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.

LeBron James is unlikely to return for the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, but Rajon Rondo could be back to help Luke Walton's depleted side.

Superstar James has missed 14 games since straining his left groin on December 25, with the Lakers going 5-9 since he and Rondo were injured.

Head coach Walton says James is making progress but does not foresee him taking to the court against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

"I haven't seen him do contact yet, so I don't feel as confident," Walton said after Monday's 130-111 loss to the Golden State Warriors. 

"But I know you know how serious he is about his rehab. So he's doing everything possible and we've talked. 

"I know he's dying to get back on the basketball court, but he also knows that getting healthy is the top priority. 

"So whenever that day comes, he'll be back out there."

Rondo has also missed 14 games since having surgery to repair a ligament in his right ring finger

"I think Rondo will play Thursday as long as he continues to move with no setbacks until then, but that will be something that we'll keep pushing him and we'll re-evaluate each morning," Walton added.

With Lonzo Ball also out for four to six weeks with a sprained ankle, Brandon Ingram started at point guard and had three assists but also two turnovers against the Warriors.

Speaking after the game, Ingram said he was was eager to see Rondo's impact - beyond his 8.4 points, 6.7 assists and 4.4 rebounds in only 14 of the Lakers' 48 games this season.

"It gives us a leader, a leader on the basketball floor," Ingram said of Rondo. "It puts us in our spots on the offensive end. Pushes the pace, he can score the basketball. And it just makes our team better."

Klay Thompson described his record-breaking efforts in the Golden State Warriors' 130-111 triumph over the Los Angeles Lakers as "just one of those nights".

The superstar shooting guard drained his first 10 three-point attempts at the Staples Center, the first time a player has achieved such a feat in the NBA.

Thompson did not miss from beyond the arc until there was just three minutes and 55 seconds to play in the third quarter.

In October, the four-time All-Star set the benchmark for most three-pointers made in a single game when he nailed 14 against the Chicago Bulls and Thompson reflected on another night to remember.

"It just happened to be one of those nights," Thompson said, in quotes reported by ESPN. 

"It was the best percentage I ever shot. But it just happened to be one of those nights, man. It's hard to explain."

Thompson finished with 44 points, with 23 of those coming in a third-quarter blitz, and head coach Steve Kerr hailed the 28-year-old's performance.

"Klay does that five or six times a season," Kerr said. "You guys have seen it. He just got red hot, white hot."

The Warriors were blown away by the Lakers 127-101 on Christmas Day and Thompson believes the memories of that defeat played a part against Los Angeles, who were without LeBron James, Lonzo Ball and Rajon Rondo.

"It definitely had an effect," Thompson said. "One thing about this game is we play these guys four times. 

"You do have to have a short memory because it's such a long season but when it's a beatdown like that, you're going to remember it."

Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson had a shooting display to remember on Monday.

The 28-year-old guard set an NBA record by knocking down his first 10 three-pointers against the Lakers in Los Angeles.

Thompson did not miss a shot from behind the arc until there were three minutes, 55 seconds to play in the third quarter.

He scored 23 points in the third quarter alone as the Warriors pulled away from the Lakers. Golden State went on to win 130-111.

Thompson also set the NBA record for made three-pointers in a game when he connected on 14 shots from behind the arc in a win against the Chicago Bulls in late October.

The guard entered the game against Los Angeles averaging 21.6 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. He was also shooting 36.5 per cent from three-point range.

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.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball will spend at least a month on the sidelines due to an ankle sprain.

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.

Lonzo Ball is set for a spell on the sidelines after injuring his ankle on Saturday, yet Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton insists it will not cause him to rush back LeBron James or Rajon Rondo.

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.

The Los Angeles Lakers could receive a boost to their line-up sooner rather than later after Rajon Rondo was cleared for full-contact practices.

Rondo has missed several weeks with a finger injury but the veteran guard is nearing a return, the Lakers announced on Friday.

Lakers star Rondo had surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right hand three days after suffering the injury against the Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day, marking his second surgery on that hand in 2018.

Rondo's first surgery was on November 15 and he returned December 21 to play only three games before suffering his finger injury. 

The 32-year-old, who is in his first season with the Lakers, is averaging 8.4 points and 6.7 assists in 14 games this season, while shooting 45 per cent from the field and 35.7 per cent from three-point range.

Los Angeles also are without superstar LeBron James, who strained his groin in the same game against the Warriors and is considered “day to day."

James was cleared to practice next week, though his agent Rich Paul said the 34-year-old will not rush his return on the court. 

Los Angeles are 25-21 entering Saturday's game against the Houston Rockets (25-19).

NBA referee Tom Washington conceded officials were wrong to award the Oklahoma City Thunder three free throws following Lonzo Ball's late foul after LeBron James had criticised the initial decision.

With his team winning 122-119 with less than five seconds to play, Lakers guard Ball reached in and fouled Thunder star Russell Westbrook. 

The referees ruled Westbrook was in the shooting motion, which gave him three free throws.

Westbrook made all three shots, sending the game to overtime, with the Lakers going on to win the game 138-128.

