Latest Basketball News
Exhausted Cavaliers Beat Hawks in OT | Take 3-0 Lead in Eastern Conference Finals May 25, 2015 15:17
After a hard fought game, that went into overtime, LeBron James dropped to the floor last night, exhausted after his Cleveland Cavaliers eventually sealed a 114 - 111 win over the Atlanta Hawks.
After having shot 0-10 to start the game, James gave it his all to come out with his 12th play-off triple-double, finishing with 37 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assist.
That 0-10 start to the game was James' worst ever in the play-offs, but when he did get going, he would pass Karl Malone for 6th place on the all-time career scoring list, with 4,782 points.
The Cavaliers are now 3-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals and with game 4 set to take place in Ohio (the Cavs are 25-2 at home since January 19th) they could be set to sweep the Hawks.
If they do, and Golden State also sweep the Rockets, that would be the first time in NBA history that both Conference Finals are won with a sweep, and set things up for an explosive end to the season in the NBA Finals.
Last night, the Cavaliers were up by 10 points in the 4th quarter, but the Hawks, who were missing Kyle Korver (injured in game 2) and Al Horford (ejected from the game in the second quarter) put up a fight to tie things before the end of regulation.
Jeff Teague fought for 30 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds, while Paul Millsap had 22 points and 9 rebounds.
Horford was ejected in the second after getting tangled up with Matthew Dellavedova. Dellavedova fell in a scuffle for the ball, landing on Horfords leg. Horford responded by elbow dropping Dellavedova while he was on the floor.
Despite the tensions and close fought battle, James wouldn't let his Cavaliers lose. Suffering with cramp and ready to sit down during overtime, James put in a last ditch effort that included a late drive to the basket to keep the Cavs up on the Hawks.
Cleveland have been missing Kevin Love since the first round of the playoffs and Kyrie Irving has missed the last two games with a knee injury, but they are still pulling the results out of the bag. This is after questions were raised as to whether they would still have the fire power without those guys.
Love him or hate him, James has been the answer. He has scored 30+ points in four of the last five games and had 8 double-doubles in the last 10.
He's open about the fact that he's exhausted and hurting, so it would mean a great deal to the Cavaliers chances against Golden State (we're assuming) in the NBA Finals, if they could end the Conference Finals on Tuesday and get a decent rest.
The Finals won't start until the 4th June, regardless of when the Conference Finals finish. We'll find out how it all goes down on Tuesday.
Golden State Take Commanding 3-0 Lead in Western Conference Finals | Curry Sets Yet Another NBA Shooting Record May 25, 2015 14:41
Steph Curry has been a shooting machine all season, and with Golden State about to cruise to their first NBA Finals since 1975, he's not letting up.
On Saturday night, Curry dropped 40 points in a blow out win against the Rockets in Houston, setting himself yet another shooting-related NBA record, and giving his team a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals.
Curry hit seven 3-pointers in the game, which takes him to a total of 64 made three-pointers in the post season. That's a new NBA record. The previous record for made 3-pointers in the play-offs was set by Reggie Miller with 58.
What's more, it took Miller 22 games and 147 attempts to make those 58 threes. It only took Curry 13 games and 138 attempts. Crazy.
In this Western Conference Finals series, the Rockets had been keeping thing close with the Warriors when in Oakland, so we fully expected them to put up a serious fight on their home floor in Houston, but it wasn't to be.
The Rockets folded under the pressure, with James Harden, their saviour up to this point, and runner up in the MVP race, falling flat in the game, making just 3 field goals in 16 attempts.
Harden finished the game with 17 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists - way off his expected output, and few other Houston players were there to back him up on a bad night.
Dwight Howard, who injured his knee in game of the Conference Finals, had a double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds, but even he was upstaged by the reigning MVP, as Curry managed to box the big man out and grab a one-handed offensive rebound.
Only Josh Smith and Corey Brewer would also score in double-figures with 16 and 13 respectively - not enough to answer to the Golden State onslaught.
For the Warriors, both Draymond Green and Andrew Bogut had double-doubles with 17 / 13 and 12 / 12, while Klay Thompson added 17 points.
Golden State would have a commanding 25 point lead by half time, and would push that out to 35 by the time the final buzzer sounded.
Game 4 of the series will be played in Houston tonight, where the Warriors could sweep the Rockets and sail through to the NBA Finals in style.
Cavaliers Destroy Hawks Home Advantage | Take 2-0 Lead in Eastern Conference Finals May 23, 2015 14:19
With Kyrie Ivring still sidelined for the Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James took it upon himself to control things as they defeated the Hawks in Atlanta, in game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals last night.
James had 30 points, 11 assists and 9 rebounds in the Cavs 94-82 win, as they annihilated Atlanta's home court advantage, with the series now heading to Cleveland for game 3.
The Cavaliers dominated the game from start to finish, with a powerful 3rd quarter used to pull away and seal the deal.
