Lillard loses McCollum and the Heat sink in the East

Doc Rivers is angry with the Sixers after the loss in Memphis and the Raptors win for the first time two games in a row. The Rockets lose.

Lillard-loses-McCollum-and-the-Heat-sink-in-the-East
It's hard to remember when, just a handful of days ago, the Atlanta Hawks were one of the sensations at the start of the NBA season. Their initial 4-1 has turned into a 5-7 after six defeats in seven games, the last against the Blazers (112-106) in a duel in which everything had turned upside down for the visitors. The Blazers, who are without Jusuf Nurkic, were left without CJ McCollum at halftime with a sprained ankle. The guard had 16 points, the same for which the Hawks came to command, who did not know how to take advantage of the losses of the rivals and fell into the networks of Damian Lillard (36 + 7 + 7). The point guard played more than 43 minutes and ended up forcing a decisive offensive foul from Trae Young and securing the victory (8-5 now his team) from the personnel line. Before that, Carmelo Anthony (11 points) and Gary Trent Jr (18) had made important shots. Kanter (12 points, 15 rebounds) recovered in the second half against Capela. The Swiss went to rest with 19 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks and finished in 25 + 15 + 4.

Trae Young is still well below his best: 26 points and 11 assists but 1/9 in triples and very little clarity in the important minutes. The casualties of those who arrived to propel the quality jump (especially Bogdanovic and Gallinari) have the Hawks anchored where they were last season, again with doubts about their young core and without knowing very well what to do with John Collins ( only 8 points and 6 rebounds) .

MIAMI HEAT 100-DETROIT PISTONS 120

The Eastern Champion is missing. Miami Heat has three losses in a row and is 4-7 after crashing in a big way, on its track and against some Pistons who came with the worst balance in the NBA but were exhibited in their best quarter (the third: 19-38) the last 331 played, since April 9, 2019. Of course, the losses of those from Spoelstra helped. Not Jimmy Butler and Avery Bradley, pandemic-related absences, not Tyler Herro and Meyers Leonard. Bam Adebayo (28 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists) did what he could accompanied by Dragic (12 points, 10 assists) and Duncan Robinson's 3s (5/8 for 22 points). In the Pistons, 24 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists for Jerami Grant and 15 + 7 + 8 for Blake Griffin. Derrick Rose contributed 23 points off the bench.

MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES 106-PHILADELPHIA 76ERS 104

No one was counting on the Grizzlies last season and the Tennessee franchise only missed the playoffs in the new play-in installed in the Florida bubble. Now, they are not in most accounts to get into the West playoffs either but they have four wins in a row and are 6-6 despite the fact that Ja Morant was injured on December 28 and had not returned until this win against a Sixers without Joel Embiid is out due to knee discomfort.

The Sixers were 7-1 and have fallen to 9-5 largely justified by casualties (with a strong impact from COVID after Seth Curry's positive) but Doc Rivers does not like: “We cannot settle for thinking that we will be good when all the missing ones are back. This was a game that we should have won, ”said the veteran coach after final errors (a loss by Tobias Harris, a final shot by Maxey) prevented a final comeback (93-79 with eleven minutes left) led by Shake Milton, who scored 15 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter. Tobias Harris had 21 and Ben Simmons had 16 rebounds and 9 assists but stayed at 11 points with only nine attempted shots (3/9). In the Grizzlies, 17 points and 7 assists from Morant on his return and 15 and 4 rebounds from Xavier Tillman, a rookie who is offering very good sensations.

S.ANTONIO SPURS 103-HOUSTON ROCKETS 91

Second game of the post-Harden era for the Rockets and first loss in a match against the same opponent they had beaten on Thursday, some Spurs who played a bad first half but rallied later to save a triumph that, in reality, should have been more chewed up. It's not that the Rockets no longer have Harden, it's that they played without John Wall, Eric Gordon, DeMarcus Cousins and Sterling Brown. But they sent in the first half of a game in which they went from more to less from the hand of a Christian Wood (24 points, 18 rebounds, 3 blocks) accompanied by McLemore (21 points) and rookie Mason Jones, who added in his first game as a starter 24 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. DeRozan was the best of the Spurs (24 points, 7 rebounds) and Dejounte Murray added 7 points in the fourth quarter and 18 in total.TORONTO RAPTORS 116-CHARLOTTE HORNETS 11

For the first time this season the Raptors (now 4-8) have two straight wins. The two have come against the Hornets (three consecutive defeats and 6-8) and the two in extremis, from 111-108 to 116-113. Nick Nurse's men were superior again but, again, they got complicated in the end. They worked in defense and tried to finish with triples with the defensive zones of Borrego's team, but the game was resolved in a few final moments in which Nurse removed Boucher, his pivot, to put Stanley Johnson in and put more agility and versatility in defense. Johnson was key against Graham, first, and Rozier, later. Lowry (19 points, 6 assists) was the leader accompanied by a Boucher (20 points, 9 rebounds) who is covering the terrible performance of Aaron Baynes and Norm Powell, who added 6 triples for 24 points. Again, Siakam (9 points) spoiled his good defensive work in the face of the basket. Bad decisions without confidence in your outside shot and too much bounce. For the Hornets, 25 points from Gordon Hayward, which was a doubt until the last minute, 14 with 12 rebounds and 5 assists from PJ Washington, 20 + 5 + 7 from Graham, 24 from Rozier and 11 + 5 + 4 from LaMelo Ball.



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