West matchups

Which first round series will give us an epic showing in the West? (USATSI)
Which first-spherical sequence will give us an epic showing in the West? (USATSI)

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This is a rundown of the Western Conference Playoff Matchups updating with the outcomes Wednesday.


San Antonio Spurs (1) vs. Dallas Mavericks (8)

Evaluation: Just for previous time’s sake, we’re getting a great old school Tim Duncan-Dirk Nowitzki duel in the playoffs. The Spurs are four-2 in playoff series in opposition to the Mavericks within the Dirk-Duncan period with the Spurs winning the latest series in 2010. We’re getting two of one of the best perimeter attack teams within the NBA, who execute with incredible precision.

The biggest key to this collection will find yourself being how the Mavericks’ large males play. Dallas has hassle on the boards and so they’re a fairly dangerous defensive unit in most creations they’ve with their lineups. Can anyone step up to proper the interior ship for Dallas or will Duncan and Tiago Splitter have their means inside and within the series?

Oklahoma City Thunder (2) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (7)

Evaluation: After the Grizzlies introduced their presence with authority on the playoff scene in 2011, they had been outlasted by the Thunder in the second round of the playoffs in a pretty epic collection. Last season, we obtained a rematch however this one was sans Russell Westbrook, which allowed the Grizzlies to benefit from focusing on Kevin Durant defensively and making the remainder of the workforce beat them.

This time, the Thunder are wholesome and it is a completely different Durant than we have seen in the past. Who on the Grizzlies is able to conserving him in check? Who will be capable to score at a comparatively related clip to maintain pace with this Thunder group? Which position players will step up and provide some outside taking pictures? Grizzlies have to reply these inquiries to advance past OKC once more.

Los Angeles Clippers (three) vs. Golden State Warriors (6)

Analysis: A couple of days ago, this looked like a much better matchup than what we’re seeing now, thanks to the Andrew Bogut rib injury. This Warriors staff is going to rely closely on Jermaine O’Neal and doubtless David Lee at the five. This implies they’re going to should go heavy defense on the perimeter with a lineup consisting of Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala, which could truly assist open things up offensively.

If the Warriors go small, we’ll get an identical attack to what they showed towards the Denver Nuggets final season. Nonetheless, this Clippers team has much more firepower than what the Nuggets may provide. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are enough to deal with with Bogut defending your back on defense. With out that anchor, can they stop enough penetration on the perimeter to neutralize the paint benefit for the Clippers?

Houston Rockets (4) vs. Portland Path Blazers (5)

Evaluation: If you happen to like 3-point shooting, this is the sequence for you. The Rockets and Blazers are one and three, respectively, in three-point makes an attempt per sport and each try to bombard you with exterior attempts. The Rockets capturing the most threes in the NBA however they make 35.6 p.c of them, which is sweet for seventeenth in the NBA. The Blazers’ attempts are rather more efficient, making the league’s ninth greatest proportion at 37.2 p.c.

The important thing for both groups will probably be who can get the stops once they’re needed the most. The Rockets have the fourth finest defense in clutch conditions, but they’ll most likely want a healthy or comparatively wholesome Patrick Beverley to maintain that going while bothering Damian Lillard and his incredible clutch scoring. The Blazers are 19th in clutch protection and will need to discover a strategy to get massive stops.

Jap Conference matchups here.

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Allen gets hot late, leads Heat over Rockets

Ray Allen Leads Heat Previous Rockets


MIAMI – Ray Allen was somewhat surprised to see how open he was. So was Dwyane Wade, who even took an additional dribble before believing his eyes and sending a 50-foot go to the very best three-level shooter in NBA history.

Moments later, the Miami Heat were back on monitor.

Allen scored 14 of his 25 factors within the fourth quarter on a milestone day for the veteran, Wade and LeBron James each added 24 points and the Warmth closed with a flourish to beat the Houston Rockets 113-104 on Sunday and snap their worst stretch of outcomes since 2011.

"When Ray will get into a rhythm, he's one of the best three-point shooter of all-time," mentioned Warmth forward Chris Bosh, who scored 18 factors to help Miami win for simply the second time in its last seven games.

Miami trailed 97-92 following a 3-pointer by James Harden midway by the fourth, then completed the sport on a 21-7 run.

Allen had 11 points throughout that late stretch, together with a 3-pointer that allowed him to pass Allen Iverson for 21st on the NBA's scoring listing. It was additionally the 750th common-season win that Allen was part of in his profession.

"I don't understand how I get open," mentioned Allen, who took about 1,000 shots on a apply day Saturday by Heat coach Erik Spoelstra's estimate. "When I am, I've to be ready to shoot it."

Harden finished with 30 points for Houston, which received 21 factors and 14 rebounds from Dwight Howard. Patrick Beverley added 15 points and Terrence Jones scored 12 for the Rockets, who've dropped three straight.

"We simply did not play effectively down the stretch," Rockets coach Kevin McHale stated.

And that each one began when no one appeared to wish to guard Allen. Houston led by five when Wade sparked the late run with a 50-foot help after a timeout that arrange a three-pointer from the left nook by Allen.

"A vital possession," Wade mentioned.

Allen additionally made three technical-foul free throws to help his late rhythm. One came after a defensive three-second violation, one other following Houston's second delay-of-sport whistle on the afternoon, and the third when Beverley was hit with a technical in the last minute.

James hit a pair of free throws with forty six seconds left for his first factors of the final quarter, and that sealed it for Miami, which moved back inside three games of Indiana for the No. 1 spot within the Jap Conference.