Cleveland would out-score Atlanta 30-17 in the 3rd, of which James scored 11 points. The Hawks only managed to shoot 32% in that quarter, allowing the Cavs to go up by as many as 20 points.
Many Hawks fans were seen leaving the arena in Atlanta early, perhaps assuming that they're not going to see their team take to the court in ATL again this season, with the next 2 games taking place in Ohio, where the Cavs could go for the sweep, and an easy ticket to the NBA Finals.
After suffering a knee injury in game 1, DeMarre Carroll still came out to play for the Hawks in game 2, but his presence on the battlefield did little to raise the troops around him. If anything, things got worse for the Hawks.
Both Kyle Korver and Al Horford suffered injuries during game 2. Korver hurt his ankle after getting wrapped up when chasing a loose ball, and didn't return to the game. Horford clashed knees and hobbled to the bench, but was able to come back, albeit tentatively.
The state of the Hawks no doubt made it slightly easier for LeBron to dominate, whether that was scoring in the paint or dishing to his open teammates. James' performance did more than just get the Cavs the win.
In scoring 30 points, James racked up his 74th play-off game in which he has scored 30 or more. That ties him with Jerry West for 4th on the all-time list. The only players above James in that respect are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (75), Kobe Bryant (88) and Michael Jordan (109).
James also set a new NBA record for play-off games with at least 30 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists at 53. His game 1 performance (31 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists) tied things up with Jordan, and game 2 passed him.
The Hawks will desperately try and slow the Cavs train down when they match up in game 3 on Sunday, but looking at the past couple of games, the bookies have firmly got the odds in Cleveland's favour to take this to the Finals.
The Golden State Warriors - Houston Rockets Western Conference Finals match-up is so far proving to be everything that we want to be - a proper duel between two teams who are driven and motivated to grab that coveted place in the NBA Finals.
Last nights game in Oakland had all of the drama that you'd want from a playoff game. The Warriors were up by as many as 17 points in the first half, but the Rockets went on a run to even the score at 55 by half time. James Harden led the Rockets with 19 points in the first half.
While the Warriors had got out ahead thanks to 23 made field goals off 21 assists in the first half, their 11 first half turnovers allowed the Rockets to make their comeback.
The Warriors forged on ahead in the second half, and with 1:39 remaining in the game, they were up by 8 points, but again, the Rockets weren't about to lie down. Houston went on an 8 - 1 run to bring the score to 99 - 98 to the Warriors, and with 5 seconds left on the clock, Harden had the ball for the final possession of the game.
Harden passed to Dwight Howard, who passed it right back, as Steph Curry and Klay Thompson put the double team on Harden, forcing him to fumble the ball, allowing Golden State to stay up by a point to win the game.
For the second game running, Harden was just one assist away from a triple-double, with 38 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists. When talking about how he felt after the game he said, "Kicking chairs… It's frustrating. It's frustrating to give the game away like that."
There had been worries after game 1 as to whether Howard would be able to take part after injuring his knee, but he played in game 2 regardless, putting up a double-double of 19 points and 17 rebounds.
In the narrow win, Curry had 33 points and 6 assists, with plenty of help coming from his teammates Thompson, Andrew Bogut and Draymond Green.
Bogut redeemed himself with 14 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 blocks after having a rough time in game 1. Thompson uncharacteristically missed 6 of 7 three point attempts, but put up 13 points, while Green had 12 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assist for the Warriors.
The series now head to Houston, where the Rockets have been ferocious in protecting the home court. Rockets head coach, Kevin McHale, said as much to the press after last nights defeat, commenting that "We're not going to go anywhere. We're just going to keep standing here and swinging."
Game 3 will take place on Saturday night where the drama will no doubt continue!
Jahlil Okafor Blocks Shot Mid-Interview | Doesn't End Well For Dunker May 22, 2015 11:47
Jahlil Okafor is one of the top draft prospects heading towards a career in the NBA, and he recently sat down with Sports Illustrated / ESPN to have a chat about the upcoming draft.
Okafor has recently been hitting headlines for having absolutely massive hands and being able to hold 13 tennis balls in one go, with one hand.
Now, Okafor is putting his massive hands to good use by blocking an impromptu, mid-interview dunk attempt. Using a Spalding Slam Jam Rim, guys in the studio tried to set Okafor up to be dunked on, but Okafor was having none of it. He jumps up to block the shot, taking out the dunker and half of the studio equipment.
Check it out!
In a moving video posted to the BBC Sport website today, GB basketball player, Azania Stewart breaks down and cries as she talks about the way that basketball, and in particular, women's basketball, is headed in this country.
There has been outrage and upset amongst much of the basketball community over the past few years as UK Sport has continued to cut funding for basketball, based on criteria that doesn't necessarily seem fair, or fails to take the whole picture into consideration.
