With 36 points from #1 in the 2020 draft, Wolves won the first division of their series against the Grizzlies (117-130). The Warriors, Sixers, and Jazz also started well.
Golden State and Philadelphia, strong against Denver and Toronto, started their NBA games well on Saturday, as did Utah and Minnesota, who regained the floor advantage with wins in Dallas and Memphis, and Anthony Edwards blew the screen, at the premiere. at this point.
What if the Splash Brothers were actually no longer two but three? To see Jordan Paul (30 points, at 13/9 including 5/7 behind the arc) planting the bands from all corners of the field, we tell ourselves coach Steve Kerr was right to make him a key player, when he took the win against him. Nuggets (123-107).
This choice made Stephen Curry start on the bench. And on his return after a month’s absence, Al-Qaeda scored 16 points without being bothered by his injured ankle. As for Klay Thompson, he was solid (19 points), and Draymond Green was struggling in all directions (12 points, 9 assists, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks). On the Denver side, Nikola Jokic (25 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists) responded, but without burdening the match.
Edwards shines at his premiere
In Memphis, where Minnesota (130-117) won quite unexpectedly, the duel between Anthony Edwards, 20-year-old No. 1 in the 2020 Draft, and Ja Morant, 22, who was picked up second in 2019 by the Grizzlies, with everything in them. promises.
The first, which in no way crippled him, was impressive. Hitting in the basket, strong in shooting (12/23), fierce defender (2 foes including sexy on Morant), he finished with 36 points, as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or Julius Irving, for the first time in the playoff.
Morant did not excel (32 points, 8 assists). But he didn’t have Karl Anthony Towns by his side, Minnesota’s second-hand, who controlled the racket (29 points, 13 rebounds), even if he had to hold on to Garen Jackson Jr., the formidable defender (7 against, 12 points).
Starting stronger (first quarter won 41-33), Wolves led nearly the entire game, but let Memphis close by three units at the start of the fourth quarter. But two award winning baskets Patrick Beverly (10 points) and Jaden McDaniels (15 points, 7 rebounds), in money time, certainly repelled opposing tendencies.
“Sacrifice is the key word”
Earlier, Utah took advantage of Luka Doncic’s absence from the Mavericks to win in Dallas (99-93). Slow in the first period, during which Bojan Bogdanovic took charge (26 points), Donovan Mitchell sped up the jazz rhythm, scoring 30 of 32 points in the second quarter.
Rudy Goubert’s almost no use in attack (0/1, 5 points only free throws) was so deterrent (3 against, 17 rebounds), that the Mavs had limited shooting success with 38.7%.
“I hope to have more scoring chances in the next game, but at the same time for most of the match we made the ball move. Sacrifice is the key word, and that’s what the playoff is all about,” commented the French hub.
Bow Sixers socks
Leading 12 runs in the final quarter, Dallas returned to one unit two minutes early, when Royce O’Neal scored his first basket in the game, with three points (95-91), squeezing out the Texans’ hope. Without Doncic, who is sponsoring a calf strain, MAF was lacking solutions in attack, despite Galen Bronson (18 points) and Spencer Dinwiddy (17 points).
In the East, Philadelphia had a rough night in Toronto (131-111), losing to an injury to Scotty Barnes, whose ankle was bent under the weight of Joel Embiid.
A rare fact, but says a lot about the depth of the Sixers’ collective, the Cameroonian was his team’s fourth top scorer (19 points, 15 rebounds), behind James Harden (22 points, 14 assists), Tobias Thomas (26 points, 6 assists) and Therese Maxi on Cloud (38 points, at 14/21).
Philadelphia – Toronto 131-111 (1-0 in series)
Dallas – Utah 93-99 (0-1 in the series)
Memphis – MN 117-130 (0-1 in series)
Golden State – Denver 123-107 (1-0 in the series)
(France Press agency)