The decisive basket and 37 points scored: for his third game with Phoenix, Kevin Durant disgusted the Mavericks (130-126), Sunday in the NBA, Anthony Davis guiding the Lakers with 39 points to a precious success (113-105) against Golden State and Stephen Curry, back.
The opposition was intense in Dallas, between the two teams which were the most active in the last hours of the transfer window, since Kyrie Irving, like “KD”, had also made sure to leave Brooklyn, but to form a duo dreaded attack with Luka Doncic in Texas.
Except that it was the Suns who shone a little more, since Devin Booker was almost as effective as Durant (12/17 on shots, 7 rebounds), with his 36 points and 10 assists (15/25 on shots ).
The indecision as to the fate of the match lasted until the final moments. And, as he knows so well in one-on-one, Kevin Durant rose at mid-distance to give a two-point lead (128-126) 12.1 seconds from the buzzer.
“Nobody is ever going to retreat in defense on me. So sometimes I have to deviate my run. There I felt that I was in a good position to put the shot in it”, he commented.
In the process, an open double-step was offered to Doncic (34 pts, 9 rebounds), but his ball rolled over the hoop before coming out, to the great disappointment of the Slovenian, somewhat chambered by Booker.
The two stars then approached for an electric nose-to-nose, without any fuse blowing however. What Durant, who had put a big screen on his former Nets teammate Irving (30 pts) a few minutes earlier, finished his work undermining the last action with two free throws, sealing the third victory in a row of Phoenix, solid 4th in the West.
The Mavericks find themselves 7th, two rows behind the Warriors, defeated at the Lakers, despite the return of Stephen Curry who had not played since February 4 due to a knee injury.
– Lakers approaching –
The best three-point scorer in history was quite successful, with 27 points and 6 assists to his credit, well supported by Klay Thompson (22 pts).
But their combined efforts to try and secure a sixth straight victory were insufficient. Because LA was able to count on a big performance from Anthony Davis (8 rebounds, 6 assists, too), required to make up for the absence of LeBron James (ankle) for at least another three weeks.
Here are the Lakers who are approaching 10th place, currently occupied by New Orleans, the last of the play-offs to then hope to hang on to the play-offs.
In this same Western Conference, Memphis (2nd), deprived of Ja Morant, suspended, left the field a little more open to the leader Denver by bowing on the floor of the LA Clippers (135-129).
If Desmond Bane scored 30 points, the Grizzlies defense was martyred by Paul George and Kahwi Leonard, authors of 76 points between them (42 and 34 respectively).
– 4th triple-double for Giannis –
The second in the East, the Boston Celtics, also lost Sunday, against the Knicks who are in nine wins in a row (131-129 ap). On the floor of the C’s, the New Yorkers thought they had done the hardest part by widening the gap at the start of the last quarter, but Boston rebelled and came back seven points in the last minute thirty (113-113 ).
In the second overtime, the Celtics even had the opportunity to score the three-point winner, but Al Horford missed the mark.
On the Knicks side, Immanuel Quickley, who made up for the absence of star point guard Jalen Brunson, was up to it by beating his personal best in points (38) and delivering 7 assists.
This Boston setback (45 wins, 18 losses) benefits leader Milwaukee, who reacted after his misstep against Philadelphia by dominating Washington (117-111).
On the Wizards floor, Giannis Antetokounmpo validated his fourth triple-double of the season (23 pts, 13 assists and 10 rebounds), which allows the Bucks to now total 46 wins (18 losses).