During the interview with BBC reported, Chris Mitchell, Stewart says "Just because we didn't get a medal, means that we're not worth anything." She is referring to the fact that UK Sport cut the funding for basketball on the basis that they saw little chance of the sport improving enough to be a medal contender in upcoming events such as the 2015 EuroBasket tournament and the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
It's been a long argued point that without continued support and funding, then basketball has little chance of being able to improve at the professional level.
There's also the issue of the fact that basketball is now the 2nd most popular sport played by under 15's in the country, and that the grassroots level of the game is becoming increasingly important to community development and heath initiatives in our youngsters.
UK Sport have seemed happy to continue to support elitist, single pursuit sports such as shooting, fencing, rowing and equestrian, yet leave high-level participation team sports off their books and deemed unworthy.
In the BBC Sport interview, Stewart states that she believes the women's game of basketball is on the verge of extinction in the UK if the current GB squad fail to finish in the top 6 at the European Championships, and that the game as a whole is under threat.
The full story will be broadcast on Saturday Sportsday on BBC One at 12:50 BST. Watch the snippet over on the BBC website now, and tune in for the full thing tomorrow.
All-NBA First Team Announced | Led by Steph Curry and LeBron James May 21, 2015 17:12
The All-NBA First Team results are in, and MVP Steph Curry and LeBron James lead the way with 129/129 possible first team votes each.
Steph Curry, who has had an outstanding year for the Golden State Warriors, makes his first appearance on the All-NBA First Team, and joins veteran, LeBron James, who has made the All-NBA First Team in 9 of the 12 seasons that he's been in the league.
James' inclusion in the team means that he has now tied Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson for the third most appearances in the All-NBA First Team.
Alongside Curry and James, Houston's James Harden, New Orleans' Anthony Davis and Memphis' Marc Gasol also made First Team honours this year, after each putting up great performances for their respective teams.
See the full run down of the All-NBA First Team, Second Team and Third Team below.
All-NBA First Team
- Steph Curry
- LeBron James
- James Harden
- Anthony Davis
- Marc Gasol
All-NBA Second Team
- Russell Westbrook
- Chris Paul
- LaMarcus Aldridge
- Pau Gasol
- DeMarcus Cousins
All-NBA Third Team
- Klay Thompson
- Kyrie Irving
- Blake Griffin
- DeAndre Jordan
- Tim Duncan
Cavaliers Take Game 1 of Eastern Conference Finals | LBJ Has 31 Points Over the Hawks May 21, 2015 10:53
The no. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, the Atlanta Hawks, made their franchise debut in the Conference Finals last night, taking on a pumped up Cleveland Cavaliers side.
The Cavaliers had lost 3 of the 4 regular season games against the Hawks, and the Hawks put the pressure on them early last night, going up by 8 points.
As the game progressed though, LeBron James and J.R. Smith would be too much for the Hawks, and lead Cleveland to a 97-89 victory in game 1.
Cleveland had the game level by half time, at 51 a piece, thanks to 14 points in the second quarter from James, and Smith lighting it up from outside.
Smith would finish the game with 28 points, and a franchise record 8 three pointers on his way to helping the Cavaliers get their first ever game 1 win on the road in franchise history.
James was also unstoppable, racking up 31 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists, although Atlanta put up a good fight against the Cavaliers surge.
Cleveland was up by as many as 18 points in the 4th quarter, and despite the Hawks big man, DeMarre Carroll, looking like he seriously injure his knee, Atlanta managed to claw it back to just a 4 point deficit with 57 seconds left to play, thanks to a 13 - 1 run.
James wan't having any of it though, as Kyle Korver sensibly got out of the way on that late storming dunk from the Cavs leader that capped the game in their favour.
Check out some of the game highlights below as we wait for game 2, which will be back in Atlanta on Friday.
Warriors Take Game 1 of Western Conference Finals | Rockets Keep it Close May 20, 2015 11:52
The first game of the Western Conference finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets, and it already feels like we're going to have a great series on our hands here.
The Warriors would eventually win the game 110 - 106, but the game certainly had it's ups and downs for both teams, with players pulling out the moves at both ends.
The Rockets stormed out of the gates, probably still on a high after making an epic comeback to knock the LA Clippers out of the playoffs on Sunday, and had a 16 point lead over the Warriors early on.
The Warriors, again relishing home court advantage, weren't about to make things that easy for Houston, and finished the first half of the game on a 25 - 6 run, including a buzzer beater from reigning MVP, Steph Curry.
The teams would head to the locker room at half time with the Warriors up 58 - 55.
The Warriors case was aided by the fact that Dwight Howard was put out of action for much of the game after picking up a knee injury early on, after his own teammate, Josh Smith, fell over, colliding with Howard's left knee.
The absence of Howard, and the fact that Golden State went with a smaller line up worked well and the Warriors remained ahead for the rest of the game, although the Rockets did challenge at times.
