Tag: james

The Houston Rockets grab a 119-109 victory over the defending champions, Toronto Raptors

The Houston Rockets grab a 119-109 victory over the defending champions, Toronto Raptors

Friday, December 6, 2019

The Toronto Raptors recently saw their seven-game win streak come to an end as they fell to the Miami Heat on Tuesday, 121-110, in overtime.  They will look to start up another streak as they host the Houston Rockets at the Scotiabank Arena tonight.  The Rockets, on the other hand, are coming fresh off a 135-133 loss they took in the hands of the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday in double overtime.

A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY:

The Raptors and the Rockets have met up a grand total of 47 times in the past as the Raptors won 20 games while the Rockets went on to win 27 of the matchups.

INACTIVES:

Houston Rockets:

-Eric Gordon (knee; 10.9 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 0.8 APG, 30.9 FG%, 28.4 3P%)
-Gerald Green (foot)
-NeNe (abductor)
-Tyson Chandler (coach’s decision; 1.7 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 0.3 APG, 76.5 FG%)
-Gary Clark (coach’s decision; 3.0 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 0.7 APG, 36.4 FG%, 27.8 3P%)
-Isaiah Hartenstein (coach’s decision; 4.4 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 0.6 APG, 73.3 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
-Michael Frazier (G-League)

Toronto Raptors:

-Stanley Johnson (groin; 1.4 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 0.0 APG, 33.3 FG%, 25.0 3P%)
-Patrick McCaw (knee; 4.0 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 1.5 APG, 60.0 FG%, 33.3 3P%)
-Matt Thomas (finger; 4.8 PPG, 1.1 RPG, 0.3 APG, 54.1 FG%, 53.8 3P%)
-Oshae Brissett (coach’s decision; 0.8 PPG, 0.3 RPG, 0.3 APG, 33.3 FG%, 100.0 3P%)
-Dewan Hernandez (coach’s decision; 1.3 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 0.0 APG, 20.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
-Malcolm Miller (coach’s decision; 2.3 PPG, 0.6 RPG, 0.5 APG, 54.5 FG%, 50.0 3P%)
-Shamorie Ponds (2.0 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 1.0 APG, 50.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)

GAMETIME:

The Houston Rockets would have a slight advantage in the first half as they shot forty-six percent from the field, keeping the Toronto Raptors to forty-two percent.  Ben McLemore scored 14 points while knocking down four three-pointers in the process.  P.J. Tucker helped out with 11 points which included 3 three-pointers.  He also had seven rebounds and two assists.

Russell Westbrook had nine points on just thirty-three percent shooting.  He did, however, record four rebounds and six assists while James Harden was held to just six points.  Danuel House played the most minutes off the bench as he chalked up sixteen points.

On the other end of the court, Pascal Siakam, who is averaging 25 points per game this season, got hot for eighteen points.  He had two three-pointers in the first period while Fred VanVleet contributed with nine points.  VanVleet also had two three-pointers while recording three rebounds, five assists, one steal, and a block.

Kyle Lowry had eight points which also held two three-pointers.  OG Anunoby earned himself five points while Marc Gasol was kept scoreless.  Norman Powell played ten minutes off the bench as he had six points while the Rockets went into halftime with a 63-55 lead.

The defending champions attempted to make a comeback in the second half as they shot forty-three percent from the field, keeping the Texas ball club to thirty-four percent shooting.  Kyle Lowry had eleven points as he shot a perfect one-hundred percent from the field.  He was able to bury a trey in the third quarter while grabbing three rebounds and dishing off four assists.

VanVleet also had eleven points, knocking down a shot from beyond the arc, as well.  Siakam helped out with six points while Gasol scored five points.  Powell played the most minutes off the bench as he earned himself eight points.

As for the Rockets, Harden and Westbrook combined for 27 points while Harden had three-pointers.  He also recorded five rebounds, two steals, and a block while Westbrook had nine rebounds, five assists, and a steal.  McLemore chalked up 14 points, earning twelve of them from beyond the arc and the other two from the free-throw line.

Former Los Angeles Clippers’ guard Austin Rivers played 18 minutes off the bench but only had six points but the Rockets were still able to pull away with a 119 to 109 victory.  Ben McLemore finished the game with a season-high 28 points, along with 2 rebounds, a season-high-tying 3 assists, and a steal while Pascal Siakam had 24 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, a season-high-tying 2 steals, and one block.

So…what’s next?

The Houston Rockets will host Devin Booker (24.1 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 6.2 APG, 50.4 FG%, 40.7 3P%) and the Phoenix Suns (9-11) on Saturday at 8:00 p.m.  This will mark the first of four matchups between these two ball clubs this season.

The Toronto Raptors will head to Pennsylvania to take on Joel Embiid (22.4 PPG, 12.2 RPG, 2.9 APG, 45.4 FG%, 31.3 3P%) and the Philadephia 76ers (15-6) on Sunday at 6:00 p.m.  This will be the second of four times that they battle each other this season.  November 25 was the last time they met up as the Raptors won that game, 101-96.  Pascal Siakam finished that game with 25 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, one steal, and two blocks while Josh Richardson had 25 points, 6 rebounds, one assist, and a block.

The Lakers get by the Nuggets with a 105 to 96 victory

The Lakers get by the Nuggets with a 105 to 96 victory

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

 

The Los Angeles Lakers ten-game win streak came to an end on Sunday as they fell to Luka Doncic-led Dallas Mavericks, 114-100.  That game marked the first of many difficult games for the Lakers this December as they will play only four times at the Staples Center this month.  The Lakers will hope to grab a win tonight, though, as they battle the Denver Nuggets in Colorado.

