Tagged in: San Antonio Spurs

Rockets rally past Spurs 109-105 in 1st game without Harden

Houston’s first game without James Harden went better than anyone could have expected.

Christian Wood had 27 points and 15 rebounds, and the Rockets rallied to defeat the San Antonio Spurs 109-105 on Thursday night in their first game since trading away the franchise cornerstone.

“It was fun. It was really cool stuff,” Houston’s first-year coach Stephen Silas said.

Sterling Brown, who took Harden’s spot in the starting lineup, had 23 points, seven rebounds and three assists in 36 minutes. Jae’Sean Tate added 13 points, 10 assists and five rebounds.

San Antonio forward Keldon Johnson had a career-high 29 points and Lonnie Walker IV added 16 points while tying a career-high with four 3-pointers. Houston sent Harden to the Brooklyn Nets in a four-team blockbuster trade on Wednesday. 

Victor Oladipo, Dante Exum and Rodions Kurucs, who the Rockets acquired along with numerous draft picks and draft swaps for Harden, are not with the team yet.

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It was Houston’s first match without Harden since 2012, when Oklahoma City traded its young guard to the Rockets primarily due to salary cap constraints.

Harden remained publicly quiet through months of rumors about his unhappiness with the Rockets, but he broke that silence following a second blowout loss to the Lakers on Tuesday. He bluntly said the Rockets were “just not good enough” and that he did not believe the situation could be fixed.

Houston showed otherwise, at least in their first chance to do so.

“We had a team meeting after that last game against the Lakers and we drew the line there,” Tate said. “Everybody has so much to prove.”

The Rockets were also without John Wall and Eric Gordon due to injuries. The upheaval led to more minutes for the remaining roster, and they took advantage of it.

“Spirit is something I believe a lot in and talk a lot about,” Silas said. “We had spirit tonight.”

Seven players scored at least nine points, with Mason Jones scoring a career-high nine points.

The Rockets staged a 15-2 run to lead 105-101 with 1:46 left.

“It’s got nothing to do with defense (or) offense,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of the late swoon. “It has to do with between the ears and being ready to play. And we had four or five guys who were out to lunch.”

Brown had a wild, overhead shot land on the top of the backboard for an out-of-bounds call with 9.5 seconds remaining. San Antonio veteran DeMar DeRozan missed a 15-footer with 0.4 seconds left, and the Spurs fouled P.J. Tucker, who made two free throws to seal it.

DeRozan had 13 points, seven assists and six rebounds in his return from a two-game absence due to personal reasons.

The teams meet again Saturday at the AT&T Center in the finale of a two-game set in San Antonio.

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Harden returns to Rockets, scores 12 in preseason debut

James Harden was back in a Houston uniform.

It’s still uncertain how many more times that’ll happen.

The three-time defending NBA scoring champion made his preseason debut with the Rockets on Tuesday night, after practicing only one time with his team following a late arrival to training camp amid incessant trade speculation. Harden scored 12 points in 21 minutes and the Rockets beat the San Antonio Spurs 112-98.

Harden also had four assists, three rebounds and two steals. He checked out for the final time with 5:02 left in the third quarter, having missed his final four shots.

John Wall and Ben McLemore each had 15 points for the Rockets, who got 11 points apiece from Eric Gordon and Jae’Sean Tate and 11 rebounds from DeMarcus Cousins. Lonnie Walker IV scored 17 for the Spurs, who got 13 points, seven assists and five rebounds from Dejounte Murray. LaMarcus Aldridge scored 12, while Rudy Gay and Devin Vassell each added 11 for San Antonio.

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Harden seemed anything but disinterested to start his first live game action of the season.

He stood immediately to the right of new Rockets coach Stephen Silas in the pregame huddle, his eyes staring intently at whatever Silas was sketching up before taking the floor.

His first shot was a made straightaway 3-pointer, his second attempt led to him getting fouled from beyond the arc and making three free throws.

So, his shooting touch was there, at least at the outset — as was his touch on passes. He connected with Danuel House on a three-quarter-court chest pass to set up a dunk late in the opening quarter, timing clearly not much of an issue after a couple months off.

Harden went 3 for 10 from the field, including 2 for 6 from 3-point range. He also went 4 for 5 at the free-throw line.