Late in the 4th, the Rockets tied the game at 97 a piece, but a quick run by the Warriors heaped on a 9 point lead. The Rockets persisted though, and pulled the game back to 5 points, with less than 30 seconds left.
With 14 seconds left on the game clock, Trevor Ariza hit a 3-pointer to bring the game within 2 points, but the Warriors would hold on, thanks to some clutch free throws from Curry, and take game 1.
Curry finished the game as the leading scorer, with 34 points, to go with 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Shawn Livingston had a big impact on the game for the Warriors too, scoring 16 points in the first half to aid the Warriors comeback. He finished the game with 18 points and 7 rebounds.
Both Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes scored in double points, adding 15 and 14 respectively, while Draymond Green again excelled to put up a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds. He came up just shy of a triple-double, having also dished out 8 assists.
For the Rockets, the MVP runner-up, James Harden almost had another play-off triple-double with 28 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists. He also had 4 steals in the game.
Both Ariza and Josh Smith helped rack up with the points, with 20 and 17, however they definitely missed Howard's production. Howard played just over 26 minutes and had 7 points and 13 rebounds despite struggling with that knee injury.
The Warriors are now 5-0 against the Rockets this season, and have maintained their impressive home win record at 44-3.
Game 2 will be in Oakland on Thursday night.
Minnesota Timberwolves Get First Pick in 2015 NBA Draft May 20, 2015 10:31
After years of dire outcomes where the NBA draft lottery is concerned, fans were pleased to hear that the Minnesota Timberwolves have come out on top to grab the no. 1 pick in the upcoming NBA draft.
After finishing with a 16-66 record last season, which put them dead last in the NBA, the Timberwolves had the best odds of getting the first pick, but rarely does that actually happen.
The Timberwolves had a 25% chance of getting the top pick in the draft, and the last time the team with the best odds did that was in 2004, when the Orlando Magic got their chance for the top pick, and chose Dwight Howard.
The second pick in the draft goes to the LA Lakers, who had the 4th worst record at 21-61 last year, and so the fourth best chance at a pick in the draft.
The Philadelphia 76ers will get to pick 3rd, and the New York Knicks will pick 4th.
Timberwolves owner, Glen Taylor, spoke of his surprise and happiness at the outcome of the draft lottery, after having missed out so many times before, despite having the best odds.
"Today was very nerve wracking. I really didn't anticipate that it would go this way. People say you have a 25 percent to win but I always look at it that there's a 75 percent chance that someone else is going to win. I just feel very honoured that we have the chance to be in this position."
The TWolves will now have a great chance to pair someone with last years no.1 pick in their star rookie, Andrew Wiggins.
Wiggins, who was originally picked by the Cleveland Cavaliers last year, and then traded to Minnesota, picked up the Rookie of the Year award this season, and will be a big part in making the future of the Timberwolves look a little brighter.
The 2015 NBA Draft 1st round, will now run in this order:
- L.A. Lakers
- New York
- Oklahoma City
- Atlanta (From Brooklyn)
- Houston (From New Orleans)
- San Antonio
- L.A. Lakers (From Houston)
- Boston (From L.A. Clippers)
- Brooklyn (From Atlanta)
- Golden State
Andrew Wiggins Leads 2015 NBA All-Rookie First Team May 19, 2015 11:36
Yesterday, the NBA announced the outcome of the NBA All-Rookie voting, with Andrew Wiggins sitting at the top of the voting once again.
Wiggins was the only player to receive 130 out of the possible 130 first team votes to be named to the 2015 NBA All-Rookie first team. He is joined by Nikola Mirotic (Chicago Bulls, 128 first team votes), Nerlens Noel (Philadelphia 76ers, 125 first team votes), Elfrid Payton (Orlando Magic, 121 first team votes) and Jordan Clarkson (Los Angeles Lakers, 73 first team votes.
The NBA All-Rookie Second Team includes Marcus Smart (Boston Celtics), Zach LaVine (Minnesota Timberwolves), Bojan Bogdanovic (Brooklyn Nets), Jusuf Nurkic (Denver Nuggets) and Langston Galloway (New York Knicks).
Wiggins, who also won this years Rookie of the Year award, averaged a rookie-high 16.9 points this season, which was the second best rookie record in Minnesota Timberwolves history. The best being Christian Laettner, who averaged 18.2 point in his rookie season in 1992-93.
Clippers Collapse Complete as Rockets Win Game 7 and Progress to Western Conference Finals May 18, 2015 14:38
Only 9 teams in the NBA have ever turned around a 3-1 playoff series deficit, and the Houston Rockets are one of those teams.
In what has become almost a post-season ritual, the LA Clippers lapsed in concentration and energy to let a playoff series lead slip away as Houston rallied to a 113 - 100 victory that sees them through to their first conference finals since 1997.
Chris Paul and Blake Griffin once again had awkward questions to answer during the post-game press conference. Paul was asked if he thinks the Clippers are will be any closer to cracking that elusive conference finals appearance by what they've learned from this series, to which he replied' "No, I don't see growth in a loss. It's a long time until you get back to the playoffs again."
