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Sports

Playing time in Rockets’ double overtime loss could prove costly


Updated

2:51 pm CST, Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook (0) and guard James Harden (13) react to a play during overtime of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, in San Antonio, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. San Antonio won 135-133 in double overtime. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

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Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook (0) and guard James Harden (13) react to a play during overtime of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, in San Antonio, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. San

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Photo: Eric Gay/Associated Press

Photo: Eric Gay/Associated Press

Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook (0) and guard James Harden (13) react to a play during overtime of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, in San Antonio, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. San Antonio won 135-133 in double overtime. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

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Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook (0) and guard James Harden (13) react to a play during overtime of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, in San Antonio, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. San

… more

Photo: Eric Gay/Associated Press

Playing time in Rockets’ double overtime loss could prove costly

TORONTO – Playing time investment could make Rockets double overtime lost costly

By blowing a 22-point lead in Tuesday’s loss to the Spurs, the Rockets could have cost themselves more than one game if they’re not able to bounce back from a double overtime game before the long flight and early morning arrival in Toronto.

Forward P.J. Tucker played 51 ½ minutes. Guards James Harden and Russell Westbrook each played 48 ½. Center Clint Capela, in his first game back after a week sick in bed, played 45 ½.

“Now, we’re even (more) tired, we played a lot of minutes, we lose the game and go to Toronto and that effects a couple games,” D’Antoni said. “We just lost our focus. Why, I don’t know. Just down the stretch we didn’t do anything to win the game.

Asked if tired legs led to the breakdowns in the overtimes, D’Antoni said, “A little bit, but that’s our fault. We should have done it in regulation and gone home and we’d have been fine.”

The Rockets canceled Thursday’s scheduled practice in Toronto.

Categories
Business

Music exec L.A. Reid seeks $22.9 million for modern mansion



Music executive and producer Antonio “L.A.” Reid has listed his modern mansion on the Westside of Los Angeles for sale at $22.9 million.

He bought the place for $17.99 million three years ago, the Los Angeles Times previously reported.

Built in 2015, the multilevel house is set on a one-acre ridge near Stone Canyon Reservoir with city, canyon and ocean views. The grounds include a half-moon-shaped infinity-edge swimming pool, a spa and an outdoor kitchen/bar.

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Along with an infinity-edge pool, there’s a spa. 

(Berlyn Photography)

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A floating staircase sits near the entrance to the house. 

(Berlyn Photography)

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The entry. 

(Berlyn Photography)

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The den is just off the common area. 

(Berlyn Photography)

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The property has city, canyon and ocean views. 

(Berlyn Photography)

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The half-moon-shaped swimming pool hugs the edge of the grounds. 

(Berlyn Photography)

A floating staircase sits near the entry. The open and vaulted great room features a floating black granite fireplace that divides the space. Red velvet walls, carpeting and draperies create visual interest in the living room/den, which has a wet bar. There’s also a 300-bottle wine cellar.

The master suite features a fireplace and a balcony overlooking the grounds. In all, there are seven bedrooms and 10 bathrooms in about 11,250 square feet of space.

Reid, 63, has worked with such top-tier talents as Usher, Outkast and Sean “Puffy” Combs. He co-founded LaFace Records in the late 1980s and later headed up Def Jam Music Group for more than a decade before becoming the chairman of Epic Records, a division of Sony Records.

He exited his post at Epic Records in 2017 following a female colleague’s claim of harassment.

Although the area containing the one-acre estate is generally accepted as Bel-Air, the L.A. Times Mapping Database considers it to be part of Beverly Crest.

Jesse Lally and Michelle Saniei Lally of Hilton & Hyland hold the listing.

Categories
Business

Former Celtic Aron Baynes gets full price for stately Boston townhome



NBA big man Aron Baynes, who’s currently enjoying a career year with the Phoenix Suns, is finding success off the court as well. After being traded by the Celtics over the summer, he just sold his townhouse outside Boston for the full asking price of $1.699 million.

