Posts Tagged ‘Houston Rockets’

It took overtime, but the Houston Rockets where able to get past the Chicago Bulls 121-117 on Friday night. The Bulls played without Jimmy Butler; who has a bruised heel and is scheduled for an MRI to check for any damage. The Rockets built a 17 point lead in the 2nd quarter, but the Bulls came all the way back and had chances to win the game.

The Bulls built an early five point lead at 8-3, but Houston scored 10 of the next 12 points in the game to take a 13-10 lead. The teams where tied one time and traded the lead three more times in the quarter before a Rajon Rondo 3-pointer with five seconds left gave the Bulls a 26-24 lead after one quarter.

The game was tied twice early in the 2nd quarter before the Rockets started building a lead. Houston was holding a two point lead at 35-33 when they went on a 17 to 2 run to open up a 17 point lead at 52-35. The Bulls spent that final five minutes of the quarter trying to cut into the Rockets lead. The Bulls did manage to get the Houston lead down to 11 by the end of the quarter as Chicago went into halftime trailing 60-49.

Chicago started the 3rd quarter by scoring 12 of the quarters first 14 points and the Rockets lead was down to just one point at 62-61. The Rockets pushed back a little and built the lead back to four points before the Bulls actually took the lead back at 73-72. The teams swapped the lead four more times in the quarter and y the end of three quarters it was the Bulls who had a 81-79 lead heading into the final quarter.

The Biggest lead the Bulls could build in the 4th quarter was eight points and they took that lead with 4:52 left to play and it looked like Chicago might be able to pull off a big road upset. The Bulls seemed to have an answer for every Houston basket, but with 3:05 left in the game there was a terrible foul call on Michael Carter-Williams that sent James Harden to the free throw line for two shots and it seemed to change the momentum of the game. It was also Carter-Williams 6th foul of the game. Harden hit both free throws and after the Bulls did manage to score right after that the Rockets scored the final eight points of the game and the teams where headed to overtime tied at 108 apiece.

The Rockers went right to the lead in overtime scoring the first five points to take a 113-108 lead. The  Bulls worked there way back into the game and where able to tie the score at 115 all. A Dwayne Wade jumper gave the Bulls there first lead in overtime at 117-116 with 1:28 left to play. The Bulls weren’t able to score again after taking the lead and Houston was able to pull away scoring the final six points of the game to take a 121-117 victory.

James Harden led the Rockets and the game in scoring with 42 points, rebounds with 12 and assists with 9. Clint Capela had 14 points while Trevor Ariza added 10 points. Eric Gordon came off the Houston bench to score 21 points.

Michael Carter-Williams was the Bulls leading scorer getting 23 points before fouling out. Taj Gibson had 20 points while Dwayne Wade added 19 points. Doug McDermott came off the Bulls bench to score 12 points while Nikola Mirotic and Paul Zipser also hit double digits off the Bulls bench scoring 11 points apiece. Robin Lopez led the Bulls with 11 rebounds while Wade and Carter-Williams each handed out 6 assists to tie for the team lead.

With the win the Rockets improved to 37-17 on the season. Houston gets three days off before they host the 20-32 Orlando Magic on Tuesday night. The loss knocked Chicago back under .500 at 25-26. The Bulls are 1-1 on there current road trip and they’ll get a couple of days off before they head to Sacramento to face the 19-31 Kings on Monday night.




The Atlanta Braves added their third free agent of the off season as it’s being reported that they have a deal in place with utility man Sean Rodriguez on a 2-year $11 million dollar deal. Rodriguez will be entering his 10th season and he’s a career .234 hitter. Rodriguez posted career highs in games (140), home runs (18) and RBI’s (56) last season with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Rodriguez is a true utility man as throughout his career he’s played every position except for catcher. Career Stats It appears as though Rodriguez will spend time at 2nd base, 3rd base and rightfield for the Braves, but as through his career can and may fill in at the other positions.

If you’re a Braves fan I’m interested to know what you think if this signing. This signing like the other two the Braves had made are just short term. It’s two years for Rodriguez, one year for R.A. Dickey with an option for a second year and then a year long deal for Bartolo Colon.It looks as though these guys are just place holders as there younger players try to get major league ready. I guess what I really want to know is do you feel these three signings will help the Braves improve from last seasons 68-93 record.

