Tagged in: Houston Rockets

Carmelo Anthony scores 23, leads Lakers past Rockets 95-85

Carmelo Anthony scored 23 points in a reserve role and Russell Westbrook added 20 points in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 95-85 triumph over the Houston Rockets on Sunday night.

Anthony Davis had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and LeBron James scored 15 points in the Lakers’ fourth victory in five games after opening the season with two losses. Westbrook added eight rebounds and nine assists.

Eric Gordon scored 17 points and Christian Wood had 16 for the Rockets, who lost their fourth consecutive at the start of a five-game road trip. Anthony had another dynamic game in his first season with Los Angeles, hitting five 3-pointers and tying his career high with four blocked shots.

The 19-year NBA veteran, who has led the Lakers in scoring twice already this season, had at least four blocks and two steals in a match for the first time since Dec. 2, 2003.

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“I think people don’t really understand me,” Anthony said. “I think there’s a misconception out there about me not being able to adapt to situations. I’m easily adaptable to any situation and I’ve always tried to adapt to any situation I’ve been in. This is an easy adaptation for me just being here and being around the guys, being ready, staying ready, understanding what’s needed and being prepared.”

James went 6 for 19 in his second game back from a sore right ankle, but he had eight assists and seven rebounds.

Houston guard Jalen Green, the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft, finished with just seven points after getting in early foul trouble. The rebuilding Rockets trailed by 24 points in the first half and 28 in the fourth quarter before a late rally to trim the deficit.

The Lakers shored up their defense, and Anthony was a big part of that, too.

“I didn’t expect to see him have the defensive performance that he did, he was great,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel stated. “

The steals and blocks, he’s always good with his hands. He was in the right position … He’s willing to do all these things and he can do all these things. When he’s providing that kind of performance on the defensive side with the way he’s shooting it, he’s a huge part of our win.”

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Houston Rockets’ Kevin Porter Jr. fourth youngest to score 50 points

Kevin Porter Jr. scored a career-high 50 points to go along with 11 assists Thursday night, becoming the youngest player ever to log a 50-point double-double with assists.

The performance helped the Houston Rockets snap a five-game losing streak, as they defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 143-136.

Porter beat his previous career best of 30 points in the second half alone, scoring 32 with 17 in the fourth quarter. He also joined LeBron James, Brandon Jennings and Devin Booker as the only players to score 50 points in a match before turning 21.

Houston trailed by as many as 17 points in the first half but surged in the second half on hot shooting from 3-point range. Houston made 25 of 46 3-pointers, good for a season-high 54.3%.

“After I saw the third 3 go down, I knew it was going to be a special night,” Porter said. “It was all up to me. I just stayed aggressive, and it was a good night.”

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Porter stated it was his first 50-point game since he was in fourth grade. He went 9-of-15 from 3-point range.

“For him to be successful, he’s going to have to be someone who can make those shots,” Rockets coach Stephen Silas said. “Just seeing the hard work that he puts in was great.”

The breakout game comes just one day after Porter was fined $50,000 by the league for violating its COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Porter violated the NBA’s rules against attending indoor social gatherings of 15 or more people and entering bars and similar establishments when he went to a Miami club on April 19, the league said.

Porter also missed three games because of the protocols after the strip club visit with teammate Sterling Brown.

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Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry ‘still sore’ from tailbone bruise, out vs. Philadelphia 76ers

Golden State Warriors star guard Stephen Curry will miss Tuesday night’s match versus the Philadelphia 76ers because of a tailbone bruise — the third consecutive game he will sit out after suffering the injury in Wednesday’s victory over the Houston Rockets.

“He’s not going to play [Tuesday],” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after Monday’s practice.

“He did not practice today. He’s still pretty sore. And so we’re going to continue to list him as day-to-day, but still sore today and went through some activities in the training room, strengthening, and movement-wise. And he’s not ready to go … I talked to him today, he just said “It’s still sore.'”

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Curry, 33, suffered the injury after tripping over a riser and falling hard on his tailbone after taking an off-balance 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter Wednesday.

Despite the setback, Kerr stays optimistic that Curry will be back on the floor soon.

“It’s not something we’re concerned about,” Kerr said. “But it’s obviously going to take more time.”

Kerr did say there was an opportunity that young big men James Wiseman and Eric Paschall could play in Tuesday’s game after missing close to a week because of COVID-19 protocols. They have missed three straight games.

“Eric and James could possibly play [Tuesday],” Kerr said. “They were not allowed to practice today. We are hopeful that everything goes fine with their testing, which it has been, but they have to complete another couple of tests, and if they do then there’s a chance they’ll be available [Tuesday] night.”

