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LeBron James (right) and his teammates have been upgraded.


Utah has confirmed its status as the current best team in the NBA, the North American basketball championship that brings together all the best in the world of the orange ball.

The Jazz collective gave a lesson to the defending champions, the Los Angeles Lakers, dominated and defeated 114-89. A twenty-five point debacle for LeBron James and the “Crimson and Gold” who had won thirteen of their sixteen away games so far. Certainly Anthony Davis, the centerpiece of the Lakers’ indoor game was absent. Everything was decided after the 3rd quarter (90-64) and the 4th defeat in a row for the defending champions too. Utah has the best record in the League after 26th wins in 32 games. The Lakers remain third (22 v-11 d).

The Jazz collective spoke with six players with more than ten points: among them the two All Stars have pulled out of the game: Donovan Mitchell managed a double double with 13 points and 10 rebounds and the French pivot Rudy Gobert added 18 points and 9 rebounds.

Admittedly, there are forty regular season games plus the play-offs to go, but the mastery and complementarity of Quin Snyder’s players make them natural favorites for the title they have never conquered having lost their two finals in 1997 and 1998 against the legendary Chicago Bulls of a certain Michael Jordan.

The Phoenix Suns did not celebrate as they would have liked the Wednesday selection of Devin Booker to the All-Star Game, replacing Anthony Davis. While she had won twelve of her last fourteen games and led comfortably by 17 points, the Arizona franchise gave up 121-124 against Charlotte led by her rookie point guard LaMelo Ball (20 pts and 8 ast) and winger Malik Monk (29 pts).

Another surprise was San Antonio’s loss to Oklahoma City 102-99 on an award-winning last-second shot from Luguentz Dort. It punctuated the masterful match of its leader Shai Gilgeous-Alexander who achieved his career points record by scoring 42 points (8 rebs, 4 ast).

In the east, Miami is reunited with a great night Jimmy Butler and his place in the Conference Top 8. The Heat star winger came close to a triple-double (17 pts, 10 ast, 8 rebs) in the win against Toronto 116-108. With four straight wins and an 8th place finish in the East, Miami has the best running streak in the NBA behind Brooklyn’s 7 wins.

Conversely, Boston is not coming out. A third loss in a row pushed the Celtics back to 9th in the East. The neo-All Star Jaylen Brown was the best of his team (17 pts but 6/16 on shots, 5 ast, 3 rebs). It was very insufficient against Atlanta where the duo Danilo Gallinari (38 pts, 10/12 at 3 pts) and Trae Young (33 pts) had a great time to give the victory to the Hawks 127-112. Things were heard at the break (72-49).

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