The Los Angeles Clippers narrowly avoided a 7th consecutive loss by winning Friday against Houston 106 to 100, their first success since the arrival of James Harden at the beginning of November from Philadelphia. As a symbol it is the bearded man (24 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists), whose presence in a squad already made up of stars raises questions, who scored a magnificent three-point victory shot, with the fault, at 6 seconds of the term.

“I had confidence for this shot, I work all year for it. It’s a relief, we’ve had some bad moments in recent matches. It’s going to be a process, stay with us,” he told the supporters.

In the east, Charlotte, corrected by Milwaukee (130-99) recorded the return of its winger Miles Bridges (17 points in 33 minutes), who finished serving a 30-match suspension for violence against his ex-partner in 2022. Bridges was again charged with violence and violating a restraining order in October. The reigning champion Denver was beaten to the wire by New Orleans (115-110) despite a spectacular triple-double from its Serbian pivot Nikola Jokic (26 points, 16 rebounds, 18 assists).

Boston contained the Toronto Raptors (108-105) to maintain the lead in the Eastern Conference (10 wins-2 losses). Glorious elders LeBron James (35 points) and Kevin Durant (38 points) led the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns to victory against Portland and Utah, respectively.