The Rockets ended a season-long losing streak of 13 games by defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves, 119-114, led by a career-high 42 points from second-year shooting guard Jalen Green. It was a 32-point turnaround from the previous game. Just 48 hours earlier, Green had scored only 10 points against the same Timberwolves team in a 113-104 loss at Minnesota. “Obviously, I was in my head a little bit after the 10-point game,” Green said during his postgame press conference. “Today, Coach [Stephen Silas] got on us for not having our mind in shootaround. He and I went over film before and just broke that down. We were trying to see where I could do better coming off the double team and getting my guys involved better, and getting the ball back in my hands.”
January 31, 2023 | 4:33 am EST Update
Sacramento is said to be monitoring the availability of Philadelphia’s Matisse Thybulle as the Kings, unexpectedly holding the West’s No. 3 seed after a league-record 16 consecutive seasons out of the playoffs, ponder the pursuit of a more defensive-minded option on the perimeter.
As Kyrie Irving’s agent and stepmother Shetellia Riley Irving told my podcast partner Chris Haynes in a Bleacher Report story last week, Irving hopes to sign a contract extension with the Nets — but substantive talks between the sides have yet to begin. Some league observers have posited that this could be by design on Brooklyn’s part, with the Nets apparently convinced that they are under no pressure to move swiftly on the extension front when Irving would likely need their help via sign-and-trade to relocate in the offseason to any other team he likes.
Teams like the Los Angeles Clippers would like to improve at that position, with John Wall apparently available. The Orlando Magic have eyes on a quality veteran like VanVleet, per sources. The Dallas Mavericks are still looking for a Jalen Brunson replacement. The Washington Wizards don’t have a true answer at the point.
The Lakers are fighting to climb into the top 10 in the Western Conference. While coach Darvin Ham has found a viable role for Westbrook off the bench, the franchise does have concerns about his playoff viability, per multiple sources.
Despite changes at the very top, the team is expected to make more significant changes after the season, but sources say the team has come to terms with the likelihood that Paul is starting to decline (38 years old in May). Even if he can bring it for another postseason, the Suns need to find a long-term replacement.