The Arizona Diamondbacks and the Seattle Mariners made a trade this week and I have to tell you from the Mariners side of the deal I don’t understand it. The Diamondbacks acquired starting pitcher Taijuan Walker and shortstop Ketel Marte while the Mariners received shortstop Jean Segura and two minor league prospects outfielder Mitch Haniger and left handed pitcher Zac Curtis.

Now Segura did lead the National League in hits with 203 and is an upgrade at shortstop over Marte, but adding Walker to the deal hurts a rotation that had it’s issue last season. Now I get it Walker had his issues last season and was even sent to Triple-A for a short stint, but he’s just 23 years old. Walker made 25 starts for the Mariners last season tied for second most on the team. Seattle had 13 different pitchers make starts for them during the 2016 season and losing a pitcher who had a rotation spot locked up can be tough to replace. Marte is also a young player (22 years old), but looked to be the Mariners shortstop for a long time. Segura fills that role, but how do the Mariners replace Walker. The free agent starting pitching market is down this season; so you have to think they have someone from there own system in mind or will they make another trade to get a starter.

Of course the Mariners got the word every team loves to hear in a deal back PROSPECTS!. Haniger split last season between Double and Triple-A and hit .321 with 25 home runs and 94 RBI’s combined. Haniger did play 34 games for Arizona last season and hit ..229. It was just 34 games, but you have to wonder if Haniger’s skills will translate to the major league level. Zac Curtis spent time at high Class-A and Double-A before the Diamondbacks called him up. Curtis pitched in 21 games for Arizona last season. Curtis was 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA and one blown save opportunity over 13 and 1/3rd innings. Curtis has pitched strictly in relief and maybe the Mariners are looking at him as a future closer. Curtis has 53 career saves in 59 chances in the minors.

Will Arizona make Marte the everyday shortstop or is he going to be added to there three man rotation at 2nd base/shortstop. Chris Owings and Nick Ahmed are the other two guys that rotate in these positions. Owings and Ahmed both missed time with injures last season and Owings spent some time in centerfield as well. Walker may have to win a spot in the Diamondbacks rotation. As it looks like there are six pitchers for five spots, but then again the Diamondbacks could go with a 6-man starting rotation.

I guess like all trades we’ll have to wait and see how this works out for both teams, but just looking at it I think Arizona got the better end of this trade on paper. Of course we all know they don’t play the games on paper.

The Houston Rockets beat the Sacramento Kings 117-104 last night. Now it looks like just your typical Western Conference NBA game, but the Rockets set an NBA record in this game by taking 50 3-point shots in the game. The Rockets made 21 of the 50 3-points shots they took in the game. Eric Gordon took the most 3-pointers going 4 for 12. Trevor Ariza and James Harden each took 11. Ariza made 6 and Harden made 3. Ryan Anderson took 7 making 3 while Patrick Beverly took 4 making 2. Sam Dekker took 3 making 1 and Corey Brewer took 2 3-pointers and made both of his.

While we’re talking about the 3-point shot the Cleveland Cavaliers became the first team to make 20 3-point shots in back to back regular season games. The Cavaliers made 21 3-pointers in there Wednesday night win over the Portland Trail Blazers and then last night Cleveland made 20 3-pointers in there win against the Dallas Mavericks. The Cavaliers accomplished this feat in last season playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks. Now I’m sure you’re thinking that the Golden State Warriors have done this a number of times, but they’ve never done it in back to back games.

This leads me to part of the reason I don’t enjoy the NBA game. How many times in a game do you see a guy pass up a short jumper to kick it out to the 3-point line for that shot instead. The NBA seems to be a league where you either get a player driving to dunk the basketball or he throws it out to the 3-point line for that long jumper. While the dunks can be fun and exciting to watch, but players standing at the 3-point line waiting for the basketball to be passed to them isn’t great basketball to watch. I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who enjoy this style of basketball, but I’m not one of them. From time to time I’ll see a play where a team has great ball movement and it ends with them finding the open man for a 3-point bucket. I’m fine with that, but there are just way too many times where it’s one guy handling the basketball and then just tossing it out to the 3-point line for the shot. You’ll have to let me know if I’m off base here. How do you feel about the state of the NBA game right now?

