Los Angeles (AFP)
The young star of the Hawks, Trae Young, inspired by Kobe Bryant, almost single-handedly brought down the Clippers on Tuesday in the NBA where Utah, overthrowing against New York, brought his winning streak to nine.
Young stops the Clippers
End of the series for the Clips, which remained on seven victories.
Deprived of the stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, subject to the anti-Covid protocol without it being known whether they have tested positive or are contact cases, LA lacked offensive weapons in Atlanta (108-99).
Leading a short lead at the break, thanks to good defensive work, they folded in the third quarter under the banderillas of Trae Young, who scored 14 of his 38 points.
On this day of the first anniversary of the death of Kobe Bryant, his idol like that of the current dominant generation in the NBA, the 22-year-old point guard paid him tribute by making a 24 - one of the former Laker's jersey numbers - with his fingers, just after entering a fatal basket, from the central logo, in the money-time.
Before the game, he posted a quote from Bryant on his Twitter account, which inspired him: "You can always be pretty average and do what's normal. I'm not here to do what's right. normal".
"We put heart, energy in the second half to force the decision. This season, I make sure to be the one who wins the matches at the end, my teammates help me and push me. ", he commented.
Young was not the only one to stand out among the Hawks (6th in the East), Clint Capela doing a lot of work in the racket (13 pts, 19 rebounds).
On the Clippers side, who are missing out on joining the Lakers in the lead in the West, Reggie Jackson did what he could (20 pts, 8 assists, 7 rebounds) and Nicolas Batum was more discreet (5 pts, 5 assists, 4 rbds).
And new for Utah
We don't stop Jazz anymore.
And it is not for lack of having tried well with the Knicks who led by 13 points at halftime, before folding in the second half against the start of the franchise from Salt Lake City (108-94), which now shares 2nd place in the West with the Clippers.
In this meeting with two faces, Austin Rivers first symbolized the insolent address of the Knicks, with a 10/10 shoots succeeded in 11 minutes.
But the leader missed his four other attempts in the last two quarters to get stuck at 25 points.
Sure of its current collective strength, Utah, who never panicked, then unrolled his basketball, put on the baskets and defended better, inflicting a 62-35 in the last 24 minutes.
Rudy Gobert was strong with 18 points, 19 rebounds (including 7 offensive) and 4 blocks, well helped by Royce O'Neal (20 pts) and Mike Conley (19 pts).
Wall takes revenge, Beal earns
For his reunion with Washington, whose jersey he wore for ten years, John Wall scored 24 points (5 assists), contributing to the 3rd success (107-88) in a row for Houston (11th).
"They thought I was finished. I wanted to prove to them that they were wrong," said the point guard, deprived of the last two seasons due to injuries to a heel and an Achilles tendon, and who was traded with Russell Westbrook last fall.
The two players also sent a few words of birds during the match, under the eyes of Bradley Beal, friend of the first and new teammate of the second, who was again prolific (33 pts).
The current league top scorer is 12 games in a row with at least 25 points scored.
The longest streak since that of a certain Michael Jordan in 1988-89, who had achieved this performance over 16 games.
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