WASHINGTON -- One game after clinching a playoff berth, the Rockets delayed the Wizards' bid to secure their own spot, beating Washington 99-91 Sunday behind James Harden's 24 points.
Houston entered the day third in the Western Conference, a half-game behind No. 2 Memphis. Washington is fifth in the East and still had a chance to end Sunday with a guaranteed place in the postseason, depending on results of later games.
Corey Brewer scored 15 for Houston, including pairing with Pablo Prigioni for consecutive 3-pointers that pushed the lead back up to 85-75 with 8 minutes left after Washington had pulled within four.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Paul George is still hopeful he can make a return to the Indiana Pacers lineup this season.
The two-time All-Star forward said he feels like he has passed all of the tests to play but is still waiting for clearance from the team's medical staff before he makes his season debut.
"I feel good, but it's not just me who has to feel good," George said after Saturday's practice. "Everybody has to feel good about it. That's what we're waiting on. Everybody has to be on the same page."
The Fresh Fighters are heavily favored in the 1 p.m. contest with coach Ronnie Magsanoc vowing no easing up after a 64-61 setback from Jumbo Plastic last week.
Tanduay and AMA University tangle in the first game at 11 a.m.
Magsanoc said the Fresh Fighters—already reeling from the departure of key San Beda players—also hardly trained before the tournament with major cogs like Ray Parks, Troy Rosario, Scottie Thompson and Arnold Van Opstal fulfilling commitments with the national team set to compete in the Southeast Asian Basketball Association and the Southeast Asian Games this year.
He’s the unquestioned leader of the Western Conference-leading Golden State Warriors, but amid the grinding NBA season, he has not forgotten about the biggest sporting event for 2015: Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr.
With that, “Chef Curry” sent a little care package for one of his biggest fans–Mr. Eight-Division World Champion.
Yes, Pacquiao is a huge fan of the hot-shooting point guard.
SALT LAKE CITY -- A day after Kevin Durant was ruled out for the rest of the regular season because of issues with his surgically repaired right foot, the Oklahoma City Thunder said they are focusing on continuing their playoff push.
"It was a tough day," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "Kevin, out for the season, all of our thoughts are with him. It's not about us, it's about him. Him getting better and recovering and coming back stronger and better next season."
Durant will undergo a bone graft early next week on his right foot, which has already had two operations on it to repair a Jones fracture discovered in October. He will be able to return to basketball activities in four to six months, leaving the Thunder with the reality they will play out this season without the reigning MVP.
SALT LAKE CITY -- Returning to play against his former team on Saturday, Thunder center Enes Kanter claimed to have plenty more he could say about his tumultuous tenure with the Utah Jazz, but still didn't hold back all that much.
"I love it," Kanter said of his change of scenery. "It's a team I've never experienced before and I actually like playing basketball there. I'm just so comfortable and everything is in the right place. I'm just really happy to be there."
Kanter has been an offensive revelation for the Thunder, putting up a double-double in seven consecutive games and averaging 17.6 points and 10.8 rebounds in the 16 appearances he's had since being traded from Utah.
SAN ANTONIO -- After an inadvertent knee injured Mavericks shooting guard Monta Ellis in a 94-76 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night, a frustrated Mark Cuban publicly complained about the lack of respect that Dallas' leading scorer receives from referees.
Cuban first raised the issue in a tweet after the game.
Coach Rick Carlisle said Saturday morning that Ellis is "very doubtful" for Sunday's road game against the Indiana Pacers due to the right calf injury suffered when he was defending Spurs sixth man Manu Ginobili.