Harden scores 38 as Rockets even series with Warriors

Associated Press

HOUSTON — James Harden scored 38 points and the Houston Rockets held on for a 112-108 win over the Golden State Warriors on Monday night to even their Western Conference semifinals series at 2-2.

The Rockets were up by nine before the Golden State scored the next seven points, capped by a 3 from Stephen Curry, to get within 110-108 with 19 seconds left. Harden made one of two free throws with 11.5 seconds left. Kevin Durant missed a 3 after that. But the Warriors got the rebound and Curry also missed a 3-point attempt before Golden State was forced to foul Chris Paul.

He made one of two free throws with 2.9 seconds left to secure the victory.

After losing the first two games of the series on the road, the Rockets head back to Golden State for Game 5 on Wednesday night with momentum on their side after their overtime win in Game 3 before Monday night’s victory.

The Warriors got 34 points from Kevin Durant, who had 46 in the Game 3 loss.


BOSTON — Giannis Antetokounmpo had 39 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Bucks to a victory over the Celtics in Game 4 of their second-round playoff series and move Milwaukee within one win from its first trip to the Eastern Conference finals since 2001.

The Bucks have won three straight since losing the opener of the best-of-seven series at home. They can eliminate the Celtics in Game 5 at home on Wednesday night and reach the East finals for the first time since the `01 team of Ray Allen and Glenn Robinson fell to Philadelphia’s Allen Iverson and Dikembe Mutombo in seven games.

One game after Antetokounmpo was two assists shy of a triple-double, he scored 17 points with seven rebounds in the fourth quarter to help the Bucks pull away. Reserves George Hill, who scored 15 points, and Pat Connaughton, who had nine points and 10 rebounds, again led the Bucks bench, which outscored Boston’s 32-7.

In what might be his last home game for the Celtics, Kyrie Irving scored 23 points with 10 assists. But he was 7 for 22 from the floor, including 1 for 7 from 3-point range; after leading all scorers with 26 points in Boston’s Game 1 blowout, he has made 19 of 62 shots and just 4 of 20 from 3-point range.

Adam Sandler, ‘Saturday Night Live’ poke fun at James Harden, Draymond Green

Jessica Kleinschmidt | NBC SPORTS

Back in the day — before things went viral on the Internet — they would make fun of things on late-night television.

That still hold true today in some cases, like James Harden being poked in the eye by Draymond Green.

When Green raked Harden across the face during Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals. the Rockets guard was diagnosed with contusions in both of his eyes and a laceration on the inside of his eyelid. This created redness and a lot of images because you can’t escape anything on the Internet.

Something similar happened on Saturday night …

And the beauty of that is, well — it gets the attention of the folks at “Saturday Night Live.” And when Adam Sandler made a guest reunion spot, he used the classic character of “Opera Man” to poke fun (sorry) at the situation:

“Beard man he cry – o. Draymond poke him in the eye – o.”

Brilliantly done. 

The Western Conference semifinals continue into Monday when the Rockets host the Warriors for Game 4. The Dubs leads 2-1. Be sure to watch.


Embiid struggles in Game 4 after not sleeping, requiring IV

Stan Temming | Yahoo Sports

When it comes to his health during his Philadelphia 76ers’ second-round Eastern Conference series against the Toronto Raptors, Joel Embiid can’t seem to catch a break.

A stomach virus nearly kept him out of Game 2 — a contest that Philadelphia won 94-89 at Scotiabank Arena and resulted in some pretty “descriptive” answers when asked about his condition following the victory.

With his side up 2-1 in the best-of-seven clash and looking to take a stranglehold on things with a win in Game 4 at home, it was revealed after the 76ers’ 101-96 loss that Embiid nearly didn’t play Sunday either.

Illness plagued him once again and he required an IV at 6 AM after staying up the entire night before the contest, according to 76ers beat writer Keith Pompey.

“I got a text from him at 6:20 AM this morning telling me he didn’t sleep all night, he’d really never felt this poorly and he was unsure, coach, if I’m going to play,” Philadelphia’s head coach Brett Brown told the media following the defeat. “To his complete credit, you know, he just kind of willed his way through… As it sits, I appreciate and respect his effort to get out there and play for his team.”

The 25-year-old center seemed to fade as the game went on, especially down the stretch. The two-time all-star finished with 11 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, two steals and two blocks.

Although he was a game-high plus-17 in his 35 minutes, his 2-for-7 shooting from the field was uncharacteristic and could have been the difference in the tight battle.