Superstar guard James Harden called the Houston Rockets’ 116-108 win over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night important “for our swag,” which was soaring after the Rockets claimed the regular-season series over the defending NBA champions.
“We’re confident because we know if we’re doing what we’re supposed to do, we’re going to beat them,” Rockets center Clint Capela told ESPN. “We’ve got to keep playing. We know that they’re going to come back if we have the lead, and we’ve just got to keep that mindset. Sometimes I feel like, in the past, we were all dragging down after mistakes. But today, we were ready. I think that if we’re doing what we’re supposed to do on defense — all the switches, the weak side — and keep playing our offense by keeping that mentality all game long, we have the weapons to beat them.
“We are better than them.”
Houston won two of three meetings with Golden State this season. The Rockets rallied from a 17-point deficit for a road win in the season opener despite Chris Paul playing on a bruised knee that sidelined him for the next month. Golden State won in Houston on Jan. 4 in a game in which Warriors star Kevin Durant and MVP front-runner Harden sat out because of injuries. The Rockets withstood a Warriors rally from a 17-point deficit, with the lead changing six times in the fourth quarter, to claim a tiebreaker that Houston hopes to make relevant.
Source: Tim MacMahon of ESPN
Jeff Hornacek: ‘We’ve moved on’ from Joakim Noah
New York Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek strongly indicated Tuesday that exiled center Joakim Noah will not be back with the team.
“We’ve moved on. He’s ready to move on and maybe have an opportunity somewhere else,” Hornacek said following the Knicks’ first practice after the All-Star break.
Noah and the Knicks have mutually agreed that the veteran forward be away from the team indefinitely following a heated argument between him and the coach at practice in late January.
Hornacek said Tuesday that the plan is for Noah to remain away for the foreseeable future. He wasn’t sure if Noah would return before the end of the season, noting that the decision would come from team president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry.
Source: Ian Begley of ESPN
Anthony Davis: ‘We go to the Finals’ with DeMarcus Cousins Healthy
As New Orleans star Anthony Davis prepares for the second half of the season with the Pelicans holding on to the eighth seed in the Western Conference, he still thinks about what could have been this year had teammate DeMarcus Cousins not ruptured his Achilles.
“We could have gone through the playoffs. No one could really stop us as bigs. We go to the Finals if we went,” Davis told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols in an interview over All-Star weekend.
Davis and Cousins were on pace to become the first teammates ever to each average 25 points and 10 rebounds per game when Cousins went down with the season-ending injury on Jan. 26. The Pelicans were sixth in the West at that point and climbing in the standings. Cousins was averaging 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game. According to ESPN Stats & Information, over the past 50 seasons, only four players averaged those numbers for an entire season — and all four were named MVP.