The Nuggets, on the other hand, just recently came off a streak of their own.  On Saturday, they lost to the Sacramento Kings in a 100-97 overtime loss, ending their six-game win streak.  Tonight’s matchup between the Nuggets and Lakers will mark the first of four times that these two teams will play each other this season.

A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY:

The Lakers and the Nuggets have battled each other a grand total of 203 times in the past as the Nuggets won 77 games while the Lakers went on to grab 126 victories.

INACTIVES:

Los Angeles Lakers:

-Avery Bradley (leg; 9.6 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 1.8 APG, 48.8 FG%, 28.6 3P%)
-DeMarcus Cousins (knee)
-Quinn Cook (coach’s decision; 5.5 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 1.6 APG, 43.8 FG%, 36.4 3P%)
-Jared Dudley (coach’s decision; 1.2 PPG, 0.8 RPG, 0.8 APG, 40.0 FG%, 57.1 3P%)
-Talen Horton-Tucker (G-League)
-Zach Norvell (G-League)
-Kostas Antetokounmpo (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.0 APG)

Denver Nuggets:

-Bol Bol (foot)
-Torrey Craig (coach’s decision; 2.8 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 1.2 APG, 34.1 FG%, 20.0 3P%)
-Michael Porter (coach’s decision; 3.7 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 0.4 APG, 44.1 FG%, 20.0 3P%)
-Jarred Vanderbilt (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.7 RPG, 0.3 APG)
-Vlatko Cancar (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.0 APG)
-PJ Dozier (G-League)

GAMETIME:

The Los Angeles Lakers would have a slight advantage in the first half as they shot forty-nine percent from the field while the Denver team shot forty-four percent.  LeBron James scored 13 points which included a three-pointer in the first period.  He also had three rebounds and three assists while Anthony Davis earned himself 10 points and seven rebounds.

Former Wizards’ center JaVale McGee contributed with four points while collecting four rebounds and blocking one shot.  Danny Green and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope combined for just four points.  Rajon Rondo played the most minutes off the bench as he scored nine points, hitting two three-pointers in the process.

On the other end of the court, Jamal Murray chalked up 11 points on fifty-percent shooting.  He also had four rebounds, two assists, and a steal while Paul Millsap had nine points.  Gary Harris chalked up four points while Nikola Jokic had three points, one rebound, five assists, and two steals.  Jerami Grant played nine minutes off the bench but only had five points as the Lakers went into the locker room with a 60-49 lead.

The Lakers would continue to impress in the second half as they shot forty-two percent from the field, keeping the Nuggets at thirty-seven percent shooting.  Davis had 15 more points to go along with three rebounds and a block.  He also had a three-pointer while James earned 12 points, three rebounds, and six assists.

As for the home team, Millsap scored 12 more points while Murray and Jokic combined for 21 points.  Gary Harris had five points but it was not enough as the Lakers came away with a 105-96 victory.  LeBron James finished with 25 points, 6 rebounds, and 9 assists while Jamal Murray had 22 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and one block.

So…what’s next?

The Los Angeles Lakers will head to Utah to take on Donovan Mitchell (24.5 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 3.6 APG, 43.5 FG%, 36.9 3P%) and the Utah Jazz (12-9) on Wednesday.  This will mark the second of four meetings between these two teams this season.  The last time they played each other was on October 25 when the Lakers beat the Jazz, 95-86.  LeBron James finished that game with 32 points, 7 rebounds, 10 assists, and one steal while Donovan Mitchell had 24 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, and one block.

The Denver Nuggets will travel to the Big Apple to battle Marcus Morris (18.7 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 1.3 APG, 42.4 FG%, 52.4 3P%) and the New York Knicks (4-17) on Thursday.  This will mark the first of two times that they will see each other this season.

The Magic creep away with a 111-109 victory over the Spurs, handing them their fourth consecutive loss

The Magic creep away with a 111-109 victory over the Spurs, handing them their fourth consecutive loss

The San Antonio Spurs are currently in a funk as they try to avoid a fourth consecutive loss.  They are coming fresh off of a 129-114 loss they took in the hands of the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday.  With a 1-3 away record, the Spurs will try their hardest to grab a victory tonight as they battle the Orlando Magic at the Amway Center.

The Magic, on the other hand, just defeated the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, 112-97.  With a 4-3 home record, the Florida team will hope to win their fifth game in the Amway Center.  This game tonight will mark the first of two meetings between these two ball clubs this season.

A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY:

The Spurs and the Magic have played each other a grand total of 61 times in the past as the Texas team won 43 games while the Magic were held to just 18 victories.

INACTIVES:

San Antonio Spurs:

-DeMarre Carroll (coach’s decision; 3.0 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 0.8 APG, 40.0 FG%, 40.0 3P%)
-Chimezie Metu (coach’s decision; 3.3 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 0.5 APG, 54.5 FG%)
-Lonnie Walker (coach’s decision; 0.7 PPG, 1.1 RPG, 0.3 APG, 16.7 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
-Keldon Johnson (G-League)
-Drew Eubanks (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 0.0 FG%)
-Quinndary Weatherspoon (G-League)
-Luka Samanic (G-League)

Orlando Magic:

-Khem Birch (coach’s decision; 1.0 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 0.3 APG, 20.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
-Melvin Frazier (coach’s decision; 2.0 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 20.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
-Amile Jefferson (coach’s decision; 3.0 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 1.0 APG, 100.0 FG%)
-Jonathan Isaac (ankle; 12.1 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.6 APG, 49.5 FG%, 35.9 3P%)
-Josh Magette (G-League; 4.0 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, 50.0 FG%)
-B.J. Johnson (G-League)

GAMETIME:

The Spurs would have control of the game in the first half as they shot fifty-three percent from the field, keeping the home team to thirty-six percent.  DeMar DeRozan got hot for 15 points, missing only three of his ten shots attempted.  He also had one defensive rebound and two assists while Bryn Forbes helped out with 3 three-pointers.  Washington-native Dejounte Murray had eight points while LaMarcus Aldridge was kept scoreless.  Rudy Gay played 12 minutes off the bench as he scored seven points.

