NBA: The end of the solar eclipse, the black hole for the Warriors

The Suns snapped a six-game losing streak with a win over the beleaguered Warriors, while the Heat set an NBA free-throw efficiency record on Tuesday, the day David Bowie died seven years ago.

. “Changes”

Change is what fans of Golden State and Phoenix, who are in a tough time right now, are hoping to see. And the Arizonans won in California (125-113).

A little against all odds, because the Suns were without their stars Devin Booker, Chris Paul, DeAndre Ayton, who were injured, unlike the Warriors, who missed Stephen Curry with a right shoulder injury after eleven games. The latter, long rusty, staged an uprising, scoring 16 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter.

Golden State, 27 points behind, returned to -6, led by Klay Thompson (29 points), but could not prevent a third consecutive defeat. Because the fact is that the Dubs, who abuse the three-point shot, are light years away from playing like champions.

Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry (#30) wrestles Phoenix Suns’ Josh Okogie (#2) on January 10, 2023 in San Francisco (GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP – Thearon W. Henderson)

The Phoenix, led by Mikal Bridges (26 points, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks), showed more consistency and took advantage of the opportunity to double the evening’s sacrifice in the 6th place in the West.

. “Heroes”

Heroes don’t always win in the end. Luka Doncic and Donovan Mitchell have had the bitter experience of this.

Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic (#77) of Slovenia during an NBA game against the LA Clippers on January 10, 2023 in Los Angeles (GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP - Katelyn Mulcahy)
Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic (#77) of Slovenia during an NBA game against the LA Clippers on January 10, 2023 in Los Angeles (GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP – Katelyn Mulcahy)

First, he struggled like hell in Dallas’ loss to the Clippers (113-101), scoring 20 of his 43 points (11 rebounds, 7 assists) in the final quarter. Driven by a commitment to regroup after six consecutive losses, LA was able to rely on Kawhi Leonard (33 points and 9 rebounds), who has been at his best lately.

Second, his return to Utah, where he played for five seasons after being transferred to Cleveland, did not prevent the Cavs from losing (116-114). However, he scored 46 points (6 assists, 3 steals), but the Jazz have the support of Jordan Clarkson (32 points) and Lauri Markkanen (25 points, 17 rebounds).

. “Scary Monsters”

In late February 2022, when James Harden joins him in Philadelphia, referring to “it’s going to be scary” from The Beard, Joel Embiid said, “It’s going to be a scary 48 minutes when we’re together.” (bearded), talked about a trio with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving when he signed in Brooklyn a year ago, and it ended up being a fiasco.

The pair has been active so far this season, playing just half of the 76ers’ 40 games. But when these two “monsters” have their full potential, their union hurts.

Cameroon's Joel Embiid (#21) during the Philadelphia 76ers NBA game against the New Orleans Pelicans on January 2, 2023 in Philadelphia (GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File - Tim Nwachukwu)
Cameroon’s Joel Embiid (#21) during the Philadelphia 76ers NBA game against the New Orleans Pelicans on January 2, 2023 in Philadelphia (GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File – Tim Nwachukwu)

The Pistons paid the price (147-116). Embiid was ultra-dominant (36 points, 11 rebounds in 23 minutes), Harden had his second consecutive triple-double (16 points, 15 assists, 12 rebounds).

And around them, something quite rare since the beginning of the championship, the team is complete. Looking higher than the current 4th place to take the second part of the season.

. “Under Pressure”

Free throws can win games. It was confirmed in a historic way in Miami in favor of the Heat, who won in Oklahoma City (112-111), thanks to Jimmy Butler, full of composure under pressure, won the decisive victory in 12 seconds. the end.

Historic, because during practice the Floridans (8th) had a 100% success rate in 40 attempts. A new NBA record that eclipsed Utah’s record of 39/39 against Portland in 1982.

Miami Heat's Jimmy Butler (#22) during an NBA game against the Phoenix Suns on January 6, 2023 in Phoenix (GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/Archive - Christian Petersen)
Miami Heat’s Jimmy Butler (#22) during an NBA game against the Phoenix Suns on January 6, 2023 in Phoenix (GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/Archive – Christian Petersen)

Typical, Butler hit 23 free throws on his own, finishing with 35 points on the night.

No regrets on the Thunder’s side, as he did more than even play, as did Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (26 points).

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