Houston Rockets

LeBron James rumors: 'Doesn't like Houston,' son playing in Los Angeles

LeBron James rumors: 'Doesn't like Houston,' son playing in Los Angeles

Free agency is still weeks away but we’ve already reached peak silly season in the NBA.

LeBron James, who is expected to opt out of his deal with the Cavaliers, will be the most sought-after free agent for the third time in his career.

Among his suitors will be the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, and, of course, the Sixers. While we all search for breadcrumbs on where the King will make his new kingdom, we may all be going a little too crazy here.

First, news came out Monday that LeBron’s son, LeBron Jr. (or Bronny for those in the know), has committed to play basketball at Sierra Canyon High School near Los Angeles. That rumor was shot down by the school fairly quickly.

The fact that Bronny may play at a high school in the Los Angeles area is not a sure sign James will play with the Lakers. James’ family has been in the L.A. area for years while he’s played in Cleveland. Who’s to say that wouldn’t continue if he signs in Houston or Philly? Maybe we shouldn’t be using Gary Payton as our source for breaking news(?)

And remember when Sixers fans all freaked out over the rumor that James was sizing up private schools in the Philadelphia area for his son during the All-Star break? Those were fun times.

Then today a report hit the Twitter machine that James “doesn’t like Houston as a city.” So there you have it. No Rockets for James. With all due respect to Marla Ridenour, the columnist from the Akron Beacon Journal that broke the scoop, this really doesn’t tell us anything. For all we know, James said this as a joke or after sitting in Houston traffic for an hour or after having a bad experience at a restaurant. 

If he views the Rockets as his best chance to win another championship, I strongly doubt the city of Houston will deter him from signing there. The dude grew up in Akron and played in Cleveland for 11 seasons. I think he can handle Houston for a season or two.

Let’s all take a deep breath here. There will be real, legitimate news coming on James' decision when he makes it. As tempting as it is, maybe we shouldn’t hop on every rumor that’s out there. Even Vegas is tempering its expectations until LeBron makes his decision.

James has until June 29 to opt out. Until then, don't eat up all the breadcrumbs.

More on Sixers

• Barkley opens up about LeBron watch

• Embiid makes epic sales pitch to James

• Mikal Bridges says he would be 'perfect fit'

Rockets make it look easy against in-state rival

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Rockets make it look easy against in-state rival

HOUSTON -- James Harden scored 16 of his 28 points in the third quarter to allow the Houston Rockets to build a huge lead and sail to an easy 109-93 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night.

The NBA's leading scorer took a little while to get going a night after sitting out against Dallas with a sore left knee and had just 12 points at halftime.

Despite his slow start, the Rockets had a comfortable lead in the third and were still up by 13 after a basket by San Antonio's Dejounte Murray with about eight minutes left in the quarter. It was then that Harden took over, scoring the next eight points to start a 16-4 run that extended the lead to 82-57 with about 3 1/2 minutes left in the third and had coach Gregg Popovich calling for a timeout.

Harden had a 3-pointer and made three free throws after being fouled on a 3-point attempt to propel that spurt. He didn't return in the fourth quarter with the game in hand.

The Spurs, who were without leading scorer LaMarcus Aldridge, got 14 points each from Forbes and Derrick White. They lost for the fifth time in six games as they fight for a playoff spot (see full recap).

Westbrook notches 20th triple-double in OKC win
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Russell Westbrook scored 17 points and notched his 20th triple-double of the season to help the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Sacramento Kings 106-101 on Monday night.

Westbrook had 10 rebounds and 11 assists in the 99th triple-double of his career.

Paul George and Carmelo Anthony each scored 21 points for the Thunder, who moved into fourth place in the Western Conference standings.

Thunder center Steven Adams left the game in the third quarter with a left hip contusion and did not return. Just two days earlier against San Antonio, he hurt his left ankle in the third quarter and did not return.

Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 19 points and Garrett Temple and Justin Jackson each added 15 for the Kings (see full recap).

Bucks send Grizzlies to 18th straight loss
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Khris Middleton scored 24 points, Giannis Antetokounmpo added 20 and the Milwaukee Bucks sent the Memphis Grizzlies to their 18th consecutive loss with a 121-103 victory on Monday night.

Brandon Jennings, signed to a 10-day contract by Milwaukee on Saturday, finished two rebounds short of a triple-double with 16 points and 12 assists. Eric Bledsoe added 14 points, including a trio of baskets to stem a fourth-quarter Memphis rally.

Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies with 17 points, while Jarell Martin, Dillon Brooks and Ben McLemore scored 16 apiece.

Memphis, which trailed by as many as 19 in the third quarter, used its bench to push back into the game in the fourth. The reserves crafted a 14-3 run to pull within 97-91 with 6:34 left.

Bledsoe scored six of the Bucks' next eight points, then added an assist to Antetokounmpo, running the lead back to 12 with 4:09 left. That was enough of a buffer for the Bucks to claim their second straight win.

Jennings came in firing and providing a fast pace for the Bucks. He scored 11 points before halftime and also dished out nine assists, helping Milwaukee to a 64-50 lead at intermission.

Middleton had 15 points in the half to lead Bucks scorers (see full recap).

Win streaks fall around the NBA

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Win streaks fall around the NBA

TORONTO -- Kyle Lowry scored 30 points, DeMar DeRozan had 23 and the Toronto Raptors beat Houston 108-105 on Friday night, snapping the Rockets' 17-game winning streak.

James Harden scored 40 points but the Rockets lost for the first time since Jan. 27 at New Orleans.

Jonas Valanciunas had 14 points and 10 rebounds as the Raptors won their seventh straight in a matchup between the respective conference leaders.

The Rockets shot 9 for 27 from 3-point range, matching their fewest made 3-pointers of the season.

Clint Capela had 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Rockets. Chris Paul and Eric Gordon each scored 14 points, and Trevor Ariza had 13 as Houston's road winning streak ended at 10 (see full recap).

Wizards snap Davis-less Pelicans’ win streak at 10
NEW ORLEANS -- Otto Porter Jr. scored 19 points and the Washington Wizards cruised to a 116-97 victory Friday night over the New Orleans Pelicans, who couldn't overcome the absence of All-Star Anthony Davis and had their 10-game winning streak snapped.

Markieff Morris scored 17 and Bradley Beal added 16 for the Wizards, who led by as many as 27 points en route to their second straight victory.

Without the 6-foot-10 Davis' ability to affect opponents' shots or prolong Pelicans possession with offensive rebounds, New Orleans looked overmatched on the boards. Washington outrebounded New Orleans 49-38, and converted 10 offensive rebounds into 18 second-chance points.

The Pelicans, by comparison, managed just two offensive rebounds and four second-chance points.

Darius Miller scored 20 points and Cheick Diallo a season-high 14 for the Pelicans, who'll hope to have Davis back for their next game against Utah (see full recap).

Bucks regroup to finish off struggling Knicks
MILWAUKEE -- Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 13 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter, outmuscling the New York Knicks in the lane to help the Milwaukee Bucks hold on for a 120-112 win on Friday night.

Khris Middleton had a game-high 30 points for the Bucks, who got a head-start on their fourth-quarter surge when Antetokounmpo rejected Emmanuel Mudiay's attempted layup before the third-quarter buzzer to preserve a 91-89 lead.

The Bucks took control with a 19-7 run over a six-plus minute stretch of the fourth to build a 16-point lead that withstood a late run by the Knicks. Antetokounmpo wheeled his way past defenders to get to the foul line, while Middleton provided balance from the perimeter after his 3 with 5:03 left gave Milwaukee a 112-96 advantage.

New York, which finished a winless four-game road trip, has lost 14 of its last 15 games (see full recap).