NBA – Devin Booker (Suns) and Luka Doncic hit, the Brooklyn Nets take the lead in the East

Performance: Booker plants 45 points at Bulls

Chicago executives reshuffled their workforce on deadline night in the hope of turning a corner. In particular by bringing in the pivot All-Star Nikola Vucevic. But for now, the Bulls are still looking for the right formula and they have lost five games in a row. Wednesday night, Devin Booker exploited their weakness to register 45 points while guiding the Suns to victory (121-116). His best performance of the season. He also scored the layup for the win, just after overtaking Vucevic. A cardboard necessary to lead Phoenix to a fourth success in a row. Because the Bulls sold their skin dearly but Booker was just too efficient (17 of 24 on shots and 9 of 10 on throws). The Suns are still second in the West.

The player: Luka Doncic does damage against Boston

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Luka Doncic made shooting one of his main areas of work during the last offseason. He felt that his clumsiness prevented him from passing a course. A few months later, the work pays off. More skilful than ever, the Slovenian rose to 48% success and even 37% at three points. He had never been so efficient before. And on Wednesday, it was the Celtics who paid the price. The Mavericks won this East-West shock (113-108) with 36 points from their maestro. But above all 36 points 11 of 15 on shots and 7 of 11 on three-pointers. No frills… well, if not the 8 balloons lost by Doncic.

Despite that, the Texans won without too much difficulty. They had a 23-point lead in the third quarter before slacking off and letting their opponents get back into the game. The gap even went down to two points (109-107) in the final moments of the meeting. But the Dallas players did not panic and Jalen Brunson sealed his victory on the line.

The injury: James Harden comes out, Kyrie Irving takes over

Already without Kevin Durant, the Nets will have to do without James Harden. And it’s a real blow considering the level of play displayed by the superstar since his arrival in Brooklyn. He carried the team on his shoulders by multiplying the triple-doubles and performances worthy of an MVP. He was therefore injured during the reunion with his former team in Houston. Pain in the hamstrings that forced him to leave the floor before the end of the match. He finished with 17 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists in 27 minutes.

But the Nets did not bow so far. Completely dropped early in the game, even 18 points behind after 5 minutes, the New Yorkers did violence to gain the upper hand against one of the weakest teams in the league. It was without Harden but with a boiling Kyrie Irving (31 points) that they went 12-0 in the last quarter to finally win 120 to 108. Their third consecutive victory. A series that allows the franchise to take the lead in the Eastern Conference! But to defend the throne, the Nets will need KD and Harden to get back on their feet quickly …

The rookie: Anthony Edwards decisive for the Timberwolves

Now that LaMelo Ball has been sidelined for several weeks with a wrist injury, Anthony Edwards is increasingly establishing himself as the favorite for the trophy for best rookie of the year. It must be said that he is progressing at a rather astounding speed… the first choice of the draft led his Timberwolves to a rare victory against the Knicks (102-101). A success on the wire with 24 points from Edwards. He was able to straighten out his team, which was 11 points behind at the start of the fourth quarter, by attacking the circle with aggressiveness and confidence. He was also the one who assisted Malik Beasley for an award-winning shot that put Wolves back in front 37 seconds from the buzzer. Julius Randle (26 pts, 12 rebounds) and RJ Barrett (23 pts) both missed their chance to give the Knicks the victory in stride.

The game: Bucks dominate Lakers who are already losing Drummond

Andre Drummond had not played since February 12. As a result, he was injured on his return to competition almost two months later. The All-Star pivot’s first outing with his new team, the Los Angeles Lakers, was cut short: just 14 minutes and 6 points before injuring his foot. Ahead in the first quarter time, the Lakers then let the Bucks unfold in his absence. Milwaukee won 112 to 97 with 25 points and 10 rebounds from Giannis Antetokounmpo or 28 points from Jrue Holiday. The infirmary therefore continues to fill up for Los Angeles, whose fourth place in the West is increasingly threatened.

The French: Rudy Gobert’s monstrous dunk poster

After being scared the day before yesterday, when their plane was forced to land in an emergency after hitting birds in flight, the Jazz beat the Grizzlies 111-107. Rudy Gobert didn’t score much: 8 points. But he brought 12 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks. Especially with an overpowering dunk on the head of Jonas Valanciunas! For his part, Evan Fournier scored his first points for the Celtics. 6 off the bench for another Boston loss. Good complete game from Theo Maledon, author of 11 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists for the Thunder.

All scores

Pistons – Trail Blazers: 101-124
Pacers – Heat; 87-92
Celtics – Mavericks: 108-113
Nets – Rockets: 120-108
Grizzlies – Jazz: 107-111
Timberwolves – Knicks: 102-101
Thunder – Raptors: 113-103
Spurs – Kings: 120-106
Lakers – Bucks: 97-112
Suns – Bulls: 121-116

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NBA – Devin Booker (Suns) and Luka Doncic hit, the Brooklyn Nets take the lead in the East

Hank Gilbert