Allen now has 24,370 points, two more than Iverson. Afterward, he was all in regards to the win.

"Tonight we got here out and finished the sport," Allen stated, "versus letting it slip away from us."

The primary surprise of the day happened 20 minutes before tip-off, when the Heat announced Greg Oden – who appeared in his one hundredth profession game, practically seven years after being the No. 1 overall decide within the 2007 draft – can be starting at middle. It was the second begin of the season for Oden, who additionally opened a recreation against Chicago last month partially because James was unavailable while dealing with a damaged nostril.

Oden had three rebounds within the recreation's first three minutes, and the Warmth by no means trailed within the first half, going into the break with a 57-54 lead. Harden and Howard combined for 15 within the third, and Houston led 81-79 entering the final 12 minutes.

"It was a few psychological errors for us down the stretch and they had a couple of calls go their way," Harden stated. "It's powerful.

Clearly, it was a win Miami wanted. Wade's fiancee, Gabrielle Union, was on her ft to yell and cheer halfway by means of the fourth, and James' spouse, Savannah, was close by doing the identical factor, virtually as if it was a playoff sport.

Like all other Warmth fans, they finally left a game comfortable.

"They see the way we have been appearing at dwelling in between games," James stated of his wife and Wade's fiancee. "We came in with a mindset that we wanted to get this win. It was good to see us have to intestine one out."

Game notes

Allen appeared in his 1,287th game, breaking a tie with

Sam Perkins

for fifteenth on the career record. He could pass Mark Jackson (1,296) and Elvin Hayes (1,303) later this season… Houston's

Chandler Parsons

became the 15th player to log not less than 5,000 minutes over the last two seasons…

Jeremy Lin

has been on groups which have played at Miami eight times; they're zero-8 in those games, although he is appeared in only three of those contests.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Related Press

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Rockets cool off LeBron, survive late Heat comeback

HOUSTON – LeBron James was wiped out – and it confirmed.

Dwight Howard had 22 factors and 16 rebounds, James Harden added 21 factors and the Houston Rockets held James in examine Tuesday night time during a 106-103 victory towards the Miami Warmth.

James had a chance to tie the game with a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer, but it surely was off – identical to most of his second-half photographs.

The four-time MVP completed with 22 factors, one evening after setting a club report with a career-excessive 61 against Charlotte. He acknowledged earlier than Tuesday's sport that he was "extremely tired" and that he spent most of the day sleeping.

James had 19 points by halftime, but appeared to pull at times in the second half and spent the first half of the fourth quarter on the bench. He was 1 for 7 after the break.

"I fought by way of it in the first half. Second half it just wasn't there for me," James stated. "Obtained out of rhythm."

Still, the Warmth minimize their deficit to a few when Michael Beasley hit a 3-pointer with 21.2 seconds left. Harden threw the ball away after that, and Howard by chance hit James in the face after they both went up to attempt to grab an extended move.

James lay on the court holding his damaged nostril for just a few seconds earlier than getting up and slowly strolling to the bench. He has been sporting a protective mask to guard his nostril.

James remained in the game after a timeout, then missed the desperation 3 with Howard in his face.

"I knew I had to put up a heave over top of him," James mentioned. "I felt like I received a very good look – just a little lengthy."

The Rockets used the phrase composed repeatedly after the game to describe their play.

"There's no need for us to get fearful," Howard mentioned of the workforce's mindset after Beasley's three. "Situations like that, the best thing we are able to do is stay composed. If we level our finger or put our heads down, it offers the other crew confidence. That is one thing we've been attempting to work on all yr."

Dwyane Wade had 24 points for the Warmth after sitting out Monday night. Beasley also scored 24, a season excessive.

Miami by no means led, but tied it twice within the fourth quarter. Houston used an 11-2 spurt to take a 104-95 lead with less than three minutes remaining.

"We were able to push again in the fourth quarter and tie the sport up," Wade stated. "But we needed to exhaust a lot energy attempting to come back back."

Houston led by thirteen early within the fourth before two separate runs by the Warmth tied it at ninety one with 7 minutes remaining. The additionally tied it at 93 before Houston used its late run to close it out.

"We did some great things," Rockets coach Kevin McHale mentioned. "We made some plays… I assumed during stretches on this recreation we performed rather well."

The Heat had made consecutive three-pointers to cut the lead to seven early within the fourth quarter when Chris Andersen blocked a shot by Donatas Motiejunas. Andersen stood underneath the basket after the block and taunted Motiejunas, drawing a technical foul.

Miami then used an eight-zero run, which included a three by Beasley, to cut it to 88-87 with 8½ minutes left.

Houston opened the second half with a 9-2 run capped by Chandler Parsons' dunk over James. Shane Battier had a basket for Miami after that, but Houston reeled off six straight points to increase the result in sixty eight-56.

An airball on a three-point attempt by Wade was considered one of three missed pictures by the Heat in that span.

The Rockets were up by 9 quickly after that when Harden launched a protracted alley-oop to Howard, who barely grabbed it in time to sail over Chris Bosh for the dunk.

Howard picked up a foul with about 5 minutes left in the first half when he bumped into James as he was driving to the basket, inflicting him to lose control of the ball, which bounced off James' masks.

A reverse layup by James and a free throw by Wade within the last 20 seconds of the first half minimize Houston's lead to fifty three-fifty two at halftime.

The Rockets jumped out to a 7-0 lead and had been up 39-32 on the end of the first quarter.


