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The Celtics in the snatch



In an undecided game from start to finish, the Celtics found the solution in overtime to beat the Lakers. The 76ers, meanwhile, continued their streak by teaching the Nuggets a lesson.

The Celtics are smiling again. After three defeats in a row that weakened its position as leader of the Eastern Conference, the New England franchise ended up having the last word against the Lakers. But, for that, it was necessary to pass by the test of the prolongation. Indeed, on the floor of TD Garden, it is a real showdown in which the two formations have engaged. From the first quarter, during which the gap never exceeded five units, the teammates of LeBron James (41 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists) and those of Jaylen Brown (37 points, 9 rebounds) surrendered blow for blow. If the Celtics started the second quarter with a bang with an 8-0, the Lakers responded just before the break with an 11-3 to take the lead by six lengths. Back on the floor, the Californians thought they had done the hardest part by reaching a ten-point lead for the first time, but that was without counting on the combativeness of Boston, who picked up the score. In front of the scoreboard for most of the fourth quarter, the Lakers were caught four seconds from the buzzer on an “and one” from Jaylen Brown. The five minutes of extra time were intense and, racing in the lead from the first moments, the Celtics made the decision (125-121 ap), causing the Lakers to fall back into their traps.

The 76ers still have the wind in their sails

A success that was imperative not to see the 76ers get closer. Indeed, in the poster for this day on Saturday, the Philadelphia-based franchise went for victory, its seventh in a row, against the Nuggets, leader of the Western Conference. A performance that the Sixers owe a lot to Joel Embiid (47 points, 18 rebounds). However, it was Denver who got off to the best start, taking a lead of up to eleven points in a one-sided first quarter. An advantage that the Colorado franchise was able to maintain and amplify in the twelve minutes leading up to halftime, under the impetus of an always crucial Nikola Jokic (24 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists), well assisted by Jamal Murray (22 points, 6 assists) and Michael Porter Jr (20 points, 6 rebounds). A fifteen-point advantage at the break that the Nuggets were able to maintain until just over two minutes from the end of the third quarter. That’s when the Sixers took over. A 12-0 allowed them to get back into contact then, after a burst of pride from Denver, take control in the last five minutes of the game. In the end, the Sixers won by seven lengths (126-119) and kept the pressure on the Celtics with three games less.

Fournier still on the Knicks bench

At the top of the Eastern Conference standings, the Nets reassured themselves after two consecutive losses. In a New York derby, the tenants of the Barclays Center got the better of the Knicks (122-115). A meeting in which Evan Fournier did not take part, remaining on the bench for 48 minutes. Third in the Western Conference, the Kings confirmed their bad run of the moment with a second consecutive loss conceded on the Timberwolves floor (117-110), led by Rudy Gobert (13 points, 14 rebounds). A setback which does not benefit the New Orleans Pelicans, beaten for the seventh time in a row when they received the Washington Wizards (103-113). The Louisiana franchise sees that of Minneapolis melt on it in the Western Conference standings. An evening which also saw the match between the last in the Eastern Conference and the last in the West turn in favor of the Houston Rockets on the floor of the Texas franchise (114-117). Also in Texas, the Spurs were dominated in overtime by the Suns (118-128 ap).

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