Houston's move that wasn't

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The Rockets had a busy trade deadline, and will welcome Kevin Martin, Jared Jeffries, Jordan Hill, and Hilton Armstrong to the team this weekend. But Houston GM Daryl Morey could have had his fingerprints all over another blockbuster deal, though this time in an out-of-the-blue attempt to land some star-power. From ESPN.com’s Marc Stein and J.A. Adande:

The deadline indeed passed at 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon with [Amar’e] Stoudemire still in Phoenix, but only after the Suns and Houston Rockets engaged in 11th-hour discussions, according to sources close to the situation. One source told ESPN.com’s J.A. Adande that the Rockets — fresh off constructing a three-team blockbuster that sent Tracy McGrady to New York and landed Kevin Martin in Houston — offered veterans Shane Battier and Luis Scola, multiple draft picks and the expiring contract of Brian Cook for Stoudemire.

It’s unclear why exactly the deal fell apart (Stein and Adande offer a few possibilities in their analysis), but I have two thoughts:

  • Talent-wise, this trade would’ve been a steal for Houston. Shane Battier and Luis Scola are fine role players, but Stoudemire is a scoring machine with both range and power. He’d be a free agent in the summer and that’s concerning, but Houston would have the inside track on resigning him since they would possess his Bird rights.
  • This trade would’ve been the most un-Morey thing I’ve ever seen. Throughout his time with the Rockets, Morey has assembled a roster of overachievers; Houston’s rotation is lined with guys giving maximum effort who play smart basketball. Battier and Scola fit the mold perfectly, but Stoudemire? Not so much. Amare’e’s biggest enemy has always been himself, as his mental game could never keep pace with his impressive physique.

If Morey had landed Stoudemire, the buzz in Houston today would be incalculable. But is it the possible the Rockets are better off sticking with what they have, and avoiding all the headaches that come with Stoudemire’s impressive game?

Cavaliers stand in middle of Raptors dancers’ routine (video)

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The Cavaliers were ready for their game against the Raptors tonight, and Toronto’s dance team wasn’t going to change that.

The last time I remember something like this happening, Grizzlies guard Tony Allen walked through the Warriors’ kid dancers. This video doesn’t show got the Cavaliers got to that point, but they might have the defense of being there first. Allen definitely didn’t have that.

Wizards score 6 (!) fourth-quarter points in loss to Hornets

Cody Zeller, Ramon Sessions
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Gary Neal made a jumper with 10:12 remaining in tonight’s Wizards-Hornets game.

That was Washington’s last basket.

Jared Dudley made a pair of free throws on the Wizards next possession, and Neal added two more free throws with 23 seconds left.

And that was all the Wizards scoring in the quarter.

Washington, which entered the final period up seven, lost 101-87 after its 1-for-20 final-period shooting.

The six fourth-quarter points were the fewest by an NBA team in a quarter since Cavaliers scored six third-quarter points in a Jan. 26, 2014 loss to the Suns. Last time a team scored so few in a fourth quarter: Nov. 13, 2012, when the Raptors had five against the Pacers.

At least Neal’s late free throws spared the Wizards further shame. Nobody has scored four or fewer points in a quarter since the Warriors managed just two in a Feb. 8, 2004 loss to the Raptors.

As it stands, this is one of only 44 times in the shot clock era a team has scored so few points in a quarter.

76ers tie NBA-record losing streak, dropping heartbreaker to Celtics

Isaiah Thomas, T.J. McConnell

After a rare period of on-court competence, the 76ers led the Celtics by five with two minutes left tonight.

Then, Philadelphia snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

The 76ers yielded a 9-0 run to close an 84-80 setback.

They’re now 0-16. Combined with their 0-10 finish to last season, that’s a 26-game losing streak – tied for longest in NBA history. Last year’s 76ers already shared the record.

Philadelphia is also in danger of the worst start to a season. The 2009-10 New Jersey Nets began 0-18, and last year’s 76ers won only one game sooner.

The 76ers will try to avoid the all-time longest streak at the Rockets on Friday. If that goes unsuccessfully, they’ll try to avoid matching the worst season start at the Grizzlies on Sunday. And if both fail, they could set the worst-start record against the Lakers on Tuesday.

76ers-Lakers – it’s shaping up to be a big one.

Timberwolves read mean tweets about themselves (video)

Flip Saunders, Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones
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The Timberwolves didn’t select the meanest tweets about these players, but credit Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones, Shabazz Muhammad and Zach LaVine for being good sports.