Breaking another record for triples, Stephen Curry led the Golden State Warriors’ 111-107 victory over the Boston Celtics on Friday, on a day marked by growing concern in the NBA over the wave of covid-19 cases.
Dozens of players from most franchises, including MVPs like Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks) and James Harden (Nets), have been pushed out of the locker room in recent days.
The league plans to reinforce prevention measures and covid-19 tests during the Christmas holidays while teams do everything possible not to suspend games, either by competing with the minimum number of players allowed or by signing reinforcements with short contracts.
One of the hardest hit teams is the Brooklyn Nets, who this Friday reversed their position against point guard Kyrie Irving allowing him to return to the team.
Irving, separated from the squad since the start of the season due to his refusal to be vaccinated, will soon rejoin the Nets despite the fact that New York’s anti-pandemic protocols will prevent him from playing home games in Brooklyn.
At the start of the games, the Warriors had to finish off the Boston Celtics in a game that they had on track with advantages of up to 20 points.
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown’s Celtics, who scored 27 and 20 points, tightened on defense, conceding just 13 points to the Warriors in the third quarter.
Boston took the lead early in the fourth quarter but Curry was once again lethal in the decisive moments.
The point guard, who became the greatest 3-pointer in NBA history on Tuesday, finished the game with a spectacular one-legged shot that put Golden State five points ahead with 39 seconds to go.
In addition to his 30 points, Curry added 5 triples with which he reached a total of 150 in his first 28 games of the season. No one in the NBA had reached that number of triples in so few games.
“We are coming off an emotional roller coaster … there is a lot going on in the league … You try not to get distracted by everything outside the locker room,” said Curry, who will be one of five Golden State players. who will rest on Saturday against the Toronto Raptors.
The Warriors add three consecutive victories and remain leaders of the Western Conference while the Celtics are tenth in the East.
– Lakers stumble in Minnesota –
In a game to forget, the Los Angeles Lakers fell 110-92 to the Minnesota Timberwolves, missing four straight wins for the first time this season.
Center Anthony Davis (9 points and 1 rebound) retired from the game in the third quarter after young Jaden McDaniels hit his left knee when he fell to the ground. Later the Lakers announced that Davis would not return after suffering a knee concussion.
LeBron James finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds and Russell Westbrook with 14 and 4 for the Lakers, where point guard Isaiah Thomas made his debut and was the team’s leading scorer with 19 points in 22 minutes.
For the Timberwolves, an ultra-motivated Karl-Anthony Towns had 28 points and 10 rebounds, making up for the loss of young Anthony Edwards, second-leading scorer, due to the coronavirus.
On their turn, the New Orleans Pelicans, third to last in the West, beat the Milwaukee Bucks, reigning champions, 116-112 in overtime.
The Bucks played without their stars Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton so their third sword, Jrue Holiday, took over with 40 points, his best mark in the regular season.
The Utah Jazz, third in the West, had their eight-game winning streak broken by losing 128-126 on their own court to the San Antonio Spurs.
Guard Donovan Mitchell had 27 points but missed the final triple on a desperate pitch.
The Denver Nuggets took a 133-115 victory from the Atlanta Hawks with an offensive recital led by Serbian Nikola Jokic, which finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists.
Argentine guard Facundo Campazzo achieved 7 points and 8 assists, some of them beautifully made, in 20 minutes of play.
Results of the day of Friday in the NBA:
Orlando Magic – Miami Heat 105-115
Atlanta Hawks – Denver Nuggets 115-133
Boston Celtics – Golden State Warriors 107-111
New Orleans Pelicans – Milwaukee Bucks 116-112 (prórroga)
Utah Jazz – San Antonio Spurs 126-128
Minnesota Timberwolves – LA Lakers 110-92
Portland Trail Blazers – Charlotte Hornets 125-116
Sacramento Kings – Memphis Grizzlies 105-124
gbv / mas