With a strong Isaiah Hartenstein, the Los Angeles Clippers secured a good starting position for the play-in tournament of the North American professional basketball league NBA.
The Clippers beat the New Orleans Pelicans 119-100 to finish the regular season in eighth place in the Western Conference.
A mini-tournament win (April 12-14) is enough for the Clippers to reach the play-offs. In the play-in tournament, the seventh plays a game against the eighth, the winner advances to the first round of the play-off. The loser plays against the winner of the ninth against the tenth duel for the last play-off place.
National player Hartenstein recorded twelve points and nine rebounds in his 64th season. In his first three seasons in the NBA, the 23-year-old played just 97 games for three teams.
LeBron James fears for the playoffs
In contrast, star LeBron James threatens to miss the playoffs for the second time in his fourth year with the Los Angeles Lakers. Without James, who was recently injured and rested this time, the Lakers lost 119:128 at the Denver Nuggets and are two wins behind tenth place with four games left.
James, who won the 2019/20 LA champion, leads the NBA’s all-time leading scorers list with an average of 30.3 points, but he has to play two of the final four games to get the 58 games it takes to earn the top scorer rating. In Denver, Nikola Jokic led with 38 points and 18 rebounds.
Moritz Wagner convinces as top scorer despite defeat
In the absence of his injured brother Franz, Moritz Wagner impressed as his team’s leading scorer with 18 points and nine rebounds in the Orlando Magic’s 88:118 loss to the New York Knicks. National player Daniel Theis scored six points in the Boston Celtics’ 144:102 against the Wasgington Wizards.
The sick Dennis Schröder (in the 132:139 of the Houston Rockets against Minnesota) and Maxi Kleber (in the 118:112 of the Dallas Mavericks against the champion Milwaukee) were not used