Allen Iverson thinks Carmelo Anthony deserves another chance to play in the NBA.

Anthony appeared in just 10 games for the Houston Rockets this season before he was traded to the Chicago Bulls this week.

But, Chicago do not plan to play the 34-year-old forward, either, as they will either waive or deal him before the trade deadline. 

Iverson – a 2016 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame inductee – wrote on Tuesday on Instagram he still believes Anthony can be a contributor.

"With all due respect, he can only make your team better," Iverson captioned a photo of Anthony.

Anthony averaged 13.4 points and 5.4 rebounds during his time with the Rockets. The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly could be interested in adding him if he clears waivers and they have an open roster spot.

The 10-time All-Star spent last season with the Oklahoma City Thunder before he was traded to the Hawks in mid-July in exchange for a package centred around Dennis Schroder. He was bought out by Atlanta, then signed with the Rockets.

Iverson, who last appeared in an NBA game in 2010, averaged 26.7 points per game over 14 seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons and Memphis Grizzlies. He made 11 All-Star teams and won the 2000-01 MVP.

Iverson and Anthony were team-mates in Denver from 2006-08.

James Harden was disappointed to see Carmelo Anthony's short stint in Houston come to an end.

The Rockets announced Anthony's departure on Tuesday.

"Melo is one of the best to ever hoop. He loves the game of basketball," Harden told reporters on Tuesday, via ESPN.

"Some guys just do it just because they're gifted or they're athletic or they can shoot the basketball. There's not that many players that like, love to hoop ... It kind of sucks that it didn't work out. It is what it is. I just hope he finds somewhere where they can embrace him and he can still hoop. So he [gets to] make that decision that he's done [playing]."

The 10-time All-Star, as well as the rights to Jon Diebler and cash considerations, were sent the Chicago Bulls in exchange for the rights to Tadija Dragicevic.

However, Anthony is not expected to play a game with Chicago, multiple reports stated.

He has been linked to the Los Angeles Lakers, but has also fielded multiple offers recently.

"I just want to see him hoop, see him happy, and I mean, he deserves it, honestly," Harden said. "Like, he's put so much time and effort into this game that he should be able to hoop and still have fun playing the game of basketball."

Anthony, 34, averaged 13.4 points in 29 minutes per game for the Rockets. He shot 40.5 per cent from the field and 32.8 per cent from three-point range.

James Harden criticised the referees for letting the game "get out of hand" as the Houston Rockets fell to a disappointing 121-93 defeat at the Philadelphia 76ers.

For the 20th consecutive game Harden had a 30-point match, but it was a generally poor shooting performance from the Rockets.

Harden, though, felt the contest changed course towards the end of the second quarter, where he had issues with both Joel Embiid and Corey Brewer.

"Late in that second quarter [it changed], man, we let the game get out of hand," said Harden, in quotes reported by ESPN. 

"[The] referees let the game get out of hand. It's kind of hard to come back from a 15-point deficit - especially on the road against a good team.

"There were a couple [of] questionable calls that they got away with that changed the game, especially [when] we're already outnumbered a little bit. 

"We are trying to figure out a way to win the game, and I let it get out of hand. But, like I said, we'll figure it out."

Harden's remarkable streak of 30-point games means he joins the legendary Wilt Chamberlain as the only players to have a tally in the 20s.

Chamberlain had runs of 20, 25, 31 and 65 during his career and Harden is delighted to be in such esteemed company.

"Wilt was doing some obviously unbelievable things and numbers that nobody will ever catch," he added. 

"Just to be in the same conversation as those guys is just credit to the work I put in. That's what you play this game for, to be listed with those guys, those top players.

"Obviously, I got a long way to go, but this is a pretty cool beginning."

The Philadelphia 76ers had an answer for Houston Rockets star James Harden in a huge win in the NBA on Monday.

While Harden managed to have his 20th consecutive game scoring 30 or more points, Philadelphia kept him under the dangerous 40-point mark and handed Houston their largest loss of the season, 121-93.

Joel Embiid finished with a team-high 32 points and 14 rebounds. He also played an important role on defense with Jimmy Butler sidelined because of a sprained wrist. Embiid finished with three blocks.