Corridor of Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon, and Houston Texans stars Andre Johnson and Arian Foster attended the game, as did Minnesota Vikings operating back Adrian Peterson and former Astros pitcher and 7-time Cy Younger Award winner Roger Clemens… James stated the very best compliments he received following his large game towards Charlotte came from the 2 most important ladies in his life. "My mom and my spouse saying how proud they had been of me and that I by no means cease to amaze them," he stated. "So it is always nice when your loved ones gives you that kind of gratitude and response."

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Harden’s 28 help Rockets knock off Spurs

Rockets Fly By Spurs


SAN ANTONIO – James Harden and the Houston Rockets are turning into an enormous drawback for the San Antonio Spurs.

Harden scored 28 points and Dwight Howard had 15 factors and 20 rebounds, leading the balanced Rockets to a 111-ninety eight victory over the Spurs on Wednesday.

Every of Houston's starters scored in double figures as the Rockets improved to 2-zero towards the Spurs this season, with both victories approaching the highway. In addition they moved inside three half video games of San Antonio (22-7) for the lead the Southwest Division.

"I believe we might be very good," Houston ahead Chandler Parsons said. "It's clearly a course of, and we're getting better every single day. However once we defend like that, rebound nicely and get out in transition, we're powerful to beat."

Harden scored 31 points in Houston's 112-106 victory towards San Antonio on Nov. 30. The Rockets have gained their last three in opposition to the Spurs dating to last season and are averaging 108.8 factors over the last six games in the series.

"We just didn't give excellent performances," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "You may dwell with that infrequently. Nobody's going to play good every evening. But you'll be able to't mix poor performances with a lack of physicality and a scarcity of self-discipline. They whipped us. They whipped us good. That's an embarrassing loss."

Parsons and Terrence Jones each scored 21 factors for the Rockets (19-11), who shot fifty two % from the field. Jeremy Lin had 13 points, eight assists, two blocked pictures and just one turnover.

The Spurs have dropped two of three and split their last six games. They're simply 3-6 over the last month against groups with a record above500.

Tremendous sub Manu Ginobili led San Antonio with 22 points, and Tim Duncan added 11 factors and 14 rebounds. Kawhi Leonard had thirteen points, however Tony Parker was held to 6 factors on three-for-eleven shooting.

"We did not play effectively," Parker said. "Transfer on to the next one, it's the NBA."

San Antonio by no means recovered after Houston raced to a 27-9 lead. The Spurs had been unable to cease Parsons' lengthy shots, Harden's drives, Howard within the paint or Jones on the boards for follow ups.

"Our guys really came out on fire," Rockets coach Kevin McHale mentioned. "They had been excited to play. Really moved the ball; attacked. Terrence had nice vitality. He was working and serving to the defense. We actually set the tone early and rode that the entire sport."

Houston led forty-25 after one. It was probably the most points allowed by the Spurs in the opening period this season, and tied for the most in any quarter. Oklahoma City scored 40 points in the second quarter of its thirteen-point victory Dec. 21 in San Antonio.

"The primary quarter was embarrassing," Ginobili said. "They picked us apart. We weren't as aggressive as they have been, not as sharp as they were and so they scored 40. So it's the second time that happened and that's manner too many."

Ginobili slammed the scorer's table with his right palm during a timeout with Houston leading 27-11.

After trailing by 18 points within the first half, San Antonio had a couple stable stretches within the second half however could not make the plays it needed to finish the rallies.

"We toughened up," Parsons said. "We understand that this can be a great staff playing on their floor, and now we have to get some big stops. Everybody collectively purchased into that, we obtained some enormous stops and we didn't stop running, either."

Leonard's three-point play on Howard's fourth foul pulled San Antonio to 71-sixty four with four:forty seven left in the third. The Spurs closed to seventy three-71 earlier than Harden and Lin began draining lengthy jumpers to help the Rockets draw back again.

Harden closed out the victory, scoring sixteen points within the ultimate quarter after missing the previous two games with an ankle damage. His second 3 of the game made it 100-90 with 5 minutes remaining.

"No, I just was getting the feel the primary three quarters of who's making photographs," Harden said when requested if he was ready on the fourth quarter. "I missed two video games. I wished to get a really feel for who was playing properly. Coming into the game, I wished to maintain them concerned and hold them going and attempt to get mine in the direction of the end."

Sport notes

Rockets G

Patrick Beverley

(proper hand) and C

Omer Asik

(thigh contusion) missed the game… Academy Award winner Tommy Lee Jones sat courtside, a row in front of

David Robinson

's customary seats. The actor laughed and applauded when The Coyote, the Spurs' mascot, snuck beside him disguised as a Christmas tree… Terrence Jones pushed

Matt Bonner

after the Spurs' reserve ahead wrapped up Howard high after the Rockets star grabbed his third offensive rebound on one possession. Duncan stepped between, placing his hand in Jones' chest and pushing him away before officials broke up the gathering… Whereas the Rockets received smatterings of cheers all through the sport, Howard was lustily booed every time he attempted a free throw or entered the sport.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Harden lifts high-powered Rockets past Spurs on road

SAN ANTONIO – James Harden scored 28 points and Dwight Howard had 15 points and 20 rebounds, leading the balanced Houston Rockets to a 111-98 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.

Every of Houston’s starters scored in double figures as the Rockets improved to 2-0 in opposition to the Spurs this season, with both victories coming on the street. They also moved within three 1/2 video games of San Antonio (22-7) for the lead the Southwest Division.

Chandler Parsons and Terrence Jones each scored 21 points for the Rockets (19-11), who shot fifty two % from the sphere. Jeremy Lin had 13 factors, eight assists and just one turnover.