That’s $114,000 more than he paid shortly after inking a two-year deal with the team worth $11 million in 2018, The Times previously reported.

Found in the Boston suburb of Newton, the two-story townhome offers a crisp black and white façade that fits right in with the city’s colonial roots. Dormer windows jut out from the roof, and a weather vane sits up top.

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Built in 2018, the two-story townhome features a slick black-and-white exterior with dormer windows and a weather vane.  

(Matt Surette)

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Built in 2018, the two-story townhome features a slick black-and-white exterior with dormer windows and a weather vane.  

(Matt Surette)

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Built in 2018, the two-story townhome features a slick black-and-white exterior with dormer windows and a weather vane.  

(Matt Surette)

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Built in 2018, the two-story townhome features a slick black-and-white exterior with dormer windows and a weather vane.  

(Matt Surette)

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Built in 2018, the two-story townhome features a slick black-and-white exterior with dormer windows and a weather vane.  

(Matt Surette)

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Built in 2018, the two-story townhome features a slick black-and-white exterior with dormer windows and a weather vane.  

(Matt Surette)

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Built in 2018, the two-story townhome features a slick black-and-white exterior with dormer windows and a weather vane.  

(Matt Surette)

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Built in 2018, the two-story townhome features a slick black-and-white exterior with dormer windows and a weather vane.  

(Matt Surette)

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Built in 2018, the two-story townhome features a slick black-and-white exterior with dormer windows and a weather vane.  

(Matt Surette)

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Built in 2018, the two-story townhome features a slick black-and-white exterior with dormer windows and a weather vane.  

(Matt Surette)

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Built in 2018, the two-story townhome features a slick black-and-white exterior with dormer windows and a weather vane.  

(Matt Surette)

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Built in 2018, the two-story townhome features a slick black-and-white exterior with dormer windows and a weather vane.  

(Matt Surette)

Inside, a bright open floor plan features paneled walls, neutral tones, custom built-ins and 12-foot ceilings. Baynes kept things mostly the same during his stay, changing only the tile backsplash in the kitchen.

Elsewhere in the 3,368-square-foot floor plan are four bedrooms, three bathrooms, an open dining area and a living room with a fireplace. The master suite bathroom boasts heated floors and a cupola over the tub.

Out back, a deck descends to a fenced yard. There’s also a two-car garage beneath the home.

The Sarkis Team at Douglas Elliman held the listing. The Susan and Jen Rothstein Team at Hammond Residential Real Estate represented the buyer.

Baynes, 32, was raised in Australia and played in Lithuanian, German, Greek and Slovenian basketball leagues before signing with San Antonio in 2013. A year later, he helped the Spurs defeat the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals and has since played with the Pistons, Celtics and Suns.

Categories
Home

NHL fines Predators’ Ryan Johansen $5,000 for elbowing


NEW YORK (AP) — The NHL has fined Nashville Predators forward Ryan Johansen $5,000 for elbowing Tampa Bay forward Brayden Point during the Lightning’s 3-2 overtime win.

The league’s Department of Player Safety announced the fine Wednesday, which is the maximum amount allowed under the collective bargaining agreement.

Johansen elbowed Point at 9:07 of the second period of the game played Tuesday. He was assessed a major penalty and a game misconduct.

___

More AP NHL: www.apnews.com/NHL and www.twitter.com/AP_Sports



Categories
World

Donald Trump, China, James Bond: Your Wednesday Briefing


(Want to get this briefing by email? Here’s the sign-up.)

Good morning.

We’re covering air pollution in your city, an explosive video from Russia and the French chef who popularized grilled duck breast.

European leaders once stoically bore President Trump’s attacks, and labored to adjust to his preferences and prejudices. But two developments on Tuesday highlight how they are forcing him to change his approach, our London bureau chief writes.

