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Wood stars as Rockets thump Spurs, 109-105

Los Angeles---The Houston Rockets put this week’s franchise-altering trade in the rear view mirror on Thursday night as they kicked off their post-James Harden era with a gutsy comeback NBA win over the San Antonio Spurs......»»

Category: sportsSource: thestandard thestandardJan 15th, 2021

End of an era: Westbrook exits Oklahoma City

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com LAS VEGAS – Just when you thought it was safe to step out from under a doorway, another seismic tremble rumbled through the NBA Las Vegas Summer League Thursday evening (Friday, PHL time). Earthquake again? Nope, just more Thunder. Get your first look at the NBA’s top Rookies during NBA Summer League LIVE on NBA League Pass! Oklahoma City and general manager Sam Presti were back at it, this time reportedly sending former Kia MVP Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets for guard Chris Paul, first-round draft picks in 2024 and 2026, and pick swaps in 2021 and 2025. Six days earlier, OKC had stunned the pro hoops world by trading All-Star wing Paul George to the LA Clippers, serving up the co-star that coveted free agent Kawhi Leonard wanted as a condition of signing with Staples Center’s other NBA team. That deal yielded for the Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari and guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, along with five first-round picks and swap rights on two more. The biggest difference in moving Westbrook was that this one was anticipated. George had gone to Presti quietly after conspiring with Leonard, requesting the trade in a way that enabled the OKC GM to work behind the scenes. Presti had leverage on the Clippers, since he in essence was delivering both two-way stars – George and Leonard, who otherwise might have re-signed with Toronto – simultaneously. The deal Thursday (Friday, PHL time) paired Presti with Rockets counterpart Daryl Morey. Given their trade-happy track records, it wasn’t surprising that, if an NBA fan listened closely, he or she might have heard the sound of gods bowling. George’s departure and OKC’s subsequent trade of forward Jerami Grant to Denver made it clear which direction the Thunder were heading. Getting ousted from the playoffs’ first round for three consecutive years made the team’s $146 million payroll (and the luxury taxes it triggered) untenable. “People [within the league] knew they were going to do something pretty profound,” one GM told NBA.com earlier this week. “What they got for George was more than a king’s ransom. And if they end up trading Russell for all the tea in China, it will be the same deal again, right?” There were other suitors, most notably Miami, fueling speculation that Presti might not be done. How about Chris Paul to the Heat for expiring contracts, a prospect or two and more draft assets? As it is, the Thunder already have lassoed or retained an outrageous 15 first-round picks over the next six years. That sets up Oklahoma City ridiculously well, on paper, for the medium- and long-term. Short-term? Meh. A crew of Paul (if he stays), Gallinari, Gilgeous-Alexander, Andre Roberson, Steven Adams and Terrance Ferguson seems undermanned in the wild, wild West. But Presti has amassed enough picks that Thunder fans won’t have to worry about their favorite team tanking -- they can just root against the Clippers, the Heat and the Rockets in hopes of desirable draft positions. Westbrook deserves credit for spending the first 11 years of his career in an unglamorous, small-revenue market (though $168 million in NBA earnings had something to do with it too). He had two MVPs (Kevin Durant and James Harden) and one MVP candidate (George last season) leave via trade or free agency before he did. Now he has a chance, re-teamed with Harden in Houston, to step into the void opened by Golden State’s anticipated decline in 2019-20 (Durant’s departure from the Bay has something to do with that). The Rockets and Morey have to be on the clock, their extended window as championship contenders not likely to stay propped open for long. Westbrook and Harden, a tandem of past MVPs, should have most of their statistical and usage itches scratched by now. Each badly needs a ring on his resume. Paul, meanwhile, might find himself hooking up with Jimmy Butler with the Heat, a pairing that makes more sense than Butler-Westbrook at least in terms of basketball compatibility. Presti’s performance over the past 10 days or so has been “breathtaking,” according to the rival GM. But with so many folks in and outside OKC so eager to spin the Thunder’s picks and prospects forward, a nagging question remains: What should we make of their past? In Presti’s 12 seasons, beginning with the franchise still in Seattle in 2007-08, his team has won 50 games or more six times (counting the 47-19 equivalent in lockout-shortened 2011-2012). Over the Thunder’s first 10 seasons in Oklahoma, only the San Antonio Spurs won more often. The Thunder have reached the postseason nine times, winning 14 series. They lost the Finals in five games to Miami in 2012, and got bounced three times from the conference finals, once from the West semifinals and four times from the first round. There were injuries and close calls, sure, but those are a part of it for everyone. Drafting, Presti strung together Durant (No. 2 overall in 2007), Westbrook (No. 4, ’08) and Harden (No. 3, '09). His record deeper into the first round has been predictably mixed: Reggie Jackson (No. 24, ’11) and Adams (No. 12, ’13) on one side of the ledger, fellows such as Perry Jones (No. 28, ’12), Mitch McGary (No. 21, ’14) and Cameron Payne (No. 14, ’15) on the other. The Thunder’s two most notable trades prior to this summer involved Harden going out and George coming in. When they sent out Harden -- the league’s reigning Kia Sixth Man of the Year award winner in 2012 -- it was an anticipatory financial move that for a time kept them out of luxury tax trouble ... as well as the Finals. When Presti traded for George in 2017, the players he gave up, Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis, had a better first season in Indiana than George in OKC. But as with Westbrook, Presti got George to sign a *cough* long-term extension, and the former Pacer finished third in MVP balloting this spring. So bottom line, which is it: Should the Thunder’s extended run as a contender in the West be applauded? Or should they be considered underachievers, considering the three MVPs they had – Durant in 2014, Westbrook in 2017 and Harden (with Houston) in 2018 – as well as George? OKC got a total of 25 seasons from those four players, 23 of them in tandem or as a trio. Only Durant as a rookie and Westbrook in 2016-17 worked as a solo act, star-wise. Those two plus George made a total of 17 All-Star appearances while playing for the Thunder, and in seven of the past nine seasons, OKC sent two to the February gala. That’s a lot of firepower for a fairly limited payoff (the lone Finals trip). So as excited as the Thunder and their fans might be for what’s headed their way, they’re right to feel melancholy over what’s done and now gone. Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 12th, 2019

