Warriors

Rockets send absurd James Harden tweet after Giannis wins 2019 NBA MVP

Rockets send absurd James Harden tweet after Giannis wins 2019 NBA MVP

On the day the Raptors held their championship parade, the Golden State Warriors took out a full-page ad in the Toronto Star congratulating the franchise on its first NBA title.

Classy gesture by a classy organization.

You know which franchise isn't classy? The Houston Rockets.

Shortly after Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo was voted the 2019 NBA MVP on Monday night, the Rockets’ official account sent a tweet that was an attempt to congratulate The Greek Freak. Really it was just a thread trying to make the case that James Harden should have won the award.

https://twitter.com/HoustonRockets/status/1143358248277499905 https://twitter.com/HoustonRockets/status/1143358470370070529 https://twitter.com/HoustonRockets/status/1143359091399692289

The voting had been tabulated and the award had been handed out, yet the Rockets still we’re trying to argue for their guy. They couldn't even get a simple congratulatory tweet right.

This seems par for the course coming from a franchise that cried for a "fair chance" during the second-round playoff series with the Warriors and sent a memo to the NBA claiming the refs cost them the NBA title in 2018.

Oh, and let's not forget about owner Tilman Fertitta's epic rant after the Rockets' Game 6 loss to the Warriors, in which he said his team should have cut the Warriors’ throats in Game 5 when Kevin Durant suffered a strained right calf.

[RELATED: CP3 refutes trade request rumors]

Considering how much losing the Rockets have done over the last few years, it's surprising they haven't figured out how to lose with class.

This should have been Giannis' night. Instead, the Rockets again tried to make it about themselves.

Russell Westbrook defends actions that led to ejection vs. Warriors

Russell Westbrook defends actions that led to ejection vs. Warriors

Russell Westbrook is sick of the unfair labels he believes he's been painted with by the NBA.

The Houston Rockets' star point guard received two technical fouls and was ejected from Thursday night's 135-105 win over the Warriors at Chase Center. The second technical came late in the game. Westbrook elbowed Damion Lee while going for a rebound, and then appeared to stare Lee down after having the ball taken away from him.

Westbrook started walking toward the Warriors' bench and was hit with a technical foul while both were jawing back and forth. The All-Star point guard defended himself after the game, noting he didn't intentionally elbow Lee and that he believes he is held to a different standard. 

"I think it's a situation where, I hold myself to a very, very, very high standard," Westbrook said after the game. "I think with the refs, the fans, the media, the NBA, I'm put in a position where I'm not allowed to really do much. Obviously, I’m an emotional guy. If you watch the clip, obviously I hit Lee. It wasn’t on purpose. I was going to the glass. He got hit. He said something to me. I said something to him. I’m standing there. The guy snatched the ball out of my hand. Guys are coming up to me. I didn’t move. But I’m always the one that gets painted to be the bad guy in the whole situation.

“They asked me to walk towards the Warriors bench," Westbrook continued. "So, I’m just over their walking to the bench. One of their young fellas tell me, ‘Why you walking over here, talking mess with me?’ I turned around and said, 'What you say?’ Now, everybody’s running over to me. Then, (Kevon) Looney steps in front of me. I’m in a position, 'Russ is being Russ,’ which nobody knows what that means.

“I have to do a better job of holding myself to a very, very high standard,” Westbrook continued. “I’ll make sure I leave no room for error to allow somebody to paint me as being a bad guy. I just think it’s unfair that after all that, I’m the only one that gets a tech or gets kicked out. That’s not fair. I don’t care what nobody says. There are certainly other people involved in it that were doing so many things that's not OK. But I’m the one that gets a tech, gets ejected and everybody else is cool and goes back to playing."

Westbrook now has 13 technical fouls on the season, putting him three away from an automatic one-game suspension that comes with getting 16 technical fouls in the season.

[RELATED: Dubs' early reviews on Wiggins filled with praise]

The best part of the light dust-up was the look on Klay Thompson's face as Westbrook was jawing with the Dubs' bench.

Teams are enjoying piling on the Warriors this season, but there's no doubt Klay -- who was ruled out for the season Thursday -- will remember this once he returns next season.

Warriors didn't show improvement Steve Kerr desired in loss to Rockets

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USATSI

Warriors didn't show improvement Steve Kerr desired in loss to Rockets

SAN FRANCISCO -- Just before the Warriors departed for the All-Star break, coach Steve Kerr outlined in detail what he wanted to see from his team during Golden State's final 27 games of the season. 

"I want to see an awareness of the mistakes that we're making and the wherewithal to correct them," Kerr said before the break. "We've got to stop fouling jump shooters, we've got to stop turning the ball over." 

The season's final months offer the Warriors a genuine chance to improve. Armed with Steph Curry's inevitable return and the growth of their rookies, the goal seemed within reach heading into the break.

Eight days later, Kerr's urging fell on deaf ears against the Houston Rockets. The Warriors habitually fouled and threw the ball away, culminating in a 135-105 loss Thursday night.

"Yeah, they took it to us," Kerr admitted after the loss Thursday. "They were great tonight from the beginning." 

The Warriors' troubles started early Thursday. Golden State turned the ball over nine times in curious fashion during the first quarter. 

Russell Westbrook stole Draymond Green's errant pass to Marquese Chriss 90 seconds into the game, leading to a Houston 3-pointer. Rookie Jordan Poole lazily threw a pass intended for Damion Lee out of bounds fewer than two minutes later. Fellow rookie Eric Paschall dribbled the ball off his foot and out of bounds seven minutes after that with the Warriors down 24 points. 

By the end of the night, the Warriors turned the ball over 21 times. 

When the Warriors weren't physically giving the ball to the Rockets, they were providing free points to Houston. Worse, they fouled James Harden -- the Rockets' best scorer -- an inordinate amount behind the 3-point line.

One notable mishap occurred midway through the third quarter when Damion Lee stepped into Harden's landing area as he contested the All-Star's attempt. He was called for a foul, and Harden hit all three free throws to give the Rockets a 24-point lead. 

The Warriors held Harden to just one free throw in a blowout win on Christmas Day. He made 14-of-15 from the stripe Thursday. 

"The other game was more of an exception," Kerr said. "This was more of the rule. He's usually going to get to the line. You try to keep him under double figures and I think we fouled him three three-point shots. That's nine free throws right there. We were undisciplined."

[RELATED: Dubs' early reviews on Wiggins filled with deserved praise] 

The Warriors' latest loss comes at a unique time in their season. Curry's status is expected to be updated in less than a week, allowing him a late-season return for a lottery-bound team. 

Kerr expected the Warriors to fight in the interim, but their response was lacking Thursday. 

"I thought we looked young tonight," Kerr said. "We looked inexperienced and made a lot of mistakes at both ends, but I thought Houston had a lot to do with that. They were terrific."