At a summit to celebrate NATO’s 70th anniversary, President Emmanuel Macron of France gave Mr. Trump a televised tongue lashing on terrorism. He also stood by earlier remarks about the Trump administration’s role in NATO’s “brain death.”

Separately, Mr. Trump, who is deeply unpopular in Britain, heeded a plea from Prime Minister Boris Johnson not to barge into the country’s Dec. 12 election. Mr. Johnson’s advisers fear that an association with the American president would hurt his electoral chances.

Go deeper: President Trump has a history of falling out with his friends.

Yesterday: Mr. Trump said he did not know Prince Andrew, a son of Queen Elizabeth II who has become entangled in the sexual abuse accusations against the convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Photographs say otherwise.

Today: The U.S. president is scheduled to meet Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany.

How could Ukrainian officials have felt the pressure of a freeze in military aid if they did not know about it when the White House was pushing for political favors? That’s how President Trump and his allies have defended his administration in the impeachment inquiry.

But Olena Zerkal, who recently resigned her post as Ukraine’s deputy foreign minister, told our reporter that senior figures in Kyiv knew about the aid freeze as the Trump administration lobbied them to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., his son and a discredited theory that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

“We had this information,” she said. “It was definitely mentioned there were some issues.”

Why this matters: Democrats are trying to build a case that President Trump pressured President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine by withholding the aid and a White House meeting — at the same time he was pressing for a public announcement that Ukraine would investigate Mr. Trump’s political rivals.

Yesterday: House Democrats released a report saying that by pressuring Ukraine to help him in the 2020 presidential election, Mr. Trump sought to undermine American democracy and placed his own interests above those of the nation.

Rudy Giuliani: Call records show that as the president’s personal lawyer developed an irregular foreign policy channel on Ukraine, he was in touch with top-ranking American officials.

Chinese scientists are working with their government on a way to create an image of a person’s face from a genetic sample, using blood collected from ethnic Uighurs, a predominantly Muslim minority whose members have been swept up in mass detentions in China’s western frontier.

For help with the project in the Xinjiang region, the Chinese police have turned to scientists with connections to two leading European institutions: The Max Planck Society, a top research group in Germany; and Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands.

The Chinese scientists say in papers that they followed international norms that would require research subjects’ consent. But many people detained in Xinjiang would have no choice.

Details: Critics of the DNA project say Beijing is exploiting the openness of the international scientific community to build a tool that could be used to justify — and intensify — racial profiling and other state discrimination against ethnic Uighurs.

What’s next: In the long term, it may be possible to add DNA-produced images into the mass surveillance systems that China is already building.

As climate delegates from more than 190 countries gather in Madrid this week to finalize rules governing the 2015 Paris accord, new data adds urgency to their task: Carbon dioxide emissions hit a record high this year.

The new figures, reported by a nonprofit and published simultaneously in three scientific journals, put the world even further off course from halting global warming. They also show that natural gas — which is less polluting than coal but still a fossil fuel — has recently emerged as the biggest driver of emissions growth.

Silver lining: The United States and the European Union both cut their carbon dioxide output this year, and industrial emissions are on track to rise at a slower place than they did in 2017 and 2018.

Air pollution: We compiled a graphic showing pollution in various cities around the world. Find out how your city fares.

Lebanon is drowning in garbage that its government can’t collect. The dysfunction is rooted in history: A deal to end a civil war nearly 30 years ago divided power between 18 recognized religious sects, enriching political elites and effectively institutionalizing corruption.

“Garbage,” said one Lebanese lawmaker, “is like a gold mine for the political caste.” But ordinary people are fed up, and the nation’s perpetual trash crisis is in part what’s driving widespread protests that have already forced out the prime minister.

Cook: For a dazzling appetizer, try crisp feta with lemon over toast.

Read: We picked six cookbooks for you to take on the road.

Smarter Living: If you start practicing your New Year’s resolutions now, your chances of sticking to them will be a cinch in 2020.

His name is Bond. James Bond. But as the trailer for the latest Bond movie comes out today, we wondered where the name came from.