Cavs, Warriors stars lead first fan returns of ASG voting

em>NBA press release /em> NEW YORK -- LeBron James and Kyrie Irving of the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers are the top two vote-getters overall, while Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors lead all Western Conference players in the first fan returns of NBA All-Star Voting 2017 presented by Verizon. The first week of fan voting for the 66th NBA All-Star Game, which will take place on Sunday, Feb. 19 (Feb. 20, PHL time) at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, produced close races in both conferences and generated 138% more votes cast (11,174,153) than during the same time period last year (4,693,433). James, a 12-time All-Star, received 595,288 votes to earn the top spot among all players. Joining James at the top of the Eastern Conference frontcourt are the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo (500,663) and Cleveland’s Kevin Love (250,347), with rookie Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers (221,984) next on the list. Irving (543,030) and 12-time All-Star Dwyane Wade of the Chicago Bulls (278,052) lead the East guards, followed by the Toronto Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan (253,340). Durant, who owns the highest scoring average in All-Star Game history (25.6 ppg), paces all West players with 541,209 votes. He is followed in the West frontcourt by Golden State’s Zaza Pachulia (439,675) and the San Antonio Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard (341,240), who edges the New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis (318,144).  Curry (523,597) narrowly tops a tight race among West guards, with the Houston Rockets’ James Harden (519,446) edging two-time reigning All-Star Game MVP Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder (501,652) for second place. For the first time ever, NBA players and basketball media will join fans in selecting the starters for the NBA All-Star Game. Fans will account for 50 percent of the vote, while all current players and a media panel will account for 25 percent each.  Player and media voting will begin next week, with each participant completing one full ballot featuring two guards and three frontcourt players from both conferences.  After all votes are tallied, players will be ranked in each conference by position (guard and frontcourt) within each of the three voting groups – fan votes, player votes and media votes.  Each player’s score will be calculated by averaging his weighted rank from the fan votes, the player votes and the media votes.  The five players (two guards and three frontcourt players) with the best score in each conference will be named NBA All-Star Game starters. Fan voting will serve as the tiebreaker for players in a position group with the same score. See below for the first fan returns of NBA All-Star Voting 2017 presented by Verizon. strong>NBA ALL-STAR VOTING 2017 PRESENTED BY VERIZON /strong> em> strong>Eastern Conference Frontcourt /strong> /em> 1. LeBron James (CLE) 595,288 br /> 2. Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) 500,663 br /> 3. Kevin Love (CLE) 250,347 br /> 4. Joel Embiid (PHI) 221,984 br /> 5. Carmelo Anthony (NY) 189,817 br /> 6. Jimmy Butler (CHI) 189,066 br /> 7. Kristaps Porzingis (NY) 184,166 br /> 8. Paul George (IND) 138,332 br /> 9. Hassan Whiteside (MIA) 72,628 br /> 10. Jabari Parker (MIL) 64,141 em> strong>Eastern Conference Guards /strong> /em> 1. Kyrie Irving (CLE) 543,030 br /> 2. Dwyane Wade (CHI) 278,052 br /> 3. DeMar DeRozan (TOR) 253,340 br /> 4. Isaiah Thomas (BOS) 193,297 br /> 5. Derrick Rose (NY) 129,924 br /> 6. Kyle Lowry (TOR) 128,940 br /> 7. John Wall (WAS) 87,360 br /> 8. Jeremy Lin (BKN) 59,562 br /> 9. Kemba Walker (CHA) 52,122 br /> 10. Avery Bradley (BOS) 32,822 em> strong>Western Conference Frontcourt /strong> /em> 1. Kevin Durant (GS) 541,209 br /> 2. Zaza Pachulia (GS) 439,675 br /> 3. Kawhi Leonard (SA) 341,240 br /> 4. Anthony Davis (NO) 318,144 br /> 5. Draymond Green (GS) 236,315 br /> 6. DeMarcus Cousins (SAC) 202,317 br /> 7. Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN) 125,278 br /> 8. LaMarcus Aldridge (SA) 101,724 br /> 9. Blake Griffin (LAC) 100,524 br /> 10. Marc Gasol (MEM) 97,370 em> strong>Western Conference Guards /strong> /em> 1. Stephen Curry (GS) 523,597 br /> 2. James Harden (HOU) 519,446 br /> 3. Russell Westbrook (OKC) 501,652 br /> 4. Klay Thompson (GS) 293,054 br /> 5. Chris Paul (LAC) 173,830 br /> 6. Damian Lillard (POR) 117,857 br /> 7. Eric Gordon (HOU) 76,609 br /> 8. Manu Ginobili (SA) 65,832 br /> 9. Andre Iguodala (GS) 64,247 br /> 10. Zach LaVine (MIN) 53,642 * * * strong>How Fans Can Vote /strong> NBA fans may submit one full ballot each day through NBA.com, the NBA App (available on Android and iOS), Twitter, Facebook and Google Search, as well as via Sina Weibo and Tencent Microblogs in China. All current NBA players are available for selection.  em> strong>NBA.com voting page at NBA.com/vote: /strong> /em> Fill out one full ballot per day (once every 24 hours) on NBA.com/vote from a desktop or mobile browser. Fans can select up to two guards and three frontcourt players from each conference when choosing starters.   br />   br /> em> strong>NBA App: /strong> /em>Access the ballot and vote through the app, which is available on Android and iOS. Fans can fill out one full ballot per day and select up to two guards and three frontcourt players from each conference when choosing starters. br />   br /> em> strong>Twitter: /strong> /em>Tweet, retweet or reply with an NBA player’s first and last name or Twitter handle, along with the hashtag 'NBAVOTE.  Each tweet may include only one player’s name or handle. Fans may vote for 10 unique players each day throughout the NBA All-Star voting period.  br />   br /> em> strong>Facebook: /strong> /em>Post the player’s first and last name along with the hashtag 'NBAVOTE on your personal Facebook account, or comment on another’s Facebook post.   Each post may include only one player’s name. Fans may post votes for 10 unique players per day throughout the voting period. br />   br /> em> strong>Google Search: /strong> /em> Search “NBA Vote All-Star” or “NBA Vote Team Name” (ex: NBA Vote Celtics) and use respective voting cards to select teams and then players.  Fans may submit votes for 10 unique players per day throughout the voting period. The next fan voting update will be shared on Thursday, Jan. 12 (Jan. 13, PHL time).  Voting for fans, players and media will conclude on Monday, Jan. 16 at 11:59 p.m. ET (Jan. 17, 12:59 a.m., PHL time). Starters will be announced live on TNT on Thursday, Jan. 19 (Jan. 20, PHL time) during a special one-hour edition of TNT NBA Tip-Off presented by Autotrader.com, featuring Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith. The special will air prior to TNT’s doubleheader showcasing the Washington Wizards at the New York Knicks and the Minnesota Timberwolves at the LA Clippers. The Eastern Conference and Western Conference All-Star reserves, as selected by NBA head coaches, will be announced the following week on Thursday, Jan. 26 (Jan. 27, PHL time).  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 6th, 2017

Euro stars tame Spurs

NEW YORK (AFP) — Luka Doncic was solid at both ends of the floor, and Kristaps Porzingis dominated in the paint as the Dallas Mavericks kicked off the second half of the National Basketball Association season by rallying to beat San Antonio, 115-104, on Wednesday. The usual suspects stood out for Dallas as Slovenia’s Doncic […] The post Euro stars tame Spurs appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMar 11th, 2021

Jazz thump Lakers, Dort powers OKC past Spurs

Los Angeles, United States---The Utah Jazz manhandled the NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday (Thursday Philippine time), improving on their league-leading record with a pitiless 114-89 victory......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsFeb 25th, 2021

Simmons 1 of 9 NBA stars on Australia& rsquo;s Olympic team

Melbourne---Two-time NBA All-Star Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers, Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles and San Antonio Spurs’ Patty Mills were included Wednesday in Australia’s Tokyo Olympic squad as they target an elusive gold medal......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsFeb 4th, 2021