On the other end of the court, both Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier earned nine points each, both hitting a three-pointer.  Former New Orleans Pelicans’ forward Al-Farouq Aminu chalked up eight points, including a trey in the second period.  Markelle Fultz had six points which he earned all from the free-throw line.  D.J. Augustin played the most minutes off the bench but only had five points as the Spurs went into halftime with a 56-47 lead.

The Orlando team would come back and take over in the second half as they went on a 64-53 run, shooting forty-six percent from the field.  During that run, Fournier added 17 more points to his scoring total while Nikola Vucevic earned seven points, finishing with ten points.  Fultz had seven more points Terrence Ross threw up 18 points in the 16 minutes that he played off the bench.

As for the visitors, Aldridge made up for his lack of scoring in the first half as he chalked up 13 points which included two three-pointers.  He also had three rebounds and two blocks while both Jakob Poeltl and Gay had seven points each off the bench.  DeRozan scored six points while Murray had two points.  Derrick White played the most minutes off the bench as he had a three-pointer but it was the Magic who came away with a 111-109 victory.  Evan Fournier finished with 26 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and one steal while DeMar DeRozan had 21 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists, and one steal.

So…what’s next?

The San Antonio Spurs will host Damian Lillard (30.5 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 6.9 APG, 48.2 FG%, 38.6 3P%) and the Portland Trai Blazers (4-8) on Saturday at 8:30 p.m.  This will mark the second of three times that these teams will play each other this season.  The last time they saw each other was on October 28 when the Spurs crept away with a 113-110 win.  DeMar DeRozan finished the game with 27 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 steals while Damian Lillard had 28 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 blocks.

The Orlando Magic will host Bradley Beal (28.1 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 6.4 APG, 43.4 FG%, 32.1 3P%) and the Washington Wizards (2-7) on Sunday at 6:00 p.m.  This will mark the first of four matchups between these two teams this season.

The Houston Rockets hand the Chicago Bulls a 117-94 loss

The Houston Rockets hand the Chicago Bulls a 117-94 loss

The Chicago Bulls haven’t been very impressive this season as they are sitting with a 3-6 record.  They are, however, coming fresh off of a 113-93 win they took over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday.  The Bulls will hope to grab a second straight as they host the Houston Rockets tonight at the United Center.  It will be tough, though, as the Bulls won only one game at home this season, sitting with a 1-2 home record.

The Houston Rockets, on the other hand, are in the midst of proving their doubters wrong as they hope to grab a third consecutive victory tonight.  They are coming off of a 129-112 win over the struggling Golden State Warriors on Wednesday.  This matchup between the Bulls and the Rockets tonight will mark the first of two meetings this season.

A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY:

The Chicago Bulls and the Houston Rockets have battled each other a grand total of 138 times in the past as the Bulls won 68 games while the Rockets pulled out 70 victories.

INACTIVES:

Houston Rockets:

-Gerald Green (foot)
-Nene (abductor)
-Ryan Anderson (coach’s decision; 2.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 1.0 APG, 28.6 FG%, 20.0 3P%)
-Tyson Chandler (coach’s decision; 1.8 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 0.3 APG, 87.5 FG%)
-Thabo Sefolosha (coach’s decision; 1.9 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 1.4 APG, 27.8 FG%, 27.3 3P%)
-Gary Clark (G-League)
-Michael Frazier (G-League)
-Isaiah Hartenstein (G-League)

Chicago Bulls:

-Otto Porter (foot; 11.2 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 1.6 APG, 41.7 FG%, 40.0 3P%)
-Shaquille Harrison (coach’s decision; 2.0 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 0.4 APG, 30.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
-Denzel Valentine (coach’s decision; 3.0 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 25.0 FG%, 50.0 3P%)
-Cristiano Felicio
-Adam Mokoka (G-League)
-Max Strus (G-League)

GAMETIME:

The game would be held close in the first half as the Houston Rockets shot forty-two percent from the field while the Chicago Bulls shot forty percent.  The two-time scoring champion James Harden got hot for 20 points while knocking down 3 three-pointers in the process.  He also had five rebounds, 4 assists, and one steal while Danuel House contributed with 3 three-pointers and two points from the charity stripe.

Russell Westbrook was kept to just eight points but had three defensive rebounds and two assists while Clint Capela helped out with four points.  He also had nine rebounds and three blocks while P.J. Tucker had just one point.  Indiana-native Eric Gordon played the most minutes off the bench but only had a three-pointer in the second quarter.

As for the home team, Zach LaVine scored 11 points, which held a three-pointer in the before halftime.  Lauri Markkanen contributed with eight points but shot only twenty-eight percent from the field.  Wendell Carter had eight points, as well, along with eight rebounds and one block.  Coby White played fourteen minutes off the bench but only had three points while the Rockets went into the locker room with a tight 50-49 advantage.

