It was bombs away as Rockets blow out Warriors 135-105

By Jerry Feitelberg

San Francisco- The Warriors resumed play Thursday night against the visiting Houston Rockets. The Rockets, playing with a smaller lineup since the trade of Clint Capela, raced up and down the court. Their defense smothered the W’s in the first quarter. The Rockets connected on threes all night long. The Rockets, having been eliminated in the playoffs several times by the Warriors, had to enjoy pummeling the young W’s.

The Warriors only came early in the first period. They were leading 4-3 when Houston went on a 17-3 run. The Rockets continued to pour it on and finished the first quarter 38-17. The game was over for all intents and purposes at that point.

The Warriors offense picked up in the second quarter. The Rockets won the period 34-33 and finished the first half with a 22-point advantage. The Rockets made 15 threes in 26 tries. The Warriors made just one. James Harden had 16, Russell Westbrook 17 to pace the Rockets’ attack. P.J.Tucker finished the half with 15. He made five threes. Andrew Wiggins led the W’s with 10. Marquese Chriss had 8.

The third quarter belonged to Houston. Harden, Westbrook, and Robert Covington made it look easy as they outscored the W’s 37-27 to finish the third quarter leading by thirty-two 109-77.

Houston removed the starters about halfway through the fourth quarter. With 6:04 left to play, Russell Westbrook was called for a foul as he shoved Damion Lee to the floor. Westbrook, who had a technical foul called on him earlier in the game, lost his cool and had to be restrained by several members of the Houston staff. Westbrook was ejected from the game. He leads the league with 13 technicals. Draymond Green is second with 12. Play resumed, but the W’s could do nothing as they lost by a final score of 135-105

Game Notes and Stats- Looking at the stat sheet, it doesn’t seem that the W’s didn’t play that poorly. They were 44 for 91 (48.4%) from the floor. The Rockets were 45 for 87 from the floor. The reason for the huge loss was the fact that the Rockets made 25 threes. The Warriors made 7.

The Warriors had four starters in double figures. Andrew Wiggins finished with 22. Jordan Poole 19, Damion Lee 13, Marquese Chriss 10. Eric Paschall and Juan Toscano-Anderson, both coming off the bench, knocked 13 and 10.

James Harden paced the Rockets with 29. Westbrook had 21, Robert Covington 20, Jeff Green 17, P.J.Tucker 15, and Danuel House 11.

The Warriors are now 12-44 for the year. Houston improved to 35-20.

The Warriors host the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday. The Pelicans’ big rookie Zion Williamson will be making his first appearance in San Francisco. The game will start at 5:30 pm at the Chase Center.

Warriors find good tidings under their tree shock Rockets 116-104

espn.com photo: The Golden State Warriors Damon Lee (1) goes airborne to take a shot against the Houston Rockets Clint Capela (15) at Chase Center in San Francisco on Wed Dec 25th

By Jerry Feitelberg

San Francisco- The Warriors met and defeated the Houston Rockets on Christmas Day by a score of 116-104. The game was on national television, and if the network executives had their way, they would have pulled it from the schedule.

The Warriors, who have been scuffling all season, won their third game in a row. On December 15th, the W’s were blown out by the Sacramento Kings. The W’s head coach Steve Kerr must have said something to the team as they have played well in their last four games. They gave Portland a tussle but lost.

They then beat New Orleans, Minnesota, and, now, the Rockets. It was a team effort. They played well on both ends of the court. They held the Rockets’ scoring machine, James Harden, to 24 points. They did not foul Harden either. Harden, the master of drawing fouls, had just one free throw, and he missed it.

The Warriors got off to a good start in the first quarter. They had an early 13-7 lead. The Rockets went ahead 16-15 about midway through the quarter. The Warriors were able to keep pace with the Rockets and finished the first period trailing by a point 29-28.