Simmons among nine NBA stars on Australia Olympic squad

Two-time NBA All-Star Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers, Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles and San Antonio Spurs’ Patty Mills were included Wednesday in Australia’s Tokyo Olympic squad as they target an elusive gold medal. They are among nine NBA players on the team, although new head coach Brian Goorjian also opted for some young […] The post Simmons among nine NBA stars on Australia Olympic squad appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsFeb 3rd, 2021

Lakers thump Rockets, 120-102

Los Angeles---Anthony Davis scored a game-high 27 points as the Los Angeles Lakers delivered a dominating all-around performance on Sunday with a crushing 120-102 defeat of the Houston Rockets in Texas......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJan 12th, 2021

Rockets win sans Harden; Cavs turn back Hawks

Christian Wood and John Wall filled the offensive void left by the absence of Harden, who had to sit out due to an ankle sprain......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 3rd, 2021

2020 NBA Champion doesn t deserve dreaded 'asterisk'

Take your asterisk and file it somewhere else. For former NBA champion Glen Rice, the winner of the 2020 NBA title will be a deserving one. It certainly shouldn't be subject to to any asterisks even as the NBA season was postponed for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If anything, the season delay and the fact that NBA teams had to be subjected inside the bubble for the duration of the playoffs plus an additional eight seeding games makes this year's champion all the more celebrated. "When you have what's going on around everyone, trying to maintain a safe lifestyle in the bubble, at the same time staying aware of what's going on outside the bubble and the nuances that can go as far as COVID creeping in there, if you can get champion out everything that's going on that's really easy to distract you from basketball, I think that's a huge plus for these guys," Rice said in an interview set up by NBA Philippines. "That just goes to show you how determined and focused they were," he added. The 2020 NBA Champion will be one of the few crowned during a season where teams played less than then 82 regular season games. The 2012 Miami Heat and 1999 San Antonio Spurs won their respective titles during lockout-shortened seasons. Still, those teams don't deserve asterisks shouldn't they? Do the 2019 Raptors deserve an asterisk because Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson were injured in the last two games of the Finals? Do the mid-1990s Houston Rockets deserve an asterisk because Michael Jordan chose to play baseball? Each NBA champion will be unique in their own way, Rice says there should be no reason why the 2020 NBA winner should be looked at any differently just because of the current world circumstances. "I think you will see a lot of people saying something different, perhaps having that asterisk. But I think more importantly, people need to realize is that this is different and I'm talking about in a positive way," he said. "This is something that we've never seen in sports. To crown a champion in this environment right now, I think that says a lot about the players and coaches who go out there and do what they gotta do," Rice added. The 2020 NBA playoffs tip off Monday (Tuesday in Manila) with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers leading the East and West, respectively. The Bucks open round 1 against the Orlando Magic while the Lakers battle the Portland Trail Blazers. Defending champion Toronto Raptors take on the Brooklyn Nets while the Boston Celtics meet the Philadelphia 76ers. The Indiana Pacers and the Miami Heat complete the East bracket. In the Western Conference, the no. 2 Los Angeles Clippers open things up against the Dallas Mavericks. The Denver Nuggets take on division rival Utah Jazz while the Houston Rockets and the Oklahoma City Thunder duke it out in a best-of-7.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 17th, 2020

G League prospects like Kai Sotto can earn degrees at Arizona State

Just because Kai Sotto chose the G League route doesn't mean he won't get the chance to get college education. As revealed by Select Team coach Brian Shaw in an interview set up by NBA Philippines, players in the G League program will have the chance to pursue their respective degrees once they choose to do so, even if they're already in the NBA. The G League will have ties with the Arizona State where players can get their education. "When they come through our program and they do make it to the NBA, we still pay for them for four years of college through a program in Arizona State if they ever wanna finish their education," Shaw said. If Arizon State rings a bell, it's the school of Fil-Am guard Remy Martin, who recently withdrew his NBA Draft application to come back for a senior season with the Sun Devils. ASU is also the alma mater of Houston Rockets star James Harden. "So that’s what a lot of people don’t know," Shaw added of the partnership with Arizona State. Top prospects opting out of college to play in the G League could be a trend moving forward. Jalen Green, the no. 1 recruit for 2020, was the first to make the jump. Other five-stars like Isaiah Todd and Daishen Nix soon followed, as did Kai Sotto. Some of the top prospects, like Green, likely won't play more than two years of Division 1 basketball anyway, so playing in the G League and being closer to the actual NBA seems like the better decision. "I'm not taking anything away from college. I played college ball, but you have a lot of kids, especially of the elite-level talent, that know exactly what their end goal is and they don't particularly want to go to school or go to class," Shaw said. "This [G League program] offers them an opportunity, if they're on this level, that they still get to train every single day. If they to college and maybe played one or two years anyway, here they don't have to go to class," he added. Making the NBA is the priority for players like Green and Sotto. Getting top-notch basketball all while enjoying the pro benefits sure made the G League a very attractive option. "The big advantage is that they'll be able to spend a good majority of time working on their game," Shaw said. "On top of that, they're able to be paid significant amounts of money for this year to play, which they wouldn't have been able to get in college," he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 16th, 2020