Veteran big man Kevon Looney was back at Monday’s practice after missing Saturday’s game because of COVID-19 protocols. Looney stated he had a false positive and the rest of his tests have come back negative.

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James Harden has triple-double in Houston return, Nets roll

The No. 13 on his jersey, James Harden won so many matches for the Houston Rockets.

On Wednesday night in the first meeting with his former team, No. 13 had a triple-double for the Brooklyn Nets to send the reeling Rockets to their 13th consecutive loss.

“A lot of mixed emotions from the fans but I knew that was going to happen,” Harden said. “I just wanted to come out here and give them a show.”

He did that with 29 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists in the 132-114 triumph. The Nets set a franchise record with their seventh straight road victory. They’ve won 10 of their last 11 overall.

Harden has meshed well with his new team and the Nets are 17-7 since the trade. “So far, so good,” he said. “It’s everything that I signed up for. Top to bottom it’s been great.”

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It’s the longest skid for the Rockets, who had just eight players available because of injuries, since they dropped 15 in a row in 2001. They’ve had a tough time since Harden was traded Jan. 14 and haven’t won since Feb. 4.

The Rockets used a 10-0 run, with five points from John Wall, to cut the lead to eight with about eight minutes left in the fourth. But the Nets scored the next eight points, with two 3s from Harden, to extend it to 113-97 midway through the quarter.

It’s the eighth triple-double for Harden this season and his second straight after he had 30 points, 14 rebounds and 15 assists without a turnover in an overtime triumph at San Antonio on Monday night. He didn’t play as clean of a game Wednesday when he had eight turnovers.

Harden got a mixed reception from the crowd.

Many of the 3,615 fans booed when he was introduced before the game and more boos came the first few times he touched the ball.

He stated it was a “little weird” being on the visitor’s side but denied having any extra emotions.

“Once I get on that court I’m just trying to win,” he said. “So that was kind of my feeling. I wasn’t trying to show off. I wasn’t trying to do anything out of the ordinary that I haven’t been doing. Just playing my brand of basketball.”

The Rockets played a video showcasing some of the countless highlights of his eight seasons in Houston during a timeout in the first quarter. There were more cheers than boos as it played. Harden stepped out of the huddle and raised his arms before placing his hands in a praying position to acknowledge the fans as it ended.

“You could tell it meant something to him,” coach Steve Nash said. “This place is special to James. Houston means a lot to him … so I know it was a big game for him. I was proud of the way he handled it.”

Wall had a season-high 36 points, and Victor Oladipo also set his season high with 33.

Houston coach Stephen Silas stated the strong play of those two stars is an encouraging sign amid this difficult stretch.

“It lets us know that when we get back and we’re healthy and we’re whole and we are in a position where we have enough guys to compete we’re going to be just fine,” he said.

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Pistons acquire Trevor Ariza, No. 16 pick in NBA draft in trade with Rockets

The Houston Rockets and Detroit Pistons have settled to a trade ahead of the 2020 NBA Draft. Houston will send Trevor Ariza and the No. 16 overall pick in this year’s draft to Detroit in exchange for a future first-round pick, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. 

That future pick from the Pistons will be heavily protected, however, according to The Athletic’s James Edwards III, and it’s likely it will eventually turn into multiple second-round picks.

In addition, the Rockets will obtain the Pistons’ 2021 second-round pick — via the Los Angeles Lakers — for $4.6 million.  Earlier this week, the Rockets acquired Ariza and two first-round picks — one of which was No. 16 overall — from the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Robert Covington.

With their own first-round pick already owed to the Denver Nuggets, the Rockets now do not have a first-round pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. 

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This was, first and foremost, a cost-cutting move by the Rockets, which isn’t surprising given their ownership situation.

It will also give them a bit of cap flexibility by allowing them to use their mid-level exception now that Ariza is off the books. Whether they’ll do so, however, remains to be seen.

There are obviously bigger issues at hand for the Rockets, with both James Harden and Russell Westbrook agitating to move elsewhere.  As for the Pistons, this was a savvy bit of business to take advantage of the Rockets’ financial desperation.

Barring the unlikely scenario that the pick they owe the Rockets conveys, they essentially got a free first-rounder for taking Ariza off the Rockets’ hands. And they’ll probably be able to move Ariza elsewhere for even more future assets.

Even though this isn’t the best draft class of all time, the Pistons need all the young talent they can get, and another shot at the draft surely doesn’t hurt. 

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Mike D’Antoni tells Houston Rockets he won’t return as coach

Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni has informed the franchise that he’s becoming a coaching free agent and won’t return to the Rockets next campaign, D’Antoni told ESPN on Sunday.