The writer behind the super spy, Ian Fleming, was also an avid bird watcher. On a trip to Jamaica after World War II, he spotted a book, “Birds of the West Indies,” by an ornithologist from Philadelphia. Who happened to be named James Bond.

But, as in any good spy story, there’s a twist: Last year, the BBC reported that newly released records showed an intelligence officer named James Bond had served under Fleming in a secret elite unit that led a guerrilla war against Hitler.

That Bond, a metal worker from Wales, had taken his spy past to the grave, his family said — and they suspected Fleming had used the bird-watching Bond as a “classic red herring,” to keep his identity a secret.

That’s it for this briefing. See you on the subway platform.

— Mike

Thank youTo Mark Josephson and Eleanor Stanford for the break from the news. Tom Wright-Piersanti wrote today’s Back Story. You can reach the team at briefing@nytimes.com.

P.S.• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is about the deadly crackdown in Iran.• Here’s today’s Mini Crossword puzzle, and a clue: “Gross!” (three letters). You can find all our puzzles here. • Pamela Paul, the editor of our Book Review, discussed how her staff decides the 10 best books of the year.

Categories
Business

Open source developers say GitHub must terminate its contract with ICE — or else.



Since at least September, employees of GitHub have been pressuring the Microsoft-owned code repository to terminate its contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, without success. Now they’re getting reinforcements from a constituency that could have more clout.

In an open letter published Wednesday on GitHub, software developers representing the open source community joined the call for GitHub to immediately cancel the $200,000 contract with ICE.

“Open source is about inverting power structures and creating access and opportunities for everyone,” the letter, signed by 44 developers at the time of publication, reads. “We, the undersigned, cannot see how to reconcile our ethics with GitHub’s continued support of ICE. Moreover, your lack of transparency around the ethical standards you use for conducting business is also concerning to a community that is focused around doing everything out in the open.”

Open source software is made up of source code that is free to be used, distributed and modified by anyone; examples include parts of the Firefox browser and the Ethereum blockchain. Although much of the code stored on GitHub is open source, the rest of it is often stored privately or available only for a licensing fee.

Notably, the developers behind the letter stop short of threatening to boycott the platform, which plays an increasingly indispensable role in projects that require collaborating around code. Some say they now feel they’re stuck with a company they are no longer morally aligned with.

In airing their demands openly, the developers borrow a tactic that has worked in the past. Four years ago, hundreds of unsatisfied open source contributors put their names to a letter, titled Dear GitHub, criticizing the company for ignoring their requests for new features and fixes for broken ones for years. The company went “above and beyond” to remedy their issues, according to the newly published letter.

GitHub pays careful attention to its open source contributors, said Don Goodman-Wilson, who worked as a developer advocate at the company.

The Dear GitHub letter “has been quite influential on the way that we approach product design,” Goodman-Wilson, whose job entailed persuading people to use the company’s open source services, said. “We have teams that work specifically on features for open source developers. They don’t pay for our software. There’s not money to be made in doing this, but we take it very seriously nonetheless.”

On Monday, Goodman-Wilson tendered his resignation, saying he felt he could not ask developers to use the platform given GitHub’s contract with ICE.

“I am deeply concerned about the damage to my own reputation from defending GitHub,” he wrote in a letter to his co-workers. “Leadership has made clear to me personally that they will not change course.”

His is the seventh resignation over the contract since October.

GitHub staffers have been agitating internally and publicly since the company renewed its contract with ICE in September. After employees published their demands at the beginning of October, the company said it would donate $500,000 to nonprofits that helped communities affected by the Trump administration’s immigration policies. Chief Executive Nat Friedman also said that though he disagreed with the immigration policies ICE is enforcing, canceling the contract would not persuade the Trump administration to change them.

Friedman’s statements failed to quell the dissent. As employees continued to challenge the relationship in meetings and other venues, GitHub Chief Operating Officer Erica Brescia said that barring ICE from “access to GitHub could actually hurt the very people we all want to help,” as The Times first reported.