Griffin was asked what he thought of the 'Clippers Curse' in light of yet another finals miss. Griffin shunned the idea, saying this is something that they'd get past.
No one looked more hurt over the loss than Paul. At 30 years of age, and having spent 10 years in the league, he has yet to make an NBA conference finals appearance, and if he was to look at Twitter today, everybody seems out to remind him of that.
He was one of the only Clippers to really turn up to game 7 in Houston, putting up 26 points, 10 assists, 5 rebounds and 4 steals, but as time ebbed away in the 4th quarter, things seemed to turn desperate as Paul jumped on Dwight Howard's back in a free throw line-up to force Howard into shooting free throws.
This was with less than 2 minutes left in the game, and the rules state you can't intentionally foul a player away from the ball in the last 2 minutes of a game. If you do they would get 2 free throws and possession of the ball. By jumping on Howard's back in the situation that he did, Paul got around that rule. Call it clever, call it desperate, call it whatever you want. It didn't help the Clippers cause, it was far too late for that. (It did however send the meme factory into overdrive.)
The Clippers had the chance to shut this whole thing down in game 6, when they were 19 points up on the Rockets but they didn't. Houston stormed back to win that game and force last nights game 7.
The Rockets deserve a huge amount of credit for taking this series one game at a time, and fighting back. Only 8 other teams have ever done it, and as James Harden said, "It's the ultimate confidence-booster."
Houston controlled game 7 from the start, with a whole host of players putting in good performances and hitting the right shots at the right time to hold a double-digit lead for most of the game.
When the Clippers pulled it back to just a 3 point deficit early in the 3rd quarter, the Rockets didn't lose confidence, in fact they reacted with the opposite. Harden came away from the timeout and threw down a monster statement jam that said this is our house, and we're taking this game 7 (at 0:33 in video below).
That was quickly followed by a three from Josh Smith to put the Rockets back up by 8.
A stand out guy for the Rockets though, was Pablo Prigioni. He only had 4 points (an improvement on his recent playoff performances) but he had 3 crucial steals, which involved sneaking up on Chris Paul and swiping the inbounds pass before it even reached him a couple of times.
He made plays for his teammates throughout the game that let them rack up the points they needed to stay out ahead of the Clippers and seal the deal.
Dwight Howard had a double-double with 16 points and 15 rebounds, despite having to sit late in the game to prevent the Clippers from playing Hack-A-Howard and forcing some questionable free-throw shooting.
Once again though, it was James Harden who came up big for the Rockets, as he has done all season. He had 31 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds to propel his team into their first Western Conference Finals in 18 years.
The Rockets will face the Championship favourites in the Golden State Warriors, in a matchup that will see the 2015 league MVP, Steph Curry, face the runner up in James Harden. That series gets underway in Oakland tomorrow night.
Steph Curry Swishes Insanely Long Buzzer Beater | GSW Through to Conference Finals May 16, 2015 16:10
Right now our blog is pretty much looking like an ode to Steph Curry, but can you blame us when he's doing stuff like this every night!
Curry had 8 three-pointers in game 6, against the Memphis Grizzlies, to take the Warriors through to the Western Conference Finals, including this absolute dagger from all the way inside the Memphis 3-point line.
Swish! Aside from a little hop, this looked pretty effortless, and the Grizzlies fans couldn't believe it. MVP in action, check it out:
Steph Curry Becomes Fastest Player to Get to 100 Playoff 3-Pointers May 14, 2015 11:23
Steph Curry was once again a spark for his Golden State Warriors last night, as they defeated the Memphis Grizzlies in game 5 of the Western Conference semi finals.
Curry set yet another NBA shooting record, becoming the fastest played to make 100 three-pointers in the play-offs.
He scored 6 three-pointers last night to reach that 100 mark in just 28 games. The previous record for getting to 100 made three-pointers was 35 playoff games, which was held by Ray Allen.
Curry's stat-fest didn't end there either. He became the first NBA player to have 6 steals and 6 three-pointers in a playoff game, while becoming only the 3rd player ever to have at least 5 assists, 5 steals and 5 three-pointers in a postseaon game. The other two are Mike Biiby and Tim Hardaway.
The Warriors beat the Grizzlies 98 - 97 to take the series to 3-2, so they have the chance to close Memphis out and move on to the Western Conference Finals on Friday night.
How Did Harrison Barnes Get Up After This? | Barnes Does the Splits May 14, 2015 10:57
The Golden State Warriors might have beaten the Memphis Grizzlies last night, but we're pretty sure that Harrrison Barnes is just happy that he can still walk.
Just before the close of play in the first half, Memphis' Courtney Lee drops Barnes and he goes right down into the full splits! How he got up and played on, we don't know, but he did.
Check it out the highlights video of the full game below, and be sure to see Barnes go flat out at 1:20. Whoa.
