Anthony Davis and LeBron James saved the Lakers at the Pacers (111-112), while tension was at its height in Cleveland after an early fight between Donovan Mitchell and Dillon Brooks, excluded.
In search of victories to try to grab the play-offs, the Los Angeles Lakers suffered for a long time before snatching an important one from the Pacers, who counted up to 15 units in advance, leading continuously until 2 minutes 30 seconds from the end. Moment at which LeBron James (26 pts at 11/19 in shots, 7 assists) put LA ahead with a long-range banderilla. The “King» only has 63 points left to become the league’s all-time leading scorer ahead of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38.387).
«It’s one of the greatest records in sport in general, one that you don’t think will ever be broken.“, reacted the”Kingwho should achieve this next Tuesday against Oklahoma City or Thursday against Milwaukee, the very first club … of Abdul-Jabbar before he became a Laker. Excellent, Anthony Davis (31 pts, 14 rebounds) finished the job strong with the decisive basket 35 seconds from the buzzer, before succeeding against which was as much on Tyrese Halliburton (26 pts, 12 assists). With this second victory in a row on the road, the Lakers go back to 12th place.
Doncic gets injured
At the top of the standings, the leader Denver quietly disposed (134-117) of Golden State, defending champion again in full wandering. The double MVP Nikola Jokic has multiplied again without forcing (22 pts, 16 rebounds, 13 assists), he who is already running at an average triple-double this season. Jamal Murray finished top scorer (33 pts). On the Warriors side, who unscrew in 9th position as a play-off, Stephen Curry (28 pts) rather skilful, failed to counterbalance the defensive deficiencies, the Nuggets shooting at 56.7% success.
In Dallas, where the Mavs (5th) inflicted on the Pelicans (10th) a tenth consecutive loss (111-106), we were on our way to another great performance from Luka Doncic, when the Slovenian prodigy hurt his heel right by falling heavily, after hitting Jonas Valanciunas while attempting a dunk. There were 7 minutes left in the third quarter and the Slovenian prodigy was already compiling (31 pts, 12/19 on shots, 8 rebounds). He only had to hear him scream as he limped towards the locker room to understand his frustration, his team now hoping that the injury was not too severe.
Earlier, things had almost gone very badly in Cleveland, after an incident occurred in the 3rd quarter. Dillon Brooks, who fell to the ground after being blocked, elbowed Mitchell in the crotch. Whereupon the latter threw the ball at him, before grabbing him by the collar and knocking him back to the ground. A very large melee immediately formed, involving players, staff of both teams, referees and security personnel, after which the worst was avoided. Mitchell, holder of the next All-Star Game, and Brooks were excluded and Cleveland (5th in the East), which then led by five units, ended up breaking away (128-113). In an atmosphere that remained tense for a long time, Darius Garland distinguished himself in basketball with 32 points and 11 assists for the Cavs.
What to do when the “Greek” decides to be “Freak”? Not much, as Giannis Antetokounmpo was “monstrous” during the last quarter, his 20 points almost erasing the 21 units behind deplored by his Bucks in the third. He managed the last twelve points for his team in the money-time, when the Californians scored none in the last four minutes, both paralyzed by doubt in attack and helpless in defense, while they had reigned so far on this game. And it was not Giannis’ stray bullet (also 19 rebounds) 15 seconds from the buzzer that changed the game, because Kawhi Leonard, in a difficult evening (17 pts, 7/26 on shots, 11 rebounds), missed the winning basket. With this sixth consecutive success, Milwaukee consolidates its second place in the East. The Clippers retain their 5th position in the West.
On the Grizzlies side, still 2nd in the West despite a seventh loss in eight matches, Ja Morant (24 pts, 8 assists, 8 rebounds) and Desmond Bane (25 pts) struggled in vain. In the East, New York also emerged victorious in extremis (106-104) from its match against Miami, thanks in particular to RJ Barrett, author of 30 points (8 rebounds) and Julius Randle (23 pts, 10 rebounds, 6 assists , 3 interceptions). On the Heat side, which sees the Knicks (7th) getting closer to its 6th place, Bam Adebayo (32 pts, 9 rebounds) fought like a lion and Tyler Herro (25 pts, 8 assists) missed the long-range shot at the last second.