The Texas team would take over in the second half as they went on a huge 67-45 run, shooting fifty percent from the field.  During that run, Harden earned 22 more points which included six three-pointers.  Westbrook made up for his scoring performance in the first half as he chalked up eighteen points while grabbing four rebounds.  Austin Rivers played the most minutes off the bench but only had a three-pointer.

On the other end of the court, both Markkanen and Carter had five points each while Tomas Satoransky earned six points.  White had seven points in the 12 minutes he played off the bench but it was the Rockets who came away with a 117-94 victory.  James Harden finished the game with 42 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists, and 2 steals while Lauri Markkanen had 13 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 steals.  Both Carter and Thaddeus Young had 13 points each, as well.

So…what’s next?

The Houston Rockets will travel to Louisiana to battle Brandon Ingram (25.9 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 4.3 APG, 55.2 FG%, 48.6 3P%) and the New Orleans Pelicans (1-6) on Monday at 8:00 p.m.  This will mark the second of four matchups between these two teams this season.  The last time they saw each other was on October 26 when the Rockets walked away with a 126-123 win.  James Harden finished with 29 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, and one steal while Ingram had 35 points, 15 rebounds, and 5 assists.

The Chicago Bulls will host R.J. Barrett (17.9 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 3.9 APG, 42.4 FG%, 36.7 3P%) and the New York Knicks (1-7) on Tuesday at 8:00 p.m.  This will be the second of four meetings between these two ball clubs this season.  October 28 was the last time they played each other as the Bulls fell to the Knicks, 105-98.  During that game, Bobby Portis scored 28 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, dished out 2 assists, and blocked 2 shots while Zach LaVine earned 21 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, one steal, and one block.

The Lakers grab their seventh straight win against the Heat, 95-80

The Lakers grab their seventh straight win against the Heat, 95-80

With a 6-1 record, the Los Angeles Lakers are sitting at the top of the Western Conference and they hope to keep that spot as they battle the Miami Heat tonight at the Staples Center.  They are currently on a six-game win streak, looking to grab a seventh straight victory tonight.  The Heat have been very impressive this season, as well.  They are sitting with a 6-2 record, hoping to grab a second consecutive win tonight.

A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY:

The Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers have battled each other a grand total of 62 times in the past as the Heat defeated the Lakers 27 times while the Lakers won 35 matchups.

INACTIVES:

Miami Heat:

-Udonis Haslem (coach’s decision)
-Derrick Jones (hip; 7.0 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 0.5 APG, 60.0 FG%, 25.0 3P%)
-KZ Okpala (Achilles; 0.0 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.0 APG)
-Dion Waiters (illness)
-Daryl Macon (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.0 APG)
-Justise Winslow (concussion; 13.8 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 4.8 APG, 38.9 FG%, 25.0 3P%)

Los Angeles Lakers:

-DeMarcus Cousins (knee)
-Jared Dudley (coach’s decision; 1.2 PPG, 0.4 RPG, 0.2 APG, 66.7 FG%, 100.0 3P%)
-Talen Horton-Tucker (coach’s decision)
-Rajon Rondo (calf)
-Zach Norvell (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.0 APG, 0.0 FG%)
-Kostas Antetokounmpo (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.0 APG)

GAMETIME:

The beginning of the game would be held close as the Miami Heat shot thirty-seven percent from the field while the Los Angeles Lakers completed forty-three percent of their shots.  Anthony Davis scored 16 points while missing only one of his eight shots attempted.  He recorded six rebounds, as well, along with two assists, two steals, and two blocks.  Former Miami Heat superstar LeBron James was kept to just five points but nailed a three-pointer in the first quarter.

Avery Bradley, who is coming off an injury, chalked up six points on sixty percent shooting.  He also had four rebounds and two assists while Danny Green had a trey at the beginning of the game.  JaVale McGee was kept to just two points but had three rebounds and one block.  Kyle Kuzma played the most minutes off the bench but had just five points.

As for the visiting team, four-time All-Star Jimmy Butler got hot for 11 points but shot only thirty-seven percent from the field.  He also had two rebounds, two assists, and one steal while Kendrick Nunn earned eight points.  Bam Adebayo had five points while Duncan Robinson hit a three-pointer in the second quarter.  Goran Dragic played 15 minutes off the bench as he had 11 points but it was the Lakers who went into halftime with a close 48-46 lead.

The California ball club would take over in the second half as they went on a 47-34 run, shooting forty-six percent from the field, holding the Heat to thirty-two percent shooting.  James got hot for 20 points, burying three shots from beyond the arc in the process.  He also had three rebounds and two assists while Anthony Davis helped out with 10 points on forty-four percent shooting.

McGee contributed with seven points and seven rebounds while Bradley had a three-pointer near the end of the game.  Danny Green had held to just one point, which was earned from the charity stripe.  Virginia-native Troy Daniels played 10 minutes off the bench but was held scoreless.

On the other end of the court, Butler gave 11 points while Adebayo had six points.  Both Duncan Robinson and Meyers Leonard were held scoreless while Nunn had just two points.  Dragic played the most minutes off the bench as he had eight but it was the home team who came away with a 95-80 victory, earning their seventh straight win.  Anthony Davis finished with 26 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, and 3 blocks while Jimmy Butler had 22 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals.

So…what’s next?

