Nets lose Harden but beat Rockets, move into first in East
Houston Rockets' Kevin Porter Jr. (3) and Jae'Sean Tate (8) defend against Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, March 31, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)NEW YORK – Kyrie Irving had 31 points and a season-high 12 assists, and the Brooklyn Nets overcame the loss of James Harden to beat the Houston Rockets 120-108 on Wednesday night and move into first place in the Eastern Conference. Harden sat out the fourth quarter against his former team with right hamstring tightness, finishing with 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists. The Rockets jumped to a 24-6 lead, with an 8-for-9 start that included makes on all five 3-point attempts. The Rockets listed the injury as a left knee effusion and it's unknown whether it will keep him out longer.
Rockets lose team-record 20th straight game, fall to Thunder
(AP Photo/Michael Wyke)HOUSTON – Mired in a long losing streak, the Houston Rockets twice put the ball in John Wall's hands in the waning moments. The Rockets lost their team-record 20th straight game, falling to the Oklahoma City Thunder 114-112 Sunday when Wall missed two shots in the final 10 seconds. This one hurts.”Dort scored 23 points and Isaiah Roby had 18 for the Thunder, who led by as many as 13 points. They shot a sizzling 14 of 21 on 3s in the second quarter, however, and Oklahoma City led 66-62 at halftime. The Rockets hit a franchise-record 28 3s in a win against the Thunder on Feb. 1, just three days before their last win.
Butler scores 29 as Heat beat Magic for 4th straight win
ORLANDO, Fla. – Jimmy Butler started Sunday night’s game against Orlando by winning the opening tip and ended it with a steal and win-sealing layup as the Miami Heat topped the Magic 102-97. In between, the standout guard was pretty good, too, helping the Heat win their fourth straight and for a 10th time in 11 games. Butler’s defense led to 23 Orlando turnovers and 26 points off those mistakes for the Heat. The Magic, who are 1-2 this season against the rival Heat, haven’t won since Feb. 21. … GM Anthony Parker and head coach Stan Heath of the G League champion Lakeland Magic attended Sunday’s game.
James Harden headed to Nets in blockbuster multiteam deal
Houston Rockets' James Harden leaves the court following a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in an NBA basketball game Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in Houston. The Nets acquired the three-time scoring champion from the Houston Rockets in a deal that became official on Thursday, a move Harden has sought for weeks. Harden is the centerpiece of a deal that also involved Cleveland and grew to a fourth team when Indiana, made a separate deal with Houston. All are under contract through 2022-23, with Harden and Durant both set to earn more than $40 million in each of the next two seasons. Brooklyn expects Harden to leave all that behind him and that his transition to the Nets will be smooth.
Harden says 'crazy' Rockets situation can't be fixed
Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) and coach Stephen Silas, right, react after a play during the second quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers in an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Houston. (Troy Taormina/Pool Photo via AP)HOUSTON – James Harden publicly acknowledged his discord with the Houston Rockets for the first time Tuesday night following back-to-back blowout losses to the Los Angeles Lakers. He’s averaged at least 25 points per game in each of his eight full seasons with the Rockets. The Rockets are 3-6 and looked completely overmatched in their last two games against the reigning champions. Wall was asked how he and Harden have worked together on the court so far after Tuesday's game.
Wood scores 22 to lead Rockets to 132-90 rout of Orlando
(AP Photo/Michael Wyke)HOUSTON – Christian Wood scored 22 points and tied a career high with 15 rebounds to lead the Houston Rockets to a 132-90 rout of the short-handed Orlando Magic on Friday night. Tucker with about five minutes left in the third. Houston’s starters didn’t play in the fourth quarter and coach Stephen Silas cleared the bench with about five minutes left and his team up 117-78. Harden had 15 points and 13 assists, and Tucker added 15 points. Rockets: McLemore made his season debut on Friday after missing the beginning of the season in quarantine for COVID-19 reasons.
Harden scratched late from Rockets' game with ankle sprain
Sacramento Kings Harrison Barnes gets a hand on Houston Rockets guard James Harden during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday Dec. 31, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Richard Carson)HOUSTON – Houston star James Harden was scratched from the Rockets' game Saturday game against the Sacramento Kings less than an hour before tipoff because of a sprained right ankle. Harden was not listed on the injury report and coach Stephen Silas did not mention his injury in his pregame availability. The team announced that he wouldn't play about 38 minutes before the game was scheduled to begin. He has started each of Houston's games this season and is averaging a league-leading 37 points with 11 assists a game.
