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.
The Los Angeles Clippers had a rough go of things against the Sacramento Kings on Sunday. Up by 18 with more than five minutes to go, LA blew their lead and were left to watch as the Kings sealed the game late.
The final possession for Sacramento came on a missed corner 3-pointer by Clippers guard Jamal Crawford. The Kings got the outlet pass out on the rebound, but Ben McLemore took it to the rack and missed. That’s when Willie Cauley-Stein stepped in, cleaned up the board, and put the game-winning shot home with less than two seconds left.
Los Angeles lost in spectacular fashion, and became the only team this season to lose given their game situation.
Here’s a compilation the NBA put together of Sacramento’s epic comeback:
Meanwhile, Chris Paul called it the worst regular season loss of his career.
The Clippers peaked too soon. Like, the first 20 games of the season too soon.
Russell Westbrook had yet another triple-double on Sunday. The Oklahoma City Thunder star notched 13 assists in the loss to the Houston Rockets, 137-125, and one of them came on a nifty pass to teammate Victor Oladipo.
The play happened with the Thunder on the fastbreak early in the third quarter. Westbrook was moving from left-to-right across the middle of the floor with the ball while Oladipo streaked down the right wing.
With the Rockets defense collapsing, Westbrook reached halfcourt and fired a bounce pass that sliced through the opposition.
Oladipo finished with the clean dunk.
Still not sure it beats this one, but I think we’ll have to compare once the season comes to a close.
The race between James Harden and Russell Westbrook for the 2017 NBA MVP has narrowed to a two-man race toward the end of the season. The Oklahoma City Thunder star is averaging at triple-double this year, and the Houston Rockets guard is doing things nobody has ever done on a basketball court before.
It’s a tough decision to decide between them, so much so that even former Los Angeles Lakers great and 2008 NBA MVP Kobe Bryant can’t do it.
Speaking on ESPN on Sunday, Bryant said he thought the league might have to just bite the bullet on Westbrook vs. Harden.
“We might see our first co-MVPs this year,” said Bryant.
That would be a huge step for the league, but I’m not entirely sure they would do it. There have been co-NBA All-Star Game MVPs in years past, but never league MVP.
Still, can you decide between Russ and Harden? The Mamba can’t.
Houston Rockets center Nene is from Brazil, but on Sunday against the Oklahoma City Thunder the South American native went full euro.
On a fastbreak possession, Nene took on Thunder big man Enes Kanter near the rim and absolutely shook him with a nasty eurostep.
The play was so good that it forced Oklahoma City to call a timeout as James Harden and the rest of the Rockets bench met Nene on the court to celebrate.