MANILA, Philippines – Just hours after Houston announced it has parted ways with Carmelo Anthony, the Rockets roll to a 107-86 drubbing of the Golden State Warriors in Texas on Thursday, November 15 (Friday, November 16, Manila time).
James Harden dropped 27 points and James Ennis scored 19 to power the Rockets in the rematch of last season’s Western Conference Finals.
The victory came just after Houston officially parted ways with Anthony, the 10-time All-Star who didn’t quite find his groove with the Rockets. (READ: Rockets, Carmelo Anthony ‘parting ways’ after 10 games)
“It’s tough,” said Rockets star Chris Paul. “Some guys in the league are your teammates, but Melo is my family. But for me, it’s all about his happiness at the end of the day.”
FINAL SCORE THREAD— NBA (@NBA) November 16, 2018
The @HoustonRockets go on a 21-0 burst in the 4th to pull away and defeat GSW!#Rockets 107#DubNation 86
James Harden: 27 PTS
James Ennis III: 19 PTS
Eric Gordon: 17 PTS
Chris Paul: 10 PTS, 7 AST, 5 REB pic.twitter.com/IIfYE5CYEF
Eric Gordon had 17 points and Paul collected 10 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds for the Rockets, who blew the game wide open after a huge 21-0 run in the final quarter.
The Rockets – who had Anthony for only 10 games – pulled even for the first time with a 7-7 record.
“The fit we envisioned when Carmelo chose to sign with the Rockets has not materialized, therefore we thought it was best to move on as any other outcome would have been unfair to him,” Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said in a statement.
Kevin Durant fired 20 points to lead the Warriors, the defending champions who also just resolved a drama of their own.
Warriors All-Star Draymond Green returned to action after serving a one-game, team-mandated suspension following a controversial locker-room spat with Durant. Both had since settled their differences. (READ: Green settles Durant spat, says Warriors won’t ‘crumble’)
Steph Curry also sat out for the fourth straight game due to a nagging left groin strain. The two-time MVP, though, still traveled with the Warriors on their three-game road trip to Texas. (READ: Steph Curry will sit out 3-game road trip)
The typically streaky Warriors, who shot a surprising 4-of-18 (22%) from three-point range, absorbed just their fourth loss in 16 games.
Not a single Warriors starter made a three-pointer – a first since March of 2013.
Green, Durant and Klay Thompson combined to shoot 0-for-9 from beyond the arc while neither Andre Iguodala nor Damian Jones attempted a three-pointer.
Whether Curry’s absence or continuing tension between teammates played a role, the Warriors endured a horrendous shooting night, connecting on 42.1 percent of their shots from the field.
“You know, without Steph it’s Klay and (Durant) who’s going to shoot all the shots,” said Paul. “We tried to force other guys to shoot shots.”
Nuggets dominate, Clippers hold off Spurs
In Denver, the Nuggets halted a four-game skid in decisive style, routing the Atlanta Hawks 138-93.
Juancho Hernangomez scored a season-high 25 points and Paul Millsap and Gary Harris scored 18 each as 7 Denver players scored in double figures.
It was a welcome return to form for a Nuggets team that was off to its best start in 4 decades before hitting the skids with 4 straight defeats.
“We needed the win,” said Hernangomez after the Nuggets’ most lopsided victory of the season. “We were just playing with freedom. Everybody played hard. Everybody matched up on defense. Off of our defense, it was easy to run get back to who we are.”
Lou Will comes up big late and the @LAClippers outlast SAS to move to 9-5 on the season!#ClipperNation 116#GoSpursGo 111— NBA (@NBA) November 16, 2018
Lou Will: 23 PTS
Tobias Harris: 18 PTS, 8 REB, 5 AST
Montrezl Harrell: 14 PTS, 6 REB, 5 AST
DeMar DeRozan: 34 PTS pic.twitter.com/t3S17TbzhT
The Los Angeles Clippers held off the determined San Antonio Spurs 116-111 to notch a third straight win.
Lou Williams’s 23 points off the bench for Los Angeles included a go-ahead three-pointer with 40 seconds remaining as the Clippers followed up overtime wins over Milwaukee and Golden State with another close victory.
The Clippers led by as many as 10 in the fourth quarter, but San Antonio knotted it at 107-107 with 1:13 to play on two free throws by LaMarcus Aldridge.
Williams responded with his three-pointer that gave Los Angeles the lead for good, Danilo Gallinari producing 4 clutch free throws in the final 30 seconds to help seal the win.
Despite 34 points from DeMar DeRozan, the Spurs lost their third straight. – With a report from Agence France-Presse