The NBA suspends Harden for one game without pay for kicking James in the groin during a recent game. Harden says the kick was a reaction to what was happening after he fell to the floor while getting double-teamed. While he was on his back, he kicked James in the groin. Harden:
It’s a reaction. They called a flagrant. Next play we moved on.
Obviously that’s not a basketball play. Obviously the league will probably take a look at it. I have no idea why he would do that, but two competitors just trying to go at it and he won this one.
The Rockets wins 95-93 Pelicans. Harden has 25 points and 10 assists. Howard had seven rebounds and a block on Anthony Davis. Howard:
We came back from a big deficit and the one thing I kept telling the fellas was, we’ve got to stop playing around with the game. We’re on a big mission to win a championship, and we’ve got to wake up and play. I felt pretty good. It seemed like as soon as I got out there it was time to sit back down, so it was kind of an adjustment. I’m just happy to be back out there playing. The main thing for me is just really helping the team on the defensive end. The other stuff will come.
The Rockets win 99-91 against the Wizards. Harden scores 24 points, Howard scores 11 points and 10 rebounds. Wall scores 25 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds for the Wizards. Wall:
We show a sense of urgency one game, and another game, we take it off. To be where we want to be and go as far as we did last year, we have to turn it around or … we’ll be done quick.
It’s nice to win the games, but it would be really nice to get healthy. That’s our biggest thing.
I was surprised he got up there. He’s not known for blocking shots.
The Rockets beat the Kings 115-111. Harden scores 51 points, Ariza scores 22 points. Cousins scores a triple-double (24 points,21 rebounds, 1o assists) for the Kings. Ariza on Harden’s performance:
He finds a way to wow our team every time he goes out there, He’s just so crafty and he can score so many different ways. It’s definitely fun to watch.
Coach Karl on Cousins triple-double:
I’ve never coached a guy that can put up so many things into a game, He has a triple-double, but really has a quadruple-double because he had six blocks, three steals and at least one or maybe two charges. There are another 10 possessions he gave us because of his defensive abilities.
If the attack is there, then I take it, if not, I find the assist, find one of my teammates open and I’ll pass the ball. Similar to every single game I play in.
The Rockets beat the Mavericks 108-101. Harden scores 24 points, Ariza scores 19 points, and Smith scores a double-double (15 points and 12 rebounds). Nowitzki scores 21 points, Chandler scores eight points for the Mavericks. Harden on Howard’s comeback:
Having ‘Big Fella’ back today kind of helped us out a little bit, We’ve got to get his rhythm going ’cause we’re going to need him in the postseason.
Howard on knee protection:
There was a point in the game where I got kneed in my knee, but gotta go back to the Hakeem knee pads now, The most important thing is for me to stay healthy and kind of get into a rhythm for these last couple of games, then in the playoffs, really stride out.
I feel like in the second half we slowed our tempo down. I think we had them on their heels in the first half.
The Rockets win 115-112. Harden scores 41 points. Westbrook scores a triple-double (40 points, 13assists, 11rebounds), Kanter scores a double-double (21 points and 17 rebounds) for the Thunder. Harden:
That’s my job, It’s what I do. I go out there and I take the big shots. My teammates did a great job the entire game of making shots, getting to the rim, just being in attack mode, being aggressive. In the fourth quarter, then, I’ve got to make shots.
On the team’s performance:
Guys are locked in, They’re focused on what we need to do to win, no matter who gets the credit, no matter who gets the glory.
The shots that he made were tough shots – step a guy back. But he’s been doing it all year. He works hard on those shots, and he makes them.
It just says that we at least have some fight in us, Unfortunately it wasn’t enough.
The Rockets win 117-91. Harden scores a triple-double (16 points, 11 rebounds and ten assists), Howard scores 14 points and Smith scores 13 points. Cotton scores 14 points for the Jazz. Howard on playoffs game:
We want to win a championship and that’s the goal. You can have a great regular season but the most important thing is what you do in the playoffs.
We came out and had good juice. We had a great second quarter and really got out running and got some stops.
They were just better than us. They just outplayed us and there’s no shame in that for our group.
The Rockets win 118-108. Harden scores 24 points, Brewer scores 15 points and Howard 11 points, five rebounds and five blocks. Nowitzki scores 24 points, Chandler scores a double-double (11 points and 18 rebounds) for the Mavericks. Houston leads First Round West Series 1-0. Harden:
That’s means everybody’s touching the basketball, everybody’s getting involved and they can’t only just stop one person. They put two on the ball, me I make the pocket pass, I made the easy play and had confidence in my teammates to make the next one.
Nowitzki on Maverick’s loss:
You’ve got to give the other guys credit. Obviously, we were paying a lot of attention to James, but they made some plays off the pick-and-rolls. It’s just too easy.