JJ Redick and Corey Brewer added 16 and 11 points, respectively. Landry Shamet had 18 points off the bench.

Harden scored 37 points in the Rockets' losing efforts. The 2018 MVP got off to a hot start and scored 27 in the first half.

The Rockets trailed by 15 points at the half and a 13-point performance in the third quarter put Houston in a deficit they could not bounce back from.

Gerald Green chipped in 18 points off the bench. Kenneth Faried added 13 in his first game with the Rockets.

 

Doncic dynamic but Mavericks lose

Luka Doncic became the second-youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double. The 19-year-old rookie finished with 18 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in the Dallas Mavericks' 116-106 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Klay Thompson set an NBA record in the Golden State Warriors' rout of the Los Angeles Lakers. The four-time All-Star became the first player to make 10 consecutive three-pointers without a miss. He finished with 44 points in 26 minutes. Thompson was 17 of 20 from the field and 10 of 11 from long distance. Golden State went on to win 130-111.

Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell had 31 points in his team's 123-94 win over the Sacramento Kings. Russell shot 48 per cent from the field and 50 per cent from three-point range.

Nikola Vucevic used a double-double to help push the Magic ahead of the hosting Atlanta Hawks. Vucevic finished with 29 points and 14 rebounds in Orlando's 122-103 win.

Thunder forward Paul George had his second consecutive game scoring 31 points. The forward led Oklahoma City to a 127-109 win over the New York Knicks.

 

Cavs continue to crash

The Cleveland Cavaliers' loss to the Chicago Bulls moved them to 9-39. Starters Rodney Hood and Alec Burks did not provide much help in the 104-88 rout. Hood finished with just four points on one-of-eight shooting while Burks had a lone three-pointer in 17 minutes of play.

JaMychal Green and Shelvin Mack scored little off the bench for the Memphis Grizzlies. The two finished minus-17 in Memphis' 105-85 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. 

 

Antetokounmpo welcomes Doncic

The Mavs rookie impressed, but Giannis Antetokounmpo made sure to give Doncic his own special welcome. Antetokounmpo had a game-high 31 points in the Bucks' win.

No one could stop Zach LaVine. He had a game-high 25 points in Chicago's first win in the new year, including a one-handed dunk.

Kyrie Irving tallied eight steals to go along with 26 points in the Boston Celtics' 107-99 win over the Miami Heat.

Monday's results

Oklahoma City Thunder 127-109 New York Knicks
Chicago Bulls 104-88 Cleveland Cavaliers
Milwaukee Bucks 116-106 Dallas Mavericks
Washington Wizards 101-87 Detroit Pistons
Orlando Magic 122-103 Atlanta Hawks
Brooklyn Nets 123-94 Sacramento Kings
New Orleans Pelicans 105-85 Memphis Grizzlies
Boston Celtics 107-99 Miami Heat
Philadelphia 76ers 121-93 Houston Rockets
Portland Trail Blazers 109-104 Utah Jazz
Golden State Warriors 130-111 Los Angeles Lakers

 

Clippers at Mavericks

When the Mavs host the Clippers on Tuesday, they will likely see the return of Dennis Smith Jr, who has missed the past five games because of a back injury and illness while also being at the center of trade rumours. He will join Doncic as they try to break Dallas' four-game losing streak. Los Angeles will enter the matchup off their first win in six games.

The Houston Rockets' 138-134 overtime win over the Los Angeles Lakers was the only thing that mattered to James Harden as the reigning MVP poured in another 48 points on Saturday.

The Houston Rockets keep finding a way to win after James Harden inspired a 138-134 overtime win against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton has one very important goal against the Houston Rockets, keep MVP contender James Harden under 50 points.

Reigning NBA MVP Harden has scored 57 and 58 points in his last two games at the Toyota Center.

Harden is averaging an NBA-best 35.4 points and has scored 30-plus in 18 consecutive contests.

The Rockets have gone 13-5 during that stretch while Harden has engineered three 50-point games and eight 40-point games.

Los Angeles are hoping to extend their two-game winning streak when they face the Rockets on Saturday and Walton singled out the threat of Harden.

