Without Giannis Antetokounmpo but with Damian Lillard, author of 41 points, the Bucks defeated the Clippers (113-106), Monday evening in the NBA, while Minnesota regained first place in the West by beating Portland (119-114), thanks to Rudy Gobert.

But the Bucks are still doing it! Deprived at the last minute of Giannis Antetokounmpo, due to pain in an Achilles tendon, Milwaukee has long drifted towards a 22nd defeat this season, in the wake of a failed first quarter (25-35).

But the 2021 champions, who were also without Khris Middleton, were able to count on their leader Damian Lillard (41 pts), and on Bobby Portis too (28 pts, 16 rebounds). Still trailing by 15 points in the third quarter, they stepped on the accelerator in the last quarter, with Lillard wanting to hold back the collective effort.

“Coming out of the break linked to the All-Star, we had a frank discussion as a team, Doc (Rivers, the Bucks coach) dotted the i’s, instructing us to do certain things differently, and we applied that in a collective way,” he commented after this sixth success in a row.

Opposite, the Clippers, despite Paul George and James Harden (29 pts each), recorded a 21st defeat in 60 matches, but still remained 4th in the West.

In this highly contested conference, where Minnesota, Oklahoma City and Denver are close to each other, the Wolves did the right thing on Monday by beating Portland (119-114), to the extent that OKC lost in the same time in Los Angeles.

In Minneapolis, the man of victory is called Rudy Gobert, French pivot whose double-double (25 pts, 16 rebounds) greatly contributed to getting his team out of a complicated game against the Blazers guided by Anfernee Simons (34 pts, 14 assists).

The Wolves (43 v., 19 l.) thus take a victory ahead of OKC, who suffered the law of D’Angelo Russell and Anthony Davis, 50 points between them for the Lakers.

After taking all the spotlight two days ago by crossing 40,000 points, LeBron James was a little more discreet with 19 units.

On the Thunder side, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander also had to settle for 20 points, the Thunder conceding their 19th defeat of the season (42 victories). This failure will give the Denver Nuggets the opportunity to seize second place if successful tonight at home against the Phoenix Suns.