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NBA play-offs: the Clippers and Atlanta reset the counters


The Clippers, carried by wall-piercer Kawhi Leonard, largely beat Utah (118-104) to tie at 2-2 in their Western Conference semi-final. Atlanta did the same in the East, after a comeback (103-100) against Philadelphia last night.

The Clippers strengthen their game

Sometimes an action can sum up a game. Kawhi Leonard's overpowered dunk (31 pts) crushed with his right hand on Derrick Favors, to bring LA's lead to 62-38 at the end of the second quarter, symbolized as much the domination of his team as his state of conquering spirit. In other words, apart from Donovan Mitchell (37 pts) who struggled despite a great clumsiness (9/26), the Jazz team did not exist in this 4th game, where it was dominated as in the previous one. In the physical impact as in the game, the Clippers seem to have found the key in this series which they started with two losses.

The success is primarily due to a particularly tough defense (six blocks, eight interceptions) which greatly hampered Utah, moreover limited to 43% success.

And then to the rediscovered efficiency of Paul George (31 pts) who still played fair and showed a salutary aggressiveness in the attack on the basket.

Marcus Morris, particularly skilful at long distance (5/6) also contributed (24 pts), just like Nicolas Batum very active on all fronts (7 pts, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 interceptions).

The only slight shadow in the Californian table, Leonard seemed to hurt his right foot in the 4th quarter and did not finish the meeting as a precaution.

“It will be fine,” nevertheless reassured the star, “satisfied that the team knew how to play hard and shoot with confidence.

Each made sure to help the other. "

The Jazz, in which Rudy Gobert (11 pts, 8 rebounds) weighed little, seemed to be able to come back to the score in the second half, when Joe Ingles began to enter baskets behind the arc (5/7, 19 pts) , but the illusion was short-lived.

Like their revitalized opponent, a collective response is expected Wednesday in Salt Lake City.

The Hawks don't let go

In forceps, like Trae Young brave and combative to the end, Atlanta climbed 18 points behind to win against Philly.

However, he thought he was having a bad evening in view of the largely lost first quarter (28-20), without Trae Young managing to score, after five unsuccessful attempts.

The lead then increased for the Sixers, in the wake of Joel Embiid then untenable in the racket (15 pts).

But the Cameroonian pivot (21 rebounds), who left quickly to treat his right knee in the locker room between the first and the second quarter, did not show the same face at all in the second half.

For two reasons.

First because his meniscus, victim of a small tear just before the play-offs, obviously made him suffer.

Then because the Hawks' defense has tightened considerably on him, Clint Capela (12 pts, 13 rebounds) and Jason Collins (14 pts, 12 rebounds) playing leeches.

Result: apart from two free throws, Embiid missed everything in this second act (0/12), including an unmissable double step for a player of his stature, 8 seconds from the end, while Atlanta was leading 101 to 100.

On which Trae Young did not fail to register his two shots to seal the fate of the game.

Seconds earlier, he had gone like a bomb in the racket to get two more, not without taking a blow to the skull by Embiid.

He finished with 25 points and 18 assists, despite an address at half mast (8/26).

The Atlanta comeback also owes a lot to 22 points from Bogdan Bogdanovic, who planted the shot behind the arc which allowed him to take a first scoring advantage at the start of the 4th quarter (83-82). On the Sixers side, Embiid's failure could not be remedied, despite Tobias Harris (20 pts), while Ben Simmons mainly applied to defend on Young (11 pts, 12 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 blocks). As for Seth Curry (17 pts), he missed the three-point equalizer on the buzzer.

Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2021-06-17

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