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About Last Night: Without Durant, Warriors cool off Rockets



Coming off an embarrassing loss to the Phoenix Suns, the Golden State Warriors bounced back by ending the Houston Rockets’ nine-game winning streak with a 106-104 victory.

And they did so without Kevin Durant, who sat out due to a right ankle bruise.

Klay Thompson led the way with 30 points, while Stephen Curry added 24 points. The Splash Brothers went 8-of-19 from beyond the arc.

But the biggest factor in the Warriors’ statement win was made by DeMarcus Cousins, who stuffed the stat sheet with a season-high 27 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.

Cousins made 11 of his 16 shots and dominated the paint, especially when the Rockets switched on defense and left smaller players attempting to guard the him. Big or small, Cousins didn’t care who’s man was on him.

“I don’t think anybody can stop me 1-on-1, period,” he said. “So you can put whoever you want on me, honestly.”

Asked about Cousins’ performance, coach Steve Kerr credited a new rotation that allowed Cousins to get more space in the paint.

“We’ve got to remind ourselves that it’s still pretty early in the process,” Kerr told reporters. “I don’t know how many games he’s played for us — 20? We’re all learning, me too. I’ve got to learn how to use him better. I thought we used him better tonight. I thought he did a phenomenal job of getting down on the block and controlling the game down there.”

The Warriors, who lost their previous three meetings with the Rockets, avoided their first regular-season sweep since losing four games to the San Antonio Spurs in 2013-14.

No word yet if Durant will be available when the Warriors visit Oklahoma City on Saturday. 


Westbrook finds his groove

Russell Westbrook continued his offensive resurgence in Oklahoma City’s 108-96 comeback victory over Brooklyn.

The Nets led by 10 points at halftime before Westbrook imposed his will, finishing with 31 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists for the 130th triple-double of his career.

“It starts with me,” Westbrook said after the game. “It’s my job to bring the energy every night. It was my fault in the first half and I thought we did a good job of picking up in the second half.”

Westbrook capped a 21-4 run in the fourth quarter by drilling a wide-open 3-pointer off a loose ball scramble, after which he danced to midcourt, pounded his chest and screamed in celebration.


Heat bury Pistons with 21-0 run

In a game with playoff implications for both teams, the Miami Heat opened the second half on a 21-0 run and never looked back in a 108-74 win over the Detroit Pistons.

It was the biggest unanswered-point run and largest victory margin of the season for Miami, which is trying to hang on to the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race.


The biggest Heat run of the season led to the most biggest Heat win of the season.

During the 21-0 blitz, the Heat shot 6-of-10 from the floor, 2-of-2 from beyond the arc and 7-of-8 from the free-throw line. 

Meanwhile, the Pistons missed their first 11 shots of the third quarter, eight of them from 3-point range. Detroit’s first points of third quarter came at 5:27 in the period with Blake Griffin at the line.

The win moved the Heat within two games of Detroit for the No. 7 seed and built a two-game cushion on the Magic and Hornets, who are tied for ninth.

Hawks’ dynamic duo strikes again

John Collins and Trae Young have become a lethal combination in the Hawks’ fast-paced offense.

And they didn’t slow down against Memphis, the NBA’s defensive scoring leader. Collins had 27 points and 12 rebounds, while Young added 22 points in Atlanta’s 132-111 victory over the Grizzlies.

It marked the most points that Memphis has allowed this season.

Nearly one-third of Collins’ field goals have been assisted by Young this season, including 15 alley-oops — and perhaps none more spectacular than this connection from beyond midcourt.


Awkward moment of the night

In between free throws, Joakim Noah was caught on camera either flirting with somebody in the stands or getting inside the head of Alex Len, who sent him to the line with a hard foul.


Stat of the night

Klay Thompson joined Stephen Curry are the only players in NBA history to record seven-straight seasons with at least 200 3-point field goals made.

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Report: Trail Blazers, Terry Stotts agree to contract extension



Just one day after being eliminated from the playoffs by the Golden State Warriors, the Trail Blazers and coach Terry Stotts have agreed to a multiyear contract extension, according to ESPN sources.

The Portland Trail Blazers and head coach Terry Stotts have agreed to a multiyear contract extension.

The Blazers announced the extension Tuesday but did not disclose terms.

Stotts has led Portland to six straight playoff appearances in his seven seasons at the helm, holding a 325-249 record.

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Griffin says Pelicans are ‘very optimistic’ about Anthony Davis situation



David Griffin has been clear since his first day with the New Orleans Pelicans that he believes the team can convince Anthony Davis to stay on board this summer.

Griffin reiterated this belief on Tuesday during a conference call to introduce newly hired GM Trajan Langdon. Griffin said the team plans to sit down with Davis and his agent Rich Paul in Los Angeles at some point soon. 

“I think that’s the next step — really to look each other in the eye and talk about what’s important to us,” Griffin said on Tuesday. “And we’re very optimistic from previous conversations with Rich Paul, his agent, and with all of the people here that know Anthony and know what he’s about. We’re very confident that we have a compelling situation for him here.

“And if winning is what he is indeed all about, which we have every reason to believe, we feel confident that we can create — and are creating — the right environment for Anthony and frankly for high-caliber players of all types to want to be a part of. This is something that we hope creates an energy that recruits itself, and Anthony would just be one step in that process.”

While Griffin and the Pelicans may be confident, there has been no public indication from Davis that he wants to remain with the team. The six-time All-Star told the Pelicans in January that he desired a trade and did not plan to re-sign with the team next offseason when his contract expires. 


David Griffin talked with NBA TV after the Pelicans won the No. 1 pick.