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With the start of the baseball season less than a month away spring training is up and running at full speed. This week 3 teams suffered their first injuries where players will miss regular season time. The defending champion Kansas City Royals lost outfielder Jarrod Dyson for 6 weeks with a Grade 2 strain of his right oblique. Dyson is going into his 7th season with the Royals, but has been used mostly as a defensive replacement and pinch runner. This season the Royals where hoping that Dyson would be part of there right field platoon with Paulo Orlando. With Dyson out Travis Snider might be given the first chance to fill his role at the start of the season. Snider was signed as a free agent this off season. The Detroit Tigers also lost and outfielder as Cameron Maybin was hit by a pitch and suffered a non-displaced fracture of his left wrist and is expected to miss the first couple of weeks of the regular season. After struggling through most of his career Maybin seemed to find something with the Atlanta Braves last season hitting .267 with 10 home runs while stealing 23 bases in 141 games. The Tigers sent 2 pitchers Gabe Speier and Ian Kroll to the Braves this off season for Maybin so he could compete with Anthony Gose for playing time in center field. Gose should be the full time center fielder while Maybin tries to recover from his wrist injury. The first pitcher to go down with a serious injury was Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Brett Anderson. Anderson was found to have a bulging disc in his lower back that will require surgery. The time frame for Anderson return has been set between 3 and 5 months. Anderson has had various injuries tough his career, but stayed healthy during the 2015 season making 31 starts. Anderson went 10-9 with a 3.69 Earner Run Average (ERA) last season. Even with Anderson out and Brandon McCarthy not scheduled to return from his injury until the All-Star break the Dodgers still have some depth in there staring rotation. Of course Clayton Kershaw is at the top of the rotation. Hyun-jin Ryu is returning from injury and looks like he’ll be ready to go for the start of the season. The Dodgers signed Scott Kazmir as a free agent as well as Japanese free agent and Kenta Maeda this off season. The Dodgers also have Alex Wood and Mike Bolsinger as 5th starter options. Will have to see which pitcher ends up filling Anderson’s rotation spot. There are always injuries in spring training you just have to hope that it’s not a key player who gets hurt or that your team has a player who can fill his role on the team.

Have there been two more disappointing teams this NBA season than the Houston Rockets and the Chicago Bulls? The Rockets are 30-31, but are holding onto the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Bulls are 30-30 , but are 1/2 game behind the Detroit Pistons for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. As the schedule would have it these two disappointing teams are the marquee match up for NBA Saturday night. What are we going to get on a national telecast with these two teams playing. Each team has shown flashes of the team people thought they might be at the beginning of the season, but haven’t shown enough to make people think they could be a factor in the playoffs. At this point right now if both of these teams end up as the #8 seeds in their conferences do you think they’d have a shot at all of beating the #1 seed. They better question might be would they even win a game in that series or would they just be swept out of the playoffs.  The Rockets where so bad at the start of the season that there head coach Kevin McHale lost his job. The coaching change hasn’t made a whole lot of difference with the Rockets. The Rockets feature James Harden along with Dwight Howard. Harden leads the team in scoring with 28.7 points per game and dominates the basketball. Harden does also lead the team in assists averaging 7 a game. Howard is the team leader in rebounds grabbing an average of 12 a game. Howard can still block shots; he’ll block 1.5 per game on average. Howard is also averaging 14.9 points per game. Harden and Howard are the Rockets top two scorers. The Bulls had been a playoff team under defensive minded head coach Tom Thibodeau, but the front office wanted to go another and replaced Thibodeau with a more offensive minded coach in Fred Hoiberg. As the Bulls attempt t adjust to a new system the defense hasn’t been what it was and the offense isn’t where it’s suppose to be. The Bulls are fighting some injuries, but there’s a chance that their best player Jimmy Butler will return tonight. Butler is the Bulls leading scorer averaging 22.4 points per game. Pau Gasol has shown he can still play offense averaging 16.9 points per game and is the tam leader in rebounding at 10.9 rebounds per game. Derrick Rose has played more this season, but still misses games with injuries that wouldn’t keep other players out. Rose is the Bulls 3rd leading scorer at 16.5 points per game, but does lead the team in assists averaging 4.8 assists per game. Rose and Butler have had some issues working together on the court, but it seems as though one of them has always been out injured; so that hasn’t been a huge issue yet. Will we get a good game tonight or we will get a game where two disappointing teams show up.

Just a reminder Chris Olmstead from will join the Sports Time Radio podcast to preview The Kobalt 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Kurt Busch won the pole in qualifying with a speed of 196.328 miles per hour. Joey Logano, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keslowski and Austin Dillion round out the Top 5 qualifiers. Will one of these drivers be in Chris’ 3 drivers to look for in victory lane? You’ll have to listen to Sports Time Radio on to find out who Chris is going with.

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How much of the NBA on Christmas day did you watch? While I didn’t see an entire game start to finish I did see parts of all 5 games and almost all of the 2nd and 3rd games. I’d be very impressed if you watch every minute of every game. I believe that was a little over 11 hours of NBA basketball.

The day started with the Miami Heat getting a 94-88 win in overtime over the New Orleans Pelicans. Looking at the box score for this game Miami was good in the 1st and 3rd quarters while New Orleans was the better team in the 2nd and 4th quarter. I guess it makes sense that overtime was the 5th quarter; so Miami picked up the win. Dwayne Wade led the Heat in scoring with 30 points.Hassan Whiteside grabbed 17 rebounds to lead the Heat while Goran Dragic’s 6 assists where a team high. Anthony Davis led New Orleans in scoring with 29 points and rebounds with 15 while playing 50 minutes in the game. Tyreke Evans led the Pelicans in assists with 7.

The second game of the day saw the Chicago Bulls beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 105-96. I got to see all of this game except for the first 2 minutes of the 3rd quarter. The Bulls scored the first 11 points of the game and they seemed to control most of the action. The Bulls would build a lead and then Oklahoma City would make a run. The Thunder made a big run at the Bulls in the 4th quarter, but Chicago was able to hit their free throws down the stretch to seal the win. Jimmy Butler led the Bulls with 23 points. Pau Gasol led the Bulls in rebounds with 13 and assists with 6 to go along with his 21 points. Kevin Durant led Oklahoma City with 29 points while Enes Kanter grabbed a team high 13 rebounds. Russell Westbrook led Oklahoma City with  8 assists while adding 26 points.

While I think most people thought the 3rd game a finals rematch between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors was looked at as the marquee match up. It didn’t really live up to the hype or any offensive predictions everyone made about the game. Golden State did pick up a 6-point victory 89-83. The Warriors looked good coming out of the gate and took a 9 point lead. Then Stephen Curry went to the locker room with either a foot or a calf issue and things started to go Cleveland’s way. Curry came out of the locker room to return to the game just as the television announcers where saying it would be a good idea if he didn’t return to the game. While Curry helped the Warriors to the victory it was Draymond Green who was the Warriors star. Green led Golden State in scoring with 22 points; he also grabbed a team high 15 rebounds and tied Curry for the team lead in assists with 7. LeBron James was the Cavaliers leading scorer with 25 points. Kevin Love grabbed 18 rebounds to lead Cleveland and Love also had a team high 4 assists. Part of the Cavaliers issues in the game was the fact that Love and Kyrie Irving where a combined 9 for 31 on the night and 0 for 11 from behind the 3-point line.

The 4th game of the night saw the Houston Rockets surprise the San Antonio Spurs 88-84. The Rockets where able to build a consistent lead of about 8 points; so San Antonio started to employ the “Hack-a Player” method.  The Player of choice was Dwight Howard who went 3 of 8 from the free throw line and helped keep San Antonio in the game. Even though Howard had issues at the free throw line the Spurs couldn’t convert those misses into points and the Rockets held on for the win. James Harden led the Rockets with 20; Harden also handed out a team high 9 assists while Howard grabbed 12 rebounds to lead Houston. Kawhi Leonard led San Antonio in scoring with 20 points and assists with 4. Tim Duncan hauled down 11 rebounds to lead the Spurs.The win pushed the Rockets over .500 at 16-15. It was San Antonio’s (25-6) 6th loss of the season all on the road.

