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Not even Kyrie Irving saves the Nets

The East is boiling. There are only two and a half games difference between the first and the sixth, which is crazy at this point in the season. The injuries that are raging with the Bulls are weighing down those from Illinois (3-7 in the last 10 games), who already have the same losses as the Nets and Heat, the new Conference leader. There are three teams with 17 losses and three with 19: Bucks, Cavaliers and Sixers. And, from behind, a fight that is going to be intense so as not to stay out of the play in. The Hornets are sitting in seventh place with 21 losses, the Raptors add 22 and behind, a very serious traffic jam: 24-24 Celtics, 23-24 Wizards, which marks the border of tenth place right now, 23-24 Knicks and 21 -25 some Hawks that have risen when they already seemed in the grave and that are hooked to a fight that is going to leave a couple of teams with a very bad taste in their mouths. We are heading towards a fascinating final stretch of the regular season.


The Nets missed the opportunity to be alone in front of the East. Away from home they have Kyrie Irving, and boy do you notice: 30 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. But they don’t have Kevin Durant, neither in nor out, and wow if you notice: 2-2 in four games without him. Without K.D., they need the best of Kyrie and a James Harden who wasn’t good this time: 13 points, 13 assists, 4/13 shooting and the same turnovers (6) as between Anthony Edwards, D’Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns .

Patty Mills (5/10 in triples, 21 points) accompanied what she could but the Nets lacked defense. They lived well in the first quarter because they scored in high percentages, but as soon as they dropped, they lacked support at the back. The Wolves had 72 points at the break (72-62) with 56% shooting. Out there, D’Angelo had added 17 of his 23 total points (and 10 assists). Later, in the last quarter and when the Nets had dropped to four points, a Towns appeared who had been denied until then: two triples a 2+1 and 15 of his 23 points (and 7 rebounds) to ensure the victory of some Wolves who have won three of the last four and are seventh in the West (23-23). Edwards finished with 25 points and 4 assists and the work of Vanderbilt and McDaniels and Prince’s contribution from the bench (15 points without fail for the ex net) and Nowell (16). Good win for the Wolves, the usual doubts for the Nets as soon as individual talent does not make enough of a difference.


Injuries are marring what was the happiest season in Chicago in years. Without Zach LaVine, without Lonzo Ball, without Alex Caruso, without a JaVonte Green who was covering the role of the also injured Patrick Williams well.…with only nine players available and a backcourt inexperienced: between Coby White and Ayo Dosunmu they added 6 turnovers… and no assists. Here’s the thing, and the Bulls are still tied for the lead in the East but have lost seven games of the last nine and five away each.

They didn’t even take advantage of the visit to Orlando, where the Magic had only won two games tonight, the last one on December 1. They had lost nine in a row and are the only team below ten wins (now 9-39). But not even for those: in fact, the Bulls were being shaken in the third quarter (71-51) before a 0-10 put pressure on the Magic that had just sank after good first parts against the Sixers and Lakers. But the victory was saved thanks to the Wagner brothers (23 points from Mo, 18+4+5 from Franz), the work of Wendell Carter (19+7 for the former bull) and the production of Cole Anthony (11 points). , Brazdeikis (11), Okeke (11) and above all a Jalen Suggs who is greatly improving the sensations of his rookie season since he returned after his injury: this time 15 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists. For the Bulls, DeMar Derozan had 41 points and White had 22, but Vucevic had 13 with 13 rebounds and 4/19 shooting. His team needs more from him, especially in the current circumstances. The Bulls stayed at 43% in total shots, in a 5/21 in triples, they added 21 turnovers for only 10 assists and they were devastated in bench points (51-10).


The Sixers accelerate, waiting to see what about Ben Simmons. They keep pulling games forward and Although they are sixth in the East, they are (27-19) only two and a half games behind the lead. The Spurs (17-30) are still far from even the zone play in of the West though they rallied in the fourth quarter to turn a 15-point deficit into a 109-111 lead in the final minute. Sentenced from the personal line, of course, a supreme Joel Embiid again: 38 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists. The sun king of the match. Tobias Harris had 18 points with 11 rebounds and 5 assists, Maxey had 18 with 6 assists and Korkmaz had 17 points. In the Spurs, 19 + 9 + 12 from Dejounte Murray and 25 + 10 rebounds from Poeltl. The Sixers have won their last seven games against Gregg Popovich’s team and Embiid has gone over 25 points in his last fourteen games. At MVP level.


When they seemed hopeless, the Hawks have reared their heads: four wins in a row and a 21-25 still very bad but with positive feelings and approaching the area play in from which they were crashing down. The East finalist in the last few playoffs still has a lot of ground to make up, but it looks like he’s on it. This is demonstrated by matches like this, on the court of the Hornets (26-21) who are seventh in the East and who had seven wins in eight games. Luck begins to ally with the Hawks, which is also needed. The fourth best team from the line of three in the entire NBA He was 0/16 at halftime and kept failing until 0/19 to finish at a lousy 4/36. The errors also caused nerves to spread at the start of the second half, when the advantage rose to +22 away after the break 44-55.

Terry Rozier was 0/6 in triples and LaMelo Ball was 0/8 (he finished with 19 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists). Without Gordon Hayward, Miles Bridges scored 19 points and Oubre 12 off the bench, although he was able to injure De’Andre Hunter in a very ugly action in which he unbalanced the Hawks forward in the air, whose return has been a blessing for a Rising team: 20 points. The best, as always, was Trae Young: 30 points and 8 triples. The Hawks are in contention, which is no small thing seeing how things were just a few days ago.


Without Damian Lillard, maybe for the whole season, the Blazers have found the spirit that was missing at the beginning of the season and are holding on to the zone of play in from West: Now 20-26 after going 4-2 on a six-game road trip after sweeping the Raptors in Canada. OR almost raze: +34 in the first half and 34-64 at the break ended at 101-105 with 84 seconds to go. A triple by Anfernee Simons, one of the players of the moment, ensured the victory for Chauncey Billups’ men. The Raptors (22-22) try to settle in the zone play in from the East, and for that they have to get used to the lack of public in their pavilion, something that according to Nick Nurse was key in the low energy with which they went out to play (4-25 at the start, 15-33 at the end of the first quarter). Simons finished with 19 points, CJ McCollum with 19+10+6, Little with 19+7 and Nurkic with 11+11. for some Blazers that are in a positive moment. For the Raptors, very poor percentages and 28+8+5 from Siakam, the best on a bad day in VanVleet’s shooting (19 points, 8 assists, 5 steals).


In the meeting that had opened the day, morning early morning at Madison, the Knicks overtook the Clippers, a team that is still capable of fighting almost every night despite being in the draw, without Paul George or Kawhi Leonard but still (23-25) in ninth position in the West, with a good mattress on the eleventh, the first without play in. The Knicks (23-24) are eleventh, precisely, in the East, with the same balance as the tenth and fighting not to go from the playoffs to not even play the reclosing. RJ Barrett led once again (28 + 14 + 6) some Knicks in which Julius Randle (24+9+5) and Fournier (14 points and 4 triples) were better than in the last games. Cam Reddish debuted (2 points in 5 minutes). In the Clippers, 26 points and 5 assists from Reggie Jackson, 14 from Kennard and 17 with 14 rebounds from Ivica Zubac.

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