Mann leads Clippers over Thunder as stars rest for playoffs

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Terance Mann hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:30 left in overtime and had 25 points and 14 rebounds for the Los Angeles Clippers, who beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 107-103 Friday night (Saturday morning in the Philippines) in a final seeding game for both teams devoid of stars. The Clippers rested Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Lou Williams for the playoffs starting next week. They wrapped up the second seed in the Western Conference playoffs with a 124-111 victory over Denver on Wednesday night. “I’m just going to go with rest tonight,” coach Doc Rivers said before the game. Amir Coffey added 21 points for the Clippers while Patrick Patterson had 17 points and 14 rebounds. The Thunder played without Chris Paul (sprained left hand) and Luguentz Dort (sprained right knee). Oklahoma City came into the game locked into a first-round matchup with the Houston Rockets. Hamidou Diallo had 27 points and 11 rebounds and Dennis Schroder 17 points for the Thunder. Mann made a free throw with 1:23 left in regulation to tie it at 87 but missed the second. The Thunder missed three field goals and Joakim Noah had a layup blocked by Devon Hall with 4.8 seconds left. TIP-INS Thunder: Will be either the No. 4 or 5 seed. Clippers: George put the playoffs in perspective when he said, “Seeding doesn’t really mean anything in this bubble. There’s no home-court advantage.” UP NEXT Thunder: Will face Houston in the playoffs next week. Clippers: Will face Dallas in the playoffs next week......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 15th, 2020

Spurs keep playoff hopes alive with win over Rockets

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida — The Spurs aren’t out of it yet. Keldon Johnson had 24 points and 11 rebounds, and San Antonio kept alive its chances of becoming the first team in NBA history to make 23 consecutive playoff appearances with a 123-105 victory over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday, (Wednesday morning, August 12, […] The post Spurs keep playoff hopes alive with win over Rockets appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 12th, 2020

Spurs keep playoff hopes alive with 123-105 win over Rockets

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — The Spurs aren’t out of it yet. Keldon Johnson had 24 points and 11 rebounds, and San Antonio kept alive its chances of becoming the first team in NBA history to make 23 consecutive playoff appearances with a 123-105 victory over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday (Wednesday in the Philippines). San Antonio has won three straight and five out of seven since arriving in the Florida bubble. DeMar DeRozan added 23 points. Jakob Poeltl finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds. A total of seven Spurs reached double figures. Johnson said his mindset since the season restarted has been to fill in whatever role is asked of him. “Whether it's hustling, running the floor — just doing whatever I need to do to help us win,” he said. “Help from my teammates has definitely helped the game slow down for me." Popovich said Johnson is playing with the confidence they saw when they drafted him 29th overall last year. “That’s what he does," Popovich said. "He’s a high-energy guy. He's very physical. Very competitive. Very coachable. He’s just a winner.” The Western Conference is guaranteed to have a play-in for its final playoff spot, with Memphis beginning the day with just a half-game lead over Portland and one game ahead of Phoenix and San Antonio. The Spurs will need help to be one of the teams playing this weekend for the final spot in the West, but made sure they couldn't be eliminated Tuesday with their win. Russell Westbrook had 20 points and seven turnovers in his first game back in the lineup for Houston after missing two games with a bruised right quadriceps. Jeff Green had 17 points. Ben McLemore added 16. The Rockets played without guards James Harden (rest) and Eric Gordon (ankle). Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said the most important part of their final two games before the playoffs will be getting Westbrook some quality minutes so that he is fresh. “Get some of the rust off, build up his legs a little bit,” D'Antoni said. “We'll try to get through these two games and just try to get guys physically ready to go next week.” Westbrook said he isn't worried about finding his timing before the playoffs begin. “I'll get it back,” he said. The Spurs took control in the second quarter, outscoring the Rockets 35-24. San Antonio led by as many as 29 points. San Antonio built a 19-point lead in the first half. DeRozan set the tone with 15 points in the opening 24 minutes, with Lonnie Waker IV, Poeltl and Johnson each scoring 10. TIP-INS Rockets: Went 14 of 48 from the 3-point line. ... Danuel House Jr. sat out with a toe injury. Spurs: Patty Mills (rest) missed his third straight game. WIN-WIN Regardless of whether the Spurs make the playoffs, Popovich is proud of how his young players have stepped up in during their time in the bubble. “Part of it is you have to be realistic,” Popovich said. “I don’t think our chances of winning the championship were great at the beginning of this, nor are they now. If that’s a fact, then you need to do everything you can to develop and be prepared for next season. “The development has been off the charts. We’re thrilled with it. So it’s a win-win no matter what.” Popovich said it would be “thrilling” to get some help and have a chance to extend their season, but he’s not using it as a measuring stick for the season. “We’ve already accomplished what we thought we were capable of accomplishing, that’s what’s important. If we got in now it would be icing on the cake.” UP NEXT Rockets: Play Pacers on Wednesday (Thursday in the Philippines) Spurs: Conclude their seeding schedule Thursday (Friday in the Philippines) against Utah......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 11th, 2020