The Rockets appeared to have found their rhythm in the second quarter. Harden made 5 threes in seven tries to finish the first half with 19  points. Russell Westbrook added 18, and the Rockets led 68-64. The W’s Damion Lee led the W’s scoring with 17. D’Angelo Russell had 14, and Glenn Robinson added 10.

Willie Cauley-Stein scored the first bucket of the third quarter to cut the Warrior deficit to 68-66. The Rockets increased the lead to seven 75-68. The Warriors, behind Draymond Green and Damion Lee, tied the game at 78. The Rockets connected on a three to regain the lead. With the score 83-80, the Warriors went on a 12-4 run to finish the third quarter leading 92-87

The Warriors entered the fourth quarter, knowing they had to stop Harden And Westbrook. Harden loves to drive and pick up fouls. The W’s had not fouled him in the first three-quarters of play. Harden hit a three to put Houston back in the lead 97-96.

Harden was fouled on the play, and he missed the free throw. The W’s would not foul him again. The Warriors then went on a 17-2 run. Draymond Green and Glenn Robinson each made two 3-point shots. The Warriors defense stopped the Rockets attack cold. The W’s increased the lead to 115-99. The Rockets ran out of time, and the Warriors, with the fans on their feet, won the game.

Game Notes and Stats- With the win, The W’s improved to 8-24. The Rockets, leading the Southwest Division of the Western Conference, fell to 21-10.

The Warriors starters all finished in double figures Three players, Russell, Lee, and Green scored 20 or more points. Two players Lee and Green, had a double-double. Damion Lee led the team with 22 points and 15 rebounds, Draymond had 20 points, 11 rebounds, and three assists.

D’Angelo Russell knocked down 20, Willie Cauley-Stein 10, and Glenn Robinson had 18. Robinson made two three-point shots in the fourth quarter to help seal the Rockets’ doom/ Alec Burks, Jacob Evans, and Marquise Chriss, coming off the bench, had 8,8, and 6.

The Rockets were led by Russell Westbrook and James Harden, Each superstar had a double-double. Westbrook’s line was 30n points, 12 rebounds, and 5 assists. Harden’s numbers were 24 points, 6 boards, and 11 assists. Harden made six threes in 10 tries. Danue House, Jr. had 18, Clint Capela 10, and P.J.Tucker 7. The Rockets’ bench added 15 points.

The Warriors shot 47% from the floor, and their defense held the Rockets to 37%. The Rockets made 16 three in 51 tries. The Warriors had nine.

The Warriors outrebounded the Rockets 54-49. The W’s defense stole the ball 7 times to go along with 8 blocked shots.

The Warriors resume play Friday night against the Phoenix Suns. The Suns are 11-19 for the year. The Suns blew out the W’s earlier in the season. Steve Kerr’s troops have played well in the last four games, and Kerr will be hoping the team will continue to improve.

The game will be at the Chase Center and will start at 7:30 pm. The W’s then play again on Saturday night against the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs are in second place in the Southwest Division with a record of 19-10. The game will also be at the Chase Center and will start at 5:30 pm PT.

Sacramento Kings podcast with Charlie O: Kings fall short to Rockets 113-104; Fourth consecutive loss for Sacramento

photo from sacbee.com: Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield (24) shoots over Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook (0) for three-points during a game at Golden 1 Center on Monday, Dec 23, 2019 in Sacramento

On the Kings podcast with Charlie O:

#1 Coming off three straight road loses the Sacramento Kings (12-18) played host to the Houston Rockets (21-9) at Golden One Center in Sacramento and yet lost another game 113-104.

#2 The Rockets had 16 points to the Kings 25 in the fourth quarter and still the Kings never held the lead in the game and never got that burst on the scoreboard. The Kings are missing a number of their offensive plays to stay a step ahead of their opponents.

#3 The Rockets got top scoring from James Harden 34 pts and Russell Westbrook 28 pts who have pave the way to the win

#4 De Aaron Fox and Richaun Holmes led the Kings with scoring Fox with 31 and Holmes 12. Fox carried the weight of the team and the Kings fell nine points short.

