The Boston Celtics blew a 19-point lead to fall 91-89 this Saturday against the Cleveland Cavaliers, while the Utah Jazz had another night to forget against the Miami Heat of Tyler Herro and Kyle Lowry.
Hand in hand with German Dennis Schröder and Jayson Tatum, who signed 28 and 21 points, the Celtics started the game strong in Cleveland leading 72-53 at the beginning of the third quarter.
From that moment on, Boston suffered an offensive short circuit and the Cavaliers turned the score around with a 21-2 run in which they showed why they are one of the great surprises of the season.
With rookie Evan Mobley imposing on both sides of the court (19 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks), point guards Darius Garland and Ricky Rubio imposed an impossible pace to follow for the Celtics, who had sensitive casualties like Jaylen Brown and the veteran Al Horford.
The Spaniard Rubio, in a spectacular moment of form, contributed 16 points and 7 vital assists for the Cavaliers triumph, such as the one he gave 35 seconds from the end for an ‘alley-oop’ by Jarrett Allen.
Trailing 91-89, the Celtics had a final 9-second possession but Schröder’s individual play, well defended by Cedi Osman, ended with a faulty shot.
The Cavaliers, one of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference last season, are now fourth with nine wins and five losses and the Celtics fall to 10th (6-7).
In Utah, young Tyler Herro and veteran Kyle Lowry led the Miami Heat to win 111-105 against the Jazz, who have four losses in their last five games.
The explosive Herro, a starter since Jimmy Butler’s injury, was a nightmare for the Utah defense with 27 points and 8 rebounds while Lowry contributed 21 and 6.
Miami thus closes a streak of three consecutive defeats, two of them without Butler, with no return date due to his right ankle injury.
Utah suffered a second straight setback on their court that drops them to sixth place in the Western Conference.
“I wouldn’t say we’re panicking, but it’s annoying,” said Jazz star Donovan Mitchell, who scored 22 points. “It is annoying because we know each other, we know what we are doing. And it is time for us to go out and do it.
Croatian forward Bojan Bogdanovic added 19 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter, in which the Jazz achieved a 36-16 run that was not enough to catch the Heat on the scoreboard.
– Wizards, more leaders without Beal –
In Orlando, the Washington Wizards beat the Magic 104-92, confirming their surprising leadership in the Eastern Conference, with nine wins and three losses.
In the absence of the star Bradley Beal, point guard Spencer Dinwiddie was the engine of the Wizards with 23 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists.
For the Magic, penultimate in the East, young point guard Cole Anthony had 22 points and 8 rebounds and center Mo Bamba another 14 and 17.
In their turn, the Indiana Pacers beat the Philadelphia 76ers 118-113, who accumulate their fourth loss in a row without their star Joel Embiid, quarantined by the coronavirus.
Power forward Tobias Harris had 32 points and 11 rebounds and point guard Tyrese Maxey another 24 points but the Sixers could not stop the Pacers’ offense.
The point guard Malcolm Brogdon had a triple-double with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists and the Dominican rookie Chris Duarte played 27 minutes and added 7 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists.
In Saturday’s final game, the Los Angeles Clippers swept the Minnesota Timberwolves 129-102 with 23 points from forward Paul George, recording their seventh straight win.
For Minnesota, on a fateful night for his figure Karl-Antony Towns (8 points and 8 rebounds), Argentine rookie Leandro Bolmaro played 5 minutes with 3 points and his first field goal in the NBA.(AFP)
Results of Saturday’s day in the NBA:
Utah Jazz – Miami Heat 105-111
Indiana Pacers 118-113 Philadelphia 76ers
Orlando Magic – Washington Wizards 92-104
New Orleans Pelicans 112-101 Memphis Grizzlies
Toronto Raptors 121-127 Detroit Pistons
Cleveland Cavaliers 91-89 Boston Celtics
LA Clippers 129-102 Minnesota Timberwolves