Harden not yet cleared to play; no word on World Peace suspension

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As of Tuesday afternoon, it looks like the concussion suffered at the elbow of Metta World Peace will keep James Harden out Tuesday night.

He sat out Tuesday’s shootaround and continued to undergo the battery of tests needed to get cleared after suffering a concussion under the new league policy, according to NBA.com.

Coach Scott Brooks said he would not make a call on Harden’s status for Tuesday night’s game against the Kings until closer to game time.

“He’s just going through the process, the league-mandated process. We’ll know more later on,” Brooks said.

Harden has not spoken to the media but tweeted: “”Im solid. Feeling good. Appreciate y’all for checking on me!!”

Brooks also said that while the Thunder are locked in at the two seed in the West for the playoffs he planned to play his regular rotations, although key players could see reduced minutes.

Meanwhile, World Peace and the Lakers continue to wait for word from the league on what the suspension for World Peace will be. The league is not under pressure to make a decision as the Lakers do not play again until Thursday.

Reactions around the league have been all over the place. There are some calling for World Peace to be out through the playoffs. The consensus seems to be at least five games maybe up to 10, impacting the Lakers in the playoffs.

Mark Jackson, current Warriors coach and former NBA player, told CSNBayArea.com he lands on the lenient side.

“I don’t think you can say that it was intentional. You can guess that it was intentional — the footage shows that it was somewhat intentional,” Jackson said. “But at the same time, I think that he is the same way that we treated him as Ron Artest in the past, and said what his body of work said. We also have to treat him as Metta World Peace.

“He’s done a very good job of putting his life back together and being sane on the basketball court and not having any issues. That being said, a punishment has to go forth. I’m not one of those guys that say ‘the rest of the way’ and ‘no playoffs’ and all that. I think that’s drastic. You punish him a couple of games and you move forward.”

“Somewhat intentional?” Next time I do something stupid, I’m going with that. I’ll let you know how it works.

Robin Lopez helpfully stopped to tie Jae Crowder’s shoe (VIDEO)

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Why did Robin Lopez tie Jae Crowder‘s shoe during Sunday’s Game 4 between the Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls? We may never know. Perhaps he was just helping the Celtics forward after he tossed him to the ground? Or maybe he’s just doing weird Robin Lopez things?

In any case, Lopez helpfully stopped to tie Crowder’s shoe after it came off during a battle down low early in the third quarter at United Center.

Here’s how it went down.

Via Twitter:

I still have no idea.

Noticeably frustrated, Russell Westbrook gets prickly with reporter after loss to Rockets (VIDEO)

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The Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets played an ugly game down the stretch on Sunday. The Rockets employed a hack-a-Andre Roberson strategy, while the Thunder played sloppy and often poorly with Russell Westbrook out of the game.

The latter was the subject in question when Oklahoman reporter Berry Tramel spoke with Westbrook and Steven Adams at a postgame press conference following the Game 4 loss, 113-109.

Tramel’s question — whether the Rockets got a boost when Westbrook was off the floor — was directed at Adams, but the Thunder MVP candidate couldn’t let it go.

Snapping at Tramel, Westbrook told him not to split them up.

Via Twitter:

Tramel’s question is legitimate, and one of the overarching themes of this series thus far. Westbrook’s response is pretty far off the mark, but it did tell the story of how he’s feeling going away from Chesapeake Arena down 3-1.

Game 5 is on Tuesday in Houston.

Kevin Love throws full court pass to LeBron James for sweet and-1 bucket (VIDEO)

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Kevin Love and LeBron James were locked in an epic battle with the Indiana Pacers during the first half of Sunday’s Game 4 playoff matchup. Part of that matchup included yet another long, full court pass between the Cleveland Cavaliers duo.

Love, as you might guess, was the passer and LeBron was again the receiver.

The play came in the final minute of the second quarter, with Love nabbing a rebound from the right block and LeBron jetting down the floor.

Love’s pass was perfectly placed, and Paul George just didn’t have the strength to keep him from getting the and-1.

Cleveland completed the series sweep on Indiana with the win, 106-102.

Nene’s 28 lead Rockets past Thunder for 3-1 series lead

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Nene scored 28 points on perfect shooting from the field, and the Houston Rockets beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 113-109 on Sunday to take a 3-1 lead in their first-round playoff series.

Nene made all 12 of his shots and had 10 rebounds. He helped the Rockets overcome an off night by James Harden, who finished with 16 points on 5-for-16 shooting.

Eric Gordon and Lou Williams each scored 18 points for the Rockets. Trevor Ariza had 14.

Game 5 is Tuesday night in Houston.

Oklahoma City star Russell Westbrook had a triple-double by halftime and finished with 35 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists. The Thunder said Westbrook joined Wilt Chamberlain as the only players to claim three consecutive playoff triple-doubles.

Steven Adams scored 18 points and Victor Oladipo added 15 for the Thunder.

Westbrook had 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists at the break. He grabbed the 10th rebound in the final second of the second quarter, and the Thunder led 58-54 at intermission. Meanwhile, Harden made just 2 of 9 shots and scored just six points in the first half.

The Thunder opened the second half with a 10-2 run, but Houston closed to 77-73 at the end of the third quarter.

Adams made the first of two free throws with 21.7 seconds remaining to cut Oklahoma City’s deficit to four. He rebounded his missed second free throw and found Westbrook for a 3-pointer that cut Houston’s lead to one point. But the Thunder lost track of Nene on the other end, and he converted a three-point play. Gordon’s two free throws with 6.2 seconds made it a four-point game.

TIP-INS

Rockets: G Patrick Beverley was fined $25,000 by the NBA for confronting a fan after Game 3. The league announced the fine about two hours before Game 4 tipped off.

Thunder: Westbrook had just one turnover in the first half. … Adams went 6 for 6 from the field in the first half. … Westbrook missed all six of his shots in the third quarter.

Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP.