Joel Embiid and Rudy Gobert amaze, Ja Morant disillusioned


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Los Angeles (AFP) – Cameroonian Joel Embiid delivered an exceptional performance in Boston on Monday night, while in Memphis, Oklahoma City spoiled Grizzlies star Ja Morant’s return to the court and Rudy Gobert completed a full game for Utah.

With 41 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists, Embiid marked the spirits Monday night during the victory of Philadelphia over the Celtics (108-103).

Embiid’s teammates were not left out since Seth Curry (26 pts) and Tobias Harris (25 pts), completed the scoresheet of the Sixers, who go seventh in the Eastern Conference standings thanks to this victory, relegating the Celtics to 9th place.

« I think we had a peaceful evening, » said Doc Rivers, 76ers coach. « The guys were in a great state of mind. They really wanted it. And it showed. »

In Memphis, the Thunder, led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (23 pts, 5 rebounds, 5 assists) took revenge on the Grizzlies (102-99), who had crushed him in early December with a difference of 73 points (152 -79), the largest in NBA history.

Ja Morant, whose comeback was after twelve matches without playing due to a sprained left knee, could not do anything.

« And yet, I really trust my knee, » he blurted out.

Oklahoma’s victory came at the very end of the game, thanks in particular to Gilgeous-Alexander, author of an interception and two free throws giving the advantage to the Thunder, then to the three-point basket missed by Memphis since the half. from the field to the buzzer.

« We were good on defense, » said Josh Giddey, who scored 19 points and 11 rebounds, a career record. « We knew our roles and we performed them well. »

Complete Gobert

Utah, 3rd in the West, for its part beat Charlotte (112-102) thanks in particular to the French Rudy Gobert, author of one of the best performances of his career (23 pts, 21 rebounds, 15/16 on free throws ).

Miles Bridges of the Charlotte Hornets opposite Rudy Gobert of Utah Jazz on December 20, 2021 in Salt Lake City
Miles Bridges of the Charlotte Hornets opposite Rudy Gobert of Utah Jazz on December 20, 2021 in Salt Lake City Alex Goodlett GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

Croatia’s Bojan Bogdanovic also scored 23 points, while Donovan Mitchell scored 21 for Jazz, who also benefited from 13 rebounds from Royce O’Neale.

« We started the game well from the start. We managed all of our shots, » said Bogdanovic. « Rudy really dominated the racquet. He played well. »

LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges each scored 21 points for Charlotte, who was down 35-16 after the first quarter.

In San Francisco, the Golden State Warriors dominated Sacramento 113 to 98, with a Stephen Curry at the cleat (30 pts), well supported by Draymond Green, author of a triple double (16 pts, 11 rebounds, 10 assists).

The much applauded Curry made his return for the first time in front of his Californian fans, having broken the record for three-point baskets held by Ray Allen the previous week.

With that success, Golden State became the first NBA franchise to achieve the 25th wins this season on Monday night, although the Warriors remain second in the Western Conference behind Phoenix for now.

In Los Angeles, Dejounte Murray of San Antonio achieved another triple double with 24 points, 13 assists and 12 rebounds, allowing Spurs to secure a victory (116-92) over the Clippers, where Paul George was the best scorer (25 pts).

Finally, DeMar DeRozan scored 26 points and Coby White added 24 to lead the Chicago Bulls to victory over Houston (133-118).

Chicago Bulls DeMar DeRozan vs. Houston Rockets David Nwaba on December 20, 2021 in Chicago
Chicago Bulls DeMar DeRozan vs. Houston Rockets David Nwaba on December 20, 2021 in Chicago NUCCIO DINUZZO GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

The game between Orlando and Toronto has been postponed due to anti-Covid measures.

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