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Josephy layup, and one. Game tied. Rockets starters back in, with 8:47 left.
Harden checking back in. He's 2 of 12, 0 for 4 on 3s. He has 7 assists , but has never looked sharp tonight.
Spurs run to end third, start fourth up to 13-0. Rockets lead down to 1, 10:10 left.
Spurs doing Spur things ...
Rockets 76, Spurs 68 after 3. Spurs scored last 6 points of quarter. Parsons with 19. Howard has 15, but took just 1 shots in 3rd quarter.
Parsons pours in 14 points in 3Q as Rockets now 12 mins away from clinching HC. Spurs hanging around, though, HOU lead still just 8.
Spurs closed the third on a 6-0 run, but Chandler Parsons scored 14 of his 19 points in this quarter. Rockets up 76-68 heading to 4th.
if Parsons keeps going like this, some local car dealership ought to set him up for some pregame demolition derby in playoffs.
It's been a real struggle for James Harden tonight, just 2-12 from the field. Parsons, Jones, Howard (15p each) carrying the scoring load.
As with games against Nuggets, Timberwolves, Pelicans, Rockets seem better against starters than against backups.
Harden picks up his fourth foul trying to take a charge. Garcia set to check in. Rockets up 69-60.
Rockets up 12 as Duncan, Parker sit. Not sure if they will return.
Rockets up 69-57 with 4:10 left in 3Q. Duncan probably done for the night and Parker very well may be as well.
Jones alley oop with right hand over Duncan probably his best of many this season. Ridiculous.
And Terrence Jones just killed a guy
Not too shabby for guy who was a game-time decision. Parsons 10 points in 3Q, 15 overall, and is 2-4 from 3 (and 11-23 from vs SAS this yr)
OH MY, Terrence Jones.
Howard T similar to Duncan's. Both seemed inadvertent, but reckless, too.
Ginobili fouls Howard, who nails him with an elbow for a technical.
Parsons hits a three out of the corner. That's what's been missing -- Rockets now just 2-12 from long range. 62-56 Rockets, 7:00 left 3Q.
Terrence Jones just not coming close to putting a body on anyone, giving up offensive rebounds way too often.
Beverley fouls a shooter and McHale calls him over for one those settle down talks. Always a fine line way he defends.
Spurs going with same starters in second half. Duncan played 22 first-half minutes. As with all Spurs, averages less than 30.
Saw a fake "Quick Change" on road last week. Getting the real thing tonight. Up there in competition for best halftime act.
Not sure why Harden was so upset at Ginobili. Ginobili went for steal, missed, hit him in gut. Not his job to blow officials' whistle.
Rockets hit halftime with 50-43 lead. Teams a combined 2-21 from 3. Howard in peak form, however, with 12 pts, 11 rebs, 6-6 from field.
W/ SAS having nothing to play for, game lacking in intensity department... until last 2 mins. Harden hubbub certainly brought out some fire
Rockets 50, Spurs 43 at half. Dwight 6 of 6 for 12 points with 11 rebounds in 15 mins. Duncan 10p, 7r.
Terrence Jones launches a fast break 3 with 23.9 left in half. Makes zero sense.
50-43 Rockets at half. Dwight Howard a perfect 6-6 from the field for a first half double-double (12p-11r). Harden, TJones each w/ 9p.
Harden had to be restrained by Beverley after being called for an offensive foul. He was livid, screamed something that rhymes with pullmit.
Flagrant foul call was overturned after view review, but Harden was called for a technical. Lin in for Harden.
Harden was upset at a no call on Ginobili so drove into Manu, popped him for a rare flagrant offensive foul.
Harden draws a charge on a Ginobili Eurostep. If there is one move Harden knows...
Extremely uncharacteristic stat of the night: Rockets have turned it over just twice, and both times by Beverley. 44-36 Rockets, 3:34 2Q.
Duncan caught, held up Parsons after Diaw fouled him. Gave Leon Wood a look as if to ask if that was a T too. (Although Brothers Td him up.)
Duncan playing so many first half minutes, taking so many shots, I wonder if he'll be back for second half. He's 2 of 7.
Guy made enough free throws to spell Cabo S __ _____. Could not name the city to win free trip there. Crowd boos.
Asik, feeling it, launches a 22-footer. No good. Howard checking back in after time out.
After Beverley hit the Rockets' first three of the night, Houston opened up a 14-pt lead, but Spurs have since gone on an 11-4 run.
Obviously not seeing full strength SAS tonight but 3-pt shooting vs HOU this season now 20-77 (.260). Spurs lead NBA, shooting 40% from 3.
Rockets with their best opening quarter since last week vs LAL. HOU up 30-21 after 1Q as Jones (9 points) and D12 (6 pts, 7 rebs) lead way.
Rockets 30, Spurs 21 after 1. Lin with slick drive to end quarter. Rockets shoot 55.6 %, Spurs 25 %. Just 2 tos between them.
Strong start for the Rockets, hitting nearly 56% of their shots and lead 30-21 after one. TJones scored 9, Dwight had 6 points, 7 boards.
