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Clippers retake West lead with win over Thunder

Clippers retake West lead with win over Thunder

With 34 points from their star Kawhi Leonard, the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 108-100 and returned to first place in the NBA Western Conference, level with their neighboring Lakers.

Paul George, Leonard’s squire, had a discreet performance with 11 points (4/13 from field goals) and 5 rebounds but other important players took a step forward, such as the Spanish-Congolese center Serge Ibaka, who added 17 points and 6 bounces.

For the Thunder, their young star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander finished with 23 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists and veteran point guard George Hill with another 22 points.

The Clippers thus add 13 victories – the last 7 in a row – and 4 losses, the same balance as LeBron James’ Lakers and a victory over the Utah Jazz.

In the Eastern conference, the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Atlanta Hawks 129-115 with 27 points, 14 rebounds and 8 assists from Giannis Antetokounmpo and are in second place after the Philadelphia 76ers.

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For Atlanta, who lost his star Trae Young due to back problems, forward DeAndre Hunter scored 30 points and power forward John Collins another 30 points with 6 triples.

In a game plagued by casualties, the Toronto Raptors beat the Indiana Pacers 107-102 with a stellar performance on both sides of the court from forward OG Anunoby, who had 30 points, 8 rebounds and 5 steals.

With 21 points from point guard Fred VanVleet and 20 from guard Norman Powell, the Canadian team achieved a victory that brings them closer to the playoff spots despite notable absences due to injury by Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam.

In the Pacers, center Myles Turner had his best game of the season with 25 points, 4 triples and 6 blocks, and Lithuanian power forward Domantas Sabonis had 10 points and 19 rebounds.

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– Beal and Westbrook are back –

The Boston Celtics, meanwhile, beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 141-103 with 33 points from guard Jaylen Brown and 21 from point guard Kemba Walker.

In Portland, the Trail Blazers defeated the New York Knicks 116-13 with an exhibition from point guard Damian Lillard, who reached 39 points and 8 assists.

In San Antonio, the Spurs defeated the Washington Wizards 121-101 with a triple-double from point guard Dejounte Murray, with 11 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.

The Wizards had not played for six games as they did not have the minimum of eight players available due to coronavirus prevention protocols.

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Bradley Beal, who had not been on the court since January 11, scored 31 points and Russell Westbrook, also absent since January 8, just 9 points.

Other teams continue to suffer the impact of the pandemic, especially the Memphis Grizzlies, which this Sunday had to postpone their Wednesday game against the Chicago Bulls after having a large part of their squad in quarantine.

A total of 21 games have been postponed due to the pandemic since the NBA season began on December 22. AFP (HN).

Results of the NBA Sunday round:

Indiana Pacers 102-107 Toronto Raptors

LA Clippers 108-100 Oklahoma City Thunder

Boston Celtics 141-103 Cleveland Cavaliers

Orlando Magic – Charlotte Hornets 104-107

San Antonio Spurs 121-101 Washington Wizards

Milwaukee Bucks – Atlanta Hawks 129-115

Portland Trail Blazers – New York Knicks 116-113.

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