“It’s with tremendous sadness and gratitude that my wife Laurel and I announce that our incredible journey in Houston has ended for now and that we’ll be moving to a new chapter,” D’Antoni told ESPN in a statement.

D’Antoni, whose contract expired with the end of Houston’s season in the Western Conference semifinals on Saturday, turned down extension offers prior to the season. He will be considered among a group of candidates for the Philadelphia 76ers coaching opening, sources tell ESPN.

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D’Antoni was 217-102 in his four campaigns as Rockets coach, advancing once to the Western Conference finals and three times to the conference semifinals.

D’Antoni, a two-time NBA Coach of the Year, led the Rockets to the highest winning percentage in the Western Conference over the last four years (.682), trailing only the Toronto Raptors (.695) in the entire league.

Only the Golden State Warriors (46), Boston Celtics (33), and Raptors (31) have more playoff triumphs than the Rockets (28) in D’Antoni’s four-year run in Houston.

The Athletic reported Sunday morning D’Antoni had not “completely ruled out the possibility of a return.” None of these answers or reports were definitive and the reports all season were that D’Antoni wasn’t likely to stay in Houston.

For the Rockets, it will be difficult to find a replacement that is on par with the impact that Mike D’Antoni provides. He has been key in James Harden emerging as a superstar and that’s why the former MVP expressed he wanted D’Antoni to be brought back.

It’s early in the process but the Rockets have been linked to Jeff Van Gundy as a potential candidate. He has been in the broadcast booth for years as he last coached in the NBA in 2007 when he was in Houston. There should be plenty of other candidates to enter the mix, too.

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Houston Rockets to sign verterans Green, Carroll

The Houston Rockets are keeping busy during the All-Star break, with plans to sign veteran forwards DeMarre Carroll and Jeff Green, according to multiple media reports Monday.

Green, who has been a free agent since Utah Jazz waived him on December 24, is estimated to sign a 10-day contract as early as Tuesday, according to league sources at ESPN.

Sources indicate he will be offered a deal for the rest of the season if he feels comfortable enough to commit to it.

Carroll, who took a buyout from the San Antonio Spurs on Monday after playing only 15 games (averaging 2.2 points, 2.1 rebounds a game), needs to clear waivers before signing with the Rockets.

“I don’t know what went wrong, what happened,” Carroll said via the San Antonio Express-News about his short stint with the Spurs after signing as a free agent last summer.

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“I felt like San Antonio was going to be a great place for me, for my talents, but it didn’t work out.”

Carroll, 33, is in his 11th NBA campaign, having started his career with the Memphis Grizzlies in 2009 after they made him a first-round pick in that year’s NBA draft.

During the 2010-11 season, he played for the Rockets, and also had stints with the Denver Nuggets (2011-12), Utah Jazz (2011-13), Atlanta Hawks (2013-15), Toronto Raptors (2015-17) and Brooklyn Nets (2017-19). In 569 career games, he has averaged 9.0 points and 4.3 rebounds.

The six-foot-eight Green, also 33, has career averages of 13.0 points and 4.4 rebounds a game while playing for eight NBA franchises, beginning his 13-year career with the Seattle SuperSonics in 2007-08.

During his time with the franchise that became the Oklahoma City Thunder, Green was team-mates with current Rockets players James Harden and Russell Westbrook. His other stops included the Boston Celtics, Grizzlies, Los Angeles Clippers, Orlando Magic, Cleveland Cavaliers and Washington Wizards.

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Houston Rockets at San Antonio Spurs

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The San Antonio Spurs come into tonight’s game coming off their worst loss of the season, one of ESPN’s patented “Game of the Century of the Week”s against the Golden State Warriors. As the Dubs like to do, they ran through the Spurs to the tune of a 30-point win. Luckily for the Rockets they will get a pissed off Spurs squad looking to get back on track.

Houston comes into the game on a 3-game winning streak, coinciding with Josh Smith’s return to the team. Smoove’s presence has been noticeable in every area except the points column in the box score. He’s doing everything else for Houston that the Rockets don’t normally do, including nurturing ball movement and actually playing defense.

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The Houston Rockets look to stay red hot after winning nine of their last 12 games. The Houston Rockets are averaging 104.9 points on 44.6 percent shooting and allowing 105.6 points on 46.4 percent shooting. James Harden is averaging 27.7 points and seven assists while Trevor Ariza is averaging 12.3 points and 4.7 rebounds. Terrence Jones is grabbing 4.7 rebounds and Patrick Beverley is dishing 2.6 assists. The Houston Rockets are shooting 35.4 percent from beyond the arc and 71.4 percent from the free throw line. The Rockets are allowing 36.1 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 42.9 rebounds per game. The Houston Rockets have split their last 10 road games. Dwight Howard is questionable with an ankle injury.

