The Rockets had the ball down two to the Wizards with :04 seconds left and, as you would expect, Houston wanted to get the ball to James Harden coming out high off a Dwight Howard screen — except Trevor Ariza hooked Harden’s arm, knocking him to the ground before the ball was inbounded for a foul (there was a little grabbing both ways on that play, Wizards fans are pretty bitter about it saying Harden clamped Ariza, and Phil Jackson agreed on twitter, but I think it’s a good call). That was a huge mistake for Washington, and not just because Ariza fouled out. A foul before the ball was inbounded meant Harden got one free throw and the Rockets got the ball out of bounds.
Now after the made free throw the Rockets were down one still with :04 seconds, and you knew they would run something similar to get Harden the ball and a shot at the win.
You didn’t expect that shot to be a lay-up. That’s the video you see above.
Harden popped out to the top of the key off a Howard screen again, caught the ball and had plenty of room for a wide open jumper. He also had a lane to the basket as John Wall was still trying to fight over Howard’s pick, while Howard’s man was so deep (middle of the paint) and rooted to the ground that Harden could drive, Eurostep around him and be right at the rim. It was just terrible defense by the Wizards.
And a sweet shot by Harden.
With that shot the Rockets go into the All-Star break on a seven game win streak.
Iman Shumpert in concussion protocol after collision with Porzingis
Late in the third quarter of Cleveland’s blowout opening night win over New York, the Cavalier’s Iman Shumpert lowered his head and tried to drive the lane, where he collided with Knicks big man Kristaps Porzingis. It looked like Shumpert’s head hit Porzingis’ hip and elbow.
Shumpert instantly went to the ground, then needed help to come off the court. He was diagnosed with concussion-like symptoms, the team announced. Apparently, Porzingis is a rock.
A source questioned whether Shumpert would be available for either of the Cavs’ next two games, Friday in Toronto and Saturday against Orlando at The Q. To play, Shumpert would need to be symptom free, pass a series of tests, and show no symptoms after each test.
There is no set timeline with a concussion. In the short term, this will mean more DeAndre Liggins on the court until Shumpert returns.
The Cavs are already without rookie backup point guard Kay Felder, who suffered a concussion during practice last Friday when he ran into Chris Andersen.
What championship hangover? Cavaliers rout Knicks on ring night in Cleveland.
LeBron had a triple-double — 19 points, 14 assists, 11 rebounds — and led the Cavaliers to an easy win over the Knicks, 117-86. Kyrie Irving had 29 points — 19 in the third — and Kevin Love added 23 in the win.
But mostly it was the Cavaliers’ offense getting whatever shot it wanted and the Knicks watching dunks from up close.
Over the course of this season, these Knicks will evolve into something better than they showed opening night. No Derrick Rose (trial) and no Joakim Noah (injury) meant the Knicks starting five didn’t have a lot of cohesion and chemistry from the start.
After a sluggish first five minutes by both teams — they were a combined 6-of-22 shooting to open the game — the Cavaliers slowly started to create a little space behind 10 first quarter points from Love. That lead really started to grow as the Knicks bench came in and went 0-of-6 shooting to end the quarter, with Brandon Jennings making questionable decisions. Tack on seven Knick turnovers and the first and they were down 10 after 12 minutes.
The Cavs were in control through much of the second quarter until the Knicks went on a 10-0 run to make it a game again. It was Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony driving the team — they shot a combined 12-of-20 in the first half, the rest of the Knicks were 5-of-23. It was 48-45 Cavaliers at the break.
In the third quarter the Cavaliers starters cranked it up behind Kyrie Irving and tighter defense — the third quarter saw Kyrie Irving with 19 points and the entire Knicks team with 19. It was 82-64 Cavs after three and the celebration was on.
Kristaps Porzingis showed some moments but his 16 points came on 5-of-13 shooting. Anthony had 19 points on 18 shots. Rose had 17 points but four turnovers and one assist. Brandon Jennings came off the bench to shoot 1-of-7. It was not their best night.
For the Cavs, it was one to remember — the first banner in 52 years went up.
Did we mention LeBron James was dunking all over Knicks? Watch for yourself.