Spurs end 4-game home skid, top short-handed Rockets 103-91
Kenyon Martin Jr. #6 of the Houston Rockets drives for two over Jakob Poeltl #25 of the San Antonio Spurs at AT&T Center on January 14, 2021 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio couldn't match the intensity of the short-handed Houston Rockets for three quarters, yet a strong finish by the Spurs was enough to snap a four-game home losing streak. “We played our best defense in the fourth quarter,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. He had 23 points, seven rebounds and three assists in 36 minutes during Houston’s 109-103 victory on Thursday. Spurs: Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon remains out, along with reserve center Drew Eubanks, due to the league’s health and safety protocols.
McCollum scores 44 to lift Trail Blazers past Rockets in OT
(AP Photo/Steve Dykes)PORTLAND, Ore. – CJ McCollum scored 44 points, including a 3-pointer with 6.3 seconds left that gave the Portland Trail Blazers a 128-126 win over the Houston Rockets on Saturday night. Lillard's layup pushed the Blazers ahead 125-123 with 30 seconds left in overtime, but Harden made a 3 to push the Rockets ahead with 15.3 seconds left. Then with 6.3 seconds left, the ball found McCollum again and the Blazers' guard hit another long range shot putting Portland ahead 128-126. After Wood cut the Blazers lead to 123-120 with a layup, Harden tied the game again at 123 with 38.6 seconds left. After a missed 3-pointer by Lillard, Houston’s PJ Tucker was called for a loose ball foul on the rebound with 32 seconds left.
Rockets set to go into opener with 9 available players
Houston Rockets' James Harden looks on during the second half of an NBA basketball game against tha San Antonio Spurs in Houston, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. (Carmen Mandato/Pool Photo via AP)The Houston Rockets are preparing to have only nine available players, James Harden among them, for their first two games of the season because of ongoing quarantine issues related to the coronavirus pandemic. The Rockets play their opener in Portland on Saturday and visit Denver on Monday. Harden being ineligible to play meant the Rockets did not have the eight available players needed to start a game, so what was to have been their opener on Wednesday against Oklahoma City was postponed. Ben McLemore and Kenyon Martin Jr. are not with the Rockets on the trip and are self-isolating, the team said.
The Latest: USC basketball to return against Santa Clara
The Trojans will host Santa Clara instead of Long Beach State, which had to cancel because of ongoing COVID-19 issues in its program. ___UCLA’s women’s basketball game at Oregon State on New Year’s Day has been postponed indefinitely. The Beavers announced a confirmed case of COVID-19 on Dec. 20. The team issued a statement Saturday announcing the positive test and saying it had closed its facility for tracing. The day's other suspended games include league leader Portsmouth against Swindon Town.