The Miami Heat will host Andre Drummond (21.9 PPG, 18.6 RPG, 3.1 APG, 58.2 FG%, 00.0 3P%) and the Detroit Pistons (4-5) on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.  The Los Angeles Lakers will host Pascal Siakam (25.6 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 3.6 APG, 50.0 FG%, 38.9 3P%) and the Toronto Raptors (5-2) on Sunday at 9:30 p.m.

Davis’ Laker debut is spoiled as the Clippers hand the Lakers a 112-102 loss

Davis’ Laker debut is spoiled as the Clippers hand the Lakers a 112-102 loss

This offseason was one for the books.  With all the trades and team moves that took place this year, none are more exciting than the new additions to the Los Angeles Clippers and the Los Angeles Lakers.  This offseason, the Clippers signed defending champion and Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and traded a record number of draft picks for Paul George.  This move put the Clippers as favorites to win it all as they have two great defenders and scorers at the head with a bunch of other great defensive players behind them.

As for their rival, the Lakers, they hired Frank Vogel as head coach for the team with Jason Kidd as his assistant.  On the court, the Lakers acquired Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans to pair with three-time champion LeBron James.  In return, the Pelicans received Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three first-round draft picks.  They also added Dwight Howard, Avery Bradley, DeMarcus Cousins, Jared Dudley, and Danny Green.

As the season starts, the Lakers and the Clippers will battle tonight for the upper hand in this season matchup.  This game will mark the first of four meetings between these two ball clubs this season.  Last year, they split the season series at two apiece.  Overall, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers met a total of 220 times with the Lakers winning 148 games and the Clippers grabbing 72.

INACTIVES:

Los Angeles Lakers:

-Kostas Antetokounmpo (coach’s decision)
-Alex Caruso (coach’s decision)
-Zach Norvell (coach’s decision)
-Kyle Kuzma (ankle)
-Talen Horton-Tucker (foot)
-Rajon Rondo (calf)
-DeMarcus Cousins (knee)

Los Angeles Clippers:

-Mfiondu Kabengele (coach’s decision)
-Terance Mann (coach’s decision)
-Johnathan Motley (coach’s decision)
-Jerome Robinson (coach’s decision)
-Amir Coffey (ankle)
-Derrick Walton
-Paul George (rehab)
-Rodney McGruder (ankle)

GAMETIME:

The Los Angeles Clippers would have the upper hand in the majority of the first half as they shot fifty-seven percent from the field, keeping the Los Angeles Lakers at forty-six percent.  Kawhi Leonard got hot for 20 points as he hit eight of his eleven shots attempted.  He had a three-pointer early in the second quarter as he collected three rebounds and gave out three assists.

Former Philadelphia 76ers’ guard Landry Shamet helped out with five points which included a three-pointer in the second period.  Patrick Beverley was held to just two points but was able to record seven rebounds, three assists, and one block.  Three-time Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams contributed with 13 points off of the bench.

On the other end of the court, Anthony Davis chalked up eighteen points on forty-five percent shooting.  He also grabbed four rebounds, threw out two assists, committed one steal, and blocked one shot.  LeBron James helped out with 14 points which held a three-pointer in the second quarter.  He also had four rebounds, four assists, and one steal.

Washington-native Avery Bradley had five points, missing only one of his three shots attempted.  Two-time NBA champion Danny Green had a three-pointer at the beginning of the game while JaVale McGee had just two points.  Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was held scoreless as he played the most minutes off the bench while the Clippers went into halftime with a 62 to 54 advantage.

The Clippers would still impress in the second half as they shot forty-six percent from the field while the Lakers shot forty-one percent.  Leonard added 10 more points to his scoring total but only shot twenty-five percent from the field.  Leonard also recorded three more rebounds, two more assists, and two steals while Williams helped out with eight points.  Montrezl Harrell played eighteen minutes off of the bench as he had twelve points.

As for the Lakers, Danny Green got extremely hot for twenty-five points as he missed only one shot out of the ten taken.  He also had six three-pointers and four rebounds.  Anthony Davis and LeBron James disappeared in the second half as they went for a combined eleven points.  Caldwell-Pope was still held scoreless off of the bench as the Los Angeles Clippers spoiled Davis’ Laker debut, 112-102.  Kawhi Leonard finished the game with 30 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and one block while Danny Green had 28 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals, and one block.

So…what’s next?

The Los Angeles Clippers will battle Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors on Thursday at 10:30 p.m. at the new Chase Center.  The Los Angeles Lakers will host Mike Conley and the Utah Jazz at the Staples Center on Friday at 10:30 p.m.

The Los Angeles Lakers hold off the Phoenix Suns, 120-96

The Los Angeles Lakers hold off the Phoenix Suns, 120-96

The Phoenix Suns are dead last in the Western Conference, tying the Cleveland Cavaliers for the worst record in the league at 4-18.  They will look to avoid a fifth straight loss as they battle the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center.  The Lakers, on the other hand, are looking pretty decent after a 0-3 start to the season, holding onto a 13-9 record.  Their current win-loss percentage is 59.1%, marking the first time they had a fifty-percent win-loss percentage since the 2012-2013 season.

The Suns and the Lakers have battled each other a grand total of 308 in the past as the Suns won 130 times while the Lakers went on to pull out 178 victories.  This game between the Suns and the Lakers will mark the second of four times that these two ball clubs will meet up this season.  The last time they played each other was on October 24 when the Suns fell to the Lakers, 131-113.  Lance Stephenson finished that game with twenty-three points, eight rebounds, eight assists, and two steals while Devin Booker also had twenty-three points, along with seven rebounds and seven assists.

