The Rockets trailed by 17 with 14 and a half minutes left and by seven with a minute left.
But Corey Brewer sent Houston and Portland to overtime with this long running 3-pointer.
The Trail Blazers, up three, intentionally fouled James Harden on Houston’s previous possession. It appeared they were trying to duplicate the strategy, but Harden passed to Brewer before they could.
(video via Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated)
Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns forced the Magic to overtime.
Evan Fournier ensured one extra period would be enough.
Orlando overcame a 14-point second-half deficit for the 104-101 win.
Fournier’s final shot gave him 19 points on nine shots, including 4-of-5 3-point shooting, after halftime. He finished with 26 points on 9-of-17 shooting, including 5-of-7 from beyond the arc.
Andrew Wiggins made this shot:
Kevin Garnett loved it:
So, Karl-Anthony Towns tried to earn his own praise:
DeMarcus Cousins has a history of taking out his frustrations on Al Horford.
It continued tonight.
Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated:
Don’t expect the league office to be so lenient when it reviews this play.
The Rockets held a players-only meeting, and three themes reportedly emerged:
- Kevin McHale was primarily responsible for Houston’s struggles
- James Harden frustrated teammates
- Practices were ineffective
That’s two people named, and bad practices can also be attributed to McHale.
McHale got fired. What consequence will Harden face?
The Rockets started Jason Terry over Ty Lawson for their game against the Trail Blazers, which is underway right now. Lawson has played off the bench.
Harden’s name didn’t appear in that sentence? Oh, well. That’s how it goes for superstars.
Harden and Lawson have not clicked this season, Lawson doing more bending and making himself ineffective in the process.
Maybe this is just a warning shot by interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff, who’s coaching for the permanent job. Maybe a new rotation would make the Rockets better, though that’s an easier sell once Patrick Beverley gets healthy.
Either way, Bickerstaff clearly isn’t afraid to hit the ground running – at least if it doesn’t rustle Harden’s feathers.