The Warriors third at the buzzer
The Warriors, still deprived of their point guard and leader Stephen Curry (knee), whose return is not yet assured for the start of the play-offs, found great defensive values and chained Sunday on the side of New Orleans a fifth success rank (128-107), thanks in particular to 41 points from Klay Thompson (16/29 shooting, 7/14 from 3 points) and 22 points from the convincing Jordan Poole. A necessary series without which Steve Kerr’s men would not have managed to snatch third place in the Western Conference (53-29).
A crucial position for the sequence of events. Because in addition to the advantage of the field, the third place grants the Warriors the guarantee of not crossing Phoenix during a possible second round. The Suns, defeated by Sacramento in a match without stake (109-116 with 15 points on the Suns side for former Strasbourg player Ishmail Wainright) are still on cloud nine and leaders of the entire NBA after a historic season for the franchise (64 wins- 18 losses).
Thompson, Draymond Green and others will thus be opposed, during a first round which starts on Saturday, to the Denver Nuggets of MVP Nikola Jokic, sixth and beaten on Sunday by the LA Lakers for the last of coach Angelino Frank Vogel (141-146 ap, 41 points from Malik Monk), whose dismissal is announced.
Memphis, assured of second place in the West, did not field any of its executives in the defeat against Boston (110-139). Frenchman Yves Pons won his biggest playing time there – 26 minutes – in eleven NBA games played this season for the Grizzlies, and totaled 6 points (2/7 shooting, 2/6 3 points), 2 rebounds , 1 pass and 3 blocks.
Doncic: the specter of injury
After meeting in the Olympic semi-final, a match won by France in Tokyo (90-89), Rudy Gobert (Utah) and Luka Doncic (Dallas) should meet in the first round of the play-offs. Should, because, touched during the last day of the regular season, during the victory of Dallas against San Antonio (130-120), the Slovenian superstar of the Mavericks left the field at the end of the third quarter, touched in the left calf.
An injury which, if it is synonymous with prolonged absence for Doncic (26 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists), will more than seriously compromise the chances of the Texas club – even if the latter, fourth, will have the advantage of the field – against the Salt Lake City franchise. The Jazz for its part made the song in Portland on Sunday (111-80) with 18 points, 13 rebounds and 2 blocks from Rudy Gobert.
Play-in: the Clippers and Batum opposed to Minnesota
Winners of Oklahoma City during a parody match (138-88, 14 points 15 rebounds for the French Jaylen Hoard at the Thunder, Nicolas Batum did not take part in the meeting), the Los Angeles Clippers (42- 40), eighth in the regular season, who picked up Paul George a few weeks ago, are playing in the play-in in the West. They will travel to Minneapolis (seventh, 46-36), the NBA’s best offense (115.9 points per game) on Tuesday to try to clinch seventh place, which would ship them into the clutches of Ja Morant’s Memphis Grizzlies in the first round. play-offs.
In the event of defeat, they would have a second chance to enter the top 8, this time playing at home against the winner of the confrontation between New Orleans and San Antonio (Wednesday), with the stakes, this time, eighth place and a series against Phoenix.