In response to several requests for comments in the last two months the company has directed The Times to its original memo published in October. The company did not respond to questions about the developers’ letter or Goodman-Wilson’s resignation.

Complicating matters is GitHub’s ubiquity in the developer community and the difficulty of switching to another platform less popular with collaborators.

“I think that knowledge that GitHub has that their platform is somewhat of a monopoly within this system, at least in terms of influence, is critical to the fact that they can be somewhat arrogant in the way that they’re responding to this,” Tatiana Mac, a product designer and developer who signed the open letter, said.

Still, boycotting the platform remains an option, according to Mac and other signers such as David Heinemeier Hansson, the founder of Ruby on Rails, the programming language GitHub was initially built on. “GitHub has almost innumerable benefits from the fact that they’re seen as the de facto place for open source hosting,” Heinemeier Hansson said. “But that can absolutely change. I think that it’d be very foolish for them and for their owners to jeopardize that position.”

But for those who have contributed and maintained code on GitHub for several years, Hansson conceded that it would be difficult to migrate all the repositories to another platform.

“I hope it doesn’t get to that,” he said. “If we can get GitHub to change their mind and change their actions and so forth, that’s a far preferable outcome of this rather than just say, ‘Well, we’re going to take our ball in and go home.’ But that threat needs to be there at all times.”

In the meantime, some developers are finding subtler ways to subvert the company. Marcos Càceres, a software engineer at Mozilla who also co-chairs the World Wide Web Consortium, which maintains and develops open standards for the internet, said he’s been encouraging paying users to suspend their subscriptions and use free services until the company changes its course.

Mat Marquis, an independent consultant, is a part of an experimental sponsorship program that helps open source developers solicit donations for their work creating free software. GitHub matches donations of as much as $5,000 for members of the program.

In protest of the contract, Marquis said he’ll be donating the same amount he receives in sponsorships to Beyond Bond & Legal Defense Fund, a Boston group that helps pay the bonds for people held in ICE detention centers.

“I’m angry and I’m lashing out the way GitHub taught me to,” Marquis said. GitHub, he said, “feels inescapable” as part of the code-writing process.

“For a pittance in tech-money terms, and to appease their parent company’s contract pursuits, GitHub has successfully turned its most impassioned advocates into users that are only stuck here for as long as it takes to find something better,” he said.

And although he’s not ready to call for an all-out boycott, Heinemeier Hansson said he would discourage new users from joining the platform until GitHub responds to the open letter.

“Just see how this plays out,” he said. “I think anyone who is starting a product can afford to hold off for a couple of weeks.”

Categories
Business

Viacom, CBS reunite in $12 billion merger



Long known as the squabbling siblings of media, CBS Corp. and Viacom Inc. are poised to finally reunite after 13 years apart.

The much-anticipated corporate union, which will be called ViacomCBS Inc., is set to conclude Wednesday after the markets close. The Viacom name gets top billing even though CBS is more valuable.

The merger culminates a three-year campaign by Shari Redstone — daughter of the ailing mogul Sumner Redstone — who out-maneuvered her father’s long-time lieutenants to merge the New York-based media companies.

“This merger was born out of necessity,” said Peter Csathy, chairman of CREATV, an Orange County advisory firm. “It is no mystery that scale is what everyone has been looking for in this fundamentally changing media space.”

Shares in the reconstituted company, which will be valued at about $25 billion, will begin trading Thursday on the Nasdaq market under ticker symbols, VIAC and VIACA.

The all-stock transaction is worth nearly $12 billion, which was the market capitalization of Viacom, the media company that owns MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, BET and Paramount Pictures, the movie studio known for “Top Gun” and the “Transformers” franchises.

CBS and Viacom stock have each dropped about 20% since the merger was announced in August. CBS closed Tuesday down 1.3%, or 52 cents, to $39.34. Viacom closed down 1.22%, or 29 cents, to $23.47.

