Miami Heat v Houston Rockets

LeBron’s painful final seconds in Houston: elbow to face, missed shot to tie


LeBron James found the final seconds of Miami’s loss to Houston painful. It was a complete contrast with just the night before.

First on Tuesday night there was the play above — with 15 seconds left in the game and the Rockets up three James Harden tried to make an ill-advised pass ahead to Dwight Howard in the front court (the Heat were forced to foul and you pass to Howard?). The result was a turnover, but in the fight for the ball  Howard inadvertently elbowed LeBron in he face. I don’t care what color mask he’s wearing, that is going to hurt if your nose is broken. That’s what he told the Miami Herald.

“It feels like my nose is broken,” James joked after the game.

There had been a report on twitter that LeBron had re-broken his nose on that play, but that is not the case according to the team.

With the turnover Miami got a final shot, and you knew LeBron would take it. During the play Howard got switched on to LeBron after a screen — but that worked for Houston. LeBron could have driven by Howard for a lay up, but LeBron needed a three, and Howard is mobile and long and was able to contest the shot, a 25-foot three that did not fall. Again from the Herald:

“I felt like I had a good look. It was just a little long,” James said.

LeBron had 22 points on the night on 9-of-18 shooting, but was scoreless in the fourth quarter.

Is Stephen Curry the Lionel Messi of the NBA?

Lionel Messi
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Stephen Curry has reached the transcendent point in his career. We’re now talking about if he has passed LeBron James as the best player on the planet (he has), and we’re starting to think about his legacy as the perfect point guard for a modern NBA small-ball, space-and-pace offense. Plus he’s just a joy to watch play.

Does that make him the Lionel Messi of the NBA?

Curry was asked to compare himself to the Barcelona/Argentinian player who (arguably) is the greatest soccer player in the world, certainly as elite a finisher as that sport has ever seen. Here is his answer, via the Sydney Morning Herald of Australia. Is Curry the bigger international star now?

“I don’t know – it’s a chicken and egg kind of conversation,” Curry said while laughing.

“We both have a creative style, a feel when you are out on the pitch or the court. I’m trying to do some fancy things out there with both hands, making crossover moves and having a certain flair to my game and that’s definitely the style Messi has when he is out there in his matches.”

I love Curry, but Messi is the bigger international star.

But I love the comparison in terms of the must-watch nature of the two stars, the flair in their games, the sense that you have to keep an eye on them at all times because the spectacular could happen any time they touch the ball. When the ball comes to them, everybody leads forward in their chairs. That is the sign of a real superstar.

Jahlil Okafor fights man in Boston (video)

Jahlil Okafor

The 76ers lost a heartbreaker to the Celtics last night, dropping Philadelphia to 0-16.

Jahlil Okafor was apparently in a foul mood after the game.


We’re told everyone got up and fled the scene and no arrests were made.

We’re told the altercation began because one of the men in the other group yelled at Jahlil, “The 76ers suck.”

We spoke with a rep for Jahlil who tells us … Okafor says he was being heckled from the moment he left the club and felt threatened because people swarmed him on the street.


This video obviously doesn’t show everything, but it certainly makes Okafor look like the aggressor.

Okafor will probably face punishment from some combination of the legal system, NBA and 76ers.

Kristaps Porzingis envelops Victor Oladipo’s dunk attempt (video)

Nikola Vucevic, Kristaps Porzingis
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Scott Skiles moved Victor Oladipo to the bench, because the Magic coach wanted to give Oladipo a chance to be more aggressive.

It worked.

Oladipo scored a season-high 24 points in the Magic’s 100-91 win over the Knicks.

But Oladipo’s aggressiveness also produced this fantastic Kristaps Porzingis block: