NBA – Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia Sixers sink the Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James passes the 38,000 points


The game: Embiid and the Sixers block the Lakers

Very nice basketball game between Philadelphia and Los Angeles last night. No team had a lead of more than 8 points but it was the Sixers who won on the wire, 113 to 112, with another full performance from Joel Embiid. The Cameroonian scored 35 points while grabbing 11 rebounds. He was especially decisive on the last action of the game. Embiid and teammate Niang defended brilliantly on Russell Westbrook to keep him from scoring or passing, securing the win for the Pennsylvania franchise.

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LeBron James also scored 35 points for the Lakers. He added 8 rebounds and 10 assists. The King became the second player in NBA history to reach 38,000 career points. He is only 300 lengths (and a little bit) from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s ultimate record. On the other hand, his performance was therefore not enough for Los Angeles, even if the Californians did not go far from victory on Sunday. They recorded their third loss in a row.

The player: Damian Lillard continues his impressive momentum

Portland can almost breathe again. The Blazers are trying somehow to keep their heads above water after having gone through very delicate moments in recent weeks. Damian Lillard is the perfect man to keep the franchise afloat. The All-Star point guard, an emblematic figure of the team, scored 40 points last night to give the Blazers their second straight victory against the Mavericks (140-123). Portland had not won two games in a row since mid-December.

Lillard, who finished 10 of 17 on shots, remains on outings at 34, 30, 50, 36 and therefore 40 points. A man on a mission to qualify his team for the playoffs. The Blazers are ninth and they can obviously still believe it. Especially if their superstar keeps that momentum going.

The return: Jokic returns, slams a triple-double and the basket for the win against Orlando

The Nuggets showed in the last game that they can win without Nikola Jokic. That’s how they beat Kawhi Leonard’s Clippers. The two-time Serbian MVP returned to the rotation on Sunday and immediately showed why he remains indispensable. Jokic delivered a triple-double, as often, by compiling 17 points (8 of 11), 10 rebounds and 14 assists. But he especially scored the decisive three-point basket to give victory to his team one second from the buzzer (119-116).

It seems almost banal for Jokic and yet it is quite exceptional. He has been playing at an absolutely incredible level for three years now. And Denver continues to lead the Western Conference with 30 wins in 43 games.

Performance: Julius Randle in the footsteps of Patrick Ewing

Although he will obviously never leave the same mark as Patrick Ewing on the Knicks or even on the NBA, Julius Randle emulated the New York legend by becoming the first player in the Manhattan franchise to compile at least 40 points and 15 rebounds on a match since Ewing in 1996. A performance established Sunday evening during a new victory against the Pistons (117-104). With therefore precisely 42 points from inside the Knicks. He showed the way to his teammates, who went for a third success in a row (and the eleventh in a row against Detroit) by passing in particular a 10-0 at the start of the fourth quarter. New York remains sixth in the East.

The record: Nikola Vucevic unleashed against the Warriors

The defending champions are definitely still in trouble when they play away this season. The Warriors lost for the 17th time in 21 games away from home. They lost against the Bulls last night (118-132). A game marked by the performance of Nikola Vucevic, author of 43 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals. The Montenegrin pivot equaled his personal best in scoring. He also scored 2 of his 5 three-pointers at the start of the fourth quarter, increasing the gap to 12 points in favor of the Bulls. The Warriors failed to pick up afterward.

The All-Star: Another Domantas Sabonis boss game

If the Kings were much criticized for having transferred the young and promising Tyrese Haliburton, excellent on the side of the Pacers, they still came out well by recovering Domantas Sabonis. The Lithuanian pivot is taking a real step forward for this Sacramento team, winner of its fourth game in a row after beating San Antonio (132-119) last night. Sabonis had 18 points, 18 rebounds and 8 assists. Another full performance from the inside, the Kings’ hub in attack.

The French: Frank Ntilikina in the five of the Mavericks

Lacking success on shots (4 out of 14), Killian Hayes still came close to double-double finishing with 9 points and 9 assists last night. Nicolas Batum also missed most of his attempts (2 of 7) but he tried to contribute as best as possible to the success of the Clippers by compiling 5 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 1 block. Holder with Dallas in the absence of Luka Doncic, Frank Ntilikina played 23 minutes. The time to register 2 points but above all to distribute 7 assists.

All scores

Pistons – Knicks: 104-117
Clippers-Rockets: 121-100
Bulls-Warriors: 132-118
Nets-Thunder: 102-112
Spurs-Kings: 119-132
Nuggets-Magic: 119-116
Trail Blazers-Mavericks: 140-123
Lakers-Sixers: 112-113

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