The Spurs have dropped two of three and break up their last six games. They’re just three-6 over the past month in opposition to groups with a record above500.

Super sub Manu Ginobili led San Antonio with 22 points, and Tim Duncan added 11 points and 14 rebounds. Kawhi Leonard had thirteen factors, however Tony Parker was held to 6 points on three-for-eleven shooting.

San Antonio never recovered after Houston raced out to a 27-9 lead. The Spurs had been unable to cease Parsons’ lengthy pictures, Harden’s drives, Howard within the paint or Jones on the boards for observe ups.

After trailing by 18 points within the first half, San Antonio made a couple of fees within the second half but could not get the defensive stops mandatory to complete the rallies.

Leonard’s three-level play on Howard’s fourth foul pulled San Antonio to 71-64 with 4:47 left in the third. The Spurs closed to seventy three-71 earlier than Harden and Lin began draining long jumpers to assist the Rockets pull away once more.

Harden closed out the victory, scoring sixteen points in the final quarter. His second three of the game made it one hundred-ninety with 5 minutes remaining.


Rockets G Patrick Beverley (right hand) and C Omer Asik (thigh contusion) missed the game.. Academy Award winner Tommy Lee Jones sat courtside, a row in front of David Robinson’s customary seats. The actor laughed and applauded when The Coyote, the Spurs’ mascot, snuck beside him disguised as a Christmas tree.. Terrence Jones pushed Matt Bonner after the Spurs’ reserve ahead wrapped up Howard high after the Rockets star grabbed his third offensive rebound on one possession. Duncan stepped between, placing his hand in Jones’ chest and pushing him away before officers broke up the gathering.. While the Rockets obtained smatterings of cheers all through the game, Howard was lustily booed every time he attempted a free throw or entered the game.

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Howard’s 35 points, 19 boards push Rockets

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Dwight Howard vs. Andre Drummond was a mismatch from the start – so it didn't really matter how many key players were missing for the Houston Rockets.

"I love Andre – the way he's been playing this year, " Howard said. "He's 20 years old, and he doesn't back down from any challenge, and I love that about him. He's going to continue to get better. "

But Drummond looked overmatched against Howard, who ended up with his highest-scoring game since joining the Rockets in the offseason. Howard went 13 of 18 from the field, while Drummond managed only nine points at the other end.

"At the end I thanked him for the lesson, " Drummond said. "He said, 'Any time. '"

The Rockets also were without Jeremy Lin, who has been bothered by back spasms, and they lost guard Patrick Beverley to a fractured right hand.

Josh Smith scored 19 points for the Pistons.

Detroit blew a 20-point lead and allowed 72 points in the second half of Friday's loss to Charlotte. The Pistons again struggled defensively against Houston, especially against Howard.

"Dwight was unbelievable tonight. He completely dominated the game, " Houston's Chandler Parsons said. "I'm a big fan of Andre Drummond. I think he's got a lot of potential, and he's a really good player, but I mean, Dwight just dominated tonight. "

Howard scored 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the first half. Houston led 61-53 at the half and 86-71 after three quarters.

Drummond's tip-in made it 92-82, but Howard responded by simply backing Drummond down again for two more points. Francisco Garcia's 3-pointer put the Rockets up 97-84.

The Pistons shot 1 of 12 from 3-point range, and they also missed a number of shots inside from point-blank range. Houston lost Friday at Indiana in a 114-81 rout, but the Rockets overcame all their injury problems against Detroit.

"We just have to go out there and play, " Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. "It does not matter how many guys we have. It does not matter who is playing or who is not playing. We just have to go there and play together and play with some toughness. Toughness and togetherness overcomes a lot of stuff. "

Parsons scored 20 points on 9-of-15 shooting for Houston, and Garcia added 16 points starting in place of Harden. Omri Casspi and Aaron Brooks had seven assists each off the bench.

"I thought Aaron had a good game tonight, " McHale said. "I thought Patrick really started off well. We are not going to have Patrick for a while, which means that Jeremy is due to come back. "

Brandon Jennings had eight points and 10 assists for Detroit before being ejected with 2: 10 to go. After a foul call, a clearly frustrated Jennings tossed the ball away for one technical foul, then earned another for arguing.

"We are still trying to get better, night in and night out, " Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks said. "As I said to our players, there will be some nights when we will have good nights, there will be some nights when we have bad nights. Last night and tonight was not our best for sure. "

Game notes


Detroit was averaging an NBA-best 51. 5 points in the paint coming into the game, while Houston was third at 49. 2. The teams finished tied at 62 in that department Saturday… The Rockets began the fourth quarter by going 8 of 9 from the field… Howard scored 33 points in a Nov. 20 loss at Dallas… Beverley scored 10 points in the first half but didn't play in the second.


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Teams after Omer Asisk


The Hawks, Celtics and Sixers are among the teams reportedly interested in dealing for Omer Asik. (USATSI)
The Hawks, Celtics and Sixers are among the teams reportedly thinking about dealing for Omer Asik.(USATSI)


As the Rockets get offers for disgruntled center Omer Asik before a self-imposed Thursday night deadline, one scenario that has surfaced has Asik going to Boston in the three-team deal with Philadelphia as the assisting team, league sources told CBSSports. com.

1 league source described the situation as a long shot, calling this a “weird deal. ” Certainly, there would have to be strong motivation for the Sixers to steer Asik to a division rival. But each teams are strongly in the combine as possible destinations for the Turkish middle, who has requested a trade right after his role changed with the introduction of Dwight Howard in Houston.



