Party-hardy Josh Howard punched his own ticket to Washington

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UPDATE 2/20 1:35 am: After the Wizards win on Friday night, Josh Howard called he accusation he was too hung over to play on Jan 19 a lie. He would not go into details, only to say that, “he would not respond to a lie.”

2/19 12:13 pm: Josh Howard’s (lack of) production and past infractions may have set things in motion long ago, but the inciting moment that may have led to Howard’s ticket out of Dallas seems to be a DNP- Hangover. From Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News:

The juicy piece of irony is that Howard ended up in Washington, which may well have been the site where he had the beginning of the end, according to several Maverick sources. They say Howard had a long night of partying on Jan. 19, the night after the Mavericks had won in Boston and less than 24 hours before playing the Wizards. The team officially said he missed the game against Washington on Jan. 20 with a stomach illness. But sources said team officials could not deny that it was a self-inflicted game off.

It certainly be the first time that Howard was out of line, as his notorious 2008 birthday party — that he threw during a playoff series in which the Mavs were getting creamed by the New Orleans Hornets — drew ire from then-coach Avery Johnson and Mavs’ management. Oh, and then there the YouTube video about the national anthem. And the drag racing. And the admission of marijuana use.

It’s worth noting, however, that Howard’s off-court issues were assumed to be a thing of the past. Josh showed tremendous maturity in tackling trade rumors during this last year in Dallas, and he legitimately looked to keep his mouth shut, fall in line, and play basketball. It’s no secret that the Mavs went to tremendous lengths to protect Howard from the media (and himself), which is why the emergence of incidences like these should be surprising, but hardly shocking.

James Harden’s 12th triple-double helps Rockets end 2-game skid

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NEW YORK (AP) James Harden had 22 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in his 12th triple-double of the season and the Houston Rockets easily ended their first losing streak of the season by beating the Brooklyn Nets 137-112 on Sunday night.

Held to 105 points in losses to Minnesota and Memphis, the Rockets bounced back with 104 after three quarters and handed the Nets their 10th straight loss.

Eric Gordon led the Rockets with 24 points and Trevor Ariza added 23. Houston made 21 3-pointers and had five players with at least 16 points.

Houston shot just 40.8 percent during its two losses, well below its 46.8 season average, while being held nearly 10 points below its season scoring average. But the Rockets had no trouble bouncing back against the Nets, who allow an NBA-worst 114.3 per game.

Joel Embiid helps bring hundreds of fans to D.C. with ‘Bus the Process’

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Joel Embiid has fans all around the NBA. Some even came out to see him during the Philadelphia 76ers game against the Washington Wizards on Saturday despite the Cameroonian big man sitting out due to restrictions on playing in back-to-back games.

#BusTheProcess was the hashtag used to get 350 Sixers fans to the game in D.C. thanks to Embiid, coach Brett Brown, and the podcast The Rights to Ricky Sanchez.

Via Twitter and ESPN:

Fun stuff for some dedicated fans, even if they didn’t get to see Embiid play.

Unfortunately for the #BusTheProcess folks, the 76ers wound up losing to the Wizards, 109-93.

Ball ricochets off Robin Lopez’s face, Bulls score anyway (VIDEO)

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 31:  Robin Lopez #8 of the Chicago Bulls look on against the Brooklyn Nets during the first half at Barclays Center on October 31, 2016 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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Michael Carter-Williams is still shaking the dust off after being inserted into the starting lineup, I guess. At least, that’s about what you can say when you pass the ball off your starting center’s face.

But there’s good news! The Chicago Bulls scored on this play.

Let’s take a look at the whole thing, shall we?

I think the more important question is whether Carter-Williams received a secondary or primary assists on the NBA.com tracking site.

Kent Bazemore, Mike Dunleavy pick up offense as Hawks beat Bucks

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ATLANTA (AP) Kent Bazemore scored 24 points, Mike Dunleavy added 20 and the Atlanta Hawks beat the Milwaukee Bucks 111-98 on Sunday.

Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 33 points and was a tough matchup in the paint for Milwaukee, which dropped 2 1/2 games behind the fourth-place Hawks in the Eastern Conference.

Atlanta has won eight of nine. The Bucks have dropped three of five.

Dunleavy, in his second game since arriving in a trade last week with Cleveland, had his first 20-point performance since a first-round playoff game for Chicago on April 30, 2015.

Antetokounmpo has scored at least 30 points in eight games in a breakout season.