The comeback: the revolt of Batum and the Clippers
When Nikola Jokic scored his two free throws in the middle of the third quarter to bring the gap to 25 points (34-59, 26th), enthusiasm no longer really reigned in the spans of the Crypto.com Arena (ex -Staples Center). But the Los Angeles Clippers pulled off one of the most unlikely comebacks of the season. The Californians relied on a stifling defense and the success of Amir Coffey in attack (18 points, 7 assists). Holder, Nicolas Batum (6 points) scored a first award-winning shot to return to 12 points (50-62, 33rd) then a second, giving his team a five-point lead (86-81, 46th).
The action of the night: the composure of Brandon Ingram
Deprived of its young star Zion Williamson, New Orleans is having a difficult season in the Western Conference. But the public of Louisiana found the smile Tuesday evening vis-a-vis Minnesota (128-125) thanks to Brandon Ingram. The winger (33 points, 9 assists) scored the winning three-point shot, 1”3 from the buzzer, to conclude a hotly contested match. Despite Anthony Edwards (28 points), the Wolves bow and fall to 9th place in the Western Conference.
The leader: Chicago corrects Detroit
Nine points ahead at halftime, 46 at the final buzzer (133-87). Against Detroit, Chicago built its crushing victory after the break, driven by its success in outside shooting (18 of 34, 52%). Leaders of the Eastern Conference, the Bulls have perfectly prepared their clash on Wednesday night against the Nets, their runners-up. DeMar DeRozan (20 points, 12 rebounds), Nikola Vucevic (22 points) and Zach LaVine (10) could be preserved late in the game. For Detroit, Killian Hayes played 33 minutes for eight points, five assists and four steals.
Image of the night: Booker faces the Raptors mascot
Due to health restrictions in Canada, Toronto is playing its home matches behind closed doors. Without fans, time flies less quickly for “The Raptor”, the franchise’s mascot. But against Phoenix (95-99), the red dinosaur was talked about.
Led by one point six seconds from the buzzer, Toronto fouls Devin Booker (16 points). His first free throw almost came out of the circle and the back of the Suns had a clear culprit: “The Raptor”, accused of jumping before his throws. The dinosaur was told to switch places and Booker sunk in his second pitch before celebrating Phoenix’s victory at the buzzer. Chris Paul’s teammates (15 points, 12 assists) are now alone in the lead in the West, taking advantage of Golden State’s loss to Memphis.
The absentee: Washington wins without Bradley Beal
For the second time in three weeks, Bradley Beal was placed in Covid protocol and therefore had to be dismissed by Washington. Without the back, the Wizards still managed to win against Oklahoma City (122-118) with 29 points from Kyle Kuzma and 22 from Spencer Dinwiddie. Shai Gilgeous Alexander’s 32 units, including two lay-ups to equalize at 118-118, were not enough. Three Frenchmen remained on their respective benches: Joël Ayayi in Washington, Théo Maledon and Olivier Sarr in Oklahoma City.