McCollum scores 44 to lift Trail Blazers past Rockets in OT
(AP Photo/Steve Dykes)PORTLAND, Ore. – CJ McCollum scored 44 points, including a 3-pointer with 6.3 seconds left that gave the Portland Trail Blazers a 128-126 win over the Houston Rockets on Saturday night. Lillard's layup pushed the Blazers ahead 125-123 with 30 seconds left in overtime, but Harden made a 3 to push the Rockets ahead with 15.3 seconds left. Then with 6.3 seconds left, the ball found McCollum again and the Blazers' guard hit another long range shot putting Portland ahead 128-126. After Wood cut the Blazers lead to 123-120 with a layup, Harden tied the game again at 123 with 38.6 seconds left. After a missed 3-pointer by Lillard, Houston’s PJ Tucker was called for a loose ball foul on the rebound with 32 seconds left.
Harden practices with Rockets; coach says he'll play Tuesday
HOUSTON – James Harden practiced with the Houston Rockets on Monday for the first time this season after missing the early part of camp while talk swirls that he wants out. Coach Stephen Silas said he spoke with the superstar Monday, but they talked strictly basketball and neither addressed a possible trade. He’s bringing up good points.”So far asking Harden anything hasn’t been an option — the Beard hasn’t spoken to reporters since reporting to camp. Silas said that Harden will make his preseason debut Tuesday night when the Rockets host the Spurs. Silas, in his first year in Houston after taking over for Mike D’Antoni, has said he expects Harden to be “all in” this season.
John Wall back on floor, NBA opens preseason in empty arenas
Orlando Magic coach Steve Clifford talks to players during a timeout in the first half of the team's NBA preseason basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks on Friday, Dec. 11, 2020, in Atlanta. The NBA preseason — a truncated 49-game, nine-day sprint — opened Friday with a five-game slate, action returning to NBA arenas for the first time in exactly nine months. 8 pick Obi Toppin of the Knicks, got their first NBA minutes. Paul George had 10 for the Clippers and Kawhi Leonard managed three in 14 minutes. Both teams shot exactly 30 for 84 from the field, and none of the Clippers' starters logged even 15 minutes.
Harden in Houston for COVID tests after missing camp's start
HOUSTON – James Harden is back in Houston after missing the start of Rockets training camp and was going through the NBA’s COVID-19 testing protocols on Tuesday. “But him being here shows a level of commitment to what we have going and what we have going forward. The Rockets have expressed no interest in trading Harden despite months of reports that he wants to leave the team. “Trust is built day to day, once the relationship begins, then we’ll begin that process of trust,” Silas said. But that’s the NBA and the NBA isn’t going to be roses every day.
Rockets coach Silas unsure when Harden will report to camp
HOUSTON – James Harden hasn’t reported to Houston Rockets camp and coach Stephen Silas said Monday that he didn’t know when the All-Star guard would arrive. The Rockets had their second workout of training camp on Monday and afterward the new coach addressed the absence of the disgruntled star who reportedly wants to be traded. “As far as timetable, there’s no timetable as far as I know,” Silas told reporters when asked when Harden would arrive. We’re just trying to work piece by piece.”The Rockets are intent on keeping Harden as the centerpiece of their team. Silas isn’t sure why the eight-time All-Star and 2018 MVP is not at camp and wouldn’t speculate about the motivation for his absence.
AP sources: Rockets hiring Stephen Silas to replace D'Antoni
The Houston Rockets and Stephen Silas have an agreement for the Dallas assistant to replace Mike D'Antoni as coach, multiple people with knowledge of the deal said Wednesday. Silas inherits a team led by a pair of former MVPs in Harden and Russell Westbrook. The longtime NBA assistant has worked worked with elite guards before, most recently in two seasons with the Mavericks and 21-year-old sensation Luka Doncic. The nine seasons as a Charlotte assistant for Silas included time with Kemba Walker, and he was with Golden State when the Warriors drafted Stephen Curry in 2009. Paul Silas spent 16 years as a player in the NBA and another 22 as a coach.
Clippers roll past Mavericks 154-111 to take 3-2 series lead
Montrezl Harrell added 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Clippers, who set a franchise record for points in a playoff game. Los Angeles can clinch the series on Thursday. Leonard scored 22 points and Paul George scored 18 to help Los Angeles take a 76-52 lead at halftime. TIP-INSMavericks: Doncic was issued a technical foul in the second quarter. ... Hardaway and Los Angeles' Marcus Morris were called for double technicals in the second quarter.