Found April 15, 2013 on
Fox Sports Arizona:
Bound for their first playoff appearance in four seasons, the Rockets have their sights set on the sixth seed in the Western Conference. They haven't quite nailed it down yet.
The Rockets will look to take another step toward doing so Monday night when they visit the Suns, who continue to slide down the stretch to one of the worst finishes in franchise history.
The Rockets (45-35) have already clinched their first postseason berth since 2009 and can finish as high as sixth -- the place they currently occupy. The Warriors are also 45-35, but Houston holds the tiebreaker with a 3-1 advantage in the season series.
The Rockets also hold a 2-1 advantage against the Lakers, but that could be evened in Wednesday's season finale at Los Angeles. Should Houston lose to Phoenix and the Lakers, Los Angeles would be seeded higher based on its better record against Western Conference teams.
But with wins in six of their last eight games after a 121-100 home victory over the Kings on Sunday, the Rockets appear poised for a strong finish.
"I think we're clicking at the perfect time," said Chandler Parsons, who had 13 points, five rebounds and five assists after sitting out four games with a strained right calf. "We're playing so unselfishly, we're playing for each other, we're all on the same page and know our roles and our responsibilities. I think we can't be playing any better than we are right now."
James Harden, who had 29 points Sunday before sitting out the fourth quarter, averaged 29.7 points on 53.3 percent shooting -- 52.2 from 3-point range -- as Houston took two of three games from Phoenix earlier this season.
Even as he caps the best season of his career, Harden has his eyes on some subtle improvement down the stretch.
"It's about improving our small things, little detailed things," Harden said. "I don't think the home-run plays are going to get us over the top. I think the small things are going to help us be successful in this postseason."
The Suns (24-56) sit at the bottom of the conference and are already guaranteed the second-worst record in franchise history, finishing ahead of only the 16-66 mark in the team's expansion season of 1968-69.
They've dropped 15 of 17 after a 105-93 loss at Minnesota on Saturday in which they committed 28 turnovers. Coach Lindsey Hunter's club is averaging 17.5 turnovers over its last 17 contests, the most in the NBA during that span, and opponents are scoring 21.3 points per game off of those mishaps.
"We turned the ball over entirely too much," Hunter said. "It wasn't complicated turnovers; it was simple passes that we tried to be too fancy or tried to thread the needle too thin."
Wes Johnson has been one of the few bright spots for Phoenix as the season winds to a close, averaging 14.7 points on 44.8 percent shooting and knocking down 39.3 percent of his shots from long distance over his last 10 games.
He averaged 6.0 points while hitting only 28.4 percent from deep through his first 38 contests.
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Tweet If you haven’t watched the Houston Rockets this season, they are a team that likes to get up and down the floor and do it quickly. They have the fastest pace in the NBA and have for most of the season. When they get out in the open floor, especially when they do so [...]
The Houston Rockets were tied with the Golden State Warriors for the 6th seed and held the tiebreaker, so they had the edge on the 6th seed going into the final 2 games of the season. But they lost a heartbreaker against the Phoenix Suns, who happen to be the worst team in the Western Conference, while the Warriors had a big win against the San Antonio Spurs. The Rockets had an incredible...
When the Houston Rockets pulled off the last minute trade before the start of the season for James Harden they knew they were taking a 6th Man and thrusting him into the star's role--and for the most part he has responded to the challenge.
With the team back in the playoffs for the first time since the 2008-09 season it is safe to say that Harden is worth what the...
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James Harden had 29 points and nine assists, Omer Asik had 10 points and 12 rebounds and Houston cruised to a 121-100 win over Sacramento in the Rockets' regular-season home finale Sunday night.
Jeremy Lin added 15 points for the Rockets, who've won nine of their last 12 home games heading into the playoffs.
The Rockets climbed to sixth place in the Western Conference....
The Houston Rockets have moved ahead of the Golden State Warriors for the sixth seed in the Western Conference. Why is this a huge deal? The West has two truly elite teams, in the Thunder and Spurs and if they stay as the sixth seed, the Rockets will avoid both of these teams in the first round of the playoffs and will probably be up against the Nuggets, whom they have an excellent...
Bound for their first playoff appearance in four seasons, the Houston Rockets have their sights set on the sixth seed in the Western Conference.
They haven't quite nailed it down yet.
Houston will look to take another step toward doing so Monday night when it visits the Phoenix Suns, who continue to slide down the stretch to one of the worst finishes in franchise history.
Celtics (0-0) vs. Houston (0-0)
April 9, 1980
**After yesterday’s tragedy at the Boston Marathon, I send my prayers to all those affected.
With the NBA playoffs set to begin and the Celtics traveling to New York, it’s a good opportunity to look back at the Celtics playoff run from the 1980 season. After finishing a 61-win season, the Celtics healed up during...