The night in the NBA wrapped up with the Los Angeles Clippers cruising to a 94-84 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. The Clippers might’ve had a larger margin of victory, but a 9 point 4th quarter along with the Lakers putting up 27 4th quarter points cut the winning margin to 10 points. Chris Paul led the Clippers in scoring with 23 points. DeAndre Jordan grabbed 14 rebounds to lead the Clippers. Blake Griffin was the Clippers leader in assists with 7 and grabbed 12 rebounds as well. D’Angelo Russell led the Lakers in scoring with 16 points.Julius Randle had 8 rebounds to lead the Lakers. Russell and Randle came off the Lakers bench. Kobe Bryant and Jordan Clarkson tied for the team lead in assists with 3 apiece. I know everyone is going to want to know how Bryant did. Kobe was 4 of 10 shooting on the night, but made 3 of the 5 3-point shots he took. Bryant had a poor night at the free throw line making just 1 of 4 attempts. Bryant did grab 3 rebounds; had 2 steals and committed 3 turnovers.

Did you like the Christmas day scheduling? It was interesting that the two worst teams record wise from the Western Conference the Lakers and the Pelicans where in the game line up. The Lakers are 5-25, but of course they have Kobe Bryant and it’s his farewell season. The Pelicans are 9-20, but they have an up and coming superstar in Anthony Davis. Otherwise we saw the top 4 teams in the Western Conference along with the 7th team in the standings. From the Eastern Conference we got to see the #1, #3 and #5 teams record wise. Was their a team or a player that you would’ve wanted to see play and which team would you take out?

Our week in NFL picks started off well on Thursday night as we all had the Oakland raiders to win, but it wasn’t easy. The Raiders needed overtime to beat the San Diego Chargers 23-20. We’ve got another Saturday night NFL game as the 1st place Washington Redskins look to wrap up the vaunted NFC East as they travel to Philadelphia to take on the 2nd place Eagles. A win by the Redskins would make them 8-7 and would drop the eagles to 6-9 knocking them out of any playoff spot. If the Redskins do get a win tonight the only thing standing in there way of winning the NFC East would the 6=8 New York Giants. The Giants are featured on Sunday Night Football this week as they play the Minnesota Vikings. Things are lining up for the Redskins to win their division and they might even have a winning record on top of that. Pick wise for us Schaumburg Stu and I like Washington to win, but Dan the Man thinks that Philadelphia gets the win and keeps there playoff hopes alive. As always I can’t tell you who Mr. Fantasy is going with in tonight’s game as he’ll let me know right before kickoff.

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Derrick Rose banked in a 3-pointer to give the Chicago Bulls a 99-96 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 3 of their 2nd round playoff series. On the radio there was just as much talk after the game about a couple of other plays as there was Rose’s game winner. Late in the 3rd quarter LeBron James drove to the basket and was clearly tied up by Jimmy Butler for what should’ve been a jump ball. The referees saw it differently and called Butler for a foul. Then on the play right before Rose hit the game winning shot James ran at Rose banged into him and luckily for the Bulls the basketball ended up going out of bounds. I get it; there where 3 seconds left and no referee in the NBA is going to call a foul on the best player in the league in that situation. Fans rooting against the Cavaliers forget how much pull James seems to have. Remember 2 seasons ago he complained that the All-Star break wasn’t long enough and this season they magically had a couple of extra days added to All-Star weekend. Any referee who likes his job and wants to keep it is going to swallow his whistle when it comes to a play like that and James is involved. Was the first play a jump ball; yes. Was the second play a foul; yes. Was either play called correctly; no and they won’t be. I was a little surprised by the Bulls fans being as upset as they were with these two blatantly missed calls. I guess they forgot how the Bulls used to benefit from this same situation when Michael Jordan was wearing a Chicago uniform.