#5 After their last win to the Golden State Warriors the Kings have now lost four straight and host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday night

Join Charlie Tuesdays for the Kings podcast at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

 

 

 

Sacramento Kings podcast with Charlie O: Kings take two on the road, host OKC and Knicks in upcoming homestand

Photo credit: mavsmoneyball.com

On the Kings podcast with Charlie O:

Looking at the road trip, our initial projections were the two teams they could beat on the road trip were Portland and San Antonio, they lost to Portland and they lost to San Antonio. The two teams we figured that they had no chance to beat the Dallas Mavericks and the Houston Rockets.

The Mavericks and the Rockets were back to back and that’s almost asking too much on the road. They lost to the Trail Blazers, they lost to the Spurs a heartbreaker, turned around and they beat the Mavericks and the Rockets in a back to back.

Charlie O does the Kings podcasts each Tuesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Kings surprise the Rockets on a last-second 3-point prayer

By Charlie O. Mallonee 

The Sacramento Kings shocked the 18,055 fans at the Toyota Center in Houston — when with one-second left to go in the game — Nemanja Bjelica put up a 33-foot, 3-point jump shot that went in for the winning basket. The Kings players ran off the bench to mob Bjelica, while the Rockets stood around with mouths wide open trying figure out what had just happened.

What had happened was the Kings had beaten the Houston Rockets 119-118 to close out their four-game road trip. What was even more of a surprise was this was the second game of a back-to-back set on the road. On Sunday, the Kings beat the Dallas Mavericks on a last-second basket also by Bjelica.

The Kings finished the road trip 2-2. SAC suffered back-to-back losses in Portland and San Antonio before putting together consecutive wins over Dallas and Houston (15-8). After losing the first two losses, the Kings could have easily gone 0-4 on this road trip. Finishing with two last-second victories over two of the best teams in the Western Conference is a testament to the Kings tenacity and response to the new coaching staff.

Sacramento (10-13) has endured a very tough time without two of their star players – Marvin Bagley III and De’Aaron Fox. The good news for the Kings is that Bagley — who has been cleared for full basketball contact — may well be back in the lineup on Wednesday night when the OKC Thunder visits the Golden 1 Center. The team reports that Fox’s rehabilitation is going well, but no timetable has been set for his return.

This game was truly a battle that featured 12 lead changes and 14 ties.

Leading Scorers

  • Russell Westbrook was the high scorer in the game putting 34 points in the scorebook.
  • Buddy Hield led the Kings scoring attack with 26 points.

The Glass Cleaners

  • J.P. Tucker pulled down 19 rebounds and made it a double-double game by scoring 10 points.
  • Harrison Barnes was the Kings top rebounder with eight.

Dishing out dimes

  • James Harden was the leading assist distributor dishing out 10 dimes to go with 27 points.
  • Trevor Ariza contributed seven assists for the Kings.

Game Notes

  • The Kings hit 40 of 88 (45.5%) field goal attempts in Houston. 20 of those buckets were 3-point baskets.
  • SAC worked the free throw line in this game. The went to the line 22 times and put the ball through the hole 19 times.
  • The Kings kept the turnovers to a minimum again making just 10 giveaways that resulted in 13 Houston points.
  • Both coaches used just eight players in the contest.
  • The Kings bench outscored the Rockets second unit 27-23.
  • Cory Joseph must be given credit for the incredible job he did on defense. He spent most of the game guarding “The Beard”. Joseph put up 14 points and added six assists while guarding Harden.

Up next

The Kings return to action on Wednesday night when they will host the OKC Thunder at the Golden 1 Center.

The Rockets head out to Cleveland to face the Cavaliers on Wednesday night.

Rockets knock off the young Warriors 129-112

Photo credit: nba.com/warriors

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Golden State Warriors started a three-game road trip at the Toyota Center against the Houston Rockets Wednesday night.

