Samuel Dalembert

Report: Samuel Dalembert reaches deal with Rockets

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The Houston Rockets got a big man. Finally.

It’s not the All-Star they had hoped for (Nene or Pau Gasol) but they have a deal with defensive stalwart Samuel Dalembert, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.

Sources told ESPN.com that Dalembert has agreed to a two-year deal. The value of the contract was not immediately known.

Fox Sports Florida reported Tuesday night that Dalembert was on the verge of re-signing with the Sacramento Kings, but the Kings issued a news release Wednesday afternoon saying they had withdrawn their offer to Dalembert.

Twenty-four hours ago it had been the Rockets that said they were out of the running for Dalembert, who then seemed destined to return to Sacramento. Money was the issue for the Rockets, so either they had a change of heart or Dalembert saw what the Kings had to offer and suddenly the Rockets offer didn’t look so bad.

Houston is a borderline playoff team in a deep Western conference with Dalembert. He is a physical presence in the paint who provided the Kings 8 points and 8 rebounds a game last season. Houston will get scoring out of Kevin Martin and Kyle Lowry, they have the athletic Chase Budinger on the wing and now a solid front line with Luis Scola and Dalembert.

Isaiah Thomas nutmegs Knicks center Marshall Plumlee (video)

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Isaiah Thomas usually saves his best play for the fourth quarter, but the Celtics guard showed out early with this pass between Marshall Plumlee‘s legs to get Kelly Olynyk a layup.

Thomas uncharacteristically just didn’t have enough late. Though he scored 39 points, he shot just 2-for-9 in the final period, as the Knicks pulled away for a 117-106 win.

Kevin Durant misses dunk so hard, ball flies past halfcourt (video)

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Kevin Durant played great in the Warriors’ win over the Thunder last night, but – perhaps fueled by excess emotion – he missed this incredibly emphatic dunk attempt.

Later, Russell Westbrook showed his former teammate how to do it (sparking their apparent conversation):

James Harden outduels Giannis Antetokounmpo as they produce fantastic highlight video

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James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo met in a battle of two of the NBA’s best point guards. (Still weird to say.) The final lines:

  • Harden: 38 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 blocks
  • Antetokounmpo: 32 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks

The winner? Harden and the Rockets, who topped the Bucks, 111-92.

But the real winner? Anyone who gets to watch this highlight video. It just gets better as it goes.

PBT Extra: Who do you want to see most in first All-Star Game?

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Tonight the NBA All-Star Game starters will be announced. Then the coaches have a week to vote and the rest of the roster will be put together by them.

This year should see a few first-time All-Stars, guys bursting on the scene and grabbing fans attention — so we asked people on Twitter who they most wanted to see in his first All-Star Game and I break it down in this PBT Extra.

The winner? Giannis Antetokounmpo with 45 percent of the vote. Which shouldn’t be a surprise, he’s second in the fan voting for the frontcourt in the East (behind only LeBron James). Good news for those fans, the Greek Freak is almost guaranteed to be a starter, he’s getting plenty of media votes and likely a lot from the players as well.

Second place in the poll? Joel Embiid of the Sixers. I’d love to see him, but will players and media members vote in a guy on a minutes restriction? Will the coaches pick him for that same reason? He is on the bubble.