Atlanta and Brooklyn take off, Phoenix and the Clippers equalize

Atlanta, on his floor, defeated the New York Knicks (113-96) for the third time and takes off in the series, now leading 3 wins to 1. The axis leader-inside Trae Young-John Collins has done a lot of damage to the defense of New Yorkers. Young finished with 27 points to 9/21 on shots and 9 assists while the young post 4 scored 22 points to 6/10 on shots and 8 rebounds.

Opposite, the MIP (best progression) of the season Julius Randle finished with 23 points but an awkward 7/19 on shots accompanied by 10 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals in 36 minutes. Frank Ntilikina only played 3 minutes without scoring any points. Atlanta widened the gap at the start of the second half with 35 points scored. The Trae Young Hawks are therefore getting closer to the next round, they will play for the qualification on the night of Wednesday to Thursday at Madison Square Garden in New York.

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The Nets also took off in the series 3-1, thanks to their victory over the Celtics (126-141). Brad Stevens’ players could not do anything against the fiery Brooklyn trio, the three superstars Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving have 104 points (42 points from KD, 23 from James Harden and 39 from Kyrie Irving).

The skill of these Nets was the key to the game, they shot 59.3% success at 3-pointers and 57.8% at 2-points. Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot only played one minute, without registering a basket. Opposite, however, the Celtics were not powerless, after his game at 50 points, Jayson Tatum put it back with 40 points at 10/22 on shots, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 interception and 2 blocks in 40 minutes. Tatum was well supported by the French Evan Fournier and his 16 points in 28 minutes of play but the Nets were too skillful, too strong in this game to compete. Brooklyn wins for the third time in four games and takes a clear lead in the series which will play its already decisive Game 5 this Wednesday in Brooklyn.

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The Lakers bowed on their floor against the revenge Suns (92-100). 6 Arizona franchise players end up with more than 10 points scored (Booker, Paul, Ayton, Payne, Crowder, Bridges). Lakers side, LeBron James maintained his in the game thanks to his 25 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 interception in 38 minutes. He notably showed all his talent even after 18 seasons in the NBA during a counter-attack concluded by an alley-oop on the board, slammed by the King in person.

The Lakers, however, lost Anthony Davis who suffered in his left leg after a lay-up and in the second half his absence was felt by the Angelinos. The Suns then set up an 8-9 point gap that the Crimson and Gold failed to catch. The series is again tied 2-2, Game 5 will be played this Wednesday in Phoenix to gain a significant advantage and be one win of the next round or elimination.

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The Mavs also bowed on their floor against the Los Angeles Clippers (106-81) to restore the series to 2-2 everywhere. Luka Doncic had an average game compared to his usual standards, hampered by a pain in the neck he scored 19 points, took 6 rebounds and gave 6 assists in 36 minutes. Leonard and George took it upon themselves to lead the Clippers with their 29 and 20 points. Nicolas Batum had a big game, he who scored 10 points, caught 5 rebounds, stole 4 balls and blocked 2 shots in 36 minutes for a huge +/- of +27.

The Clippers managed to keep their lead of 18-20 points throughout the second half to win 25 points in the end. After two big first matches, the Mavs got back up and must do everything from now on to win this series. Game 5 takes place this Thursday at Staples Center in LA

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