"If we can keep him anything under 50, we feel like we've succeeded as a group," Walton said jokingly. "If he scores over 50, then the game plan did not work."

Walton added: "He's going to get fouls, he's going to get three-point shots, he's going to score.

"He's on an unbelievable tear right now. We just got to keep fighting and playing through all of it."

Los Angeles (25-21) are looking for their first three-game winning streak of the new year.

The last time the Lakers had a three-plus game win streak was the end of November.

They will continue to play without superstar LeBron James (groin) for the foreseeable future.

The timetable for his return is unclear and according to a recent interview with James' agent, he will not rush his comeback.

His 2017-18 campaign may have been impressive, but reigning MVP James Harden is having a career year in 2018-19.

The Houston guard has been in incredible form for the 25-19 Rockets, scoring 30-plus points in an NBA-record 18 successive games and putting up a staggering 115 points in his last two appearances alone.

Harden led the league in scoring, three-pointers and 50-point games in a Houston team that won more regular-season matches than anyone in 2017-18, but the individual contribution of 'The Beard' has been even greater this term.

Here, we look at the numbers behind the man seemingly on course to win back-to-back MVP awards.

 

A plethora of points

Last season, through 41 matches, Harden was averaging 30.9 points per appearance. At the same point in this campaign, his average is up to 35.4.

No one had as many 50-point games as Harden's four last year, and he has already reached that haul this term thanks to his recent displays against the Memphis Grizzlies and Brooklyn Nets.

The 29-year-old has also scored at least 40 points on 15 occasions, compared to 11 at the equivalent stage in 2017-18.

 

Assists, rebounds and efficiency

With six triple-doubles, Harden already has more than he did throughout his entire MVP campaign (four), with an average of 6.3 rebounds per fixture this time around compared to 4.9 boards last season.

And while he is undoubtedly the focal point of the Houston offense, Harden is in the league's top five for assists, though his average is down from 9.0 to 8.5 per game.

His field-goal percentage has dropped marginally from 44.3 to 43.8 and he is proving slightly less effective beyond the arc - 38.7 per cent in 2017-18 to 37.5 per cent in 2018-19.

 

The Chris Paul effect

Harden's statistical explosion has happened when the Rockets have been without Chris Paul, who picked up a hamstring injury prior to Christmas.

In the last 13 contests without Paul, Harden has poured in a whopping 43.2 points per game, compared to 31.8 prior to his team-mate's injury, and he has failed to score fewer than 40 only four times.

Harden has averaged 16.9 shots from beyond the arc - sinking 6.2 per game - having averaged only 11.1 attempts before Paul went down.

Clint Capela underwent successful surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb on Thursday, the Houston Rockets announced.

The Boston Celtics were ready for the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday, claiming a thrilling win in the NBA.

Houston Rockets star James Harden did something that has not been done in the NBA since 1962.

The Kings pulled off a big win against the Portland Trail Blazers in Sacramento on Monday. 

Six Kings players scored in double figures in the victory. Buddy Hield paced Sacramento with 19 points and seven rebounds on seven-of-10 shooting. Bogdan Bogdanovic was right behind him with 18 points on eight-of-10 shooting.

The Trail Blazers attempted to make a comeback in the closing minutes, but missed their chance to make things closer when Damian Lillard stepped out of bounds while receiving an inbound pass with 38.1 seconds to play.

Lillard finished with 35 points, leading all scorers.

Portland dropped to 26-19 with the loss while Sacramento improved to 23-21, edging closer to the playoff picture.

 

Harden stays hot

James Harden scored 57 points on 17-of-33 shooting in Houston's 112-94 win against the Grizzlies.

D'Angelo Russell recorded 34 points and made seven seven-pointers to lead the Nets past the Celtics 109-102.

Kemba Walker put up 33 points in a 108-93 Hornets win against the Spurs.

Anthony Davis tallied 46 points and 16 rebounds in the Pelicans' 121-117 win over the Clippers.

 

Miserable McCollum

CJ McCollum was ice cold, scoring six points on two-of-14 shooting for the Trail Blazers.

Terry Rozier only managed to score seven points on three-of-12 shooting in the Celtics' loss.

 

Allen's big block

Grayson Allen delivered a big block against the Pistons.

