Most seen on the field since October 23 and the Los Angeles Clippers’ large defeat against the Phoenix Suns (95-112), winger Kawhi Leonard returned to competition Thursday evening, at home, for the Californian franchise. A comeback without a bang to note (6 points to 2 of 8, 5 rebounds, 4 assists), with limited playing time (25 minutes), but a victory for his team against the Detroit Pistons (96- 91).
A success articulated around the solid evening of leader Reggie Jackson (23 points to 7 of 12), the only real thinning in a match where the two teams were quite clumsy (37.5% for Detroit, 40.7% for the Clips ). The difference was also made from a distance (11 out of 30 three-pointers for LA against 6 out of 31 for the visitors) since the two teams posted the same record on the throw line (19 out of 24). The rebound domination of the hosts (51 catches, including 18 for Ivica Zubac alone) did the rest.
The Pistons had however made the best start in the meeting, carried by their Croatian winger Bojan Bogdanovic (26 points), leading even at the break (42-50, 24th). Tyronn Lue’s men reversed the trend when they returned from the locker room and then held on in the money time to obtain their ninth success of the season (7 defeats), synonymous with 9th place in the West. Detroit, only 3 wins on the clock, has the worst record in the League (3v-12d), tied with the Houston Rockets.
Killian Hayes awkward, the splits for Nicolas Batum
The only two French players concerned by the three matches of the night opposed the crypto.com Arena (ex Staples Center), for a rather limited impact. Still inserted in Detroit’s starting five in the absence of Cade Cunningham, point guard Killian Hayes has, unlike his last three outings, been particularly clumsy: 1 of 8 shooting (5 points), for 3 free throws, 3 interceptions, 2 blocks and 1 assist. The most annoying is the -17 displayed at the “/-” (worst total for a Detroit player), meaning that when he was on the floor, his team was largely dominated.
Opposite, Nicolas Batum lived one evening at the antipodes of the previous one. After passing 22 points to the Dallas Mavericks (with a plump 7 of 7 three-pointers), the winger remained silent in 14 minutes of play (0 of 1 shooting), settling for 3 rebounds.