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James Harden Notches Triple-Double in Win Over Blazers

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After a difficult loss at Oklahoma City on Wednesday night, the Rockets came home to face the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday. That they won 126-109 was hardly guaranteed given how they played the night before and had talked about letting a game slip from them. But the way they responded was an important development for Mike D’Antoni’s group.

Harden tallied 26 points, 14 assists and 12 rebounds, and made 7 of 17 shots in what D’Antoni called an “easy” triple-double. For Portland, slowing Harden would be key to earning a victory. The Blazers failed, utilizing a defensive strategy that was slightly different than the smothering D Harden dealt with in OKC. Portland played him straight up and sent some pressure, but ultimately, as Harden said the other night, it’s all about making shots.

Source: Calvin Watkins of ESPN

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Tyronn Lue: Cavs Can’t Get Satisfied with One Win

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Down 0-2 in the Eastern Conference finals heading into Saturday’s Game 3, Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue had desperation on his side as his team played with a have-to-have-it edge in their 116-86 blowout of the Boston Celtics.

Now Lue is tasked with distilling that same sense of urgency for 48 hours heading into Monday’s Game 4 (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN). “We know what it takes,” Lue said after the Cavs’ film session on Sunday. “We did it before. We’ve got a lot of veterans, a veteran crew and they know what it takes to win. We can’t get satisfied with just one win. It’s just one; we’ve got to come out [Monday] night and duplicate it again.”

Source: Dave McMenamin of ESPN

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Luka Doncic to Make Decision on NBA Draft ‘Soon’

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Eight months after helping Slovenia to its first European Championship, Luka Doncic added a Euroleague title to his ever-growing mantel, which now also includes the Euroleague MVP and Euroleague Final Four MVP awards.

When asked by ESPN following Sunday’s victory what his next move is, Doncic said: “I will tell about all at the right time. Right now I just want to celebrate with my team. Soon I will tell.”

Source: Jonathan Givony of ESPN

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D’Antoni on Rockets Blow Out Loss: We Played ‘Soft’

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Coach Mike D’Antoni used the most damning four-letter word in the NBA vernacular — “soft” — to describe the Houston Rockets’ performance in the most lopsided playoff loss in franchise history.

The Golden State Warriors routed the top-seeded Rockets 126-85 at Oracle Arena in Sunday’s Game 3 to regain the series lead in the Western Conference finals.

Source: Tim MacMahon of ESPN

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