However, Washington explained afterwards that the call on Ball was wrong.

"The official called the foul because at the time he thought Russell had started his shooting motion and he was clearly behind the three-point line and there was illegal contact by Ball," he explained.

"There is not a trigger to review whether or not there is a foul prior to or on the shot.

"The trigger would be whether or not it is a three-point shot or not. And upon being able to see the review of the play, we realised that the illegal contact actually happened prior to his upward motion, so it should have been a side-out."

James had expressed his disbelief at the call on Twitter.

"So what really is 'in the shooting motion' rule?!?!?" James asked. "Asking for a friend @OfficialNBARefs."

The Los Angeles Lakers dropped the Thunder 138-128 in overtime on Thursday, but Lonzo Ball did his best to give Oklahoma City a chance.

Up 122-119 with less than five seconds to play, the Lakers wanted to foul and take the three-point possibility out of the Thunder's hands.

And Ball did foul – just like his team-mates and coach were telling him to do from the sideline. The problem, however, was he managed to let time run off the clock and fouled Russell Westbrook in the act of shooting, which put him on the line with a chance to tie the game.

Westbrook did just that by knocking down all three shots.

Westbrook may not have actually been in the act of shooting. He threw up a shot when Ball touched him and he appeared to be on the ground when doing so. But the referee called the foul despite LeBron James' confusion online.

"So what really is "in the shooting motion" rule?!?!?" James wrote on Twitter. "Asking for a friend @OfficialNBARefs."

It was an unfortunate and bad play from Ball, but the good thing was the second-year player came out and hit two three-pointers to start overtime for the Lakers.

While he extended the team's game, he made sure it would not go past one extra frame and the Lakers (25-21) have now won two games in a row and four of their last six. The Thunder are 26-18 and have lost five of their last six.

 

Brilliant Booker

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker had 30 points, eight assists and two rebounds in a 111-109 loss to the Toronto Raptors.

Jimmy Butler had an extremely efficient night in the Philadelphia 76ers' 120-96 win over the Indiana Pacers. He scored 27 points on 10-of-17 shooting, went six of six from the free-throw line, added eight assists and five rebounds while tallying zero turnovers.

Knicks guard Emmanuel Mudiay had 25 points, seven rebounds and two assists in New York's 101-100 loss to the Washington Wizards.

Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen scored 27 points on 10-of-18 shooting with 10 rebounds in Chicago's 135-105 loss to the Denver Nuggets.

 

Biyombo struggles for Hornets

It is really hard to be minus-13 when you do not put up a single shot, but Bismack Biyombo pulled it off in the Charlotte Hornets' 114-95 win over the Sacramento Kings.

 

Siakam the hero

Pascal Siakam is not the first player you would think of that would hit a game-winning buzzer-beater for the Raptors but that is exactly what he did in their victory over the Suns.

Thursday's results

Washington Wizards 101-100 New York Knicks
Charlotte Hornets 114-95 Sacramento Kings
Philadelphia 76ers 120-96 Indiana Pacers
Toronto Raptors 111-109 Phoenix Suns
Denver Nuggets 135-105 Chicago Bulls
Los Angeles Lakers 138-128 Oklahoma City Thunder

 

Warriors at Clippers

It is DeMarcus Cousins' Golden State Warriors debut. The Warriors already set scoring records and three-point records this week without Cousins. Imagine them with him.

Boston Celtics star Kyrie Irving revealed he had called LeBron James to apologise for some of his behaviour while with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

LeBron James will return to full practice next week, but will miss the Los Angeles Lakers' upcoming games against the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets.

The 34-year-old superstar, who has not played since straining his groin against the Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day, had his injury re-evaluated on Wednesday, having missed his side's last 11 contests.

He will not travel with the Lakers for their fixtures against Western Conference rivals the Thunder and Rockets on Thursday and Saturday respectively.

Games against the Warriors, Minnesota Timberwolves and Phoenix Suns follow next week, though James' availability for those matches remains uncertain after the Lakers' update did not specify how quickly he would be back after returning to the practice court.

He had participated in half-court shooting and passing drills during the Lakers’ shootaround on Tuesday and head coach Luke Walton spoke of his optimism over how quickly his key player would make his comeback.

"James, who will not travel with the team on the upcoming two-game road trip, has been cleared to return to practice commencing next week, and progress towards a return to game play thereafter," read a Lakers statement after his re-evaluation.

The Lakers' update came after his agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, stressed James would not rush his recovery, telling The Athletic: "However long it takes, it takes. We're not on nobody else's timeline." 

The Lakers (24-21) are 4-7 without James and have slid to eighth in the Western Conference standings.

He underwent an MRI the day after the injury and revealed on Twitter he "dodged a bullet", but he will now take his total of missed games to 13, tying the most he has ever missed in any season of his NBA career, and the most he has ever missed consecutively, per ESPN.

James had played in 156 consecutive matches prior to suffering the problem in his left groin.

Los Angeles signed James to a four-year, $153.3 million contract in July. He is averaging 27.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.1 assists in 34.6 minutes per game this season.

Page 1 of 17
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.