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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’ Brandon Knight Could Return in December

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Houston Rockets guard Brandon Knight, who was acquired from the Phoenix Suns prior to the start of the regular season, could make his return to the court and join the Rockets’ active roster sometime in December, according to Alykhan Bijani of The Athletic.

Per the report:

A source told The Athletic that the team has been very cautious with Knight and there is a possibility of a return in December. Knight is viewed as someone who can help take minutes from Paul and Harden. Paul is averaging 34.5 minutes per game and Harden 35.8. Knight has been taking shots and going through layup drills before the start of games.

Knight, 26, is still recovering from a knee injury and has not see much action over the past few seasons.

 

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Houston Rockets

Rockets’ Gary Clark Talks Impact Season for Houston

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Houston Rockets undrafted rookie Gary Clark has been a surprise this season, playing so well that he overtook the minutes allotted for veteran forward Carmelo Anthony, who the Rockets eventually parted ways with, and continues to be a player for the team.

Clark has worked hard to gain a spot in the rotation, and it is paying off.

“I used to hear it all the time,” Clark said, according to Maurice Bobb of Bleacher Report. “They didn’t think I could play in the NBA. That was the one thing that I heard more than anything else: ‘This kid, he’s too small, he’s not long enough, he’s not athletic. He can’t shoot it that well, so he can’t play in the NBA.’”

“Gary Clark’s a player,” D’Antoni said. “He’s a player. His defense, his rebounding—smart, right position, shoots the ball. I mean, he’s a player.”

“When it comes down to winning, I do the things that a team needs,” Clark said. “I don’t always score. I will never complain about scoring or shots. But you’ll see me getting steals, rebounds, blocking shots, getting other guys opportunities to score. All I’m about is winning.”

“You can just see it,” Rockets MVP guard James Harden said. “From blocking shots to running the floor to rebounding the ball and grabbing offensive rebounds — just the way he plays — that’s what we need from him.”

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Rockets’ Carmelo Anthony Surprised by Chris Paul 2-Game Suspension

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Houston Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony is a little bit shocked that his teammate, and close friend, Chris Paul only received a 2-game suspension for his fight with Los Angeles Lakers’ point guard Rajon Rondo during their game on Saturday.

“I’m actually a little shocked at the number of games that they are missing” Anthony said, according to Martin Rogers of USA Today Sports.

Anthony has a point, as the suspensions seems a bit weird given that Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram was handed a four-game ban for his role as an instigator during the fight, double what Paul, who was actually one of the main culprits, received.

“It actually works in our favor to be honest with you, I have seen it go 10-15 games before – I was the culprit of that years ago. But to see CP – I don’t want to be speaking on CP – but to see CP only get two games… I didn’t know what to expect to be honest.

“I talked to (Chris) before the game, checking in on him to check he was good,” Anthony stated. “His spirits were up, nobody wants to be suspended. I think we all know how much of a competitor he is and to be here missing this game against the Clippers after coming off a big game last night, I am sure he is disappointed. In life things happen, you got to adjust to it.”

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