NBA All-Star 2021: The game no one seemed to want
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, left, shoots as Phoenix Suns forward Dario Saric defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, March 2, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)ATLANTA – It's the NBA All-Star Game almost no one seemed to want. "It’s the All-Star Game, so there’s going to be some shenanigans out there. Team LeBron will play on behalf of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, while Team Durant represents the United Negro College Fund. Trae Young, a starter in 2020, was snubbed this season despite averaging 26.4 points — the most of any player not selected for the All-Star Game.
NBA reveals All-Star skills, 3-point, dunk participants
(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)Golden State’s Stephen Curry and Phoenix’s Devin Booker have been 3-point champions at All-Star weekend before, and they’ll try to win that trophy again Sunday. The NBA revealed the 15 players Tuesday who will be taking part in the other on-court events besides the All-Star Game in Atlanta, with the overwhelming majority of them pulling double-duty between those competitions and the game itself. They’ll be joined by Portland’s Robert Covington, the only current NBA player who is a graduate of a historically Black college and university. It will be held at halftime of the All-Star Game, while the skills competition and 3-point contest will occur pregame. Atlanta, Charlotte, Cleveland, Detroit, Houston, Memphis, Miami, Minnesota, Oklahoma City, Sacramento, San Antonio and Toronto have no one participating in All-Star night events.
Lillard, Blazers top Mavs 121-118 as Doncic heats up again
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) goes for a layup in front of Dallas Mavericks center Kristaps Porzingis (6) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Dallas, Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021. Lillard hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer in the final minute after a big Dallas rally, and the Trail Blazers held off Doncic and the Mavericks for a 121-118 victory Sunday night. Lillard connected on the go-ahead 3 after Doncic assisted on a tying 3-pointer from Dorian Finney-Smith after the Mavericks trailed by 13 midway through the fourth quarter. Mavericks: Doncic shared the previous club record of 13 straight games with at least 25 points with Mark Aguirre (1983-84) and Dirk Nowitzki (2005-06). The Mavericks and Pistons met just once during the coronavirus-interrupted season, with Dallas winning in Mexico City behind 41 points from Doncic.
Lillard scores 30 points as Trail Blazers down 76ers 118-114
Anthony scored a season-high 24 points off the bench, including 16 in the fourth quarter, and the Trail Blazers beat the Sixers 118-114 on Thursday night. Joel Embiid led the 76ers with 35 points and nine rebounds, and Ben Simmons added 23 points and 11 boards. “I thought tonight was just one of those games where we felt like we had to win the game,” Anthony said. Trail Blazers: It was the first of a back-to-back for Portland. The Trail Blazers host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday.
NBA fines 76ers' Daryl Morey $50,000 for tweet about Harden
Houston Rockets guard James Harden shoots over Portland Trail Blazers forward Robert Covington during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)NEW YORK – The NBA fined Philadelphia president of basketball operations Daryl Morey $50,000 on Monday for a since-deleted tweet about Houston’s James Harden that violated the league’s anti-tampering rule. Typically, teams are prohibited from discussing players under contract to other teams and the NBA has warned clubs that it can be considered tampering. A tweet by Morey in 2019 led to major problems for the NBA and its relationship with China. NBA games were not shown on CCTV, China's state broadcaster, for one year after that since-deleted tweet.
Rockets Draft/Free Agency Haul Brings Youth, Versatility
Leading up to the draft, the Rockets traded Robert Covington for Trevor Ariza and a pair of first-round draft picks including the sixteenth pick this year. In fact, that draft pick didn't happen either. Stone and the Rockets moved Ariza and that pick to Detroit for-and-trade deal for Houston's top offseason target, forward/center Christian Wood. But, the Rockets did make a draft pick, paying cash and a future second round pick to Sacramento to get Kenyon Martin, Jr., son of the former NBA power forward. It's only been a week, but it's already been busy for Stone and the Rockets.houstonpress.com
Rockets Trade Covington to Portland. Are Bigger Moves on the Horizon?
Late Monday night, the Rockets dealt Robert Covington for former Rocket Trevor Ariza and two first round draft picks, including the sixteenth pick in Wednesday's draft. Which brings about the question: Are the Rockets about to implode the entire team and start from scratch? Any deal to net one of the team's two superstars would have to include a package of players and draft picks. Already strapped for cash, with minimal young assets and no draft picks, it makes sense that the Rockets would at least consider imploding it all. So, if this is the end of this era of the Houston Rockets, perhaps burning the whole thing to the ground is the right approach.houstonpress.com
At home, on the road or at Disney, James is tough to beat
Earlier in this postseason, he also became the all-time leader in playoff road wins. For the first time in NBA history, road teams have a winning record through the first two rounds of the playoffs. The Lakers are 3-0 in the playoffs as the road team so far, which has pushed James total for road playoff wins to 65 two more than Tim Duncan managed in his two decades with San Antonio. Nobody impacts winning more than LeBron James, Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. The difference was the supporting casts, and Rajon Rondos 21 points and nine assists were enormous for the Lakers.
