Rockets offering a tempting sign-and-trade

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Thumbnail image for rockets_logo.gifThe Rockets want an elite power forward. With one — combined with a healthy Yao Ming at center (the entire city of Houston just knocked on wood) and a back court of Aaron Brooks and Kevin Martin — they are a contending team. They could challenge the Lakers and have the length to match them.

They want Chris Bosh or Amar’e Stoudemire.

And their sign-and-trade package might get them one of them — Trevor Ariza, Shane Battier and Luis Scola. That is the offer being floated, according to Yahoo.

There are a lot of moving parts to that. First, Daryl Morey and the Rockets need to convince one of those two guys to come to Houston – it’s a good offer, but those guys are being bombarded with options. Then they have to re-sign Scola, who is a free agent, and convince him to sign a deal as part of being shipped to somewhere. Phoenix may tempt him, Toronto… who knows? But he has to be on board.

Then they have to strike a deal with the other team on the trade. This is why sign-and-trades are often discussed but rarely pulled off — too many moving parts.

But with that good a trio available, Houston may have a better chance than most.

Kobe Bryant with spin move around LeBron James (VIDEO)

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The game itself went about how you’d expect one between a title contender and a high lottery team to go — the Cavaliers 120-111 win over the Lakers was never really in doubt.

But the fans in Cleveland wanted to see some vintage Kobe Bryant, and they got it late when he spun around LeBron James and hit the reverse lay-up.

LeBron had 29 points on the night, and Kyrie Irving had 35. Kobe finished with 17 and got a standing ovation from the Cleveland crowd.

Suns’ Markieff Morris, Archie Goodwin get in scuffle on the bench

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Just another magical day in the Valley of the Sun, where clearly Jeff Hornacek was the problem….

During an early timeout in the Suns’ game at Golden State, Markieff Morris tried to explain something to Archie Goodwin, who is seated. This conversation gets heated quickly, and teammates eventually have to step in and separate the two teammates.

The Suns have shopped Morris around as the trade deadline approaches, this isn’t going to help his value.

After the game, Morris said the two are close (which is true) and this was just like two brothers having a fight — they will get over it quick.

Kawhi Leonard drains game winner to beat Orlando (VIDEO)

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This is how much Gregg Popovich trusts Kawhi Leonard on offense now: Tie game with 13.3 seconds remaining, and the play design is a 1-4 flat isolation for Leonard. It’s the kind of play teams will call for LeBron James or Kevin Durant. Popovich just called it for Leonard.

And he was rewarded with a game-winning bucket.

Leonard finished with 29 points, LaMarcus Aldridge had 21, and the Spurs head into the All-Star break with a 45-8 record, on pace to win 70 games this season. And that still would only get them a two seed.

Hornets’ Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers shoulder dislocation, leaves game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
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Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had been back just six games after suffering a torn labrum in the preseason that required surgery. The Hornets had won four of those six, were playing improved defense, and looked like a potential playoff team in the East.

Now this.

He went straight to the locker room and did not return to the game (the Pacers got the win).

You can see the injury above. In a scramble for a loose ball, the Pacers’ Ian Mahinmi falls on MKG’s arm, dislocating his shoulder.

We don’t know the severity of all this and if MKG is going to miss time beyond this game. But it isn’t good.