James Harden Gets Triple-Double to Save Rockets | Game 6 in LA on Thursday May 13, 2015 12:00
Artwork by Karmoruu
James Harden racked up his first NBA playoff triple-double last night to stop the LA Clippers from eliminating his Houston Rockets from the Western Conference semi-finals.
Harden might not have been feeling well, but he didn't look like letting up as he scored 26 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and handed out 10 assists to help the Rockets to a crucial 124 - 103 win over the Clippers.
The Rockets attacked low down early in the game, scoring 36 points in the paint in the first half alone, compared to just 22 for the Clippers. With Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan battling it out for paint supremacy, the Rockets would finish with 64 points in the paint to 46 for LA.
Houston was up by 15 points at the half, thanks in part to a 36-point second quarter that helped push out the lead. Harden had 14 points in that quarter.
With Blake Griffin and Chris Paul the only ones chalking up any serious scoring numbers, the Clippers would never get closer than 13 points to the Rockets in the second half.
Griffin finished the game with 30 points and 16 rebounds. Paul would add 22 points to go with 10 assists, while Jordan had 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Despite holding a lead for the majority of the game, the Rockets still went to the Hack-a-Jordan tactics, sending Jordan to the line to take 16 free throws, of which he made just 7, no doubt hurting the Clippers chances of making that comeback.
With 1:45 left on the game clock, Harden, still feeling ill, checked out and headed to the locker room, with the game all but over.
The series between Houston and LA now stands at 3-2 to the Clippers, with play now headed back to Los Angeles where the Clippers have another shot at knocking the Rockets out.
We're sure Harden will have something to say about that as well, but whether he can carry his team to the Western Conference Finals… we'll have to wait and see. Game 6 - Thursday.
Check out Harden's moves from last night's game:
Stance Fusion Basketball Socks | Technology For Your Feet May 12, 2015 15:36
First we knew Stance for their beautifully crafted, colour socks, but having been named the official on-court sock supplier to the NBA as of the 2015-16 season, it's high time we took a closer look at the sock technology that got them into the NBA.
STANCE FUSION BASKETBALL SOCKS
The 'Fusion Hoops' sock range from Stance features their trademark array of awesome patterns and out-there colourways, but while there's a party going on up top, these socks are all business underneath.
Built for use on and off the court, the Stance Fusion basketball socks feature Triniti Technology, which combines traction control, premium cushioning and support, along with moisture management.
The TRACTION CONTROL (1) on the socks allows for a better grip and response when moving around on the court - we look for these features in a good pair of kicks, so why not in the socks that accompany them!
Stance's ADVANCED CUSHIONING SUPPORT SYSTEM (2 + 3) and the use of a denser weave in specific areas along the sock means that you'll get the and comfort that you want and deserve from a pair of performance socks.
What's more thanks to VENTS and QUICK WICK FABRIC (4), your performance basketball socks are going to keep your feet cool, dry and comfortable.
Take a look at the official Stance video showing you what their Fusion basketball range is all about:
LeBron James Hits Buzzer Beater to Even Series with Chicago Bulls May 11, 2015 11:12
Credit: Dennis Weirzbicki
Buzzer-beaters on tap over the past few days as LeBron James adds to the NBA playoff drama by tying the Cleveland Cavaliers - Chicago Bulls series at 2-2.
In game 3 of the series, we watched Derrick Rose hit a big 3-pointer at the buzzer to win the game for the Bulls and put Chicago 2-1 up over the Cavs, but last night was James' turn to be the hero, knocking down a game 4 buzzer beater of his own to give his Cavs the edge.
Both teams had their struggles during the game. The Cavaliers had 15 turnovers, 6 of which came in the first quarter, allowing the Bulls to take a small lead. However, in the second quarter, the Bulls went scoreless for 7 minutes, leading to a shooting percentage of just 36% for the game.
Then it was Cleveland's turn - they went scoreless for 7 minutes in the 3rd quarter. To make matters worse, James, who shot 2-9 in the third quarter, also rolled his ankle, and while it looked quite bad initially, he stayed in the game.
When it came down to it in the 4th quarter, things were quite evenly matched and in the end, quite scrappy. James committed two offensive fouls in the last couple of minutes of the game, giving the Bulls possession, and effectively allowing them to tie the game off a jump shot for Rose.
On what looked like the last possession of the game, with 8.4 seconds on the clock, James drove down the court and to the basket, but the ball was put out of bounds. The referees went to the bench to review the play to see who knocked it out of play, and with 1.5 seconds left on the clock, it was deemed to be Cavs ball.
During the review time, Cavs Head Coach, David Blatt, had drawn up a play, but James reportedly said that they just needed to get him the ball and get out of the way. That's exactly what they did. Matthew Dellavedova inbounded the ball to James and he knocked down a fadeaway jumper for the win. 86 - 84 to the Cavaliers.