The Rockets lost guard Chris Clemons with 9:58 left, after he was taken off the court in a wheelchair. Clemons made a 3-pointer for an 87-74 Houston lead, and after retreating to the defensive end for the ensuing possession, appeared to take a bad step and immediately started reaching for his right Achilles area.

There was no immediate diagnosis of Clemons’ injury. There are four matches Wednesday, followed by seven on Thursday, eight on Friday and then three in the preseason finales Saturday. The regular season starts on Dec. 22.

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Spurs LaMarcus Aldridge out for season after shoulder surgery

Seven-time All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge will miss the rest of San Antonio’s season while he recovers from surgery on his right shoulder, a major blow to the Spurs’ postseason probabilities, assuming the season continues as planned.

The Spurs announced Monday that Aldridge had the surgery on April 24, stemming from an injury he suffered in a game at Utah on Feb. 21.

San Antonio is one of the 22 teams will that report to the ESPN Wide Wide Of Sports complex at the Disney campus near Orlando, Florida, starting next month, when the NBA plans to resume its season. The Spurs have been to the playoffs in 22 consecutive campaigns, matching the longest streak in NBA history.

When play resumes, the Spurs will be among four teams — the others being Portland, New Orleans and Sacramento — that are all separated by a half-game in the race for ninth place in the Western Conference and potentially a berth in a play-in series. The gap between those four teams is .010 percentage points. Aldridge played in two more games after getting hurt, including one on March 10, when he scored 24 points in the Spurs’ win over Dallas. The NBA suspended its season the following day because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Aldridge turns 35 next month. He concludes this season averaging 18.9 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.

The Spurs say Aldridge “is expected to be fully cleared for all basketball activities” in time for training camp ahead of next season. Based on the NBA’s current calendar plans, training camps for 2020-21 are likely to start in November.

San Antonio now has very few options to turn to in their frontcourt, and that comes down to a number of poor decisions on their part. During the offseason, they traded future star shooter Davis Bertans to the Washington Wizards in order to create the cap space to sign Marcus Morris, who then reneged on their agreement to join the New York Knicks. Only three days before Aldridge’s injury, the Spurs bought out versatile forward DeMarre Carroll, allowing him to join the Houston Rockets. That will force the Spurs to rely on younger players like Trey Lyles, Luka Samanic and Chimezie Metu. 

If nothing else, that will give San Antonio a glimpse into its future. Aldridge will turn 35 in July, and his contract expires after next season. Aldridge’s days as a superstar for the Spurs were limited as it was. After this injury, both his future and San Antonio’s are in even greater doubt.

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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

 Houston Rockets at San Antonio SpursCheck WagerWeb and find the best betting site!!!!

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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San Antonio Spurs at Brooklyn Nets

 San Antonio Spurs at Brooklyn Nets Check WagerWeb and find the best betting site!!!!

The Spurs maintained their perfect home record against the Knicks, if only by the slightest of margins. They get back on the road where they are a less than an amazing 10-6 this year.

The Spurs have been on an absolute tear lately, but they certainly weren’t quite at their best in Friday’s 100-99 home win over the Knicks. Kawhi Leonard led the team in scoring with 19 points while LaMarcus Aldridge, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili chipped in with 16 points each as the Spurs escaped with the narrow win to stay undefeated at home. With the win, San Antonio improves to 32-6 on the season and a league-best 22-0 at home.

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The Nets have lost five of their last six and are in danger of losing a fifth straight game after falling to the Pistons by 103-89 on Saturday. Brook Lopez led the team with 19 points on eight of 11 shooting while Donald Sloan added 15 points off the bench, but once again the Nets found themselves playing catch up after falling behind by double digits in the first quarter. With the loss, Brooklyn falls to 10-27 on the season and 4-14 on the road.

In ATS trends, the Spurs are 5-1 ATS in their last six games against a team below .400 and 5-2 ATS in their last seven road games, while the Nets are 0-4 ATS in their last four games overall and 0-4 ATS in their last four home games.

Head to head, the Spurs are 20-7-1 ATS in the last 28 meetings overall and 12-3 ATS in the last 15 meetings in Brooklyn.

Starters

San Antonio Spurs (32-6)

  • Tony Parker
  • Danny Green
  • Kawhi Leonard
  • LaMarcus Aldridge
  • Tim Duncan

Brooklyn Nets (10-27)

  • Shane Larkin
  • Bojan Bogdanovic
  • Joe Johnson
  • Thaddeus Young
  • Brook Lopez

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