Westbrook scores 31 as Rockets get 120-116 win over Bucks

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Russell Westbrook scored 31 points and the Houston Rockets used strong defense down the stretch for a 120-116 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday night. It was the 36th straight game with at least 20 points for Westbrook, who led Houston’s offense on a night James Harden scored 24. Houston tied an NBA record for most 3-point attempts in a regulation game with 61, making 21 of them, and forced 22 turnovers. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 36 points, 18 rebounds and eight assists for Milwaukee. He joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only players to have 15 games with at least 30 points, 15 rebounds and five assists in a season in the last 50 years. Khris Middleton scored 27 points and Brook Lopez added 23 as the Bucks missed a chance to clinch the best record in the Eastern Conference. SPURS 108, GRIZZLIES 106 DeMar DeRozan made two free throws with a second to play, giving San Antonio a victory over Memphis that moved the Spurs into ninth place in the Western Conference. The Spurs built an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter, then needed a bunch of big plays down the stretch from DeRozan after the Grizzlies rallied. The final one came when he brought the ball down court after Jaren Jackson Jr. tied it for Memphis with a corner 3-pointer with 10.6 seconds to play. DeRozan pump-faked Dillon Brooks into the air and drew the foul, then knocked down the foul shots. Jackson missed a long 3 on the final possession. The Spurs are trying to qualify for the postseason for what would be an NBA-record 23rd consecutive season. They arrived at Walt Disney World in 12th place in the West, but after victories over Sacramento and Memphis are just two games behind the eighth-place Grizzlies. Dejounte Murray had 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Spurs. Derrick White added 16 points and DeRozan had 14. Morant finished with 25 points, nine rebounds and nine assists. Jackson scored 21 points. CELTICS 128, TRAIL BLAZERS 124 Jayson Tatum scored 34 points, Jaylen Brown added 30 and Bostons built a big early lead before holding off Portland. Tatum, who added a career-high eight assists, rebounded from a terrible performance in a loss to Milwaukee on Friday when he scored just five points on 2-of-18 shooting. Damian Lillard had 30 points and 16 assists for Portland. Jusuf Nurkic added 30 points in his second official game back after breaking his leg in March 2019. SUNS 117, MAVERICKS 115 Devin Booker scored 30 points and Phoenix erased a double-digit deficit while the All-Star guard was on the bench with foul trouble, rallying to beat Dallas. The Suns have won both games in the restart after coming in with the worst record in the Western Conference. They’re still long shots for the playoffs, while the Mavericks clinched their first postseason berth since 2016 by virtue of Memphis’ loss to San Antonio earlier in the day. Luka Doncic had 40 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds for the Mavericks. whose hopes of moving up from the seventh seed are fading with an 0-2 start in the eight-game seeding round. MAGIC 132, KINGS 116 Nikola Vucevic had 23 points and 11 rebounds, Aaron Gordon scored 19 of his 22 points in the first half and Orlando continued its strong restart with a victory over Sacramento. Terrence Ross added 25 points to help the Magic win a season-best fifth straight game going back to before the pandemic-forced shutdown in March.Orlando won the last three before the hiatus and beat Brooklyn, the team it is battling for the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference, to open the restart. De’Aaron Fox scored 13 points after a career-high 39 in the restart opener for the Kings, who have lost both games in the bubble as they try to get in position for a shot at the final playoff spot in the West. Harry Giles III led Sacramento with a career-high 23 points. NETS 118, WIZARDS 110 Caris LeVert scored 14 of his 34 points in the final seven minutes to help Brooklyn beat Washington. Joe Harris scored a season-high 27 points and Jarret Allen added 22 points and 15 rebounds for the Nets. They rebounded from a loss to Orlando in their first seeding game to move seven games ahead of ninth-place Washington in the Eastern Conference standings. Thomas Bryant had a career-high 30 points and 13 rebounds, and Troy Brown Jr. added 22 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists for the Wizards......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 3rd, 2020