Game 5 will take place in Cleveland tomorrow night, but for now, check out James' buzzer beater from all angles.
Derrick Rose Hits Buzzer Beating Three to Put Bulls Up 2-1 Against Cavs May 09, 2015 12:19
(Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune)
After all of the 'ifs', 'buts' and 'maybes' surrounding Derrick Rose and whether he'll ever climb back to greatness, after being plagues by knee injuries, he goes and drops a playoff-game-winning buzzer beater on the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Rose banked in a 3-point shot as time expired in game 3 of the Bulls - Cavs conference semi-final series, giving Chicago a 2-1 lead.
Prior to Rose's game winner, J.R. Smith had sunk a game-tying 3 pointer of his own for the Cavs, leaving 10.8 seconds on the game clock for the Bulls to do something about it.
"I'm just thankful and grateful that my teammates gave me the ball," Rose said. "They believed in me down the stretch. They kept getting me the ball, kept encouraging me to play the way that I usually play. And no, I did not call glass."
Rose might not have called glass, but in the end it made no difference. It was his first career play-off buzzer beater, and part of his ongoing rise to glory once again in the eyes of fans around the league.
Rose had 30 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists and the buzzer beater was his first made three pointer of the game. He was backed up by more solid performances from Jimmy Butler (20 points, 8 rebounds) and Mike Dunleavy Jr. (16 points and 6 rebounds).
The Cavaliers got another sub-par performance from LeBron James in terms of shooting. He was just 8-25 in the game, but made up for things by distributing the ball well and picking up 14 assists. That stat meant that James passed Tony Parker, Steve Nash and Larry Bird in career playoff assists, with a total of 1,073.
Kyrie Irving got into difficulties with his ankle early on, and that had a notable effect on him for the rest of the game. Tristan Thompson had a double-double with 10 points and 13 assists, but would ultimately be the guy that Rose buried the winner over.
Game 4 will take place on Sunday, again in Chicago where the Bulls will be looking to take a commanding 3-1 lead over the Cavs and to stop LeBron James getting to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010.
Last night's NBA action has ensured that we're definitely getting at least 5 games out of all 4 conference semi-final series, as Cleveland and Houston won against the Bulls and Clippers to even their series at 1 a-piece.
(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
The Bulls had pulled out a dominant performance in game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals and the Cavaliers had a notably bad game in terms of shooting and turnovers.
Last night, in game 2, the tables were turned. It was the Cavs who led from the start and didn't let up until the final buzzer, where they'd win by 106 - 91.
LeBron James had taken a lot of the heat for the Cavaliers loss in game 1, and admitted that he had an off night. He wasn't about to let the same thing happen in game 2. The headband was back and he scored 14 points in the first quarter, on his way to a 33 point game, to go with 8 rebounds and 5 assists.
As a team, the Cavs shot 9-15 from three point range in the first half, and capitalised on Bulls turnovers. Chicago turned the ball over 10 times in the first half alone (compared to 10 turnovers total in game 1) and Cleveland turned that into 20 points.
The Cavaliers would lead by as many as 25 points in the game, and while the Bulls had a bit of a run in the 3rd quarter to bring the deficit down to 11, the Cavs had little trouble finishing the job.
(Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports)
In the Western Conference, the LA Clippers were back in Houston for game 2 of the semi-final series and were still without Chris Paul.
Blake Griffin had been the guy to step up for the Clippers in game 1, and he did so in game 2, scoring 26 points in the first half, however the Rockets would shut him down after half time, limiting him to just 8 points.
The Rockets also picked up a lot of points in the paint thanks to the fact that DeAndre Jordan had picked up 2 fouls within the first 3 minutes of the game, and had to go to the bench. Houston had 22 points in the paint in the first quarter alone, with Dwight Howard taking full advantage.
The Clippers were leading 85 - 83 at the start of the 4th quarter, but the Rockets put the pressure on and James Harden took control, scoring 16 of his 32 points.
Los Angeles tried the hack-a-Howard angle, with Houston having to attempt 64 free-throws over the course of the game, and making 42 of those. Not a great stat for anyone watching the game and hoping for some fast paced action.
In the dying seconds of the game, with the Clippers down 107 - 111, Austin Rivers charged down the court and ended up crossing himself up, and throwing the ball out of bounds….for the second game running. His dad, and Clippers head coach, Doc Rivers, was no doubt unamused.
The Rockets would get to hold out for the win, with the series now heading to LA tomorrow.
Check out the top 10 plays from last night:
Memphis Grizzlies Grind Down Warriors to Win Game 2 May 06, 2015 11:57
Last night the Memphis Grizzlies handed the Golden State Warriors their first loss in this year's play offs, and just their 3rd loss at home this season.
The Grizzlies took game 2 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals 97 - 90 after seeing their injured point guard, Mike Conley, return to action just eight days after facial surgery.