INACTIVES:

Phoenix Suns:

-T.J. Warren (ankle; 17.7 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 1.3 APG, 51.1 FG%, 45.0 3P%, 84.6 FT%)
-George King (G-League)

Los Angeles Lakers:

-Rajon Rondo (hand; 8.5 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 6.5 APG, 45.5 FG%, 42.9 3P%, 50.0 FT%)
-Alex Caruso (G-League)
-Isaac Bonga (G-League)
-Johnathan Williams (G-League; 3.8 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 0.7 APG, 57.9 FG%, 20.0 FT%)

GAMETIME:

The Los Angeles Lakers would have control most of the first half as they shot fifty percent from the field, keeping the Phoenix Suns to thirty-eight percent.  Kyle Kuzma lit the floor up with eighteen points while hitting two three-pointers in the second quarter.  Brandon Ingram helped out with thirteen points while recording three rebounds and two assists.  He also had a three-pointer, which he drilled early in the second period.  Three-time NBA Champion LeBron James was kept to just twelve points but did have three rebounds, four assists, and one block.  Lonzo Ball was limited to just two points.  Josh Hart played ten minutes off the block but was held completely scoreless as he only attempted three shots.

As for the struggling Suns, former Orlando Magic forward Trevor Ariza scored eleven points on fifty percent shooting.  He also had three treys in the first quarter while earning four defensive rebounds, one assist, and four steals.  Josh Jackson chipped in eight points while Deandre Ayton put up six points.  Devin Booker had six points, as well, but went down with a hamstring injury in the second quarter and would not return.  Elie Okobo played the most minutes off the bench but was kept scoreless as the Lakers went into halftime with a 61 to 46 advantage.

The California team would close things out in the second half as LeBron James scored ten more points while hitting a three-pointer late in the third quarter.  He also had three defensive rebounds and four assists while rookie Moritz Wagner contributed with ten points of his own.  On the other end of the court, both Troy Daniels and Richaun Holmes scored nine points off the bench each but it wouldn’t mean much as the Los Angeles Lakers go on to defeat the Phoenix Suns, 120-96.  Kyle Kuzma finished the game with twenty-three points, eight rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one block while Richaun Holmes settled for a season-high fifteen points, along with one rebound, a career-high four steals, and a season-high four blocks.

So…what’s next?

The Phoenix Suns will host Buddy Hield (18.4 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 2.7 APG, 47.3 FG%, 41.1 3P%) and the Sacramento Kings (11-11) on Tuesday at 9:00 p.m.  This game will mark the first of four times that these two teams will clash with one another this season.  Last season, the Suns won the regular season series against the team, 3-1.

The Los Angeles Lakers will stay at home as they host Demar DeRozan (23.8 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 6.0 APG, 48.2 FG%, 18.2 3P%) and the San Antonio Spurs (10-12) on Wednesday at 10:30 p.m.  This will be the third of four times that these teams will see each other this season.  The last time they met up was on October 27 when the Spurs handed the Lakers a 110-106 loss.  During that game, DeRozan scored thirty points, grabbed twelve boards, gave out eight assists, committed two steals, and blocked one shot while LeBron James finished with thirty-five points, eleven rebounds, four assists, and two steals.

The Brooklyn Nets hand the Miami Heat their third straight loss, 104-92

The Brooklyn Nets hand the Miami Heat their third straight loss, 104-92

The Miami Heat are currently off to its second-worst start in the last twelve years as they are holding onto a 6-10 record, hoping to avoid their third straight loss.  They suffered that loss in the hands their former star, LeBron James, and the Los Angeles Lakers.  The Heat will look grab a much-needed win as they host the Brooklyn Nets, who are coming fresh off of a 127-119 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Heat and the Nets have clashed with each other a total of 134 times in the past as the Heat won 83 games, while the Nets were limited to just 51 victories.  This will mark the second of four times that these two ball clubs will match up this season.  The last time they played each other was on November 14 when the Florida team won, 120-107.  During that game, Tyler Johnson scored twenty-four points, pulled down five rebounds, gave out one assist, and blocked two shots while Spencer Dinwiddle recorded eighteen points, three rebounds, five assists, and one steal.  The New York team will look to even the season series out with a win tonight.

INACTIVES:

Brooklyn Nets:

-Treveon Graham (hamstring; 0.0 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 0.5 APG, 0.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
-Caris LeVert (foot; 18.4 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 3.7 APG, 47.5 FG%, 31.1 3P%, 72.1 FT%)
-Kenneth Faried (coach’s decision; 3.5 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 0.0 APG, 75.0 FG%, 42.9 FT%)
-Rodions Kurucs (coach’s decision; 6.6 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 0.1 APG, 51.4 FG%, 42.9 3P%, 100.0 FT%)
-Dzanan Musa (G-League; 1.7 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.2 APG, 41.7 FG%, 0.0 3P%, 0.0 FT%)
-Theo Pinson (G-League; 1.0 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 1.5 APG, 0.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%, 100.0 FT%)
-Alan Williams (G-League)
Miami Heat:

-Goran Dragic (knee; 16.3 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 4.7 APG, 41.6 FG%, 32.3 3P%, 76.0 FT%)
-Dion Waiters (ankle)
-Udonis Haslem (coach’s decision; 1.0 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.0 APG, 25.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
-Yante Maten (coach’s decision)
-Kelly Olynyk (coach’s decision; 8.2 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 2.1 APG, 46.0 FG%, 32.7 3P%, 78.6 FT%)
-Tyler Johnson (hamstring; 11.4 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 2.4 APG, 43.5 FG%, 32.4 3P%, 71.1 FT%)

GAMETIME:

The first half of this matchup will be held extremely close as both ball clubs shot thirty-three percent from the field.  Oklahoma-native Josh Richardson ended up scoring twelve points while knocking down five of his fourteen shots attempted.  He also recorded four defensive rebounds and two assists while Hassan Whiteside collected seven points for himself.  Whiteside ended up grabbing twelve boards while blocking two shots in the sixteen minutes that he played.  Wayne Ellington knocked down a three-pointer in the second quarter while Derrick Jones Jr. would be held scoreless.  Justise Winslow played the most minutes off the bench as he got hot for ten points.