The Warriors, still short-handed and inexperienced, started the five players that upset the Portland Trail Blazers Monday night. The Rockets, lusting for blood after being eliminated by the Warriors in the playoffs last year, showed the five new players they have a long way to go. The Rockets easily won 129-112.

The Warriors gave the Rockets a tussle in the first quarter. They finished the period trailing 30-29. They tied the game at 36 early in the second quarter. The Rockets started to pull away and finished the first half leading 63-52. The Warriors shot just 38.8% from the floor.

The Rockets stopped the Warriors’ attack in the third period. The Rockets built up the lead to 23. The Warriors played better but ended the period trailing by 15. The Rockets kept the pressure on, and the Warriors fell 129-112.

The Warriors lost for the sixth time in eight games. The Rockets improved to 5-3.

The Warriors’ leading scorer was Alec Burks with 28. Burks did not start, but he played well. He made three threes in 8 tries and had 8 rebounds and 3 assists. Eric Paschall continued to play well for Golden State. Eric led the starters with 19 points and 6 rebounds. Glenn Robinson had a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Damian Lee and Omari Spellman were in double figures with 13 each. Jordan Poole and Ky Bowman each had 8.

The Rockets had six players in double figures. Harden had 36. Danuel House, Jr, had 17, Clint Capela had 19 points and 16 boards, Russell Westbrook, 18, and Austin Rivers, coming off the bench had 12. Rivers made four threes in four tries.

Draymond Green did not accompany the team on the road trip. He is recovering from an injury to his index finger on his left hand. D’Angelo Russell is with the team and may play in the next game or two. Kevon Looney will be out at least another two weeks with a nerve condition. He will be evaluated at that time. Alen Smailagic is also recovering from an ankle issue, and he may be back soon.

The Warriors travel to Minneapolis to face the Minnesota Timberwolves Friday night. The game time is at 4:30 pm PT.

Headline Sports podcast with London Marq: Will Rockets’ Morey get fired over tweet about Hong Kong?; Quakes only needed one game and couldn’t do it; plus more

Photo credit: businessinsider.com

On the Headline Sports podcast with London Marq:

#1 Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey apologized for tweeting that “We should stand with Hong Kong.” A statement that had China suspend all NBA games on state-ran TV, all NBA brands and any activities associated with the NBA because of Morey’s tweet. A source said that Morey’s job is on the line, but the Rockets’ front office has denied that Morey’s job is in flux, but stated that they don’t deny it’s a messy situation.

#2 The San Jose Earthquakes finished up the 2019 season on the outside looking in when they had the postseason by the tail and then went on to lose six straight games, including being eliminated last Sunday in Portland with a 3-1 loss. A disappointing end to say the least for Quakes head coach Matias Almeyda.

#3 The Sacramento Kings lost their first two preseason games in India to the Indiana Pacers. The Kings used most of their rookies, draft picks, and C-League prospects. The Kings return back to Sacramento on Thursday night at Golden 1 Center to host the Phoenix Suns. What will head coach Luke Walton be looking for in that one?

#4 Try hard as they may, the San Jose Sharks — who were down just by one goal 2-1 — had a shot at tying the game in the third period with the Nashville Predators, but the Preds scored three times to take a three-goal win 5-2 to beat the Sharks. Is it goaltending or is it the defense up in front giving little or no protection for goalie Martin Jones?

#5 Finally, everyone is talking about the San Francisco 49ers, a team that saw their starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo throw for 181 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-3 laugher at Levi’s Stadium on Monday Night Football.

London does Headline Sports each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury News and Commentary: Chinese state media cancels all NBA preseason telecasts

photo from sfgate.com: Fans wait outside a hotel to catch a glimpse of players from the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers in Shanghai on Wednesday.

By Amaury Pi Gonzalez

CCTV (China Central Television) is China’s state television. They announced they are suspending all preseason games of the NBA in China. At the same time, they said they will immediately investigate all exchanges and co-operation involving the NBA. I’m not certain if the regular season games will also be suspended at this time.

