NBA: end of eclipse for Suns, black hole for Warriors

The Suns snapped a six-game losing streak with a win over the struggling Warriors, while the Heat set an NBA free-throw efficiency record on Tuesday, the day David Bowie died seven years ago.

. “Changes”

Change, that’s what fans of Golden State and Phoenix, who are currently in a difficult time, hope to see. And the people of Arizona were given, their team won (125-113) in California.

A bit against everyone, because the Suns do not have their stars Devin Booker, Chris Paul, DeAndre Ayton, injured, unlike the Warriors, who recovered Stephen Curry, after eleven games missed due to injury on the left shoulder. The latter, who had been rusty for a long time, sounded off in the fourth quarter, scoring 16 of his 24 points.

Golden State, which was 27 units behind, returned to -6, also guided by Klay Thompson (29 pts), but could not prevent the third straight loss. Because the truth is that the “Dubs”, who abuse the three-point shot, are just a few years away from playing like a defending champion.

Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry (#30) tackles Josh Okogie (#2) of the Phoenix Suns on January 10, 2023 in San Francisco (GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP – Thearon W. Henderson)

The Phoenix, led by Mikal Bridges (26 pts, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks), showed more consistency and took advantage of the opportunity to double its victim of the night in 6th place in the West.

. “Heroes”

Heroes don’t always win in the end. Luka Doncic and Donovan Mitchell had a bittersweet experience here.

Slovenian Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic (#77) during an NBA game against the LA Clippers on January 10, 2023 in Los Angeles (GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP - Katelyn Mulcahy)
Slovenian Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic (#77) during an NBA game against the LA Clippers on January 10, 2023 in Los Angeles (GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP – Katelyn Mulcahy)

The former struggled a lot in Dallas’ loss to the Clippers (113-101), scoring 20 of his 43 points (11 rebounds, 7 assists) in the final quarter. Due to the obligation to collect itself after six consecutive losses, LA relied on Kawhi Leonard (33 pts 9 rebounds) who showed the best recently.

The second, for his return to Utah where he played for five seasons since his move to Cleveland, did not prevent the loss of the Cavs (116-114). However, he scored 46 points (6 assists, 3 steals), but the Jazz have support, such as Jordan Clarkson (32 pts) and Lauri Markkanen (25 pts, 17 rebounds).

. “scary monster”

“It’s going to be scary for 48 minutes when we’re together”, Joel Embiid promised at the end of February 2022, when James Harden joined him in Philadelphia, referring to “it’s going to be scary” dropped by “The Beard” ), a year before he signed with Brooklyn, about the trio he would form with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving and ultimately turned out to be a disappointment.

The pair has been on and off this season so far, playing only half of the 76ers’ 40 games. But when these two “monsters” are in full possession of their treasures, their association causes harm.

Cameroonian Joel Embiid (#21) during the Philadelphia 76ers NBA game against the New Orleans Pelicans on January 2, 2023 in Philadelphia (GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/Archives - Tim Nwachukwu)
Cameroonian Joel Embiid (#21) during the Philadelphia 76ers NBA game against the New Orleans Pelicans on January 2, 2023 in Philadelphia (GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/Archives – Tim Nwachukwu)

The Pistons paid the price (147-116). Embiid was ultra-dominant (36 pts, 11 rebounds in 23 minutes), Harden chained a second triple-double in a row (16 pts, 15 assists, 12 rebounds).

And around them, something quite rare since the beginning of the championship, the team is complete. What should be caught in the second part of the season, it looks higher than the current 4th place.

. “struggling”

A free throw can win games. It was proven in a historic way in Miami, in favor of the Heat, winner of the seizure of Oklahoma City (112-111), thanks to Jimmy Butler, full of calm under pressure, to succeed in a decisive 12 seconds from finally.

Historically, during the exercise, the Floridians (8th) succeeded with 100% success in their 40 attempts. A new NBA record, erasing Utah, author of 39/39 against Portland in 1982.

Miami Heat's Jimmy Butler (#22) during an NBA game against the Phoenix Suns on January 6, 2023 in Phoenix (GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/Archives - Christian Petersen)
Miami Heat’s Jimmy Butler (#22) during an NBA game against the Phoenix Suns on January 6, 2023 in Phoenix (GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/Archives – Christian Petersen)

Commendably, Butler hit 23 free throws by himself, finishing his night with 35 points.

On the Thunder’s side, there is no shortage of regrets because he did more than just play, like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (26 pts).

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