Multiple league executives said the particular Rockets also are open to packaging Jeremy Lin with Asik, but that will scenario appears unlikely as well. As you executive said of Lin, “I’m not sure there are many, if any, takers for him right now. ”

Rockets GM Daryl Morey scored a coup this year by landing Asik from the Bulls and Lin from the Knicks since restricted free agents with artistically structured deals in which the actual obligations to the players balloon to $15 million in the third year from the contracts in 2014-15. As the Rockets embarked on their ultimately successful free-agent pursuit of Howard this past summer, they will quietly made both Asik plus Lin available in trade scenarios that will never came to fruition.

Brandon Bass and Shaun Green of the Celtics, Thaddeus Youthful of the Sixers and Paul Millsap of the Hawks have been among the gamers that league sources say possess most intrigued the Rockets, who else also want to secure at least one first-round pick in any deal.

ESPN. com and Google Sports both reported that Cleveland and Atlanta were among the front-runners for Asik. Atlanta’s interest continues to be lukewarm, at best, sources tell CBSSports. com. Hawks GM Danny Ferry has taken a guarded approach to the particular so-called Asik “sweepstakes, ” as well as for good reason. He is said to be among the professionals wary of Houston’s attempt to overvalue Asik and create what another executive known as a “false market. ”

Such is the Rockets’ job, however , as they try to remove the best assets possible for a player in whose future clearly is not in Houston. There is some urgency to the conversations, as the Rockets would like to maintain the versatility to trade any players attained in an Asik deal in other offers before the Feb. 20 trade deadline day. To do so, those players must be obtained by Thursday under NBA guidelines. It remains to be seen whether potential business partners will view Thursday being a true deadline or a negotiating scheme.

“You’re likely to trade for a guy just to industry him again in two months? inch one executive said. “Better in order to do a three-way. ”


Asik up for trade

The Houston Rockets are telling some other teams that they plan to trade disgruntled center Omer Asik by Dec. 19, according to sources acquainted with the team's programs.

Resources told ESPN.com that the Rockets began calling potential trade partners Fri to tell them they intend to offer Asik between Dec. 15 and Dec. 19.

[+] EnlargeOmar Asik

Scott Halleran/Getty PicturesThe Rockets tried playing Omer Asik and Dwight Howard jointly and were initially hesitant to entertain business gives for the Turkish large man.

The importance of this type of specific windowpane is two-fold. Dec. 15 may be the first day players who signed new contracts in the offseason could be plugged into trades, and Dec. 19 may be the last day time any player acquired by Houston in an Asik deal could be repackaged with some other players before the league's Feb. 20 trade deadline.

The calls made by the Rockets on Fri are reminiscent of their strategy with Thomas Robinson during the draft in June.

It had been an open magic formula that the Rockets were going to trade Robinson to greatly help clear salary-cap room for their pursuit of Dwight Howard. Having this task with Asik now could be in essence an attempt to persuade potential suitors to put their best offer on the table quickly given that the Rockets have established such an exact time frame for trying to complete a industry.

Asik offers wanted a new address from the moment Howard found its way to July and contains privately requested a industry numerous times in the several weeks since, sources mentioned.

The Rockets tried playing Howard and Asik jointly and were at first hesitant to entertain industry offers for the Turkish big man on the premise that the blissful luxury of experiencing either Howard or Asik on the courtroom at all times was too valuable to surrender so rapidly.

But Asik's angry reaction last month to becoming dropped out from the beginning lineup by Rockets coach Kevin McHale changed the powerful.

Group officials are now aggressively looking for a workable industry that won't only recreate a worthy asset for a player of Asik's caliber as a defensive anchor and rebounder but one that also happens quickly plenty of to ensure that Houston – known as among the league's most active teams trade-wise – maintains flexibility to make subsequent progresses deadline time.

Asik has repeatedly declined to touch upon his trade request, realizing that any public discussion of the problem would subject him to an excellent from the league office.

The 27-year-old began his first 90 video games as a Rocket after signing as a free of charge agent in the summertime of 2012 before declaring himself unavailable to have fun with the Knicks in New York on Nov. 14 to snap a streak of 239 consecutive video games played in the standard season.

Asik had been shelved this week by the Rockets with what is outlined as a thigh contusion. He's averaging a mere 18.3 minutes per game, down from final season's career high of 30.0 mpg, and averaging just 4.4 points and 6.8 rebounds.

Asik is owed $15 million in salary next period in a balloon transaction in the ultimate year of his contract that only counts against the income cap at $8.4 million but could still dissuade some bidders.


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Nets at Rockets final score: Houston runs past Brooklyn, 114-95

Nov 29, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets taking pictures guard Francisco Garcia (32) blocks a shot by Brooklyn Nets point guard Tyshawn Taylor (10) in the course of the fourth quarter at Toyota Middle. The Rockets received 114-ninety five. Necessary Credit score: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports activities

The 2013-2014 season has been a struggle for the Brooklyn Nets, and Friday night wasn’t any completely different. Brooklyn fell by the hands of the Houston Rockets by a 114-95 margin, and the way in which wherein they lost was extremely troubling.

Houston’s offense soared from the opening tip, and the 114 points (impressive as they were) represented just the tip of the iceberg. The Rockets absolutely shot the lights out in this one, posted a 52.7% clip from the sphere and a staggering fifty nine.four% (19 for 32) mark from past the 3-point arc. For good measure, the Rockets assisted on 31 of their 39 baskets against the defense-less resistance of the Nets, they usually had been even in a position to get to the free throw line for a powerful 17-of-20 exhibiting.

