May 22, 2018, 11:49 pm
Up until this point of the Conference Finals, watching the first half of each game was as good as it got. The Cavs won a nine-point game over the Celtics on Monday, which was the most exciting game.
That is, until Tuesday night.
Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals was everything NBA fans had been waiting for. Let’s check in and see what went down.
ROCKETS 95, WARRIORS 92
Following a 41-point loss just two nights ago, the Rockets were staring a possible 3-1 hole in the face with a pivotal Game 4 at Oracle Arena. The Rockets found themselves down 12 points in the fourth quarter and then Chris Paul happened.
Dispelling his playoff reputation, CP3 was an absolute wizard down the stretch, scoring eight points with two assists in the final quarter. Paul finished the game shooting 10-for-20 from the field with 27 points, two boards, four assists, one steal and five 3-pointers. The Rockets finally got what they paid for.
James Harden put together perhaps one of his best two-way performances, shooting 11-for-26 from the field for 30 points with four boards, four assists, three steals, two blocks and three 3-pointers in 43 minutes. He was very rusty in the second half, but Chris Paul saved the day. Expect Harden to be a lot more comfortable at home on Thursday.
As for the Warriors, they took poor shot after poor shot to blow their fourth quarter lead. They shot an uncharacteristic 3-for-18 in the final 12 minutes, allowing the Rockets to close the gap and win the game.
Steph Curry continued his scorching hot play, knocking down six 3-pointers for 28 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals in 39 points. He found himself wide-open with 0.5 seconds left but missed the game tying shot as time expired.
Kevin Durant struggled mightily from the field, shooting 9-for-24 for 27 points, 12 boards, three assists and one 3-pointer in 43 minutes. He won’t shoot this poorly moving forward.
The poor shooting was contagious, as Klay Thompson was also missing everything. He finished shooting 4-for-13 from the field for 10 points, four boards and two 3-pointers in 39 minutes. Klay left the game with a knee strain but came back in minutes later. He isn’t expected to miss games moving forward, but it’s still something to watch for if the quality of his play subsides.
The Rockets took back home field advantage and will get Game 5 and Game 7 (if necessary) at home.
Game 5 is on Thursday in Houston.
August 25, 2019, 11:25 pmCaris LeVertSG, Brooklyn Nets
The Nets and Caris LeVert have agreed to terms on a three-year, $52.5 million contract extension, as per Adrian Wojnarowski.
This makes sense for the Nets, who have long extolled their love for LeVert's long-term outlook. This sounds like they're fully committed to making him a core player. Enjoy his upside this season, as he will likely take a usage hit when Kevin Durant returns to full health and takes the floor.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
August 25, 2019, 11:18 pmEvan FournierSF, Orlando Magic
In an 82-80 win by France over Italy on Sunday, Evan Fournier posted 29 points in 19 minutes of action.
This was nice showing for Fournier, who is coming of a relatively lackluster 2018-19 campaign. He will have to fend off an emergent Terrence Ross for those minutes at the wing this season and will need production-per-minute on this level if he wants to stay on the floor for the Magic.
Source: Orlando Magic Daily on Twitter
August 25, 2019, 8:29 pmVictor OladipoSG, Indiana Pacers
Victor Oladipo had little to say about his rehab process (ruptured quad tendon) at his basketball camp in Indiana.
We weren't expecting earth shattering details while Oladipo was busy overseeing his basketball camp, but more information about the Pacer would be most welcome. It is hard to know what you will get from Oladipo on draft day, but you have to figure someone in your league will be interested in taking a gamble on him. He is still not scrimmaging with other players, and whenever he does return to game action this season, it is unlikely he will resume being a top player in the early going.
Source: The Athletic
August 25, 2019, 8:08 pmBriante WeberPG, International
Briante Weber, after spending the end of last season with the Greek club Olympiacos, is joining the Metropolitians 92, based in Boulogne-Levallois, France.
Weber attended free agent mini-camps in June with the Raptors and Wolves, and spent time in the G-League last year, but has never been able to catch on long-term with an NBA team. He has had brief stops with several NBA squads over the years, so it is possible he could return to a roster at some point this season. There is nothing to see here in terms of fantasy though.
August 25, 2019, 7:54 pmRui HachimuraPF, Washington Wizards
Rui Hachimura showed off his scoring prowess with 31 points in Japan's comeback victory over Germany on Saturday.
After a nice string of Summer League performances, Rui Hachimura is continuing his strong play in FIBA World Cup exhibition games for Japan. He can clearly get his own look in the mid-range, and the rookie should get a chance to perform for the Wizards this year. Keep an eye on Hachimura's preseason opportunities, as the competition for the Wizards' power forward minutes isn't fierce. He could be worth a late-round flyer in standard league-drafts.
Source: Mike Schmitz on Twitter
August 25, 2019, 6:50 pmRobert CovingtonSF, Minnesota Timberwolves
Robert Covington (right knee) is not expected to have any limitations heading into training camp.
Covington had arthroscopic surgery in April after missing 47 games last season due to a bone bruise on his right knee.
Source: Chris Hine of the Star Tribune
August 25, 2019, 6:32 pmJeff TeaguePG, Minnesota Timberwolves
Jeff Teague (left ankle) is not expected to have any restrictions for training camp.
Teague had a left ankle debridement procedure in April to help alleviate inflammation. Teague's ankles have given him trouble throughout his career and he only played 42 games last season. With a clean bill of health Teague will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing season.
Source: Chris Hine of the Star Tribune
August 24, 2019, 11:09 pmDerrick WhitePG, San Antonio Spurs
Derrick White has reportedly passed the first concussion test after taking a nasty fall in Team USA's tuneup game vs. the Australian Boomers on Saturday.
This is good news. White has worked hard for his Team USA roster spot and should provide some guard depth for them once he clears concussion protocols. He was an eye-opener last season and should still hold some fantasy value despite the return of a now-healthy Dejounte Murray.
Source: Tom Orsborn on Twitter
August 24, 2019, 10:27 amKyle KuzmaPF, Los Angeles Lakers
Kyle Kuzma (sore left ankle) will not take part in the FIBA World Cup as Team USA announces its final roster.
Kuzma sat out Team USA's final tuneup against Australia on Saturday as Marc Stein reports that he is flying back to Los Angeles to get treatment. We should still expect him to be ready for training and congrats to Mason Plumlee for making the team as many speculated that he would be the final cut.
Source: Marc Stein on Twitter
August 24, 2019, 8:58 amKemba WalkerPG, Boston Celtics
Kemba Walker scored 22 points on 7-of-15 shooting with four rebounds with two assists as USA Basketball had it's 78-game winning streak in tournament and exhibition games snapped on Saturday.
Walker continues to assert himself as the team's best player but USA losing to Australia was the much bigger story in this one. Harrison Barnes also played well as he chipped in 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting to go with six rebounds. USA will take on Canada on Monday in their last exhibition before taking on the Czech Republic in the first official match of the tournament on September 1.