The star of the Nuggets takes the court of the Clippers with 26 points and 22 rebounds
- Classification This is the NBA
An imperial Nikola Jokic seals the tight victory of the Denver Nuggets 100-103 at the Los Angeles Clippers court, while Jimmy Butler, after a 20-day absence due to injury, leads the Miami Heat to victory over their neighbors Orlando Magic.
In a great choral performance, the Clippers built a 17-point deficit but ended up succumbing down the stretch to the dominance of Jokic, who finished with an impressive 26 points, 22 rebounds, eight assists, two steals and three blocks. And that the duel started between jokes. The referee could not make the initial jump due to a fit of laughter at the position of the Balkan player in the battle for the ball.
The Clippers showed their faces in the first game without their star, Paul george, who will be out for at least three weeks with an elbow injury. The loss of George, the team’s top scorer, joins that of the other figure, Kawhi leonard, whose return is unknown before the end of the regular season.
Denver was enjoying a comfortable 74-57 lead midway through the third quarter but the hosts accelerated with a 22-5 run to get a chance at the end. Luke kennard He nailed an unlikely 3-pointer from the corner to get the Clippers within one point (101-100) with 19 seconds to go, but Jokic had two points from the free throw line and the young Boston Jr. got tangled up on the last play and ended up missing. a desperate triple.
For Denver, the Argentine Facundo Campazzo He had a low-key night with 5 points and 3 assists in 17 minutes of play.
Miami beats its Magic neighbors
In Miami, Jimmmy Butler He returned with 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Heat to beat the Orlando Magic, rivals from Florida state, 93-83. The Heat remain fourth in the Eastern Conference, with 21 wins and 13 losses, despite the losses they face.
Butler’s tailbone problem had only allowed him to play one game since Nov. 27, while All-Star pvot Bam Adebayo be out at least until January after surgery on his right thumb. To those absences was added the third sword of the team, the veteran base Kyle lowry, upon entering quarantine for the coronavirus.
For the Magic, who also had six players out for the coronavirus, Gary Harris was the top scorer with 20 points.
“The biggest disappointment in 34 years”
In Washington, Joel embiid showed his most dominant version with 36 points and 13 rebounds as the Sixers beat the Washington Wizards 117-96, orphans of their star, Bradley Beal, by coronavirus.
Point guard Spencer Dinwiddie scored 17 points for the Wizards, who saw the Sixers displace them from sixth place in the East, the last with direct access to the playoffs.
For their part, the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Sacramento Kings 127-102 despite the last-minute loss of their starting forward. Dillon brooks and two other players for Covid. The escort Desmond bane leads Memphis with 28 points and Tyrese haliburton the Kings with 18.
The bulging defeat provoked the wrath of the veteran Alvin gentry, Kings’ interim technician, who has also just come out of isolation due to Covid-19. “It’s the biggest disappointment I’ve had in 34 years in the NBA, I can honestly say that,” Gentry said. “That performance was absolutely ridiculous. We didn’t play hard. We haven’t been competitive at all. They’ve basically played us.”
The beating of the Cavaliers
In Cleveland, the Cavaliers beat a Toronto Raptors 144-99 completely in the infield and had not competed since December 18. After two suspended games, the Canadian team managed to reach a minimum of eight players on Sunday, with none of them being one of its usual starters.
Veteran Kevin love Y Darius garland they scored 22 points apiece for the Cavaliers, who tied a franchise record with 46 points in the third quarter. Ricky Rubio he scored 16 points and signed six assists.
The NBA is going through a wave of Covid-19 that has affected more than a hundred players this month alone. To face this situation, between this Sunday and January 8, the NBA will apply daily tests to all players and personnel, with the exception of those who have received the booster vaccine or recently had the disease.
Reference from elmundo