Far from the turmoil of Brooklyn, where the Kyrie Irving affair seems to be settling since the Nets playmaker could return to competition this weekend, at home against Brooklyn, the New York franchise obtained a precious success Thursday evening, on the floor of the Portland Trail Blazers (109-107). A nice success both by the status of the defeated team, leader of the Western Conference (10v-5d), and in content: beyond Kevin Durant, natural leader of his team (35 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists) , several franchise players pulled out of the game and displayed the necessary aggressiveness in a very close game.
Starting with Ben Simmons. The Australian, who is keen on a gradual return to competition after being forced to treat a painful knee, has, according to the house commentators, delivered “one best game in the jersey of Brooklyn”. An understandable compliment since the former Philadelphia player compiled 15 points at 100% shooting (6 of 6), 12 rebounds, 7 assists and 1 against in 32 minutes of play. Royce O’Neale, author of a decisive tap at 7 tenths of the siren on a missed shot from Durant at 107-107, split a triple-double (11 points, 11 rebounds, 11 steals). Finally, winger Yuta Watanabe scored 20 points (5 out of 7 from three points), displaying an infectious aggressiveness on several of his actions.
Six Brooklyn players scored at least 11 points during the game. Nick Claxton 11 points) and Joe Harris (15 points) followed Durant (35), Harris (15), Watanabe (20) and Simmons (15).
On the Blazers side, the solutions were less: Damian Lillard (25 points, 11 assists) and Anfernee Simons (24 points) were the two most prominent players for the locals, but they were both clumsy (16 out of 44 cumulative). An evil that affected all the Blazers elsewhere, who finished the game with a small 38.7% shooting (36 of 93). This did not prevent them from giving themselves a chance by pounding in the interior sector with Jusuf Nurkic (17 points, 8 rebounds). Insufficient, however, to chain a second victory. The Oregon franchise is still leading in the West, but now finds itself within direct reach of Phoenix (9v-5d) and the Denver Nuggets (9v-5d). In the East, Brooklyn remains at the gates of the first ten places (7v-9d) but only two victories separate the club from the fifth position occupied by Toronto (9v-7d).
We don’t stop Sacramento anymore
At 3 wins for 6 losses (but above all 4 initial losses), the Sacramento Kings therefore refused fate and released their fangs in order to relaunch their season. Five matches later, and as many victories, here is the Californian franchise relaunched in the middle of the table (8v-6d, 8th). Over the period, Sacramento still hooked the scalp of several big fish (Cavaliers, Warriors and Nets in particular), while the success acquired overnight, at home, against the San Antonio Spurs was quieter.
The statistics delivered by ESPN speak volumes about the setbacks experienced by the Kings for nearly twenty years: they have not lined up six wins since the 2004-2005 season… The reception of the Detroit Pistons on Sunday could therefore help to break the curse.
He nevertheless stood out in the final quarter (won 41-30), under the leadership of leader De’Aaron Fox (28 points, 8 assists), but also of rear Malik Monk, author of 28 points off the bench. What compensate for the 29 units compiled by Devin Vassell on the Texan side, in a match with big address: 57.8% for Sacramento (48 out of 83), 54.8% for San Antonio (46 out of 84). The difference was made in particular on the aggressiveness, the locals collecting 24 free throws on the 22 faults committed by the Spurs.