The Suns beat the Portland Trail Blazers in the final seconds, giving Dallas a helping hand. Here are the highlights of the game! Philly loses in the Ost-Kracher against increasing heat. In the east there is still a neck-and-neck race between Atlanta, the Heat and the Knicks. Giannis towers in the Bucks win against the Pacers.
The Clippers don’t give the Hornets a chance. Giannis beats the Pacers single-handedly and the Knicks managed a comeback victory over the Spurs.
Charlotte Hornets (33-37) – L.A. Clippers (47-23) 90:113 (BOXSCORE)
- The Clippers win an important game in the battle for third place in the west. By beating the Hornets, they were able to keep the nuggets at bay. Charlotte, on the other hand, cannot break away in the remote duel with Indiana for 8th place in the east – and thus the better starting point for the play-in tournament.
- The top scorer of the game was Paul George with 20 points (7/19 FG, 5/13 threesomes), 10 rebounds and 6 assists. PG-13 got support from Reggie Jackson (19 points, 7/15 FG, 5/12 threesome), Kawhi Leonard put on 16 points (5/9 FG, 2/4 threesome) and 9 assists.
- At the Hornets, LaMelo Ball was the best player with 18 points (5/10 FG, 3/4 threesome). With Gordon Hayward (foot) and Miles Bridges (Covid protocol), two important actors could not participate in Charlotte. The Clippers hit a hefty 46.7 percent from downtown, while the Hornets hit just 27.3 percent – a deciding factor in the defeat.
- After a balanced first quarter, Clippers initially pulled away a little in the second section and took the lead with 9 points (32:23). The Hornets found the right answers and were able to equalize after a 10: 2 run with 7:10 on the clock at 36:36. Then Charlotte took the lead – also because LA cooled down a lot from a distance (47:44 at break).
- Opposite picture after the break: At first the Hornets could still hold the lead, but the Clippers increasingly took control of the game. At 6.50 in the third quarter there was the change in leadership – at the end of the quarter it was 84:77 for Los Angeles. The Californians were able to expand this leadership in the fourth quarter. Charlotte didn’t hit a single throw from the field for almost seven minutes. When Devonte ‘Graham ended the losing streak with a three, the Clippers were already leading 100-79 – the game was decided.
Indiana Pacers (33-37) – Milwaukee Bucks (45-25) 133:142 (BOXSCORE)
- The Bucks are hot on the heels of the Nets to the east. Mainly responsible for the victory against the Pacers was once again an outstanding Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Greek leads his team to victory with 40 points (14/18 FG), 15 rebounds and 6 assists. With Kris Middleton (22 points, 9/17 FG), Jrue Holiday (20 points, 8/14) and Brook Lopez (21 points, 9/15 FG) three other players at the Bucks put on 20 points or more.
- In the Pacers, who missed the Hornets because of the defeat, Justin Holiday was the best point collector (26, 8/12 threesome). Jrue Holiday’s brother started the game red-hot and converted 6 out of 7 threesomes in the first quarter, but then cooled down a bit. Domantas Sabonis put in the first Half 13 assists on – there was another one added. In Indiana a total of eight (!) Players scored double digits.
- By the break, the Pacers hit just under 62 percent of downtown, but it was not enough for the lead due to the lost duel on the boards (26:17 for Milwaukee). When Indiana cooled down a bit after the break, they lost ground to the Bucks and didn’t come close in the course of the second half.
- Indiana, which only had ten players available due to injury problems, did not find any answers to Giannis, especially defensively. 6 of the 14 hits of the two-time MVP were simple dunks. The next for the Bucks is the Miami Heat. The Pacers will try to overtake the Hornets with a win against the Lakers in the next game.
New York Knicks (39-31) – San Antonio Spurs (33-37) 102:98 (BOXSCORE)
- In the three-way battle for fourth place in the east, the Knicks do not give up, but with the victories in Atlanta and Miami, New York initially remains in sixth place. 10 threesomes). RJ Barrett (24 points, 8/19 FG, 5/9 threesome) and Julius Randle (25 points, 7/21 FG) provided support, the latter in particular struggling with his throw.
- On the other hand, DeMar DeRozan was the best player: The forward put up 27 points (10/18 FG), but received too little support overall.
- It didn’t look like a victory for the favorite for a long time: With 3.45 on the clock in the third quarter, the Spurs were still leading with 75:58. Then, however, the Knicks started a 21-2 run and took the lead 79:77 only about five minutes later. The game was balanced for a long time in the fourth quarter, before Randle increased to +4 for New York just under a minute before the end. Barrett and Burks did the rest from the free-throw line.
- Since it was already clear before the game that the Knicks would return to the playoffs after a long dry spell, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich found words of praise for the opponent’s coach Tom Thibodeau: “He brought respect to the team and the organization. He’s established a winning culture, that’s why he’s great. “