This happened just days after NBA Commissioner Adam Silver came to the defense of Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, who tweeted in support of the Hong Kong anti-government protests.

DEMONSTRATIONS: Why are people in Hong Kong protesting? They are also called the Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill, and residents in Hong Kong were concerned that bill could subject them to extradition to the mainland by the Chinese communist central government. The Chinese government has described the protest as the “‘worst’ crisis in Hong Kong” since the handover in 1999 when the United Kingdom handed the colony of Hong Kong and returned control of that territory to China.

CHINA’S GOVERNMENT: China is ruled by a communist central government, they are among the biggest human rights violators in the world. Amnesty International has documented widespread human rights violations in China. Demonstrations and free speech is not allowed in China. Obviously, the Chinese government is very concerned with the demonstrations in Hong Kong as demonstrators have been killed, injured and arrested.

HUGE MARKET: As of 2018 the total population of the United States was 327 million people

According to official statistics, about 800 million Chinese watch NBA programming on TV and digital media in China.

Over 300 million people in China play basketball. Online engagement with the NBA is six times more popular in China than the three largest European soccer leagues

BIG BUSINESS: This is big business for the NBA, as no other country is more obsessed with the NBA and basketball than China, the most populous country in the world with 1.4 billion people.

DIFFERENCES: While here in the US, we have the rights to free speech, demonstrations against our government and many other freedoms that we have enjoyed for over two centuries — freedom that sometimes we take for granted — that is not allowed communist China.

One example: The environment is very much an issue worldwide. While China is the world’s biggest polluter, you will never see a pro-environment demonstration in that country. They are not allowed.

I do agree with what Mr. Daryl Morey said on his original tweet when he supported the demonstrations by the people in Hong Kong against the Chinese government as well as the recent statement by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. Anybody who likes and enjoys freedom definitely agrees with both gentlemen.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the vice president of the Major League Baseball Hispanic Heritage Museum and was a Spanish play by play announcer for the Golden State Warriors, and does News and Commentary each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: China pulled out of NBA over Rockets GM tweet; A’s consider getting rooted in Vegas

file photo from Washingtonpost.com: In this April 19, 2011, file photo, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey discusses the direction of the team with the media during a basketball news conference, in Houston, after the decision to part ways with NBA basketball head coach Rick Adelman. Morey tried Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019 to defuse the rapidly growing fallout over his deleted tweet that showed support for Hong Kong anti-government protesters, saying he did not intend to offend any of the team’s Chinese fans or sponsors.

By Amaury Pi Gonzalez

China’s mad over tweet by Rockets GM: A political triangle has the NBA’s Houston Rockets apologizing over a tweet by Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted “Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong” as soon as that tweet was known China ended its relationship with the Houston Rockets and sponsors pulled out of all radio advertising in China.

The Rockets are the most popular team in China because of its relationship with former NBA player Yao Ming. The Rockets’ James Harden and Russell Westbrook quickly tried to go into damage control.

“We apologize, we love China. We love playing there. Both of us, we go there once or twice a year. They show us most support so we appreciate them,” said Harden.

The Chinese response was too late for the Rockets as a Chinese statement read, “Deeply disappointed by the inappropriate remarks.” Hong Kong has been protesting for the last four months about China having the ability to use extradition any Hong Kong citizen if they are wanted for any crime, espionage, or whenever deemed necessary to extradite a Hong Kong citizen when necessary.

Texas representative and presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke has said that the apology from the Rockets and the NBA is an embarrassment. That the NBA and the Rockets should stand pat on Hong Kong standing up to China and protesting extradition of any Hong Kong citizen and not to cave to China.

The Rockets and the NBA are in panic mode now as the league could face losing millions of dollars in revenue in NBA properties, NBA paraphernalia, and NBA branding not to mention their broadcast rights in China. The NBA and the Rockets have apologized but it may be a little too late as the Hong Kong issue is an extremely sensitive issue to China.