James, Davis help Lakers hold on to beat Rockets, tie series
Markieff Morris scored 16 points for the Lakers. James took only 15 shots in Game 1 and was scoreless in the fourth quarter of the Lakers' 112-97 loss, but he was dominant on both ends in the final period of this one. He had eight points in the quarter and a powerful blocked shot on Russell Westbrook that flew far out of bounds. James Harden scored 27 points and Eric Gordon made six 3-pointers and added 24 for the Rockets, who made 22 3-pointers. Tucker had 18 points and Robert Covington 17, but Westbrook finished only 4 for 15 while scoring 10 points and grabbing 13 rebounds.
James, Davis help Lakers hold on to beat Rockets, tie series
He had eight points in the quarter and a powerful blocked shot on Russell Westbrook that flew far out of bounds. James Harden scored 27 points and Eric Gordon made six 3-pointers and added 24 for the Rockets, who made 22 3-pointers. James scored six quick points in the second to make it 42-21. NOT THAT UNUSUALDespite the focus on the Rockets style, DAntoni said the Rockets arent that different than other NBA teams. The Clippers would play the winner of this series if they beat Denver in the other West semifinal.
Lakers brace for Harden, Westbrook and small-ball Rockets
James Harden, Russell Westbrook and the Houston Rockets are the opponent when the top-seeded Lakers open the Western Conference semifinals Friday night. The Rockets' debut of their small-ball style was a big success when they beat the Lakers 121-111 in Los Angeles on Feb. 6 behind 41 points from Westbrook. Its a contrast from the last series but excited about what we hope to accomplish with this series, Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. GORDON'S GAMEEric Gordon also scored 21 points for the Rockets in Game 7, making five 3-pointers. SEASON SERIESThe Rockets went 2-1 against the Lakers, though James sat out Houston's 16-point victory at Disney on Aug. 6.
Rockets run away from No. 1 seed Lakers, take Game 1 112-97
James Harden scored 36 points and the Houston Rockets ran away from the Lakers 112-97 on Friday night, the second straight round the No. Russell Westbrook added 24 points, nine rebounds and six assists, and Eric Gordon had 23 points for the Rockets, the No. They forced 17 turnovers that led to 27 turnovers and played the much bigger Lakers even on the backboards. The Lakers playing for only the second time in 11 days. Lakers: Assistant coach Jason Kidd missed the game because of what coach Frank Vogel said were severe back spasms.
Rockets edge Thunder to win wild Game 7, move on to Lakers
The Rockets pulled out a tense final game of the first round that lasted long past the final basket as replays and fouls were sorted out. These are the games, you want to win a championship or win playoff games, you've got to do it with your heart, D'Antoni added. Covington had 21 points and 10 rebounds, and Eric Gordon also scored 21 points for the Rockets. Rockets: Houston is 7-5 in Game 7s, including 1-1 under D'Antoni. The Rockets had lost their two other Game 7s in the first round, against Utah in 2007 and Dallas in 2005.
Paul has 28, helps Thunder force Game 7 against the Rockets
Paul gave the Thunder at least one more game at Disney, scoring 15 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter for a 104-100 victory over the Houston Rockets on Monday night in Game 6 of a Western Conference first-round series. In a game that was close all the way neither team led by double digits the Thunder bounced back from a blowout in Game 5. But they combined for 12 of the Rockets' 22 turnovers, saying Houston has lost the close games more than Oklahoma City won them. Houston got its most dominant playoff victory in Game 5, winning 114-80 after holding Oklahoma City to 31.5% shooting. Oklahoma City extended it to eight, but Houston wiped that out with an 18-4 run that provided a 98-92 lead.
Paul has 28, helps Thunder force Game 7 against the Rockets
Oklahoma City Thunder's Dennis Schroder (17) is forced to pass the ball as Houston Rockets' Russell Westbrook, bottom center, Jeff Green (32) and P.J. Paul gave the Thunder at least one more game at Disney, scoring 15 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter for a 104-100 victory over the Houston Rockets on Monday night in Game 6 of a Western Conference first-round series. But they combined for 12 of the Rockets' 22 turnovers, saying Houston has lost the close games more than Oklahoma City won them. Houston got its most dominant playoff victory in Game 5, winning 114-80 after holding Oklahoma City to 31.5% shooting. Oklahoma City extended it to eight, but Houston wiped that out with an 18-4 run that provided a 98-92 lead.
