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Blazers’ Damian Lillard Takes Issue With Chris Paul Over Late Game Layup

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Portland Trailblazers guard Damian Lillard is taking issue with the actions of Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul, who opted for a layup rather than dribbling out the clock in the closing seconds of Houston’s 121-112 win over Portland.

The two All-Stars had a brief exchange at the conclusion of the game, and Lillard smacked the ball out of Paul’s hands as the conversation ended.

“I just asked him, I said, ‘What did you get out of that?’ He said, ‘Y’all wasn’t guarding.’ But we got back. There was two guys back. We got back. He was sprinting the court to get the layup and CJ [McCollum] was chasing him. I just felt like in that situation, if you’ve got to do that to go get the layup, what’s the point of it?”

Lillard made the comments in a conversation with Joe Freeman of the Oregonian after the game.

“I think as far as sportsmanship goes and respect, if the roles were reversed, I don’t think they would like it. They had two guys up the floor. I think [Shabazz Napier] ran back, I ran back for that reason … we get two guys back and he pretty much sprinted down the court to get the layup. CJ was chasing him. At that point, you just wonder, like, what is that going to do for you? What was you trying to get right there? And that’s what I asked him.”

Despite the losing effort, Lillard player well, posting 29 points, eight assists and five rebounds in the losing effort.

Houston Rockets

Rockets, Mike D’Antoni Discussing New Contract

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The Houston Rockets and head coach Mike D’Antoni are in talks regarding a new contract with D’Antoni willing to stay with the franchise “for at least another three years, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Since D’Antoni joined the Rockets back in 2016, he has posted a 173-73 record but has lost back-to-back years in the playoffs at the hands of the Golden State Warriors.

“I’ve let [general manager] Daryl [Morey] and [team owner] Tilman [Fertitta] know that I’m energized to keep coaching—and believe that I can continue to do this at a high level for at least another three years,” the 68-year-old two-time Coach of the Year told Wojnarowski. “I want to be a part of a championship here.”

“Mike will be the coach next year” Rockets owner Rilman Fertitta said, according to the Houston Chronicle.

“He’s not a lame duck to me. That’s just a media term. That’s just a media buzzword. … We’re more concerned with making our team better next year. Mike will be here. I like Mike. I think he’s a very good coach. Players like playing for him. I keep being told, free agents want to know who the owner is and they want to know who the coach is. Mike and I do well together. Hopefully, we’ll continue to win and Mike will be here for a long time.”

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Houston Rockets

Rockets’ Clint Capela Dealing with Respiratory Illness

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Houston Rockets big man Clint Capela played poorly during the Rockets’ Game 4 loss to the Utah Jazz, and now there appears to be some sort of explanation as to why he did.

Capela is apparently dealing with two respiratory illnesses and it is affecting his breathing.

“It’s tough, man,” Capela said following Game 4, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN. “Especially when I try to breathe, it’s hard. I’m just going to fight it the best that I can.”

Capela was diagnosed with both adenovirus and a klebsiella infection.

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Houston Rockets

Rockets’ Iman Shumpert Says He Will Be Ready for Playoffs

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Houston Rockets’ swingman Iman Shumpert recently returned from a calf injury and while he isn’t yet set to take to the court, he vows that he will be ready for the playoffs.

“I had to sit out and then sit out another week for my calf. In that time I gained a little weight not practicing, not getting back in the games” Shumpert said, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle .

“It takes the body a little time to adapt. But I’ll hit my stride. I’ll be ready for the playoffs.”

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