The Lakers conceded a second straight loss in Detroit and the Clippers, winners in Miami, took the opportunity to snatch 2nd place in the Western Conference.
It is rare to be reported, so much they do everything to avoid it, but the defending champions, already beaten the day before in Philadelphia (107-106) after an intense meeting, have experienced such a mishap for the second time. in a row, and more widely this time, with the poorly classified Detroit (107-92).
The absence of Anthony Davis, affected in the right quadriceps, weighed enormously to the detriment of LA who obviously relied on LeBron James, who started on a big basis in the first period with 20 points scored, but who did not add any that 2 then. His 10 assists (7 rebounds) especially found Kyle Kuzma, 22 points also.
It is defensively that the Lakers lost this meeting by cracking in the money-time. The Pistons (14th in the East) have indeed inflicted on them an irreparable 10-0, in the wake of Derrick Rose (14 points) then very visible.
Winger Blake Griffin, who hadn’t been seen so dashing for a long time, had a good performance 23 points (6 assists).
Without the stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George (anti-Covid protocol), nor the “warrior” Patrick Beverley (knee), the hero’s costume was worn by Nicolas Batum for the Clippers, in Miami (109-105) at the end of ‘a game with twists and turns.
The Heat started strong by winning the first quarter 33-17. Then Los Angeles hit back hard in the next two to Lead 88-69. Enough for the win? Yes, but narrowly because the Floridians again untenable in the last twelve minutes (36-21) came close to the hold-up.
“Batman”, author of 18 points (6 rebounds, 2 interceptions) was preponderant to the Californian success, with his six baskets behind the arc (on 9 attempts) came to magnify a big activity on both sides of the field. “We are a very good team, we have a great group, we play well … Without three key players, we showed pride”, he noted.
He was not the only one to stand out: Reggie Jackson was complete (16 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists), as was sixth man Lou Williams (17 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists).
Opposite, the Heat (13th), still deprived of Jimmy Butler (Covid) and Goran Dragic (groin), fought well like Bam Adebayo (16 points, 13 rebounds) and Tyler Herro (19 points , 10 rebounds), but that wasn’t enough to prevent him from a fifth straight loss.
The James Harden era is now combined with the past, the present is going much better in Houston: since the star’s departure for Brooklyn, the Texan team is five wins in eight matches. This fourth in a row was at the expense of Portland (104-101).
Victor Oladipo, who arrived from Indiana as part of this “blockbuster” transfer involving several teams, was decisive with a basket 26 seconds from the term, synonymous with a definitive break. The fullback finished his team’s leading scorer with 25 points (7 rebounds, 5 assists). John Wall added 20 points (6 assists) and Christian Wood 22 more (12 rebounds).
Opposite, Damian Lillard (30 points) and Gary Trent Jr (23 points) were clever behind the arc with 12 shots entered out of 24, but they could not weigh on the very close end of the game.
Portland (9-8) falls to 7th place in the West, shared with Phoenix who easily beat Golden State (114-93), despite 27 points from Stephen Curry on the Warriors side (9th).