Investors are concerned that ViacomCBS has too much exposure in traditional businesses, including TV advertising and cable channels, which have been pummeled by cord-cutting. While CBS has moved into streaming, its offerings have been less ambitious than those launched by rivals.

The merger is latest in the wave of media consolidations. Last year, telecommunications colossus AT&T acquired HBO, CNN, TBS and the Warner Bros. studio in an $85-billion deal. In March, Disney completed a $71.3-billion acquisition of much of Rupert Murdoch’s Hollywood holdings, including 20th Century Fox film and television studios.

CBS and Viacom suddenly found themselves medium-sized players. Both were weakened by years of boardroom battles, costly lawsuits, and management woes.

The company must quickly bring together two starkly different corporate cultures and increase revenue to retain such expensive properties as CBS’ partnership with the NFL. Corporate leaders also must decide whether to push more aggressively into streaming or become a larger content supplier to Netflix and others.

“The company’s digital strategy is trying to strike a tricky balance between licensing revenues, growing its own streaming services and not cannibalizing its legacy revenue,” Barclays Capital media analyst Kannan Venkateshwar wrote in a recent report.

Viacom made its debut as a public company in 1971 when it was spun off from CBS after the Federal Communications Commission ruled that the three television networks could not syndicate their own programming.

The two companies merged in 2000, but six years later, Sumner Redstone separated them again, amid fears that CBS would drag down Viacom, which then was the faster growing company. But within a decade, roles had reversed and it was venerable CBS that had more clout.

Viacom Chief Executive Bob Bakish becomes president and chief executive of the new entity, and he will have a seat on the board.

Shari Redstone becomes the first chairwoman in Viacom’s history.

CBS’ acting CEO, Joseph Ianiello is in line to collect $100 million in severance, including $79 million cash, at the deal’s close. Ianniello received a new 15-month contract, entitling him to tens of millions of dollars more.

Shari Redstone first attempted to facilitate the merger in 2016, but retreated. She tried again in 2018 but was rebuffed by then-CBS chief Leslie Moonves. He was forced out a year ago amid a sexual harassment scandal and the boards of two companies eventually concluded they needed to bulk up.

Though it will be smaller than its rivals — Disney’s market value is $268 billion — ViacomCBS will be one the largest players in TV advertising, capturing an estimated 20% of viewership to traditional television outlets. It also will spend more than $13 billion a year to produce content with plans to increase its profile in video streaming space with CBS All Access, digital news channel CBSN, Showtime and Pluto TV.

The company’s library is stocked with more than 140,000 television episodes, including lucrative children’s franchises including “SpongeBob SquarePants,” and more than 3,600 movie titles.

It will also have international exposure with networks in Britain, Australia and Argentina. CBS’ premium channel, Showtime, once again will have access to movies from Paramount Pictures’ deep library.

The merger was approved by the Redstone family and ratified by the boards of both companies.

Categories
Sports

Spurs rally for 2OT win after Harden’s disputed non-dunk


Updated

12:34 am CST, Wednesday, December 4, 2019

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — James Harden had a slam dunk waved off by officials, the first sign that it might not be the Houston Rockets’ night.

Lonnie Walker IV helped make sure of that.

Walker had a career-high 28 points and the San Antonio Spurs overcame Harden’s 50 points by rallying from a late 10-point deficit to beat Houston 135-133 in double overtime Tuesday.

Harden played a season-high 49 minutes coming off a 60-point outing Saturday over three quarters against Atlanta, but he was whistled for two charges in the second overtime. The second came against DeMar DeRozan with 0.8 seconds remaining, sealing San Antonio’s victory.

That followed a bizarre moment in the fourth quarter, when officials erased Harden’s dunk with 7:53 remaining and Houston leading 102-89. Officials ruled the ball didn’t clear the cylinder, but crew chief James Capers said after the game that, “in fact it did clear the net and should have been a successful field goal.”

