The Warriors, collectively reunited around Stephen Curry, reduced the gap to 3 wins to 2 on Wednesday in the NBA Western Conference semifinals against the Lakers (121-106), who lamented Anthony’s injury exit. Davis, injured by an elbow to the temple.
The Knicks, also back to the wall, did the same against the Heat (112-103), thanks to 38 points from Jalen Brunson.
Golden State and New York must now win in Los Angeles and Miami on Friday, to stay alive in these play-offs and then play a decisive N.7 match, again on their floor on Sunday.
There is still a long way to go before we can reverse the situation after being down 3-1, something that has happened on thirteen occasions in history. The Warriors had also succeeded in 2016 at the expense of Oklahoma City, before suffering the same fate in the final against the Cavaliers of LeBron James.
In the meantime, Steve Kerr’s men put their hearts to work to find a little energy on Wednesday, like Draymond Green, wound up like clockwork and who set the pace, scoring 8 of his 20 points in the first four minutes (10 rbds).
“AD” in a wheelchair
Andrew Wiggins was also a particularly valiant lieutenant (25 pts) for Curry, who nevertheless finished as his team’s top scorer with 27 points, including 9 in the last quarter, to put an end to the Lakers’ comeback attempts. counted up to 18 units behind.
“They were very present this evening, very aggressive, especially in the defense of our perimeter”, paid tribute to them the best three-point shooter in history.
More than the defeat, during a match where they have indeed often suffered the aggression of the defending champion, it is the fate of Davis which is likely to worry LA. Because the winger (23 pts, 9 rebounds) had to leave his teammates seven minutes from the end, after receiving an involuntary nudge on the temple from Kevon Looney.
Struggling to walk alone to the locker room, he ended up on a wheelchair. After the match, his coach Darvin Ham said that “+AD+ already seems to be going very well”, the broadcaster TNT reporting that the player seemed to have avoided a dreaded concussion, without the Lakers communicating on the subject.
The next 48 hours will have to confirm this trend because, without their ultra-dominant interior, the Lakers would be considerably reduced, even if they can count on their leader LeBron James, still very present (25 pts, 9 rebounds).
Earlier, the Knicks, towed by Jalen Brunson, also found their colors, finally managing to force the defensive lock of the Heat, while limiting the impact of Jimmy Butler (19 pts at 5/12 on shots, 9 assists) .
The scenario was however reversed in the first quarter, completed 24-14 in favor of Miami.
But RJ Barrett (26 pts) and Julius Randle (24 pts) responded offensively, at the relay of Brunson, still as skilful (12/22, 9 rebounds, 7 assists). So much so that NY broke away in the next two periods, counting up to 19 units in advance.
“We were not discouraged despite their big start. We continued to fight,” summed up the New York top scorer.
Not enough, however, to extinguish the flame of the Heat, which never gives up, even when defeat seems inevitable. And under the impetus of veteran Kyle Lowry (9 pts), author of two award-winning banderillas at the start of the last quarter, as well as Duncan Robinson, another successful gunner behind the arc (5/10 for 17 pts), the 2020 finalist managed to close within two points (103-101) two and a half minutes from the buzzer.
The Knicks did not finally crack, like RJ Barrett managed to maintain, in cold blood, on free throws, enough of a gap to discourage the ultimate Florida inclinations, which were also hardly inspired in the last seconds.