The player: Exceptional, Damian Lillard plants 60 points
50, 36, 40, 44, 25, 24, 37 and the additional number, 60. No, these are not the lotto numbers but the points scored by Damian Lillard over the last 8 matches. Including his 60 points, his best performance of the season, slammed last night in a victory for the Trail Blazers against the Jazz (134-124). Unleashed to help his teammates win — every game counts for a struggling Oregon franchise still in playoff contention — the superstar scored 50 points in three quarters before adding 10 more in the » money-time » to ensure Utah wouldn’t turn the tide late in the game.
Are there too many points in the NBA?
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Lillard converted 21 of his 29 attempts, including 9 of 14 from behind the arc. It’s the most efficient 60-point game in history. The full display of an offensive panoply almost unparalleled in the NBA. He also made 9 of 10 shots while adding 7 rebounds, 8 assists and 3 steals. An exceptional performance from an exceptional player. It did not take less for Portland to seek victory, which is quite rare in recent weeks.
The game: Stephen Curry and Golden State overthrow Memphis late, Poole for the win
The Warriors may be misranked, but they’re still the defending champions and maybe even the team to beat in the West. The poster against the Grizzlies was therefore announced to be intense, even important. A rematch of the last playoffs, when the two teams met in the second round. The duel kept its promises. There was just such a high-level meeting atmosphere within the confines of the Chase Center. And Stephen Curry (34 points) as well as his partners recalled why they are still considered a cador in their Conference. They won against the second in the West by taking the upper hand in money-time (122-120).
Golden State chased after the score for much of the game. The Warriors rode Curry’s heatstroke to regain the lead in the final two minutes after falling 10 points behind. Despite this, they found themselves in a delicate situation after the expulsion of their double MVP. The latter got angry after a hasty shot from Jordan Poole. He didn’t say anything to the referees or his opponents but he threw away his mouth guard, which earned him an immediate ejection.
A little shocked and disorganized, the Californians let the advantage slip away. But with a point behind and twenty seconds to play, Klay Thompson came to play the heroes by registering the decisive three-point basket. Ja Morant gave Brandon Clarke the equalizer. Extension ? No thanks. Poole managed to take the defense of Memphis by default by cutting hard towards the circle on a final throw-in 2 seconds from the buzzer. The young man, guilty of the annoyance which caused the expulsion of Curry, put the basket for the win,
The duel: James Harden decisive, Philadelphia takes over Brooklyn
There is no historic rivalry between the Sixers and the Nets, but several players on the roster have a history with each other. And it was felt during the duel on Wednesday evening, with six technical faults distributed, words exchanged, looks, tension, etc. Philadelphia ended up winning this tight and committed match (137-133) thanks to a precisely inspired James Harden against his former teammates. He planted two three-pointers and a layup in the final four minutes to secure victory for his team.
This clash between two of the best formations in the East marked the first confrontation between Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons since their separation. The two players challenged each other, chambered and it was therefore the Cameroonian who had the last word with the victory but also 26 points scored. Tyrese Maxey finished with 27 points and Harden 23 for Philly. Kyrie Irving scored 30 points and Seth Curry 32, but the Nets lost for the fifth time in seven games without Kevin Durant.
The performance: Giannis Antetokounmpo walks against Denver in the absence of Jokic
Perhaps aware that this is a potential taste of a possible NBA Finals, the Nuggets have decided to rest three starters, including Nikola Jokic, when facing the Bucks. Their second game in two nights. Milwaukee therefore beat a second team from Denver (107-99), not without difficulty, under the impetus of an excellent Giannis Antetokounmpo. He compiled 33 points and 14 rebounds and could have inflated his counter a little more if he had shown more skill on the free throw line (15 of 22).
The return: Anthony Davis immediately performing with the Lakers
A month and a half after his last game, Anthony Davis is back for the Lakers. And he did the California team a lot of good by compiling 21 points and 12 rebounds in 26 minutes to help Los Angeles beat the modest San Antonio team (113-104). LeBron James finished with 20 points, 9 rebounds and 11 assists.
The return (bis): Brandon Ingram has finally played again
The Pelicans lost to the Timberwolves (102-111) by Anthony Edwards (37 points) last night. Their sixth straight loss. And yet, they have reason to be optimistic. Or relieved. Indeed, Brandon Ingram, one of their two best players, returned to the courts after two months of absence and 29 missed matches. Injured in the toe and embarrassed since the end of November, the All-Star winger is finally recovered. He played 28 minutes and scored 13 points in very clumsy condition (4 of 18). He’s going to have to get back into the rhythm to help New Orleans get back on their feet. Now waiting for the return of Zion Williamson…
The French: Another double-double for Rudy Gobert
Very good performance from Rudy Gobert with Minnesota last night. His 17 points and 12 rebounds contributed to the victory of the Timberwolves, still in the running to play the playoffs in the West.
Trail Blazers – Jazz: 134-124
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