Maybe the most damning of statistics was the fact that Houston absolutely called the dogs off in this one. No member of the Rockets performed more than 28 minutes, and solely a 33-22 “win” by the Nets in the 4th quarter kept this from being an absolute disaster on the scoreboard.

Should you’re looking for a “vivid” spot for the Nets, it has to be the play of the bench. As a gaggle, they mixed for seventy two of the 95 points, and that’s usually an outstanding sign for the success of a team. Nonetheless, the starters have been used so sparingly (and were so ineffective) that the bench was helpless to beat what was a big deficit from the early going.

Consequently, the Nets now sit at four-12 on the younger season, while Houston is flying excessive at 12-5. It’s straightforward to overreact to a one night time sample measurement within the NBA, but it will be troublesome for two NBA teams to look farther apart while occupying the same floor.

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Report: Big man Asik asks Rockets to trade him

Omer Asik says he isn't unhappy, but he doesn't seem happy either. (USATSI)
Omer Asik needs out. (USATSI)

Since Dwight Howard made his decision to head to Houston, it seemed like Omer Asik’s days had been numbered with the Rockets.

And having seen his starting job taken and his minutes reduce, he is finally asking for a method out.

In keeping with the Houston Chronicle, Asik has formally requested that the Rockets commerce him.

The Rockets don’t have any commerce involving Asik within the works, with one individual saying a deal is extra possible in months than in days.

Asik declined comment, referring questions to his agent, Andy Miller. Miller also would not touch upon any commerce request.

“I would say the state of affairs is very frustrating right now and we’re trying to work by means of it,” Miller stated. “For Omer, the target has at all times been to continue to develop and grow as a participant. That’s why we got here to Houston within the first place. If that objective cannot be met, if we can’t get the appropriate platform to grow and contribute as a player, it’s actually frustrating.”

Asik performed solely 4 minutes in opposition to the 76ers on Wednesday, an additional time loss. He began each recreation for them final season and was an integral half within the staff that pushed the Thunder to 6 video games within the opening round.

However with Howard’s presence and Kevin McHale’s desire to play small, there just hasn’t been a lot room for him on the ground.

When Howard signed with the Rockets this summer, there have been rumblings Asik would ask out, with a rumored deal involving him going to New Orleans for Ryan Anderson.

Asik is making $8.3 million this season and with the Rockets over the cap, they would want to either match salaries with another workforce, or commerce with someone below the cap to create a trade exception.

Asik, 27, is averaging simply 5.6 factors and 8.1 rebounds this season in 22.1 minutes.

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Report: Big man Asik asks Rockets to trade him


Omer Asik says he isn't unhappy, but he doesn't seem happy either. (USATSI) Omer Asik wants out. (USATSI)


Since Dwight Howard made his decision to move to Houston, it seemed like Omer Asik’s days were numbered with the Rockets.

And having seen his starting job taken and his minutes reduce, he is finally asking for a way out.

Based on the Houston Chronicle, Asik has formally requested that the Rockets commerce him.

The Rockets haven’t any trade involving Asik in the works, with one individual saying a deal is extra possible in months than in days.

Asik declined remark, referring questions to his agent, Andy Miller. Miller also wouldn’t comment on any commerce request.

“I might say the state of affairs could be very frustrating right now and we’re trying to work by it,” Miller said. “For Omer, the objective has at all times been to proceed to develop and grow as a participant. That’s why we came to Houston in the first place. If that objective cannot be met, if we won’t get the precise platform to develop and contribute as a player, it’s certainly irritating.”

Asik performed solely 4 minutes towards the 76ers on Wednesday, an extra time loss. He started each sport for them last season and was an integral half within the crew that pushed the Thunder to 6 video games in the opening round.

But with Howard’s presence and Kevin McHale’s desire to play small, there simply hasn’t been much room for him on the ground.

When Howard signed with the Rockets this summer time, there have been rumblings Asik would ask out, with a rumored deal involving him going to New Orleans for Ryan Anderson.

Asik is making $8.three million this season and with the Rockets over the cap, they would want to either match salaries with one other staff, or commerce with somebody underneath the cap to create a trade exception.

Asik, 27, is averaging just 5.6 points and 8.1 rebounds this season in 22.1 minutes.

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Rockets’ Howard wants to fight in the UFC for $10,000,000


Float like a butterfly, sting like a Rocket? (USATSI) Float like a butterfly, sting like a Rocket?. (USATSI)


Rockets heart Dwight Howard recently advised UFC head Dana White that he’d step into the cage for a fight for the very affordable value of $10 million. From For The Win:

Throughout a backstage go to at a UFC fight in Houston, the Rockets’ huge man informed UFC president Dana White recently that he’d be keen to go into the cage … for $10 million.

“I might get up there and battle. If I get knocked out, I get knocked out,” Howard stated. “I will get again up one day.”

White immediately interjected. “I need to do that pay-per-view while you’re prepared, man,” he stated.

through Dwight Howard would do a UFC combat for $10 million | For The Win.

You may see Howard’s full feedback here (warning: NSFW.

With gangly limbs, a wide physique, and a again injury, this seems like a great idea, even when Howard did it after his playing days had been over. Getting knee strikes on him would seem like an issue, though.

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Clips rout Rockets in Dwight’s L.A. comeback

Clippers Deal Rockets First Loss


LA – Dwight Howard returned for the first time to Staples Middle, the place the Los Angeles Clippers ran his Houston Rockets off the floor with their most points in four years.