NBA Restart Team Overview: Memphis Grizzlies

RECORD: 32-33, sitting at eighth-place in the Western Conference, seven games behind the seventh-seeded Dallas Mavericks and three-and-a-half games ahead of the Portland Trail Blazers, the New Orleans Pelicans, and the Sacramento Kings, who are all virtually tied for ninth place.  OVERVIEW: Following the departure of former franchise stars in Marc Gasol and Mike Conley, the expectations were not high for the Grizzlies. Powered by one of the league's youngest rosters led by a pair of 20-year olds in Rookie of The Year frontrunner Ja Morant and sophomore Jaren Jackson Jr. however, the Grizzlies are firmly in the running for a spot in the playoffs. Morant leads all qualifying rookies in scoring with 17.6 points per game and assists with 6.9 dimes per game His six-foot-eleven running mate Jackson meanwhile, is a threat on both ends of the floor. Veteran big man Jonas Valanciunas has also been solid for the Grizzlies with 14.9 points and 11.2 rebounds per game.  NUMBER TO KNOW: The Grizzlies are averaging 27.0 assists per game, second-most in the league.  KEY ADDITIONS/LOSSES: N/A SEEDING GAMES:  vs. Portland Trail Blazers (8/1) vs. San Antonio Spurs (8/3) vs. New Orleans Pelicans (8/4) vs. Utah Jazz (8/6) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (8/8) vs. Toronto Raptors (8/10) vs. Boston Celtics (8/12) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (8/14)    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 17th, 2020

NBA Restart Team Overview: New Orleans Pelicans

RECORD: 28-36, virtually tied with the Portland Trailblazers and the Sacramento Kings for ninth-place in the Western Conference, 3.5 games behind the eighth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies (32-33).  OVERVIEW: Led by a young core bannered by Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, veteran Jrue Holiday, and rookie sensation Zion Williamson, the New Orleans Pelicans have recovered from a 6-22 start to the season, posting a 22-14 record in their last 36 contests to put them in contention for a playoff berth. The Pels play fast and score a lot thanks to the playmaking skills of Ball and Holiday, while leading scorer Ingram is having himself an All-Star year, putting up 24.3 points per game. Veteran sniper JJ Redick (14.9 PPG, 2.9 3P) is also leading the charge behind the arc. In his first 19 games, the high-flying Williamson has averaged 23.6 points while shooting an astounding 58.9% from the field.  NUMBER TO KNOW: The Pelicans are averaging 116.2 points per game, which is tied with the Los Angeles Clippers for fourth place in the NBA (behind the Milwaukee Bucks, the Houston Rockets, and the Dallas Mavericks) KEY ADDITIONS/LOSSES: N/A SEEDING GAMES: vs Utah Jazz (7/31) vs Los Angeles Clippers (8/2) vs Memphis Grizzlies (8/4) vs. Sacramento Kings (8/7) vs Washington Wizards (8/8) vs San Antonio Spurs (8/10) vs. Sacramento Kings (8/12) vs. Orlando Magic (8/14).....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 13th, 2020

NBA Restart Team Overview: Sacramento Kings

RECORD: 28-36, virtually tied with Portland and New Orleans for ninth-place and 3 1/2 games behind eighth-place Memphis. OVERVIEW: The Kings have an opportunity to advance to the playoffs for the first time since the 2005-06 season. Sacramento had won 13 of its last 20 games before the season was suspended. The speedy De’Aaron Fox (20.4 ppg) and the sharpshooting Buddy Hield (19.8 ppg) lead the offense from the backcourt. NUMBER TO KNOW: Buddy Hield has made 244 three-pointers this season, second-most in the NBA. KEY ADDITIONS: Corey Brewer SEEDING GAMES: vs San Antonio Spurs (8/1) vs Orlando Magic (8/2) vs Dallas Mavericks (8/5) vs New Orleans Pelicans (8/7) vs Brooklyn Nets (8/8) vs Houston Rockets (8/10) vs New Orleans Pelicans (8/12) vs Los Angeles Lakers (8/14).....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 12th, 2020

NBA Restart Team Overview: San Antonio Spurs

RECORD: 27-36, 12th-place, half-game behind the three teams virtually tied for ninth-place (Portland, New Orleans, and Sacramento) and four games behind eighth-place Memphis. OVERVIEW: The Spurs have made the playoffs a record-tying 22 straight seasons. With LaMarcus Aldridge sidelined after having shoulder surgery, San Antonio will rely on DeMar DeRozan (22.2 ppg) and a high-scoring bench that includes Patty Mills, Derrick White, and Rudy Gay. NUMBER TO KNOW: San Antonio commits an NBA-low 12.3 turnovers per game.  KEY ABSENCES: LaMarcus Aldridge KEY ADDITIONS: Tyler Zeller SEEDING GAMES: vs Sacramento Kings (8/1) vs Memphis Grizzlies (8/3) vs Philadelphia 76ers (8/4) vs Denver Nuggets (8/6) vs Utah Jazz (8/8) vs New Orleans Pelicans (8/10) vs Houston Rockets (8/12) vs Utah Jazz (8/14).....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 11th, 2020

