Phoenix picks the Hornets
Affected by the Covid, decimated in the internal sector, Phoenix had experienced a painful end to the year 2021, marked by three defeats in four matches, all against teams which act as benchmarks this season (Golden State, Memphis and Boston) . The few days of rest obtained by the Arizona franchise allowed them to recharge their batteries, and to approach the recovery in Charlotte with newfound offensive efficiency.
The Hornets, who nevertheless remained on three successes in a row, did not really resist on their floor, and were 16 points behind at the break (47-63, 24th). The gap only grew on the restart, which also allowed the visitors to rest their stars, the back Devin Booker (24 points, 7 rebounds) in the lead (29 minutes). This success allows the Suns to come back in the wake of the Warriors, leaders of the regular season who have only one loss less (28v-7d, against 28v-8d). Despite this stoppage, Charlotte remains in the positive (19v-18d), in 7th place in the East.
Dominated on the rebound, the Lakers still manage
The statistics are frightening: in 48 minutes of play, moreover at home, the Los Angeles Lakers left twice as many rebounds to their opponents, the Minnesota Timberwolves, as they took (28-56). Despite 20 offensive takes and therefore a surprising domination under the baskets, the visitors failed to win (108-103) against a team of thirty, well helped by 22 points from Malik Monk.
LeBron James (26 points, 7 rebounds) and Russell Westbrook (20 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists) were valuable, as was Carmelo Anthony, author of 14 points off the bench and effective in the last quarter. Thanks to this second success in a row, the Lakers have returned to a balanced balance sheet (19v-19d, 7th in the West), with the satisfaction of having the impression of playing better lately. Minnesota is ninth (16v-20d) and remains on three losses.
End of series for Miami, Indiana remains in the hard
First defeat in six matches for the Miami Heat, which had ended the year 2021 with a bang, and started 2022 on the same bases (120-110 in Houston). On Sunday, Buddy Hield’s Sacramento Kings (26 points off the bench) did a little better, especially in terms of marksmanship (51.3% against 43.8%), to win by two points ( 115-113). With the exception of their starting five, decimated and led by Tyler Herro (22 points) and Omer Yurtseven (22 points), the Floridians struggled to find relays (19 points).
In Cleveland, Domantas Sabonis’ big game (32 points, 13 rebounds, 7 assists) and the 19 three-point baskets slammed by the Indiana Pacers were not enough for the visitors to win (108-104 for the Cavs) . For the locals, the interiors did most of the work: 18 points and 11 rebounds for Jarrett Allen, 24 points and 9 rebounds for Evan Mobley, and finally 20 points and 8 rebounds for Kevin Love off the bench. Always surprising this season (21v-16d, 5th in the East), the Cavaliers have thus returned to victory after three defeats. For Indiana, the fall is painful to live with: 4 consecutive losses (5 in 6 matches) and a record (14v-23d) which earned it a disappointing 13th place in the East. Trade rumors surrounding the franchise’s key players aren’t going to fade anytime soon.