Jaylen Brown skipped through the lane and threw down a lefty dunk on the Nets.

Monday's results

Brooklyn Nets 109-102 Boston Celtics
Houston Rockets 112-94 Memphis Grizzlies
Charlotte Hornets 108-93 San Antonio Spurs
Utah Jazz 100-94 Detroit Pistons
Sacramento Kings 115-107 Portland Trail Blazers
New Orleans Pelicans 121-117 Los Angeles Clippers

 

Warriors at Nuggets

The two top teams in the Western Conference are set to clash in Denver. The Nuggets have the best record in the West while the Warriors are riding a four-game winning streak. Denver's roster is riddled with injuries, but this matchup should still provide an exciting preview of a possible playoff series between the two teams.

James Harden is on an impressive tear and he broke one of Kobe Bryant's NBA records on Monday.

Harden topped Bryant's record for most consecutive games with at least 30 points when he tallied 57 in a 112-94 win for the Rockets over the Memphis Grizzlies.

This marked Harden's 17th straight game with at least 30 points. 

He also scored a Rockets record 36 points in the first half of the victory.

The Rockets have won eight of their last 10 games. Despite being without Clint Capela, Chris Paul and Eric Gordon, Harden thrived, recording his third 50-point game of the season.

The reigning MVP has established himself as a contender to take the award home again this year with his stellar offensive performances.

Harden leads the league in scoring, averaging 34.8 points while also tallying 6.3 rebounds and 8.6 assists per game.

Houston improved to 25-18 and sit in fourth place in the Western Conference. The Rockets will face the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday.

The Houston Rockets cannot rely on James Harden being "superhuman every night", said Mike D'Antoni after the reigning MVP tied an NBA record for the most missed three-pointers in a game.

Although Harden tied Kobe Bryant for the most successive 30-point matches (16) by scoring 38 in a 116-109 loss to the Orlando Magic, he shot just one-for-17 from beyond the arc to match Damon Stoudamire's unwanted mark.

Rockets head coach D'Antoni was disappointed by Houston's defensive display and called on other players to step up when the six-time All-Star is having a difficult time.

"The problem is you can't rely on [Harden] to be superhuman every night. We have to have some contribution from other guys," said D'Antoni.

"I thought they came in with a lack of focus, especially on the defensive end and it carried over on the offensive end. We didn't play well.

"I just thought the whole game we didn't have the right focus for a team that plays well. Steve Clifford has them [Orlando] playing really well.

"We got 10 points, 10 points, 10 points up and let them hang around and we didn't have the right amount of focus and you get beat. Hopefully we'll learn from it."

Harden was keen not to dwell on his shooting struggles, insisting that defense was the greater issue for the Rockets.

He said: "[The threes] just didn't go in. It's not even about offense though, defensively we weren't locked in enough and we gave up 70 points or something [actually 64] in the second half. We scored enough points to win.

"We didn't have our [defensive] focus level like the last few weeks.

"We don't have the margin of error. We've got to come in locked in from the beginning of the game for all four quarters. You give a team like this some confidence and open shots, and they made them. It's pretty simple."

Houston Rockets star James Harden tied multiple NBA records on Sunday.

The 29-year-old tallied 38 points in the Rockets' 116-109 loss to the Magic in Orlando.

It was Harden's 16th game scoring 30 or more points, which tied former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant's record set during 2002-03.

Harden, however, missed 16 of his 17 three-pointers in the loss. He tied Damon Stoudamire for the most missed three-pointers in a single game. It was also the worst three-point field-goal percentage in a single game in NBA history, with a minimum of 15 attempts.

"The problem is you can't rely on [Harden] to be superhuman every night,'' Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said, via ESPN. "We have to have some contribution from other guys. I thought they came in with a lack of focus on the defensive end, and it carried over on the offensive end. We didn't play well."

Harden, the defending MVP, has been one of the best players in the NBA this season. He entered Sunday's matchup averaging 34.1 points, 8.7 assists and 6.1 rebounds per game in 2018-19.

Harden is also shooting 43.8 per cent from the field and 39 per cent from three-point range.

The loss to the Magic dropped Houston to 24-18 this season. They will host the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday.

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