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Meyers Leonard in warmups hit just about every 3 he put up. Hits his 1st in game. I'd guess Rockets spent more time preparing for Aldridge.
Rockets/ Trail Blazers about to tip off for first time since Game 6. Toyota Center crowd already into this one.
Some boos for Damian Lillard. How dare he make a series-clinching shot? Bet he regrets it, now.
Healthy boos for Lillard by the Rockets crowd.
As I said earlier, Dwight Howard, Trevor Ariza and James Harden, who were all probable, are starting tonight as well.
Meyers Leonard will start for LaMarcus Aldridge tonight.
Joel Freeland has been starting for the Blazers with Lopez out. Dwight Howard fouled out of Gm 1 against Freeland on call the NBA corrected.
Myers Leonard starting for Blazers with Aldridge out.
With Aldridge out, Stotts would not name a starter. (TRob?) Blazers will have more starting lineups in past 3 gms than all of last season.
Aldridge did not even come to Toyota Center - is sick at the team hotel.
LaMarcus Aldridge out against the Rockets tonight.
Stotts confirms LaMarcus Aldridge is OUT tonight.
Trevor Ariza, Dwight Howard and James Harden are all good to go for tonight. So are newcomers Corey Brewer and Alexey Shved.
Rockets probables - Howard; Harden, Ariza - will play. McHale called Howard's knee 'troublesome. '
Harden, Howard, Ariza are all playing tonight.
Aldridge, who is questionable tonight with a respiratory infection, was named Western Conf. Player of the Week.
Portland coach Terry Stotts said Aldridge is truly a game-time decision. Will see how he is feeling just before its starts.
By the way, while we all keep citing the AAU team that featured Josh Smith and Dwight Howard, friendship continued. Dwight was his best man.
Rockets went after Smith in 2013 Summer of Dwight, but needed a sign-and-trade could not complete with Atlanta.
Rockets would offer Smith their bi-annual exception, worth $2.077 mil, source said. Would come w good role, good team, good friend (Dwight).
LaMarcus Aldridge questionable tonight vs. Rockets with an upper respiratory infection.
Smith could provided needed depth in frontcourt. Also would add to the Rockets lefty collection (Harden, KPap, Jones, D-Mo, sort of Dwight.)
Told that yes, the Rockets would be interested in Josh Smith after he clears waivers. Were interested in '13.
New Rocket Corey Brewer is ready to go tonight. He said he feels like he has picked up Houston system well so far.
Also James Harden (hamstring) and Dwight Howard (shoulder) are also both probable tonight.
Trevor Ariza added to the injury list with a sore left calf- he is probable for tonight vs. Portland.
Pat Beverley said Rockets starters have to come out with a sense of urgency against Portland tomorrow. “We have to start the game right."
Pat Beverley said the Rockets still have a sour taste in their mouth from last year's playoff loss to the Trail Blazers.
Rockets coach Kevin McHale said he didn't even mention Portland today. The Rockets had a long practice that was all about them.
We use 'probable' and 'questionable' a lot. Probable is 75 % chance a player plays, questionable is 50 %. Doubtful is 25 %. And out is 0 %.
Dwight Howard has right shoulder strain and is probable for Portland Mon. James Harden has a strained left hamstring and is also probable.
Johnny Manziel had a better first half than Joe Flacco.
Laying down thinking, just wishing you was here!!
I am definitely interested to see how Brewer and Shved fit in with Rockets. I will check in on them after practice tomorrow.
Trevor Ariza on Atlanta: “They were doing anything the wanted to in the first half and it came back to bite us in the butt."
Dwight Howard: "I have total faith in our team and what we are trying to accomplish. We are going to have some rough patches."
Rockets coach Kevin McHale on the Rockets’ loss to Atlanta: “We had our chances."
Rockets host Portland on Monday night. That will be a very big test. And a tough welcome for the new Rockets.
Dwight Howard said the Rockets are having a tough stretch but need to stay together and keep battling.
BTW, Harden said his hamstring tightened up but that he felt okay after the game. Will keep an eye on it next few days.
McHale says Rockets defense was really poor in first half.
McHale: "Our defense was very poor in the first half. We weren't down in a stance. We weren't ready to play."
Harden's 14 assists tonight are a career high. He has had 13 twice.
Fourth quarter fouls- Rockets 14, Hawks 5
Big Atlanta lead in the first half came back to haunt Rockets tonight.
Yeah, Rockets got a few bad calls, especially the non-push on Dwight. But Hawks shot 51.4 %. Rockets don't win when Rockets don't defend.
I’m sitting right where the refs walk off the court. To put it lightly, people were not kind as they were leaving.
Hawks beat Rockets 104-97.
Big win for the Hawks at Toyota Center.
FINAL: Hawks 104, Rockets 97. Offense still struggling, but defense followed tonight. Tony Brothers led Atlanta with 21 pts, 14 assists.
You know the way coaches so often say close losses were really decided in 1st half and everyone ignores them? This one was about 1st half.
Crowd is hostile over these foul calls. Rightfully so.
Really impressed with Beverley’s rebounding tonight. He has seven and none have been easy.
Wow… I don’t typically comment on officiating, but… I have some questions on this game.
There have been some awful calls tonight. I mean AWFUL calls. That Jason Terry three-point play called an offensive foul was terrible.
Down two with 4:14 left, McHale goes small -- three guard lineup with Ariza playing the four, Howard at center.
This game is being called tight right now. Rockets going to have to be extra careful.
Thanks to Rockets PR for that last Jason Terry note.
Jason Terry w 11 points including 3-7 3PT FGM. Now just 2 more 3s to reach 2,000 for career (would be just 3rd player in NBA history)
Interesting note, Atlanta is one of the league’s best 4th quarter teams, averaging 26.3 points. Ranks third in the league.
Terry misses a three at the buzzer, but a strong run by Rockets has it tied at 74 heading to the 4th. Harden has a season-high 11 assists.
Tie game on a James Harden midrange jumper.
Rockets making their second push of the third quarter as back-to-back triples by Jason Terry has Houston within one, 70-69, 1:12 3Q.
The Jet with two 3s in a row- Rockets within one point and the Toyota Center has come to life.
Watched the replay of Harden "push" of Antic for a T about 4 times. Really unecessary to do and to call. Antic did not seem to even notice.
Tony Brothers has locked in on James Harden. He whistled him for two fouls then called him for a ticky-tack technical that has fans irate.