Led by a particularly strong Rudy Gobert, Utah qualified for the Western Conference semifinals on Wednesday. The Jazz will face the winner of the Dallas-Clippers. In the East, Philadelphia and Atlanta will meet in the semi-finals.
Utah qualified for the Western Conference semifinals at the expense of Memphis (4-1), imitated in the East by Philadelphia who dismissed Washington (4-1) and will face Atlanta, striker of New York (4- 1), Wednesday during the NBA playoffs. Jazz, Sixers, Hawks won their series with the same score: 4 wins to 1.
After the inaugural loss to the Grizzlies, Utah recovered and that coincided with the return from injury of offensive leader Donovan Mitchell, who has played the “Good Samaritans” ever since. On this 5th match, won 126-110, he again demonstrated his efficiency (30 pts, 11/16 on shots, 10 assists, 6 rebounds). And Rudy Gobert, dominating in the racket, was to match (23 pts, 10/13, 15 rebounds, 3 blocks).
With this duo at full speed, Utah has been the best regular season team and is now waiting to know its next opponent, who could be Dallas, returned to the Clippers (3-2) thanks to its victory (105-100). Unless you consider it logical to win away rather than at home, this series is unpredictable. And as in matches N.1 and 2, the Mavs ruled the law at Staples Center, in the wake of Luka Doncic, still exceptional with 42 points scored (14 assists, 8 rebounds).
Rondo strikes down Leonard
Dallas dominated in the 1st and 3rd quarters, but let LA catch up in the other two. Finally the money-time smiled on the Texans thanks in particular to two banderillas behind the arc of Tim Hardaway Jr (20 pts) and Kristaps Porzingis (8 pts) until then invisible in attack. Less verve than usual, Kawhi Leonard (20 pts, 7/19 on shots) made a basket plus the fault to get back to a length in the last minute, but he then stuck with a few seconds of the buzzer to try to snatch the extension, collecting a look full of lightning from Rajon Rondo, in a scene as rare as eloquent.
The Clippers, who did so in matches N.3 and 4, will have to win again Friday in Dallas to stay alive, under penalty of suffering yet another failure proportional to their ambitions. In the East, Philly defeated Washington (129-112), relying on shooter Seth Curry (30 pts, 10/17 on shots) and Tobias Harris (28 pts, 9 rebounds). Behind them, four players including Ben Simmons in triple-double mode (19 pts, 11 assists, 10 rebounds) scored between 10 and 19 units.
“It was a great team victory,” said coach Doc Rivers. “I love the way we played. We were led at the start but no panic set in. The guys thought they were the better team today. They played with that confidence. “
For the Wizards of Bradley Beal (32 pts, 7 rebounds) and Russell Westbrook (24 pts, 10 assists, 8 rebounds), the season ends unsurprisingly at this stage which they had very little chance of reaching there. has still three months, before succeeding a spectacular rise in the standings, punctuated by a qualifying dam won against Indiana. The 76ers can be happy they didn’t shake in the absence of Joel Embiid, who suffers from a small side tear in his right knee meniscus.
On Wednesday, Rivers said he was “confident” in a return of the Cameroonian pivot during these playoffs. He knows that Philadelphia will need its candidate for the MVP trophy, to hope to glean a league title. His next opponent will be Atlanta, which was once again superior to New York (103-89), despite the supercharged atmosphere of Madison Square Garden.
Trae Young was responsible for cooling her down, delivering another decisive performance (36 pts, 9 assists). In three matches in the legendary hall, he has exceeded 30 points each time. Only Michael Jordan had succeeded in this in the playoffs. Opposite, the Knicks lacked impact in attack (37.8% success), despite the efforts of Julius Randle (23 pts, 13 rebounds), under the eyes of Spike Lee disappointed, left before the end of the match, unlike the rest of the public who offered a “standing ovation” to their team, whom no one saw reaching the play-offs.