It’s all about Game 1. You have to get Game 1, especially when you have homecourt advantage. For us, it was big to get a win. We got a win, and now we’ve got to get Game 2.
The Rockets wins 111-99. Howard scores a double-double (28 points and 12 rebounds) and Harden scores 24 points. Ellis scores 24 points for the Mavericks. Houston leads West First Round Series 2-0.
Harden on Smith friendship:
Man, like they were little boys again.
We just saw something, a little wrinkle in their defense and we just tried to take advantage of it.
Howard on Game 2 success:
I don’t care about how many points I get, my job is to make sure I dominate the paint.
Coach Carlisle on Dallas loss:
Those are a problem. We’ve going to have to find a way to better combat that.
The Rockets win 130-128. Harden scores 42 points, nine assists, Howard has 26 rebounds, Smith scores 18 points and Brewer scores 15points. Nowitzki scores 34 points for the Mavericks. Houston leads 3-0 West First Round Series.
Harden on Howard:
He was a beast. He was a beast. Go ahead.
Tonight wasn’t my night to score. I was OK with that. But the one thing that I can always control is the paint and just try to get every rebound.
It was an up-and-down game, shot-making and play-making all over the place. This ranks up there with the toughest playoffs losses I’ve had in my long playoff career.
It was a hell of a game if you like offense. If you like defense, maybe not so much.
The Mavericks win 121-109. Ellis scores 31 points, Barea scores 17 points, 13 assists, Aminu scores 16 points and 12 rebounds, Nowitzki scores 16 points and Chandler scores ten points and 14 rebounds. Harden scores 24 points and Howard scores 13 points for the Rockets. Houston leads West First Round Series 3-1.
Ellis on Mavericks win:
We weren’t ready to go home.
Howard on Rockets Game 4 loss:
We’re very upset about the way we handled ourselves tonight. It’s not becoming of a championship team. It starts with myself and James. We’ve got to do a better job from the beginning of the game to the end of the game of leading our team.
We’re going to fight. “We’re not going to quit. We’ve got to go to Houston, and we’ve got to bring it back to Dallas.
It’s a big play. When you’re at home, you’ve got to keep the energy up, you’ve got to keep the aggression up and you’ve got to do it in a way that’s clean. It was a hard foul. There was no intent to hurt anybody.
The Rockets win 103-94. Harden scores 28 points, Howard scores a double-double (18 points, 19 rebounds) and Jones scores 15 points. Ellis scores 25 points and Nowitzki scores 22 points for the Mavericks. Houston win West First Round Series 4-1.
Harden on playoff victory:
It’s just the beginning. We’ve got bigger goals than this.
We’ve worked extremely hard through a lot of adversity through the season. To make it to the next round is big, but the job is not complete.
Chandler on Dallas loss:
We dug ourselves in a hole by falling down 0-3. It was an uphill battle from there.
The Clippers win 117-101. Griffin scores a triple-double (26 points, 14 rebounds and 13 assists), Crawford scores 21 points and Barnes scores 20 points. Howard scores 23 points and Harden scores 20 points for the Rockets. Los Angeles leads West Semifinal Series 1-0.
Griffin on Paul:
Without Chris, everybody has to step up. But it’s not one person’s job, it’s everybody’s job. And if you look at the stat sheet tonight, it was everybody.
Barnes on Griffin:
He’s incredible. He gets in the middle of the field and kind of just picks people apart like Tom Brady. That’s like a grown man triple-double right there.
Harden on loss:
I don’t think we took them lightly. I just don’t think we had energy.
The Rockets win 115-109. Harden scores 32 points, Howard scores 24 points and 16 rebounds and Ariza scores 15 points and 13 rebounds. Griffin scores 34 points and 15 rebounds, Crawford scores 19 points and Jordan scores 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Clippers. The West Semifinals Series ties 1-0.
Harden on Game 2 victory:
I knew my team was battling extremely hard and basically it was up to me to go out there and push us forward…We let Game 1 slip away and we didn’t want that feeling for Game 2. It’s going to be a tough two games in a row, but we’ve got our mojo now.
Coach Rivers on Game 2 loss:
We got out of the rhythm, offensively, and that’s where the game changed for us. We got stuck trying to go to Blake too much, and we forgot about the guys on the other side of the floor. That hurt us.
It definitely feels like we let one get away. We came here to win two. But we’ve got to protect home court now. We can’t hang our heads.
The Clippers win 124-99. Reddick scores 31 points, Griffin scores 22 points and 14 rebounds and Jordan scores 15 points. Harden scores 25 points and 11 rebounds and Howard scores 14 points and 14 rebounds for the Rockers. Los Angeles leads West Semifinals series 2-1. Paul on teammates:
I got through. Austin was unbelievable. I was probably his biggest cheerleader in the third quarter. I just kept saying, `I don’t want to play anymore if I don’t have to.
