Austin Reaves and Tyrese Maxey step out of the shadows and into the spotlight, while Philadelphia will apparently have to do without Joel Embiid for a while. The NBA on Friday morning
The Los Angeles Lakers put an exclamation mark on Friday night as they took on the NBA’s best team without the injured LeBron James and Anthony Davis – and impressed. The result was a deserved 114:105 victory over the Boston Celtics, which was mainly down to Austin Reaves. The 25-year-old stepped into the limelight and was instrumental in the surprising away win with a season-best 32 points. Seven (out of ten) three-pointers even meant a new career best.
“We’re all talented players. And this was an opportunity to show the world what we can do,” explained Reaves afterwards: “Before the game, we got together and said: ‘Look, the least we can do is go out there and play as hard as we can’.” That worked remarkably well, especially from distance: 19 out of 36 three-point attempts found their target.
Jayson Tatum (23 points) and Jaylen Brown (8) were below average for the Celtics, while Kristaps Porzingis (17) was also not a weapon, especially with three-point shots. The Lakers also played extremely cleverly in the final spell and did not allow Boston to get closer than seven points. It was the Celtics’ third home defeat in their last five games in front of their own fans.
Hartenstein inspires Knicks with 19 rebounds
The outstanding Isaiah Hartenstein also had an evening he won’t forget in a hurry, collecting a total of 19 (!) rebounds in his Knicks’ 109-105 win over the Indiana Pacers. He also added twelve points and six assists. Jalen Brunson was once again the best scorer for the NBA’s currently strongest team – ninth win in a row. The 27-year-old scored a total of 40 points and was not fazed by a 16-point deficit at one stage.
Maxey sets a career best – how long will Embiid have to sit out?
The Philadelphia 76ers were not overjoyed with their 127-124 away win against the Utah Jazz. The reason: superstar Joel Embiid is facing an extended break. According to media reports, the current MVP has suffered an injury to the outer meniscus of his left knee. The franchise and Embiid will not decide until this weekend how the injury will be treated.
Embiid suffered the injury in the away game at the Golden State Warriors when Jonathan Kuminga fell on the center’s knee in the final quarter. But in Embiid’s absence, someone else turned up the heat in Utah: Tyrese Maxey’s 51 points tied a career high for the 23-year-old. Tellingly, Maxey converted all of his first six three-point attempts in the early stages of the game.
For the Jazz, Lauri Markkanen in particular fought off the threat of defeat. But even his strong final spurt – 14 of his 28 points in the final quarter – was ultimately not enough to bring down the 76ers.