The San Antonio Spurs haven’t lost back-to-back games since February. The San Antonio Spurs are averaging 103.9 points on 48.9 percent shooting and allowing 90.4 points on 42.8 percent shooting. Kawhi Leonard is averaging 20 points and 2.6 assists while LaMarcus Aldridge is averaging 15.6 points and 8.7 rebounds. Tony Parker is dishing five assists and David West is grabbing four rebounds. The San Antonio Spurs are shooting 38.4 percent from beyond the arc and 78.8 percent from the free throw line. The Spurs are allowing 32 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 45 rebounds per game. The San Antonio Spurs haven’t lost a home game since March 12th. Tim Duncan is questionable with a knee injury.

The Spurs last played the Rockets earlier this month in a win that coincided with the first scoreless game of Tim Duncan’s career. Duncan’s sitting out a second straight gamedue to his knee, suggesting his DNP against Golden State was likely not part of a calculated mindgame by Gregg Popovich.

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Detroit Pistons at Houston Rockets

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Detroit Pistons (22-19) vs. Houston Rockets (22-21)
When: 8 p.m.
Where: Toyota Center.

These two teams have similar records and are both the seventh seeds in their respective conferences, but have taken different routes to get there. The Pistons are trying to end the longest playoff drought in the Eastern Conference and are taking their lumps (Monday’s loss to Chicago) while making an impact on the national scene (Saturday’s win over Golden State). The Rockets were in the Western Conference finals a season ago, but stumbled out of the gate and head coach Kevin McHale paid for it with his job. James Harden, Dwight Howard and crew have since rebounded.

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The 140 points scored by the Clippers on Monday were the most the Rockets have allowed since the Mavericks scored 156 in April, 1995. … The Rockets are 6-9 against Eastern Conference teams after going 23-7 last season. … After scoring a season-low 77 points against the Cavaliers, the Rockets averaged 122 in back-to-back games against the Lakers and Clippers. … Guard Pat Beverley left Monday’s game with soreness in his sprained left ankle. He had sat out Sunday against the Lakers and missed the only two shots he took against the Clippers. … The Rockets trailed by 28 points against the Pistons in November, cutting the lead to as few as four points before the Pistons pulled away for a 116-105 win.

The Pistons have lost 3 of their past 4 games and are 8-12 on the road. … They rank 28th in field goal percentage and 30th in free throw percentage. … The Pistons are ninth in defensive rating, allowing 100.3 points per 100 possessions. … The Pistons starting lineup — Ersan Ilyasova, Marcus Morris, Andre Drummond, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Reggie Jackson — has played nearly 300 minutes more together than any starting lineup in the NBA. Every starter is averaging in double figures.

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Houston Rockets at Memphis Grizzlies

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WHO: Memphis Grizzlies (21-18, 13-6 Home) vs. Houston Rockets (19-19, 7-10 Away)
WHERE: FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee
WHEN: 7:00 PM CT

After delivering stirring comebacks to extend their winning streaks, the Memphis Grizzlies and Houston Rockets each hope they’ve finally put their sluggish starts behind.

One of the Southwest Division rivals will be able to maintain momentum when the teams square off Tuesday night.

The Grizzlies will be looking for a third straight win tonight after sneaking past the Celtics in a 101-98 win on Sunday. Zach Randolph led the team in scoring with 25 points off the bench, Mario Chalmers had 18 points and Tony Allen had 15 as the Grizzlies won despite falling behind by 34-16 after the first quarter. The Grizzlies shot just 37 percent from the field and they committed 21 turnovers, but they dominated the boards by 58-39 and connected on 35 of 40 free-throw attempts. With the hard-fought win, Memphis improved to 21-18 on the season and 13-6 at home.

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The Rockets will be gunning for a fourth straight win after their thrilling 107-103 overtime win over the Pacers on Sunday. Trevor Ariza led the scoring with 24 points while Dwight Howard and James Harden added 21 points each as the Rockets rallied from a 12-point deficit midway through the fourth quarter to force overtime and steal the unlikely win. With the victory, Houston improves to 19-19 on the season and 12-9 at home.

INJURY REPORT:

Memphis: Mike Conley (Achilles)- QUESTIONABLE. Jordan Adams (Knee), Brandan Wright (Knee), Jarell Martin (Foot)- OUT

Houston: Ty Lawson (Suspension), Sam Dekker (Back), Donatas Motiejunas (Back)- OUT

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