As for the visiting team, Jarrett Allen chalked up nine points on fifty percent shooting.  He also had nine rebounds, one assist, and two rejections while D’Angelo Russell nailed two three-pointers early in the first quarter.  Former Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard Joe Harris contributed with six points while Jared Dudley was kept scoreless.  Spencer Dinwiddie played fifteen minutes off of the bench but only scored seven points as the Miami Heat went into halftime with a 42 to 39 lead.

The Nets would come out of the locker room to go on a huge 65 to 50 run, shooting fifty-two percent from the field while the Heat shot thirty-nine percent.  During that run, Russell added to his scoring total as he dropped fourteen more points while grabbing four defensive rebounds.  Rondae Hollis-Jefferson played the most minutes off of the bench but was kept to just four points.  Whiteside, on the other hand, scored fourteen points for the Heat but it wouldn’t matter as the Nets handed the Miami Heat a 104-92 loss.  D’Angelo Russell finished the game with twenty points, a season-high nine rebounds, six assists, a season-high four steals, and one block.  Hassan Whiteside had twenty-one points, twenty-three rebounds, one steal, and two blocks.

So…what’s next?

The Brooklyn Nets will head over to Texas to battle Luka Doncic (19.2 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 4.1 APG, 45.3 FG%, 37.5 3P%) and the Dallas Mavericks (7-9) on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m.  This meeting will mark the first of two times that these ball clubs will play each other this season.  As for the Miami Heat, they will visit Illinois to take on Zach LaVine (25.3 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 4.0 APG, 43.2 FG%, 31.3 3P%) and the Chicago Bulls (4-13) on Friday at 8:00 p.m.  This matchup will be the first of three times that these two teams will meet this season.

The Houston Rockets hold off the Utah Jazz, 112-102, winning the series, 4-1

The Houston Rockets hold off the Utah Jazz, 112-102, winning the series, 4-1

The Houston Rockets will look to finish off the Utah Jazz as they host them at the Toyota Center for Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals.  If that takes place and the Rockets advance to the Western Conference Finals, that will be the first time in Chris Paul’s career that will play in a Conference Finals.

SERIES RECAP:

Game 1 took place in Houston on April 29 as the Rockets handed the Jazz a 110-96 loss.  During that game, James Harden scored forty-one points, pulled down eight rebounds, gave out seven assists, and committed one steal while Donovan Mitchell finished with twenty-one points, three rebounds, and five assists.  Jae Crowder also had twenty-one points, along with five rebounds, one assist, and two steals.

The Houston Rockets hosted the Utah Jazz again for Game 2 on May 2 but this time, the Jazz snuck away with a 116 to 108 victory.  Joe Ingles had twenty-seven points in that game, along with three rebounds and two assists while James Harden recorded thirty-two points, six rebounds, eleven assists, and two steals.

The series would shift over to Utah as the Jazz hosted the Rockets for Game 3 on May 4.  The Houston Rockets, however, got revenge as they defeated the Utah Jazz with a 113 to 92 score.  During that game, James Harden scored twenty-five points, pulled down four rebounds, gave out twelve assists, committed two steals and blocked one shot.  Eric Gordon also had twenty-five points, along with two rebounds and one steal.  Royce O’Neale had seventeen points, five rebounds, and one assist.

Game 4 would be held on May 6 at the Vivint Smart Home Arena as the Texas team defeated the Jazz, 100-87.  Chris Paul finished that game with twenty-seven points, along with twelve rebounds, six assists, two steals, and one block while Donovan Mitchell recorded twenty-five points, nine rebounds, two assists, and four steals.

INACTIVES:

Utah Jazz:

Tony Bradley (coach’s decision; 0.9 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 0.1 APG, 27.3 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
David Stockton (coach’s decision; 3.3 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 66.7 FG%, 66.7 3P%)
Ekpe Udoh (coach’s decision; 2.6 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 0.8 APG, 50.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
Ricky Rubio (hamstring; 13.1 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 5.3 APG, 41.8 FG%, 35.2 3P%)
Dante Exum (hamstring; 8.1 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 3.1 APG, 48.3 FG%, 27.8 3P%)
Thabo Sefolosha (knee; 8.2 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 0.9 APG, 49.2 FG%, 38.1 3P%)

Houston Rockets:

Ryan Anderson (coach’s decision; 9.3 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 0.9 APG, 43.1 FG%, 38.6 3P%)
Tarik Black (coach’s decision; 3.5 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 0.3 APG, 59.1 FG%, 9.1 3P%)
Aaron Jackson (coach’s decision; 8.0 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, 33.3 FG%, 25.0 3P%)
Joe Johnson (coach’s decision; 6.8 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 1.5 APG, 40.6 FG%, 27.6 3P%)
Zhou Qi (1.2 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 0.1 APG, 18.8 FG%, 10.5 3P%)
Chinanu Onuaku (4.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, 40.0 FG%)

GAMETIME:

The Houston Rockets would somewhat have control in the first half as they shot forty-nine percent from the field, keeping the Utah Jazz at forty percent.  Chris Paul, desperate for a Conference Finals appearance, would get hot for fifteen points while hitting three three-pointers in the second quarter.  He also had two defensive rebounds and six assists while P.J. Tucker earned himself ten points on a perfect one-hundred percent shooting from the field.  James Harden contributed with nine points which held a three-pointer late in the first period.  2016-2017 Sixth Man of the Year Eric Gordon played the most minutes off the bench but was kept to just a three-pointer, which he took in the second quarter.