J.J. Redick scored 19 of his 26 factors in the first half to guide seven players in double figures, and Los Angeles beat Houston 137-118 on Monday night, handing the Rockets their first loss of the season.

“We have been making all the things,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers mentioned. “They have been in foul trouble. Numerous things went right.”

It was the Clippers’ highest-scoring game since having 140 towards the Knicks on March 25, 2009.

“Numerous times I just come out with power and that vitality is just not matched by the man guarding me,” Redick stated.

Chris Paul added 23 points and 17 assists, Jamal Crawford had 21 factors, and Blake Griffin scored 18 for the Clippers, who led the complete sport and tied a franchise document with seventy eight factors within the first half.

“Offense is fairly good,” Paul mentioned. “It’s all about our tempo. We’re up-tempo. If a crew misses, we’re operating.”

Howard finished with thirteen points and 9 rebounds after getting roundly booed in his first game in Los Angeles since leaving the Lakers and signing with Houston in the NBA’s greatest free-agent move this past summer time.

“They can boo me 1,000,000 times. I am going to still play,” he mentioned.

Reflecting on his one up-and-down season with the Lakers, Howard stated, “I simply allowed what people mentioned to affect how I played. However I can not do this. I mean, I am better than that.”

Jared Dudley added 15 points, and DeAndre Jordan had 11 factors and nine rebounds for the Clippers, who’ve gained 5 in a row at home towards Houston and three straight overall after dropping their season opener to the Lakers.

“They’d 15 3s and a ton of paint factors, so that they had the perfect of both worlds,” Rockets coach Kevin McHale said.

Coming off a sprained left ankle, Omri Casspi led seven Houston gamers in double figures with 19 points off the bench. James Harden added 15 factors, and Chandler Parsons had 14, along with Jeremy Lin and Francisco Garcia. The Rockets fell to 3-1.

The Clippers turned the final seven minutes into Lob Metropolis, with Paul orchestrating again-to-again, alley-oop passes to Jordan and Griffin that led to dunks. They were part of a 15-5 run that stretched the Clippers’ lead to 129-108.

The Rockets managed the beginning of the fourth however got no closer than nine points. That was as close as they got 4 times within the third.

“They only did whatever they needed,” McHale said. “We just couldn’t cease them.”

The Clippers led 78-66 at halftime. They shot 59 percent from the ground and made 19 of twenty-two free throws. Redick shot 6-of-9 and made all six of his free throws within the half.

“Man can shoot the basketball. It’s unbelievable,” Griffin stated. “The very best part of taking part in with him is he never stops moving. That is how he gets his pictures; he really works for them.”

Howard picked up three fouls in the first quarter. Griffin additionally had three fouls by halftime, together with two in an 11-second span simply before the break.

Game notes

The Clippers set a franchise report for three-point attempts in a recreation with 38… The Clippers’ 78 points within the first half tied the franchise record set on March thirteen, 1998, towards Toronto… Howard will face the Lakers for the first time Thursday in Houston. “There’s no want to talk about what the Lakers could have executed. I made my decision and I am dwelling with it,” he mentioned. “I am blissful where I’m at, I am in a terrific place. Everyone ought to transfer forward. It’s over with.”


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Cuban: Howard wrong for going to Rockets

DALLAS – Mavericks owner Mark Cuban lost the recruiting battle for Dwight Howard to the Houston Rockets, but Cuban believes that is because the massive man made a bad resolution.

“Clearly, he made a mistake in judgment,” Cuban said Thursday, a bit of more than 24 hours before the Mavericks play Howard’s Rockets in Houston. “Do I blame him? No, that is what younger youngsters do. They make mistakes in judgment.”

The Mavs and Rockets had been two of the five teams that made pitches to Howard and his brokers in Los Angeles this summer season. Cuban thinks Howard, 27, had already made up his mind to sign with the Rockets and staff up with 24-yr-old rising famous person shooting guard James Harden.

Cuban Clearly, he made a mistake in judgment. Do I blame him? No, that’s what young kids do. They make errors in judgment.

- Mavs owner Mark Cuban,
on Dwight Howard’s decision
to signal with the Rockets

Mavs famous person Dirk Nowitzki is 35, but Cuban considers it foolish to decide in free agency primarily based totally on the age of potential co-stars.

“You select teams. You do not select players,” Cuban mentioned. “If he made a selection off of a person participant, yeah, he made a mistake. You choose groups. You choose organizations. You select coaches. And it’s simply not relative to Houston. That is simply the way I look at it, because if he is that good, then the right organization …

“Put apart Dwight. Any young superstar trying to make a transfer, in case you’re that good, then the suitable organization gets all the best pieces round you. So it’s not about you’d relatively play with this man. In the event you’re that good and you’ve got [wage-cap] flexibility, the precise organization will put the suitable pieces round you and get you there.”

The Dallas front workplace’s observe report of success was a big a part of the Mavs’ pitch to Howard. Dallas had a streak of 11 50-win seasons, which included two journeys to the NBA Finals and a championship in 2011, snapped within the lockout-shortened 2011-12 campaign after Cuban opted to let Tyson Chandler and others leave in free company as a result of he wanted the wage-cap area to chase a celebrity in free company. The Mavs’ streak of 12 playoff seasons ended last season, as Nowitzki handled injuries whereas being surrounded by a supporting forged consisting primarily of one-12 months rental players.

The Rockets, who pulled off a surprising blockbuster trade to land Harden earlier than final season, have received one playoff series in the past 17 seasons.