Conley proved to be the spark necessary for the Grizzles to get some traction and bring down the Warriors on the night that Golden State's Steph Curry got to show his MVP trophy off to the Oracle Arena crowds.
Conley had 22 points on 8-12 shooting, with his left eye barely open due to the swelling from his repaired facial fracture, although he said; "My eyesight was pretty good. I didn't have too many times where I felt my vision was impaired."
Zach Randolph had a big 20 points and 7 rebounds, while Marc Gasol and Courtney Lee each scored 15 points to help push the Grizzlies to the finish line, but it was the Memphis defence that made the difference, putting extra pressure on the Warriors.
Golden State had 20 turnovers in the game, and struggled with their shots. Curry was just 2-11 from 3 point range and Klay Thompson was just 1-6 form 3 point, and 6-15 from the field.
On one particular turnover, halfway through the 4th quarter, Memphis' Tony Allen was able steal the ball on a bad pass by Curry, he ran to the other end and dunked the ball, before heading back down court shouting "1st Team All-Defensive" - a little reminder to the folks who will be voting for the All-NBA Teams over the next few days perhaps.
The series now heads to Memphis, where the Grizzlies are going to look to grind the Warriors down in game 3 on Saturday.
Check out the highlights from last nights game:
Newcastle Eagles' Charles Smith Named BBL MVP May 05, 2015 13:45
We got pretty excited about Steph Curry taking the MVP award in the NBA last night, and now we're happy to see that Charles Smith, of the Newcastle Eagles, has picked up the BBL MVP honours.
Smith has had yet another stand-out season for the Newcastle Eagles, and picks up the league MVP award for the first time in his career.
This latest accolade joins the mass of awards already collected by Smith this season, from winners medals in the BBL Cup, Trophy and Championship to Trophy MVP, April's BBL Player of the Month and BBL Player of the Year as voted for by the Basketball Journalists Association.
Smith has averaged 18.6 points per game this year on 53% shooting, to go with 6.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.9 steals.
Adored and respected in Newcastle for all that he's done for the Eagles franchise, little says more about him as a player than the fact he played through the BBL Trophy Final this year with a broken hand and was able to make clutch plays that turned things around in the Eagles favour.
A very deserving MVP if you ask us.
Demond Watt of the Cheshire Phoenix came in second in the MVP voting, having shot an incredible 65% from the floor this season, and tamale, Taylor King, followed closely behind in 3rd place.
Steph Curry to be Named 2014/15 NBA MVP May 04, 2015 15:06
Steph Curry is expected to be named the league's Most Valuable Player in the next 24 hours, with multiple sources, including SLAM online, reporting that Curry has edged James Harden to take the coveted NBA award.
Curry has had an electric season, proving to be a spark to his Golden State Warriors, who have had an epic season, putting them as the favourite to win the NBA Championship this year.
The official announcement from the NBA, naming Curry as MVP, is expected to be made in the next 24 hours, as the Warriors gear up for game 2 of the Western Conference semi-finals against the Memphis Grizzles.
During the second half of the season, the race for the MVP award went into overdrive, with very little separating the top 3 candidates; Curry, James Harden and Russell Westbrook.
Westbrook had a crazy second half of the season, racking up a serious number of triple-doubles and carrying his under-manned Oklahoma City Thunder up the rankings, after they had a dire start to the season.
However, with the Thunder narrowly missing out on the play-offs, talk of Westbrook in the MVP running has slowly died out, leaving the Houston Rockets' Harden as Curry's only real competition for the award.
The Rockets have also made it though to the Conference semi-finals, where they will take on the LA Clippers, but it's thought that the fact that the Warriors are having the best season in franchise history, and Curry's play in recent games, has seen Harden drop by the wayside.
Curry has averaged 23.8 points per game in this regular season, 7.7 assists, 2.04 steals and he shot 44.3 percent from 3-point range, while breaking his own NBA record for 3-pointers made in a season.
According to the Associated Press; "With the revitalised Warriors winning at a historic pace, Curry’s case for MVP echoed around the league as loud as the nightly chants at rowdy Oracle Arena. He beat out Harden, (LeBron) James — a four-time MVP — and (Russell) Westbrook despite the incredible seasons they had."
Congrats to Curry and the Warriors for an entertaining and explosive season, and here's to looking forward to what else they can do in these play-offs.
Crepe City 13 - Old Truman Brewery - London - Video May 01, 2015 14:21
We had an absolute blast as Crepe City last weekend. We appreciate the support from everyone who came along to see us at the event!
Big shout out to Morgan, Ron and all of the crew that did an ace job of organising yet another cracking edition of Crepe City.
Nearly 5,000 people stormed the Old Truman Brewery last saturday for a chance to sift through some of the rarest sneakers around, as well as checking in with some sick apparel-led brands, and basically spending the day chatting about all that's good about streetwear culture in the UK.
Can't wait for the next Crepe City to be announced, but in the meantime, here's a video re-cap from Crepe City 13
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