Durant martyrs Detroit
KO'd by KD: On the Detroit floor, Durant made short work of the Pistons by scoring 51 points, the best individual total in the NBA this season.
With such a performance from KD, Brooklyn did not have to force itself to win (116-104) and keep its first place in the East (19-8), especially against the Pistons, stuck in last place (4-22).
At 33, Durant has passed the 50-point mark in one game for the seventh time in his career.
He's three points from matching his personal best, dating back to 2014 when he played for Golden State.
"I knew I should probably take care of scoring a little more," he said after the meeting, referring to the absences of James Harden and Paul Millsap.
"We were passing each other too many, and so was I, so I thought I'd better keep shooting," Durant said.
Result: 31 shots attempted, 16 of which were successful.
At 3 points, Durant scores a nice 5/10, and a 14/15 on free throws.
Kevin Durant at the shoot during the meeting between the Brooklyn Nets and the Detroit Pistons in Detroit on December 12, 2021 Nic Antaya GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP
The championship's top scorer this season also added 9 assists and 7 rebounds to his stats.
"He was incredible tonight," said his coach Steve Nash.
The only downside: his sanction, which fell before the match, for insulting a spectator in Atlanta on Friday.
Durant is fined $ 25,000.
Giannis shines in New York
But Durant was not the only one to shine tonight: Giannis Antetokounmpo managed his first triple-double of the season with Milwaukee for a flawless victory (112-97) on the floor of the Knicks.
The Greek Freak scored 20 points, took 10 rebounds and delivered 11 assists for the defending champion.
The Bucks, solid second in the East (18-10), won with no less than seven players authoring more than 10 points.
Khris Middleton was their top scorer with 24 points.
Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks against Evan Fournier of the New York Knicks during the game between the two teams in New Yoek on December 12, 2021 ELSA GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP
The Wisconsin franchise was already leading 61-48 at halftime, against the struggling Knicks at the moment with 8 losses in their last 10 games.
New York is 12th in the East (12-15).
Only consolation, the rookie Quentin Grimes, holder for the first time this season with New York, made a remarkable debut with 27 points to his name and a nice 7/13 three-pointers.
Magical LeBron vs. Orlando
LeBron James was not outdone with a triple-double at 30 points (11 rebounds, 10 assists) and a crazy third quarter for a 106-94 victory for the Lakers against Orlando.
At the Staples Center in Los Angeles, it took just a quarter for the Lakers to win the bet.
Led at halftime (52-49), they inflicted on the Magic a stinging 36-10, including 14 points passed by LeBron, in the third period.
King James succeeded there the 101st triple-double of his career.
And here is the Lakers back in the race for the play-offs, with a sixth place in the West (15-13).
LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers goes up against Cole Anthony of the Orlando Magic during the game between the two clubs on December 12, 2021 in Los Angeles KEVORK DJANSEZIAN GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP
Good news for them, Anthony Davis, injured in the knee, should soon be back on his feet according to Lakers coach Frank Vogel.
The one to whom the return did not smile is Damian Lillard.
After five matches of absence for an abdominal injury, the Portland player scored 24 points (11 rebounds, 6 assists).
An honorable total ... but not enough to avoid the loss at home against Minnesota (116-111).
Anthony Edwards, author of 24 points, was decisive for the Timberwolves who remain in the race for the play-offs with a 9th place in the West (12-15).
Portland is 11th (11-16).
Also in the West, San Antonio won at home against New Orleans (112-97) and Dallas went to beat Oklahoma City (103-84).
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