Rockets playing with much greater intensity, and much better, than vs. Den, Minn., NO. Would've been nice to see all Spurs playing, though.
Howard got gong early vs Ayres on his way to putting together a terrific opening stint. 6 pts (all scored via post-ups) and 7 boards
Howard looking much sharper than Saturday in first game back. Has 6p, 7r in first 8 minutes.
TJ off to another strong start vs Spurs. 7 pts & some excellent contests on SAS shooters who still can't hit a 3 vs HOU (now 20-74 for yr).
Duncan nails Beverley after Beverley fouled him. Duncan called for a technical. Pop and Beverley chatting. Hoping it's in Russian.
Harden w two of the cheapest fouls you can get. Second one, though, was on him. Caught between getting out of way, drawing charge. Stays in.
Harden picked up second foul less than 4 mins into the game. McHale leaving him in the game for now.
T-Jones gets the Rockets on the board to start tonight's contest. He is averaging 17 ppg, 13 rpg and 1.3 bpg vs SAS this season
Parsons addressed the fans at TC: "We look forward to getting home court advantage and playing in front of the best fans in the playoffs."
Huge factor in HOU's 3 Ws over SAS this season: Spurs, No. 1 in 3-pt%, have only hit 29% of their 3s. Rockets have hit 41.7% of 3s vs SAS.
SAS only team ranked in top-5 in both offense & D-rating. But in 3 games vs HOU this yr, Spurs have produced at bottom-5 levels on both ends
Rockets starting lineup -- Howard, Jones, Parsons, Harden, Beverley -- together for first time since vs. Philly, March 27. They are 22-11.
Someone help me here. When was last time two Arizona State teammates started same NBA game as Harden, Ayres will tonight?
True or False: This is Jeremy Lin's final regular season home game with the Houston Rockets.
Parsons looks good to go. Still sore from fall in Minneapolis.
Parsons, who is shooting now to see if he can go, was in car accident outside TC. Woman ran red light, hit his SUV, asked for autograph.
(In other words, Rockets presumably catching a bit of a break tonight -- assuming Leonard doesn't play)
Spurs starting Baynes and Damian James along with Parker, Duncan and Belinelli. Pop referred to James as 'the new kid, what's his name."
McHale says Parsons and Garcia will be true game-time decisions tonight.
McHale says Chandler Parsons is still a gametime decision.
Rockets make it official. The Dexter Pittman era is over.
With a win, Rockets would be 4th team ever to sweep a 60-win tm. OKC swept SA this season. Boston swept LA in 72-73; NY swept Det in 88-89.
Bulls announce signing of Greg Smith. Rockets waived Smith, who is out with knee injury, to sign Dexter Pittman, whom they will waive today.
Sounds like Pop is playing everyone. Said being healthy and sharp for playoffs is key, and have to play to be sharp.
Pop with a marathon shootaround. Tis the season? Then again, Spurs almost never practice, so clearly know how to make most of it when do.
Rockets, Spurs have their own goals. I'm still just trying to get Patrick Beverley to say 'What's up Pop' to Popovich in Russian during gm.
... won eight of its past nine games, looked terrific last night in overtime win vs. Golden State. Started run with wins vs. Atl, Chi, Mem.
Howard said priority is for Rockets to be their best by playoffs. Hou staggering to finish line, edging Den, NO at home. Portland has ...
Chandler Parsons says he's still feeling pretty sore but intends to give it a go tonight given the stakes (home-court) involved.
As expected, Francisco Garcia good to go. Chandler Parsons likely but less certain. Both were out on Saturday.
Rockets sent Covington and Canaan to RGV for playoff game tonight. Daniels stays with Rockets.
Good morning world
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Rockets only playoff series win since '97 (in 2009) was vs. Blazers. Their run to consecutive championships began 20 years ago vs. Portland.
In that game Harden joined Jordan as only players with 41 points (20 in 4th or OT), 10 rebounds, six assists and six steals since 1985-86.
If Rockets split remaining games and Blazers beat Clips, Rockets will have HCA with tie-breaker clinched with 4th-quarter comeback in March.
Also: Harden's March 9 heroics in Rox rally past Portland on March 9 looming ever larger. That game may well be difference in who gets HC.
Blazers beat Warriors in OT. Rockets vs. Blazers in 1st round. Rockets would have HCA w/ win Monday vs. SA or Wed. in NO, or with Por loss.
Rox-Blazers it is. All that's left now is to decide home-court. Rockets' magic number at 1 w/ Spurs tmrw, at NOP Wed. PDX home vs LAC Wed.
Start the playoffs already. This Blazers-Warriors game is all kinds of amazing.
Warriors-Blazers tonight as good as it gets.
This Warriors Blazers game is unreal!
It would have been as shocking if the Warriors did not tie the game as it was that it was Draymond Green that did it.
Does every Warriors game come down to the last minute or does it just seem that way?
If Portland wins tonight, Rockets would need to beat either Spurs or Pelicans, or have Blazers lose to Clippers, to lock up homecourt.