Capers said the Rockets did not ask for a review within the 30-second window that coaches can challenge calls, during which time they were arguing and asking for clarification. The botched call crushed Houston’s momentum.

“We just stopped playing and they gained confidence,” Harden said.

San Antonio Spurs guard Lonnie Walker IV (1) reacts after scoring to tie the score in the final seconds of the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets in San Antonio, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. San Antonio won 135-133 in double overtime. less
San Antonio Spurs guard Lonnie Walker IV (1) reacts after scoring to tie the score in the final seconds of the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets in San Antonio, Tuesday, Dec. 3, … more

Photo: Eric Gay, AP

San Antonio Spurs guard Lonnie Walker IV (1) reacts after scoring to tie the score in the final seconds of the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets in San Antonio, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. San Antonio won 135-133 in double overtime. less
San Antonio Spurs guard Lonnie Walker IV (1) reacts after scoring to tie the score in the final seconds of the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets in San Antonio, Tuesday, Dec. 3, … more

Photo: Eric Gay, AP

Spurs rally for 2OT win after Harden’s disputed non-dunk

The Rockets led by 22 in the second half and were up by double digits in the fourth quarter for all but the final 4:18.

Walker, a second-year guard who has been patiently waiting on the bench most of his career, took over in his first extended playing time to fuel the comeback.

“It was confidence,” Walker said. “My teammates kept me going, and once I started feeling it, I’m just going to let it go and play my game. I know what I can and cannot do. I’m just happy that we played team ball and we got this win.”

DeRozan added 23 points, nine assists and five rebounds as the Spurs won their second straight at home and snapped the Rockets’ two-game winning streak.

“They played faster but more sense of urgency than we did, especially being up,” Houston point guard Russell Westbrook said.

Harden had six points in the second overtime, including a follow of Clint Capela’s missed free throw with 1:41 remaining to put Houston up 131-128. Bryn Forbes tied it at 131 with a 3-pointer, and the teams traded free throws the remainder of the game.

In addition to drawing the late charge on Harden, DeRozan was also 3 for 4 on free throws in the final 30 seconds.

“That’s who he is, he’s the leader of the team,” Walker said. “We expect him to score in crunch time and make big plays and that’s exactly what he did. He got us this win.”

Capela had 22 points and 21 rebounds, and Austin Rivers and Westbrook added 19 points apiece for Houston. Westbrook was 7-of-30 shooting but added 10 assists and 10 rebounds.

The Spurs were without starting power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who missed his second straight game with a sore right thigh.

San Antonio responded with a group effort to beat the Rockets four days after knocking off the Los Angeles Clippers at home.

“This is a team that we think we have, we’ve just got to play like this consistently and we haven’t really done that,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. “So, hopefully, we’re starting to figure that out.”

Forbes added 25 points, Jakob Poeltl had 15 rebounds, five blocks and five assists, and Rudy Gay added 14 points in 23 minutes.

Houston outscored San Antonio 7-2 in the final two minutes of overtime to force a second OT. Harden’s runner bounded off the backboard and rim as the first overtime ended.

Walker had 18 points in the fourth quarter, including eight straight to close the period and force overtime. Walker’s run started with an alley-oop dunk followed by consecutive 3-pointers to tie it at 115-all with 11.5 seconds remaining.

“He is the most athletic player on this team,” DeRozan said. “He can do some things a lot of us can’t. He was just going out there playing with his will and ability and he got it going.”

TIP-INS

Rockets: Harden remained in the game after tweaking his left ankle and tumbling to the court with 5:26 remaining. Capela appeared to step on Harden trying to save the ball. Harden rose slowly and jogged gingerly upcourt but played all but the final 2:27 of the first quarter. … Danuel House sat out with an undisclosed illness.

Spurs: Walker’s previous career highs were 16 points against Denver on April 3 and 26 minutes against Golden State on Feb. 6. He played 35 minutes Tuesday. … Forbes had 25 points before fouling out with 48.5 seconds remaining the second overtime.

