Associated Press

Westbrook’s triple-double leads Thunder past Rockets 116-108

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Russell Westbrook‘s sixth triple-double of the season helped the Thunder defeat the Houston Rockets 116-108 on Friday night.

Westbrook finished with 26 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds. It was the 25th triple-double of his career.

Kevin Durant had 33 points and 12 rebounds and Enes Kanter scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half for the Thunder, who have won 10 of 11 overall and six straight at home.

James Harden had 33 points, seven rebounds and seven assists and Corey Brewer added 17 points for the Rockets. Houston shot 38 percent overall and made just 9 of 39 3-pointers and 27 of 43 free throws.

Houston’s Dwight Howard was ejected in the third quarter after picking up his second technical foul, and Kanter scored all 20 of his second-half points after that.

The Rockets led 58-55 at halftime. They led by as many as 12 points in the second quarter, but Howard made just 2 of 9 free throws in the period to help the Thunder creep back into the game.

Howard was ejected with 7:06 left in the third quarter. The Thunder finally took the lead on a putback by Kanter, and a dunk by Durant on an assist from Westbrook put Oklahoma City ahead 80-76. The Thunder led 89-83 at the end of the third quarter.

Westbrook got his triple-double on an assist to Kyle Singler, who scored and was fouled. Singler’s free throw put Oklahoma City ahead 101-92.

NOT FREE

Howard missed 11 free throws in the game, despite leaving early. DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers and Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons are the only players in the league to have missed more than 11 free throws in any game this season. Drummond has done it three times and Jordan twice.

TIP-INS

Rockets: Harden, a former Thunder player, was booed loudly during pregame introductions. … Howard’s first technical came after he put Singler in a headlock during a battle for a rebound in the second quarter. … Howard finished with eight points and eight rebounds in 21 minutes.

Thunder: Houston Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel was in the crowd. He is from Tulsa, Oklahoma. … Cameron Payne (concussion) and Andre Roberson (right knee sprain) did not play. … Dion Waiters, who started in Roberson’s place, got a technical in the final seconds of the third quarter. … Oklahoma City scored at least 100 points for the seventh straight game. … Steven Adams and Kanter each had 10 rebounds.

 

WNBA suspends Riquna Williams 10 games for domestic violence

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NEW YORK (AP) The WNBA has suspended Los Angeles Sparks guard Riquna Williams 10 games for a domestic violence incident.

The WNBA handed down the suspension Tuesday. Williams was arrested on April 29 and charged with two felony counts, one involving the assault of an individual with whom she was in a relationship and the other involving a threat to another person with a firearm. Her criminal case is ongoing.

The league conducted its own investigation and consulted with a panel of experts in the field of domestic violence. Among other factors, the WNBA said it took into account the nature and seriousness of the allegations, including the involvement of a gun.

The WNBA also will require Williams to participate in counseling.

Williams’ suspension will begin with Thursday’s game against the Dallas Wings.

Report: Bulls signing Luke Kornet for guaranteed $4.5M over two years

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Just three 7-footers have averaged 3.5 3-pointers per game and made 35% of them each of the last two seasons:

The Bulls will now have most of them.

Markkanen is Chicago’s top young player. Kornet will join him with the Bulls next season.

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

I’m a little surprised Kornet got more than his minimum ($3,383,360 over two years). But it’s worth taking a flier on him.

In addition to his outside shooting, Kornet has shown good timing as a shot-blocker in two seasons with the Knicks. The 24-year-old must get stronger and improve as a rebounder to play major minutes.

But the Bulls won’t have to press him into action. They also have Thaddeus Young, Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr., Daniel Gafford and Cristiano Felicio as bigs.

Pistons claim Christian Wood off waivers

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The Bucks waived Christian Wood late last season to ensure avoiding the luxury tax. The Pelicans claimed him. Wood had played well in limited minutes with the 76ers, Hornets and Bucks and in the NBA’s minor league since going undrafted in 2015.

New Orleans gave him his biggest opportunity yet. In 24 minutes per game over eight games, he averaged 17 points and eight rebounds.

But the Pelicans filled their roster for next season and waived Wood.

Detroit will take advantage.

Pistons release:

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the team has claimed forward/center Christian Wood off waivers.

Wood’s $1,645,357 minimum salary is unguaranteed until the regular season. So, Detroit could still waive him before the season. But it seems he’ll at least go to training camp and get a shot at a regular-season roster spot.

The Pelicans also could’ve kept him through the preseason then waived him before the regular season. They seemingly did him a favor of allowing him to get somewhere he has a realistic chance of sticking.

Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond will start in the frontcourt for the Pistons. Markieff Morris and Thon Maker appear to be first in line is backups.

But don’t be surprised if Wood earns playing time. At minimum, the 23-year-old should provide nice depth at both power forward and center.

The Pistons have also now acquired four members of last year’s Bucks – Tony Snell, Thon Maker, Tim Frazier and now Wood.

Knicks: Reggie Bullock has spine injury

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Reggie Bullock had his agreed-upon salary cut by more than half with the Knicks. He’ll reportedly miss at least a month of the regular season.

All because of a mysterious health issue.

The Knicks have finally disclosed what’s happening.

Knicks release:

Reggie Bullock underwent successful surgery today at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York for a cervical disc herniation. The team will plan to provide an update on his rehab and progress around the start of training camp.

Bullock is a good shooter from the wing. New York could use him. Many teams could use him.

But Bullock must get healthy first.

At this point, we probably shouldn’t expect much from him any time soon. The best indication: how eagerly his agent praised the Knicks for their handling of this situation. Again, Bullock settled for less than half his initially agreed-upon salary.