Harden on Game 3 loss:
It was a blowout, but it’s still one game.
Austin Rivers on his father, Coach Rivers:
Our relationship has always been coach-player. He’s hard on me, but it’s because he wants the best for me.
The Rockets win 119-107. Howard scores 20 points and 21 rebounds and Harden scores 23 points. Paul scores 31 points and 11 assists, Griffin scores 28 points and Reddick scores 15 points for the Clippers. The West Semifinals Series is tied 3-3. Howard on Game 6:
We kept saying, `We’re not going to quit. We kept believing. We never gave up on each other.
Griffin on Game 6 loss:
We took our foot off the gas, stopped defending, a lot of things.
On Game 7:
It’s about who wants it more.
Coach Mc Hale:
That group just went out there and they just scrambled, they fought and they played their tails off on defense. They had a great sense about them that they were going to accomplish something.
The Rockets win 113-100. Harden scores 31 points, Howard scores 16 points and 15 rebounds and Ariza scores 22 points. Griffin scores 27 points and Paul scores 26 points and 10 assists for the Clippers. Houston wins West Semifinals 4-3. Harden on Game 7:
It’s the ultimate confidence-booster. There’s only a handful of teams that’s done that. We fought back. We fought three really hard games and came away with it.
On West Semifinals Series:
When you’re down 19 on the road, it’s easy to give in and just say, ‘Maybe next year’. But I think the injuries throughout the entire year kind of made us fight through adversity no matter what. We always find a way to fight, and another case was being down 3-1.
Please, we can’t let them pull an us on us.
Griffin on Game 7 loss:
It’s disappointing. We were close, but close doesn’t really count. Almost doesn’t count. We were up 3-1 and didn’t put them away. We can’t look at anybody but ourselves.
The Warriors win 110-106. Curry scores 34 points, six rebounds and five assists and Green scores 13 points and 12 rebounds. Harden scores 28 points, Ariza scores 20 points and Smith scores 17 points and seven rebounds for the Rockets. Golden State leads West Finals 1-0. Coach Kerr on team:
It really stretches people out. Houston does the same thing. It was an interesting chess match, because they like to go small and we like to go small.
Harden on Game 1 loss:
You can’t give a really good shooting team easy layups and confidence. That’s what we did in the second quarter.
Coach McHale on Howard’s injuries:
Hopefully Dwight is healthy and we can play big. We didn’t have that option with Dwight out.
The Warriors win 115-80. Curry scores 40 points, Thompson scores 17 points and Green scores 17 points, 13 rebounds. Harden scores 17 points and Howard scores 14 points and 14 rebounds for the Rockets. Golden State leads West Finals 3-0. Coach Kerr on Curry:
He’s had a brilliant season. The shooting is hard to describe because I don’t think we’ve ever seen anybody shoot the ball the way Steph does off the dribble, off the catch.
Curry on Game 3:
We understand it’s a special moment, it’s just we’re wrapped up in our day to day grind of preparing for games and going out and exerting all the effort we need to make this story happen. So it’s kind of hard to remove yourself from those emotions.
Howard on Game 3 loss:
We just can’t quit on each other. We’ve come too far. We’ve been through too many battles to just allow it to end like tonight … we’ve just got to man up.
The Rockets win 128-115. Harden scores 45 points, Howard scores 14 points and 12 rebounds. Thompson scores 24 points, Curry scores 23 points and Green scores 21 points for the Warriors. Golden State leads West Finals 3-1. Coach McHale on James:
James had a phenomenal game.
Curry on concussion:
It was all minor stuff compared to how it looked. But I’ll get some good rest (Monday night) and be ready to go … since it happened to now, nothing has gotten worse.
Harden on Game 4:
I always want to take it out on my opponent in a good way. Just being aggressive, taking shots, getting to the basket, not really forcing anything and allowing the game to come to me.
Howard on possible game suspension:
I hope not. But there’s nothing I can do about it at this point. It’s never my intention to hurt anybody on the floor. My reaction was to try to get him off me, but I can’t react that way.
The Warriors win 104-90. Curry scores 26 points and Barnes scores 24 points. Howard scores 18 points and 16 rebounds, Harden scores 14 points for the Rockets. Golden State win West Finals 4-1. The Warriors gets in the Nba Finals first time in 40 years and plays The Cleveland Cavaliers. Curry on NBA Finals:
Why not us? The Bay Area’s been waiting for 40 years. I think it’s time.
On two-year-old Riley:
I think she’s taking advantage of the moment for sure.
Harden on Game 5 loss:
Tried to do a little bit too much and turned the ball over and gave them easy baskets in transition. This isn’t where we wanted to end at. It’s a really good season for us. Next year we want to be better, and we will.
Coach McHale on Rockets:
The guys fought hard. One thing about the team is that they were battlers, and a lot of guys in that room you feel pretty comfortable going to war with.