Harden scores 31 points, Rockets beat Thunder for 3-2 lead
Houston Rockets' P.J. That was a fortunate turn of events for the Houston Rockets. We need him.Schroder led the Thunder with 19 points 18 of them in the second quarter, when Oklahoma City had its only lead of the game. Steven Adams had 12 points and 14 rebounds, and Darius Bazley had 10 points and 12 rebounds for the Thunder. Houston scored 20 of the games first 27 points, but the Thunder erased the deficit in the second -- taking a brief lead of as many as five points -- before the Rockets took a 48-45 lead into the half.
Rockets can advance, Thunder look to force a Game 7
The Rockets will take a 3-2 series lead into Game 6 against the Thunder in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, on Monday night. Dennis Schroder led the Thunder with 19 points in Game 5 18 in the second quarter, when Oklahoma City had its only lead of the night. If the Rockets win Monday, they would play Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday. INJURY WATCH: Rockets G Russell Westbrook (quad) returned for Game 5, with seven points and seven assists in just under 24 minutes. The Lakers would get nearly a full week to rest if the Rockets dont win Game 6.
Rivers has career-high 41 as Rockets down Kings 129-112
(AP) Austin Rivers scored a career-high 41 points off the bench and the Houston Rockets used a big third quarter to pull away and cruise to a 129-112 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night. Rivers made six 3-pointers as Houston improved to 4-1 at Disney on a night the Rockets played a second straight game without Russell Westbrook, who has a bruised right quadriceps. The Kings fell to 1-5 in the bubble after being eliminated from playoff contention earlier Sunday when Portland beat the 76ers. Rivers made two free throws after that before the Kings used a 7-2 run, with 3s from Bogdan Bogdanovic and Buddy Hield, to make it 102-88 with about 8 minutes to go. Kings: Play New Orleans on Tuesday night.
Hardens 39 help Rockets past short-handed Lakers 113-97
(AP) James Harden had 39 points and 12 assists to lead the Houston Rockets to a 113-97 victory on Thursday night over the Los Angeles Lakers, who were playing without LeBron James. The Lakers, who clinched the top seed in the Western Conference on Monday, didnt have James because of a sore right groin. But the combination of Hardens big game and Houstons long-range shooting were enough to take care of the Lakers. The Rockets made 21 of 57 3s while Los Angeles hit just 2 of 19. Los Angeles wrapped up the third with a 6-3 spurt to cut the deficit to 94-79 entering the fourth.
Harden has 49 to lead Rockets over Mavericks 153-149 in OT
Harden made 1 of 2 free throws before Trey Burke made a 3-pointer to get the Mavericks within 3 with about 15 seconds left in OT. Harden made 1 of 2 free throws after that, Burke missed a 3, and Harden got the rebound to secure the victory. Houston scored the next eight points, with the last five from Harden, to take a 147-143 lead. Harden cut the lead again seconds later with a 3-pointer with 40 seconds to go. Covington got the Rockets within two points with two free throws.
A cop falsely detain me.' Rockets forward Robert Covington remembers police interaction amid national protests
HOUSTON Houston Rockets forward Robert Covington shared a personal account of interacting with law enforcement during a Zoom interview Friday. I basically had a cop falsely detain me, Covington said. He took me and my cousin off our home property.Covington said he and his cousin were sitting on the front porch when an officer told them to come to his car. He said two other kids were disrespecting a mans yard. When the man came out and informed the officer that they were not bothering him.The cop didnt care, he said.
Four Rockets Players Replacing Height with Toughness
The Rockets playing "small ball" seems to be about the only thing people can talk about these days. Being tough is often equated with being big, but there are four Rockets players who have serious defensive tenacity minus the vertical size advantage. He also has a low center of gravity allowing him to hold strong against players much larger than him. For years in practice, he would let young players post him up to work on their game around the basket. He pushes players much larger off of their positions with regularity and has earned respect around the NBA.houstonpress.com
Rockets' New Additions Paying Dividends Already
Robert Covington stopped with the ball at the top of the key about three feet beyond the arc. It was one of Covington's five made three pointers in the Rockets 135-105 laugher win over the Golden State Warriors Thuirsday night. These aren't small, stocky guys like Tucker, who uses his bulk and strength to hold off guys he is guarding. With all the talk of small ball, this team now has guys with the kind of size and athleticism to guard nearly anyone. Of course, the narrative surrounding the Rockets' diminutive status overlooks the fact that we aren't exactly living in the era of big man.houstonpress.com