James shines again in loss, Jokic saves Denver
Stratospheric, with 46 points scored including 9 award-winning baskets, but alone, LeBron James could not prevent another loss for the Lakers against the Clippers (133-115) on Tuesday in the NBA, while Nikola Jokic saves Denver in New Orleans (99-98).
At 38, has “LBJ” become too strong? The question currently appears every time it comes out, almost always punctuated with “masterclass”. In this month of January, ten matches, he averaged 35 points and 51.8% shooting success.
It was enough to catch up with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387 pts) at a very fast pace, because he needed only 178 units to surpass the legend in the ranking of the best scorers in history.
In this “angeleno” derby, “LBJ” (8 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 interceptions) took the opportunity to beat his personal record of baskets behind the arc, while boasting that he has already scored at least 40 points to all teams in the league.
Thus he needlessly sounded the alarm clock for the Lakers, comatose for three quarters and in Gruyère defensive mode, against the better Clippers collectively, following Paul George (27 pts, 9 rebounds ) and Kawhi Leonard (25 pts , 9 rbds).
– “We have to help him” –
“LeBron is playing at an incredible level, I’m happy for him, but we have to improve. We have to keep fighting, play together and help him,” said coach Darvin Ham, who knows the need of immediate action.
Stuck in 13th place, the Lakers are far from the playoffs. Nicolas Batum’s Clippers (4 pts, 6 assists, 6 rebounds) continued to gain momentum, in 5th place.
In the conference lead, Denver had a scare, squandering a 19-point lead on New Orleans, before eventually winning to the wire, thanks to Nikola Jokic.
Not content with racking up a new triple-double (25 pts, 11 rebounds, 10 assists), his 4th in a row and 15th of the season, the double MVP put up the winning basket with a float at mid-distance in 16.9 seconds. from the end.
Despite this fifth straight setback, the Pelicans, penalized by the absence of Zion Williamson, who will continue for another two weeks (hamstring), remain 4th.
Especially since Dallas (6th) had to beat Washington (127-126) at home. However, Luka Doncic struggled by scoring 41 points (15 rebounds, 6 assists), but Kyle Kuzma (30 pts) made the free throw he needed 5 seconds from the buzzer for the Wizards (th 11 in the East).
– Boston stalls again –
In Phoenix, the Suns (7th) followed with a fourth straight victory at the expense of Charlotte (128-97).
In the East, the leader Boston received its second straight defeat in Miami (98-95), which was paid for poorly in the last quarter and 30 points from Bam Adebayo.
The absences of Jaylen Brown (adductor), Al Horford (back), Malcolm Brogdon (personal reasons) and Marcus Smart (ankle), weighed heavily on the Celtics, who nevertheless led by 10 units (87-77 ) in the last quarter, thanks to Jayson Tatum (31 pts, 14 rebounds).
When the Heat fought back, they lost Jimmy Butler (lumbar), who scored 15 points while the C’s missed ten straight shots. The latter was still tied (95-95), on a long distance banderilla from Grant Williams in the last minute.
But Adebayo (15 rbds) put Miami back in front with a shot 20 seconds from the buzzer, on a pass from behind Tyler Herro, clumsy (9 pts on 4/19) in this match but decided by intercepting a pass from Tatum on the ultimate possession.
Miami remains 6th, behind Cleveland’s loss to New York (105-103), where Julius Randle (36 pts, 13 rebounds) shined with eight baskets behind the arc, including the last crucial two minutes from the end. All without Evan Fournier, excused because his wife gave birth to their second child.