111), a team crushed by the injury of Tyrese Haliburton, his great reference, who has six straight losses and plummeted in the East (23-24) although his exceptional first half of course, and that the others do not press too much, allows him to continue in the zone of play-in with a two and a half games margin but very bad inertia. The best thing for the Nuggets, who also saw how the Grizzlies crashed in LA against the Lakers, was that they won very easily without Nikola Jokic, low due to muscular discomfort. Those from Colorado, right now packed, did not notice the absence of the double MVP, and overwhelmed some Pacers who were falling under their own weight, torn apart by the confidence and rhythm of a team that seems right now, by far, the best of the Western Conference. There are nine victories in a row, the best streak of the Jokic era, in a section in which they also have the best numbers in the League in terms of shooting percentage and assists. The game showed that Jamal Murray is reaching the best version of him (17 points, 10 rebounds, 14 assists) and that Michael Porter is also coming out of his maze (19 + 8). Also, and it is no longer news, Aaron Gordon played at an excellent level (28+5+6) for a team in a state of optimism. Quite the opposite of some Pacers in depression and in which Myles Turner added 15 points and the rookie Mathurin, 19.
MAGIC 123 – PELICANS 110
The problems continue for the Pelicans due to the losses they accumulate and how badly they perform without those players, Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. In Orlando, without minutes for Willy Hernangómez one more day, they ran out of gasoline and paid for it in a very bad fourth round. McCollum’s 2/11 and Alvarado’s 3/11 from the outside line weighed in on a night of much more showy percentages by the Magic, above half the success of two and three. Franz Wagner, with 30 points, and Cole Anthony, scoring 22, were the most successful in the locals. Third fall in a row for those of Green, who still do not see the bottom.
HAWKS 139 – KNICKS 124
Murray (29) carried the weight of the duo with Young in the Hawks to get rid of the Knicks, a team that Trae has between eyebrows. Thibodeau’s men stopped responding, for no apparent reason, in the last period, run over by events, and fell into what is their third consecutive defeat. They didn’t get Randle’s 32 points.
SPURS 126 – CLIPPERS 131
Leonard (36) was the leading scorer for the Clippers in Texas to beat the cowed Spurs, but there was a key in the last quarter, first with Reggie Jackson and then with Norman Powell. They gave the final push despite the fact that Paul George was also on the field. Between the four they took the victory. The best local, with 23 goals, was Johnson.
KINGS 118 – THUNDER 113
Follow the magic on the Kings side. They don’t want to take the crown too soon, but they are growing in the season and, therefore, in the Western Conference standings. Against a rival of the same they won this Friday. And with a triple-double by Domantas Sabonis: 18+14+14. Although Keegan Murray, with 29 points, was the top scorer for his team and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, author of 37, was the game’s top scorer. Murray hit the key shot in the middle of the fourth quarter with three consecutive triples, although the Thunder did not give up their efforts and forced Fox to sentence with a layup with a second to go because they were three.
CAVALIERS 114 – WARRIORS 120
Without Curry, Klay, Green or Wiggins, the Warriors win incredibly in Cleveland based on triples and Ty Jerome making a great game. Read the chronicle.
LAKERS 122 – GRIZZLIES 121
Incredible victory, with an epic 2+1 by Dennis Schröder, from a Lakers who never gave up against the Grizzlies, who had eleven in a row. Read the chronicle.
MAVERICKS 115 – HEAT 90
Brilliant victory, with a much improved defense, for the Mavs against an annulled Heat. Doncic, owner and lord of the party again. Read the chronicle.