Griffin also spent time on Tuesday talking about the team’s plan for the 2019 NBA Draft. The Pelicans beat the odds during the draft lottery to receive the No. 1 pick in this year’s Draft, which is headlined by top prospects Zion Williamson and Ja Morant. After New Orleans won the lottery, reports circulated that Williamson would need to be convinced to join the Pelicans. Griffin was quick to dispel those reports on Tuesday.

“I’m certain that’s a false narrative relative to the players that could potentially be the No. 1 pick,” Griffin said. “We’ve sat with multiple players that we’re looking at for that first pick. In fact, in the case of Zion Williamson, Alvin Gentry and I sat with he and his parents the night of the lottery. […] And Alvin and I were also together in interviewing Ja Morant in Chicago as well. And I think because we sat with those kids, who are both incredible human beings and all about all the right things, we know unequivocally that either one of them would be thrilled to join us in New Orleans. And they’re both very much excited about the concept.”

Griffin also discussed his early impressions of Pelicans owner Gayle Benson, who took control of the team after the passing of her husband, Tom, last year. Griffin credits Benson for empowering the team to pursue top-level talent — like Langdon and longtime Phoenix Suns trainer Aaron Nelson — to New Orleans

“It’s become something that it’s very clearly her baby, and the Pelicans matter immeasurably to her. And literally in all these hirings, she’s putting her money where her mouth is and she’s empowering us to go and attract the best and the brightest,” Griffin said. “And I think when you win the lottery in the midst of all those other things, it starts to really lend itself to changing a narrative.”

Griffin and Langdon previously worked together with the Cleveland Cavaliers during the championship 2015-16 season.

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Young, Doncic lead 2018-19 All-Rookie First Team



NEW YORK — Dallas Mavericks guard-forward Luka Dončić and Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young have been unanimously selected to the 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie First Team.

Dončić and Young both received NBA All-Rookie First Team votes on all 100 ballots to finish with 200 points each.  They are joined on the NBA All-Rookie First Team by Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (195 points; 95 First Team votes), Memphis Grizzlies forward-center Jaren Jackson Jr. (159 points; 60 First Team votes) and Sacramento Kings forward Marvin Bagley III (156 points; 56 First Team votes). 

The 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie First Team is composed of the top five picks in NBA Draft 2018 presented by State Farm®: Ayton (No. 1), Bagley (No. 2), Dončić (No. 3), Jackson (No. 4) and Young (No. 5).

This marks the first time since the 1984-85 season that the top five picks in the previous NBA Draft have all been selected to the NBA All-Rookie First Team (there was no All-Rookie Second Team that season).  Thirty-four years ago, the NBA All-Rookie Team honorees were Hakeem Olajuwon (No. 1 pick in 1984), Sam Bowie (No. 2), Michael Jordan (No. 3), Sam Perkins (No. 4) and Charles Barkley (No. 5).

Dončić, Young and Ayton are the three finalists for the 2018-19 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year Award.  The winnerwill be revealed at the2019 NBA Awards presented by Kia on Monday, June 24 at 9 p.m. ET on TNT.  The third annual NBA Awards, honoring this season’s top performers, will take place at Barker Hangar in Los Angeles.

The 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie Second Team consists of LA Clippers guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (138 points), Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton (132), Clippers guard Landry Shamet (85), New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (77) and Hawks guard Kevin Huerter (45).

The NBA All-Rookie Teams were selected by a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.  The media voted for five players for the NBA All-Rookie First Team and five players for the Second Team at any position.  Players received two points for each First Team vote and one point for each Second Team vote.

Complete voting results by media member will be posted at the night of the 2019 NBA Awards presented by KiaClick here for the list of 100 media voters for the 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie Teams.   

Below are the voting results for the 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie Teams.  The balloting was tabulated by the independent accounting firm Ernst & Young LLP.

* * *


Player, Team | 1st Team (2 Pts.) | 2nd Team (1 Pt.) | Total Points

Luka Dončić, Dallas Mavericks | 100 | –– | 200

Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks | 100 | — | 200

Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns | 95 | 5 | 195

Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis Grizzlies | 60 | 39 | 159

Marvin Bagley III, Sacramento Kings | 56 | 44 | 156



Player, Team |  1st Team (2 Pts.) | 2nd Team (1 Pt.) | Total Points

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, LA Clippers | 40 | 58 | 138

Collin Sexton, Cleveland Cavaliers | 39 | 54 | 132

Landry Shamet, LA Clippers | 3 | 79 | 85 

Mitchell Robinson, New York Knicks | 3 | 71 | 77

Kevin Huerter, Atlanta Hawks | 1 | 43 | 45


Below are the other players who received votes for the 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie Teams.

Player, Team | 1st Team (2 Pts.) | 2nd Team (1 Pt.) | Total Points

Mikal Bridges, Phoenix Suns | 1 | 29 | 31

Kevin Knox, New York Knicks | — | 22 | 22

Josh Okogie, Minnesota Timberwolves | 1 | 10 | 12

Jalen Brunson, Dallas Mavericks | — | 10 | 10

Allonzo Trier, New York Knicks | — | 10 | 1

Rodions Kurucs, Brooklyn Nets | — | 9 | 9

Wendell Carter Jr., Chicago Bulls | — | 7 | 7

Miles Bridges, Charlotte Hornets | 1 | 4 | 6

Bruce Brown, Detroit Pistons | — | 2 | 2

Harry Giles III, Sacramento Kings | — | 2 | 2

Mo Bamba, Orlando Magic | — | 1 | 1

Aaron Holiday, Indiana Pacers | — | 1 | 1

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