Nowitzki, nevertheless, would not blame Howard for deciding that Houston was the best vacation spot for him.

“Houston clearly is an up-and-coming team,” Nowitzki instructed ESPNDallas.com. “[Chandler] Parsons to me is a phenomenal participant, an up-and-coming player, and Harden is one of the best within the league at getting to the basket and scoring. They are going to be a handful.”

Dwight HowardDwight Howard tied a profession excessive with 26 rebounds in his Rockets debut on Wednesday evening.

Cuban stated he thought the Mavs have been an extended shot going into their assembly with Howard and his representatives because of his feeling that Howard was leaning heavily to Houston. Nonetheless, Cuban left the assembly believing that the Mavs had a legit chance, as did Nowitzki.

“I really thought it went great, however the issue with those meetings is they don’t really let on how it went or what they preferred,” Nowitzki mentioned. “They went out of the room, came back in, had a few extra questions for us. We answered these. I assumed Cuban was improbable in his presentation, even offered among the advertising stuff we could have completed right here. So I believed we were really prepared.

“I believed it went properly. But if you ask the other four teams – or Houston acquired him, but the other three that didn’t get him – they’d in all probability say the same. It’s a little deceptive in those meetings. However we gave it our greatest shot. It did not work out our way, and we moved on as a franchise.”

The Mavs moved on by signing several free agents, a crop headlined by guards Jose Calderon (4 years, $29 million) and Monta Ellis (three years, $25 million). The Mavs, who acknowledged that they have been making an attempt to promote Howard on a two-yr rebuilding plan, wouldn’t have been capable of afford both player if they’d signed Howard to a max contract except they made different major roster moves.

Pleased with Plan B – and it’s truly Plan D contemplating the Mavs’ hopes to land Deron Williams or Chris Paul when the original choice was made to strip down the title roster – Cuban insists he’ll have no wonders about what could have been whereas watching Howard play towards the Mavs.

“None. Not even somewhat bit, because I believe we got here out fairly good,” Cuban stated. “If we were caught, then perhaps. However like I say about each different staff, I hope they suck.

“I say that every year. It is nothing private. I nonetheless like Dwight as a person. However I still want the Rockets, like every other staff, to have a horrible season. It is nothing personal. I just need them to suck.”

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Rockets’ Harden leaves with knee contusion

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Houston Rockets guard James Harden was listed as everyday after leaving Friday evening’s preseason recreation against the Memphis Grizzlies with a proper knee bruise.

James HardenThe Rockets will re-evaluate James Harden (knee) on Saturday, coach Kevin McHale mentioned.

Rockets coach Kevin McHale stated after Houston’s 92-73 victory that his star guard bumped knees with Memphis’ Quincy Pondexter in the first quarter. Harden did not return after the injury.

“He iced it, and stuff, and we’ll see how he feels (Saturday),” McHale said, indicating that he didn’t assume the harm was critical.

Harden, who entered the game as the workforce’s main scorer in the preseason with a 20.eight average, linked on a 3-pointer from the correct wing with 4:35 left within the first quarter and went all the way down to the court in entrance of the Rockets bench when he was fouled by Pondexter.

Harden ultimately obtained up, made the following free throw and went straight to the locker room on the subsequent stoppage of play.

Harden completed with six factors and four rebounds in his 7-plus minutes before the harm.

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Rockets’ Lin hopes lower profile will aid him

HOUSTON – Jeremy Lin mentioned he failed in handling the huge expectations that have been positioned on him following his breakout season with the New York Knicks and hopes a lower profile in his second season with the now star-studded Houston Rockets will assist him.

[+] EnlargeDwight Howard and Jeremy LinAP Photo/Mark J. TerrillJeremy Lin stated it takes time to discover ways to handle expectations.

A yr in the past, Lin was the focus when the Rockets opened the season after they signed him away from the Knicks. However he struggled in his first full season as a starting point guard, and the Rockets have traded for James Harden and signed Dwight Howard since Lin’s signing. That has made the crew a contender and taken among the burden off Lin.

“Learning to manage and take care of expectations and which voices to tune out takes time,” Lin said at Rockets media day Friday. “It’s a must to fail at it to get to where you need to get to.”

Lin was incessantly vital of his efficiency last season, when he started all eighty two games and averaged thirteen.4 factors and 6.1 assists a sport. He was constantly chasing his 5-week run in 2012 in New York and the famed “Linsanity.”

With Howard and Harden, Lin is now extra targeted on being the function player he ended up changing into when the Rockets made the playoffs last season.

“From a personal standpoint, there’s a lot less strain this season,” Lin said. “I’ve had such a wide spectrum of literally no expectations to having each expectation. Now it is form of going back all the way down to some lower expectations.”

Lin isn’t the only Rocket who has a different view a year into his tenure. Heart Omer Asik, who like Lin was a major free-agent addition in 2012, was not pleased when the Rockets signed Howard. He requested to be traded, a wish the Rockets have to this point declined as they plan to experiment with taking part in Howard and Asik together.

Over the past two months, as many as 10 Rockets gamers acquired together for workouts in Los Angeles and Aspen, Colo., but Asik was not amongst them. He spent the summer enjoying for the Turkish national workforce. Friday was the primary day he had been with his teammates because the Howard signing.

“I’ve no touch upon [the commerce demand]. I am simply here to do my job, that is all I can say,” Asik said. “I feel [Howard] is the very best middle in the league and he’s a fantastic addition for the Houston Rockets, and we’ll see how it goes. I’m a basketball participant, and I am going to do regardless of the coaches say.”

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