Rose led all scorers with 30 points and finally got to the free throw line in the series making 9 of 10 free throws. Rose was 10 of 26 from the field and 1 of 3 from behind the 3-point line. That means the only 3-pointer Rose hit was the last second bank shot to win the game. Butler had 20 points, Mike Dunleavy scored 16 points and Nikola Mirotic added 12 points off the bench. Pau Gasol was injured and played just a little under 22 minutes in Game 3. James led the Cavaliers with 27 points. James was 8 of 25 from the field and made just 1 of his 7 3-points attempts on the night. Kyrie Irving went 3 of 4 from behind the 3-point line, but those where the only 3 shots he made from the field going 3 for 13 while scoring 11 points. Tristan Thompson was the other Cavaliers starter to score double digit points with 10 while J.R. Smith scored 14 point off the bench included the late 3-pointer that tied the game at 96, .Matthew Dellavedova also came off the cavaliers bench to score 10 points. Game 3 is Sunday afternoon in Chicago with the Bulls holding a 2-1 series lead.

In the late game last night (Friday) the Los Angeles Clippers took a 2 games to 1 lead over the Houston Rockets in their Western conference 2nd round series by winning Game 3 124-99. J.J. Reddick went 5 of 6 from behind the 3-point line and 11 of 14 from the field overall for a game high 31 points. Austin Rivers scored 25 points and Blake Griffin added 20 points as the Clippers shot 55.4% from the field and 44.8% from behind the 3-point line in their win. The Rockets were led by James Harden with 25 points, but shot 39.8% from the field and 33.3% from behind the 3-point line in the game. Harden did hand out 11 assists and Dwight Howard had a double-double 14 each points and rebounds. In true Howard fashion he went 4 of 11 from the free throw line and as a team the Rockets where 18 of 31 (58.1%) from the free throw line. Chris Paul did return for the Clippers and played a little over 23 minutes. Game 3 is Sunday for these two teams in Los Angeles.

Have you ever thought that your favorite NFL team might be cursed or jinxed or something along those lines. If you’re a fan of the Jacksonville Jaquars and I know there are some of you out there you have to be wondering about this. Jacksonville had the 3rd pick in the draft last weekend and they decided to go with a pass rusher to help their defense instead of taking the player that most if not all experts thought was the best player in the draft;; Leonard Williams a defensive lineman. Since Jacksonville wanted a true edge rusher they drafted Dante Fowler Jr. a linebacker/defensive end with the 3rd pick. Well on the 1st day of rookie mini camp Fowler torn the ACL ligament in his left knee and will miss the 2015 season. Fowler was already talked about as a Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate. It was report that Fowler’s left knee bent awkwardly during 11 on 11 drills and he had to be carted off of the field. Fowler was set to play Jacksonville’s “Leo” position in their defense. The Jaquars where also hoping a “high motor” player like Fowler would add to their young defense that finished 6th in the NFL last season with 45 sacks. Even though he;s out of college it looks like Fowler will be taking a red shirt year instead of rushing quarterbacks in the NFL.

The NASCAR circuit heads to the Kansas Speedway for The Spomgebob Squarepants 400 tonight. Joey Logano won the pole in qualifying yesterday  with a speed of 192.397 M.P.H. Kasey Kahne, Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr. and Carl Edwards round out the Top 5 qualifiers for the race. Dan the Man’s favorite driver Clint Bowyer starts 21st. This is the first race where Erik Jones will take over the #18 Jo Gibbs Racing (JGR) car from David Ragan who was filling in for an inured Kyle Busch. Ragan is now driving the #55 car for Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) for what looks like the rest of the race season. Brian Vickers started the season in the #55 car, but has been out with blood clots and there hasn’t been a timetable set for his return. Jeff Gordon is the defending champion and could use a win to lock down a spot in The Chase. Chris Olmstead from was unable to join us on the podcast Friday to preview the race and give us his picks, but he will be joining us tomorrow to recap the race. We did receive Chris’s picks via e-mail. Here’s what he said ” I think there is going to be another different winner this weekend so I am going to go with Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon or Kasey Kahne”

So how was your week?

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