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The NBA’s Christmas show continues amid a surge in COVID

San Francisco: Stephen Curry # 30 from the Golden State Warriors will face Memphis Grizzlies in the third quarter at the Chase Center in San Francisco. — AFP

new York: The NBA’s Christmas slate seems to lack the usual luster as the league is working on the rise of variants of the Omicron coronavirus. The Golden State Warriors, led by NBA Three-Point King Stephen Curry, will visit Phoenix to face Sands in the league’s top two teams. This lacks some of the expected star power among the dozens of NBA regulars that Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant and perhaps Dallas’ Luka Doncic were on the sidelines by the COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocol. It seems to be the highlight of the 5 game program.

Good news was glimpsed on Friday when ESPN reported that Milwaukee’s two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Giannis Antetokounmpo had cleared the protocol. However, last season’s Finals MVP reportedly is still testing the conditioning before deciding whether to play against the Boston Celtics. “This is unknown,” Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James said of dealing with the sudden inability of a player who had to be positive on the test and isolated from his teammates, as well as absent from the injury. rice field. The Lakers host the Eastern Conference-major net-three games have been postponed due to COVID-related absenteeism, so there were too few players to form a team.

“There are so many people out there.”

Nets coach Steve Nash said Brooklyn was able to welcome James Harden but didn’t expect Durant to come back now. “It’s a game that both teams want to win in any situation,” James said. “Will it be one of the best games I’m used to playing on Christmas Day? No, there are a lot of people.” For many teams in the league right now, this whole protocol is You know that it’s getting worse significantly. “

The NBA has made changes to allow the team to strengthen the exhausted roster of G-League players under development. They also discuss fine-tuning the return-to-play requirements for those landing on the COVID protocol, which may allow vaccinated asymptomatic players to return to court sooner. did.

In other Christmas Day matches, the New York Knicks will host the Atlanta Hawks at Madison Square Garden, NBA Champion Bucks will host Boston, and Utah Jazz will host the Dallas Mavericks. When Jazz defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves team on Thursday, Mavericks lost seven players to Bucks due to COVID concerns. Utah forward Joe Ingles said Thursday, “The number of players currently participating in the protocol feels like we’re back two years before we first started.” But jazz star Donovan Mitchell said he was still looking forward to his second Christmas Day match.

Curry fuels the Warriors

Meanwhile, Stephen Curry scored 46 points, defeating the Memphis Grizzlies 113-104 on Thursday, and the Warriors behind the Phoenix Suns, the best NBA record by half a game. Meanwhile, Sands, who scored 30 points from Devin Booker, defeated Phoenix’s Oklahoma City Thunder 113-101 to warm up in preparation for the Christmas Marquee clash with the Golden State.

Phoenix was three points behind in half-time, surpassing Thunder 37-21 in the third period and expanding its lead to 16 points in the fourth quarter. Returning to San Francisco, Curry ejected eight three-pointers, and Gary Payton Jr. added four across the arc on the way to the Warriors’ 22 points, which blocked the Grizzlies rally in the second half. Ja Morant scored 21 points in Memphis, with Memphis tying 102-102 with 2:03 remaining.

The Golden State responded with a basket from Juantosco Anderson. Peyton made three points and Curry drove for a layup when the Warriors pulled away again. “Vintage Stephen”, Warriors coach Steve Kerr, talked about Curry’s fifth 40-point game of the season. “It’s almost as good as countering a very physical defense of large size. To get him 46, he showed every bit of his talent and showed his will tonight. . “

The San Antonio Spurs used a 3-point barrage to withstand LeBron James’ 36-point performance in a compelling 138-110 victory over the Lakers in Los Angeles. “They have been one of the hottest teams in the league in the last 10 games and have played extraordinary basketball,” James said of the Spurs. “All the mistakes we experienced, all the breakdowns we experienced, they made us pay.” Drew Eubanks scored 30 points from the bench and Derrick White added 23. The Spurs scored 18 3 points in their final match at Staples Center before the name of the downtown Los Angeles arena changed to Crypto.com arena on Saturday. The Singapore-based cryptocurrency platform reportedly purchased the arena name rights for $ 700 million over 20 years.

Bogdan Bogdanovich scored 15 points in the last four minutes as the short-handed Atlanta Hawks beat the Philadelphia 76ers 98-96 in another Thursday match (the final day of action before the NBA’s five Christmas slate). I got 10 points in the middle. The Hawks managed to get rid of the turmoil in Philadelphia, although they lacked seven players due to COVID-19 concerns.

Kemba Walker, who played in nine recent games from New York Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau, scored 44 points in a performance reminiscent of the nods of four All-Stars. But that wasn’t enough, as Knicks lost to the Washington Wizards 124-117. Washington Wizards lost Bradley Beal in the COVID Health Protocol early Thursday. Spencer Dinwidy led the Wizards with 21 points. Corey Kispert added 20 because seven Washington players scored in double digits. — AFP

https://news.kuwaittimes.net/website/nba-xmas-show-goes-on-amid-covid-surge/ The NBA’s Christmas show continues amid a surge in COVID

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