Nicolas Batum was perfect in the NBA on Tuesday, going 100% behind the arc, scoring 22 points, but it did not prevent the Clippers from losing to the Mavericks (103-101), as the prodigy knocked out Luka Doncic in the final seconds.
Nicholas Batum donned his “Batman” costume in Dallas, returning seven of his shots and three pointers. Thanks to him, his team managed to raise the score and go ahead after trailing by 25 lengths in the first half. His best game of the season.
His only miss came on a free throw with 4.2 seconds left, but on goal to allow the Clippers to recover the rebound and get a basket to tie the game. A strategy that didn’t pay off, the ball barely escaped the hands of Robert Covington, much to the chagrin of Paul George (23 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists).
Twenty seconds earlier, Donzik “clutch” (crucial in the last seconds), ignoring Batum’s opposition, gave the Mavs four units in advance (102-98) at the end of the possession. The Slovenian finished at his current level with 35 points (11 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 interceptions), cementing his title as the championship’s top scorer.
Here’s Dallas with eight wins (five losses), taking advantage of a setback from Memphis (6) to New Orleans (7) to move back into fifth place in the West.
However, Ja Morant will still do effective and unusual things, like this dunk in the third quarter, a turnover to avoid a counter, or this shot of the buzzer-beating logo at the end of the first.
His 36 points (on 13/27, 8 rebounds), however, were not enough for the Grizzlies, who regained Jaren Jackson Jr., who has been sidelined since the start of the season with a right leg injury. The interior lacked offensive rhythm (7 points on 3/14), but didn’t lose any of its very useful defensive qualities (5 counters).
Root of the Nets
The Pelicans, even without other phenoms of the 2018 draft, were able to count on CJ McCollum (9 assists), Brandon Ingram and Larry, the author of 22 of his 30 points in the second half. Nance Jr. scored 19 points apiece.
In Portland, it was not easy for the Blazers to beat the Spurs (117-110) and secure first place in the West, thanks to their “Little Big 3”: Jeremy Grant (29 points, 8 rbds), Anferni Simons (23 points, including 10 in the last quarter), Damian Lillard (22 points, 11 assists).
The Jazz are two spots below, marking time (third) after a surprising start to the season that led them to the top of the conference. As evidenced by their third straight loss, they conceded on their floor (118-111) against the Knicks, who are back tied (7/7) and back to No. 7 in the East.
Jalen Brunson (25 points, 8 assists) led New York, and his rank Evan Fournier lasted all game. Batum, the 2021 Olympic vice-champion with the Blues, appears to have lost the confidence of his coach Tom Thibodeau, although he started the season in the top five.
Finally, those who thought Brooklyn (12th in the East) was getting a little better needed only to see its collapse in Sacramento (153-121) to convince themselves otherwise.
The Nets, buoyed by Kevin Durant (27 points), left the Kings strong with their fourth straight victory to a 60% win rate.