Oakland A’s consider getting rooted in Las Vegas: Sources say that baseball commissioner Rob Manfred is getting tired of the situation that’s gone back and forth between the city of Oakland and the A’s  There has been a lot of posturing between the A’s and the city regarding how to get started on working the land at Jack London Square the A’s were in discussion with the City Manager on Tuesday the day before the A’s wild card game with Tampa Bay. 90 minutes after the meeting with the city manager, Kaval found out the city was suing the A’s to stop them from developing at the Coliseum.

When the city handed the A’s a lawsuit on Tuesday to stop the team from developing on the Oakland Coliseum site, it baffled A’s team president David Kaval, who has been very guarded with his statements about the lawsuit. Kaval has been the spearhead of the new stadium for the A’s and for a brief moment it looked like the A’s were going to work something out with the city, but the city council are split on the A’s getting a downtown stadium. To clarify, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff and City Council president Rebecca Kaplan are both not on board with suing the A’s.

Because of the lawsuit, Kaval and the A’s are regrouping and considering something they never thought they would and that’s moving the A’s out of town to Las Vegas. Fighting the city of Oakland is not on the A’s radar and it will be a sad day when the A’s make the official announcement that it’s over in Oakland. The A’s triple-A team, Las Vegas Aviators, are playing near the Vegas strip.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Spanish radio talent for the Oakland A’s on 1010 KIQI San Francisco and on http://www.sportsradioservice.com for News and Commentary.

Kevin Durant signs four-year $164 million deal to play with the Brooklyn Nets

file photo from sfgate.com: Former Golden State Warrior Kevin Durant #35 gets help off the floor in his last hurrah for Golden State with the injured Achilles tendon in the first half of game 5 against the Toronto Raptors.

By Jerry Feitelberg

OAKLAND–The Golden State Warriors lost a key player to free agency on Sunday. Superstar forward Kevin Durant decided to leave the Warriors, a team that he won two championships with, to play for the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets were active Sunday signing point guard Kyrie Irving and center DeAndre Jordan. They will have to wait a year for Durant to play for them as he will be recovering from an Achilles tendon injury that will sideline him for the entire 2019-2020 season.

The big question is, why did Durant decide to leave the Warriors. Golden State offered him a five-year deal worth $ 221 Million. The answer has to be that he was unhappy here with the Warriors. He had a massive dustup with Draymond Green early in the season. The two players didn’t speak for a while, and that may have been a factor even though Green apologized to Durant. Another factor may have been the injury that he sustained in Game Five of the NBA Finals with Toronto. Durant had suffered a calf injury in the series with the Houston Rockets. The team may have asked him to return to action before that injury was healed. No one knows what the Warriors’ doctors told him about the possibility that he might make it worse if he played.

The Warriors did agree to terms with a five -year $190 million contract with Klay Thompson. Klay will be out for at least nine months as he recovers from surgery to fix a torn ACL in his left knee. The Warriors want to re-sign Kevon Looney.  Looney is being courted by the Houston Rockets. Looney proved his worth as he played inspired basketball in the Finals after suffering an injury to his collarbone. The Warriors may try to get DeMarcus Cousins back. The most the can offer Cousins is about 6.3 million. Cousins could help fill the gap left by Durant’s departure. Cousins may stay to get a better deal a year from now. Shaun Livingston may retire, and that is another hole that the W’s will have to fill.

The Warriors should be competitive next year with Steph Curry, Draymond Green, and Andre Iguodala still on the roster. Players such as Damian Jones, Jordan Bell, Alonzo McKinnie, and Quinn Cook will have to step up if the Warriors are to be successful next season. The fans are hoping the GM Bob Myers might have something rolled up in his sleeves to help make the team better. It will be a very different season for the Warriors as they start to play next year at the Chase Center in San Francisco.