Kawhi Leonard has 25 points, Clippers rout Rockets 120-105

By KRISTIE RIEKEN AP Sports Writer HOUSTON (AP) — Kawhi Leonard scored 25 points and the Los Angeles Clippers rolled over the Houston Rockets 120-105 on Thursday night for their sixth straight victory. The Rockets were done in by their shooting woes in a game that was billed as a matchup of two of the top teams in the Western Conference, but was a rout almost from the start. Houston had a chance to take the season series and secure the tiebreaker over the Clippers, but the loss left the teams tied 2-2. Houston made just 7 of 42 3-pointers to drop its second straight game in embarrassing fashion after losing to the lowly New York Knicks on Monday night. The Rockets ended their streak of 18 straight games with 10 or more 3-pointers dating to Jan. 20. Russell Westbrook led the Rockets with 29 points and 15 rebounds. James Harden was 4 of 17 and missed all eight 3-pointers he attempted to finish with 16 points. The two stars and most of the other starters on both teams didn't play for much of the fourth quarter with the game out of reach. The Clippers built a 67-44 lead by halftime after a first half where the Rockets made just 2 of 22 3-point attempts. Ivica Zubac added 17 points and 12 assists for Los Angeles and Montrezl Harrell added 19 points and 10 rebounds off the bench. Houston’s shooting woes didn’t end after the break and the Rockets missed 11 of 12 3-pointers in the third quarter, including a couple of air balls. But the Rockets didn’t just struggle from long-range as they also missed several layups in the quarter to leave Los Angeles up 90-65 entering the fourth. TIP-INS Clippers: Patrick Beverley received a flagrant 1 foul for grabbing Harden with both arms from behind on a fast break in the third quarter. ... Paul George had 13 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Rockets: Eric Gordon left the game in the fourth quarter with knee soreness and did not return. ... Westbrook extended his career-best streak of games with 20 points or more to 32. ... Danuel House Jr. had 14 points. FACE-OFF The Clippers were unhappy early in the fourth quarter when Harrell received a foul on a dunk attempt by Westbrook. Replays showed that Westbrook pressed his left hand into Harrell’s face as he elevated for the shot. But a challenge by Clippers coach Doc Rivers was unsuccessful and the foul call stood. Harrell made a dunk soon after that and patted his head with both hands as he ran back down the court. UP NEXT Clippers: Host the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night. Rockets: At Charlotte on Saturday night......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 6th, 2020

Harden, Westbrook combine for 72, Rockets beat Jazz 120-110

By MATTHEW COLES Associated Press SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — James Harden scored 38 points and Russell Westbrook had 34 to boost the Houston Rockets to a 120-110 victory over the Utah Jazz on Saturday night. Harden (13 for 23, 6 3-pointers) and Westbrook (14 for 26) were efficient all night and the Rockets rode a big third quarter to their third straight win. Eric Gordon and Ben McLemore each scored 12 off the bench for Houston. Donovan Mitchell scored 31 and Jordan Clarkson had 22 for the Jazz, who cut the Rockets’ lead to seven in the fourth quarter a couple times but could never get closer. The Rockets made the Jazz pay when they occasionally double-teamed Harden and couldn’t rotate fast enough to the perimeter shooters. After a season high-tying 25 3-pointers in their last outing against Golden State, the Rockets made 20 of 48 from beyond the arc. The Rockets made their move in the third quarter when they outscored the Jazz 38-19. Westbrook capped a 14-2 run with a jumper and Houston led 100-85 entering the final period. The Rockets made eight of their first nine 3-point attempts to take an early eight-point lead. Taking advantage of Houston’s lack of rim protection, Clarkson scored 20 points in the first half to help the Jazz recover and move in front. The Jazz played zone defense at times and used some non-traditional defensive matchups like 7-foot-1 Rudy Gobert on 6-3 Westbrook. The Jazz lost to the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night and could hardly afford another slip-up on the second half of their back-to-back as they jockey with the Rockets for playoff position in the last third of the season. Houston and Utah now both have records of 36-20 but the Rockets claimed the season series, 2-1. TIP-INS Rockets: Gordon, who scored 50 against Utah on Jan. 27, returned from a three-game absence with a leg bruise. … The Rockets' 20 3-pointers gave them a 60-21 edge on shots from long range. ... Westbrook demonstratively demanded a replay on a foul by Bojan Bogdanovic early in the fourth quarter. After review, the elbow nudge was determined to be a common foul. Jazz: Rookie forward Juwan Morgan, who had never played more than seven minutes in a game, played 13 minutes against the small-ball Rockets and had career highs of four points and five rebounds. … Utah outscored Houston 64-36 in the paint. … Mike Conley had 13 points, seven rebounds and seven assists after sitting out for rest against the Spurs. UP NEXT Rockets: Host New York on Monday night. Jazz: Host Phoenix on Monday night......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 23rd, 2020