On the other end of the court, both Joe Ingles and Rudy Gobert scored eight points but Ingles earned six of his points from beyond the arc.  He also had three rebounds and three assists while Gobert had five rebounds and two blocks.  Donovan Mitchell surprisingly had only two points but did manage to dish off six assists.  Missouri-native Alec Burks played fourteen minutes off of the bench as he had twelve points but it was the Houston team who went into halftime with a 54 to 46 lead.

The Jazz would make sure to hold it close, though, as they shot fifty-six percent from the field, keeping the home team to forty-eight percent.  Mitchell got extremely hot for twenty-two points while shooting sixty-seven percent from the field.  He dropped two three-pointers in the third quarter while recording three rebounds and three assists.  Royce O’Neale helped out with eleven points while Rudy Gobert had four rebounds and four points.  Burks collected ten more points off of the bench but it wasn’t enough as Chris Paul responded hugely.  Paul chalked up twenty-six more points, giving the Rockets a 112-102 victory, winning the series 4-1.  Chris Paul finished the game with a playoff career-high forty-one points, along with seven rebounds, ten assists, and one steal.  Donovan Mitchell settled for twenty-four points, four rebounds, nine assists, and one steal.

The Utah Jazz hand the Houston Rockets a 116-108 loss, tying the series up, 1-1

The Utah Jazz hand the Houston Rockets a 116-108 loss, tying the series up, 1-1

Tonight will mark the second game between the Utah Jazz and the Houston Rockets in their playoff series.  The first game was on Sunday when the Rockets handed the Jazz a 110 to 96 loss.  During that game, James Harden scored forty-one points, grabbed eight rebounds, dished off seven assists, and committed one steal while Donovan Mitchell finished with twenty-one points, three rebounds, and five assists.  Jae Crowder also had twenty-one points, along with five rebounds, one assist, and two steals.  The Houston Rockets will look to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the series as they host the Jazz at the Toyota Center.

INACTIVES:

Utah Jazz:

Ricky Rubio (hamstring; 13.1 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 5.3 APG, 41.8 FG%, 35.2 3P%)
Thabo Sefolosha (knee; 8.2 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 0.9 APG, 49.2 FG%, 38.1 3P%)
Tony Bradley (coach’s decision; 0.9 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 0.1 APG, 27.3 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
Jonas Jerebko (coach’s decision; 5.8 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 0.6 APG, 46.6 FG%, 41.4 3P%)
David Stockton (coach’s decision; 3.3 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 66.7 FG%, 66.7 3P%)
Ekpe Udoh (coach’s decision; 2.6 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 0.8 APG, 50.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)

Houston Rockets:

Tarik Black (coach’s decision; 3.5 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 0.3 APG, 59.1 FG%, 9.1 3P%)
Aaron Jackson (coach’s decision; 8.0 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, 33.3 FG%, 25.0 3P%)
Joe Johnson (coach’s decision; 6.8 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 1.5 APG, 40.6 FG%, 27.6 3P%)
Zhou Qi (1.2 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 0.1 APG, 18.8 FG%, 10.5 3P%)
Chinanu Onuaku (4.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, 40.0 FG%)

GAMETIME:

The Utah Jazz would have complete control of the game in the first half as they shot fifty-six percent from the field, limiting the Houston Rockets to forty percent.  Joe Ingles ended up scoring fourteen points on sixty-three percent shooting while knocking down four three-pointers in the process.  Rudy Gobert would help out with thirteen points while grabbing one offensive rebound and eight defensive rebounds.  He also had one block while Alec Burks chalked up eleven points on a perfect one-hundred percent shooting from the field.  Donovan Mitchell would be limited to seven points while both Royce O’Neale and Derrick Favors scored six points each.  Jae Crowder played sixteen minutes off of the bench but was kept to just two three-pointers and a free-throw.

On the other end of the court, James Harden would get extremely hot for twenty-one points which included a three-pointer near the end of the second half.  He also had four rebounds, five assists, and one steal while Clint Capela saw to it that he had thirteen points on sixty-seven percent shooting.  Former Los Angeles Clippers’ guard Chris Paul contributed with six points and one assist while P.J. Tucker had a three-pointer in the middle of the first quarter.  Eric Gordon played the most minutes off of the bench but was limited to just five points as the visiting team went into halftime with a 64 to 55 lead.

The Houston Rockets would attempt to make a comeback as they went on a 53-52 run in the second half, shooting forty percent from the field.  During that run, Paul would start to warm up with seventeen points, five defensive rebounds, two assists, and two steals while drilling two three-pointers.  Harden continued to put on a scoring display as he had eleven points, which included a three-pointer in the final quarter.  Eric Gordon had ten points off of the bench but it wasn’t enough as the Utah Jazz crept away with a 116-108 win, tying the series up, 1-1.  Joe Ingles finished the game with a playoff career-high twenty-seven points, along with three rebounds and two assists while James Harden settled for thirty-two points, six rebounds, eleven assists, and two steals.