UP NEXT

Rockets: At Toronto on Thursday night.

Spurs: Host Sacramento on Friday night.

___

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports



Categories
Sports

Rockets surrender 22-point lead, lose to Spurs in double overtime


Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) drives past San Antonio Spurs forward Trey Lyles (41) and center Jakob Poeltl (25) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in San Antonio, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

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Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) drives past San Antonio Spurs forward Trey Lyles (41) and center Jakob Poeltl (25) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in San Antonio, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019.

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Photo: Eric Gay/Associated Press

Photo: Eric Gay/Associated Press

Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) drives past San Antonio Spurs forward Trey Lyles (41) and center Jakob Poeltl (25) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in San Antonio, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

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Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) drives past San Antonio Spurs forward Trey Lyles (41) and center Jakob Poeltl (25) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in San Antonio, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019.

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Photo: Eric Gay/Associated Press

Rockets surrender 22-point lead, lose to Spurs in double overtime

SAN ANTONIO – Having watched the ball go through the rim and the net, the Rockets thought the basket counted. When it did not, they were never the same.

Somehow, James Harden’s breakaway slam, put in after he waited for the guy mopping the floor to get out of the way, did not count after it worked its way around the rim and nearly back in again.

At the time, however, the Rockets still led by 13 and had led the Spurs by as much as 22. One bucket did not seem likely to matter on Tuesday. The Rockets, however, never could slow the Spurs again, never could make the buckets with the lead to secure the win, falling 135-133 in double overtime.

ONLY ON HOUSTONCHRONICLE.COM: Rockets may protest game after Harden’s dunk doesn’t count 

The Rockets and Spurs headed into the final minute of the second overtime tied. Harden put in a pair of free throws, giving him 50 points and the Rockets a two-point lead, before DeMar DeRozan made 1 of 2 with 30 seconds left.

Harden drove to try to ice the win, but Jakob Poeltl blocked his shot, his third block of a Harden drive late in the game, and with 3.3 seconds left, DeRozan returned to the line. He made both attempts for a one-point lead.

When Harden was called for a charge, running over Rudy Gay with .8 left, the Rockets were out of last chances. Lonnie Walker IV made one free throw with .3 left to finish the win.

Leading by 16 after Harden dropped in a 3-pointer immediately after his fourth-quarter dunk did not count, the Rockets seemed to have scored just enough to secure the win.

Walker, who would score 19 fourth-quarter points, brought the Spurs to within seven with 3:44 left.

Russell Westbrook put in a jumper, but after Harden missed a 3, falling to 4 of 16 from deep, and Westbrook had a drive blocked, Bryn Forbes sank a corner 3 to cut the lead to six heading to the last two minutes.

The Rockets finally seemed to have done just enough to hold off the Spurs, with Harden making two free throws for an eight-point lead with 1:46 left. But after a Forbes 3, Walker got free on a break and then put in consecutive 3s, scoring eight points in the final 68 seconds to tie the game.

Harden twice missed 3s and when he went to the rim, Poeltl blocked his shot with .8 left. When a last Spurs heave at the buzzer missed, the Rockets found themselves in overtime of a game they had seemed to have sewn up much earlier.

3-pointers: Takeaways from Rockets’ double-OT loss to Spurs

The Spurs, however, had scored 20 points in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter before, having not led by more than two, surged to a five-point lead with 2:18 left.

Clint Capela made a pair of free throws and Harden followed with a drive to a three-point play to tie the game. But by then, the Rockets were rarely getting stops.

Forbes and Westbrook traded buckets at the rim, before DeRozan missed from nine feet. Harden went to the rim, but Poeltl blocked his shot again. When Harden’s runner at the buzzer missed, the game went to a second overtime.

For much of the game, the Rockets could not find their usual offense, but did not need it. They scored anyway, but in a sign of what was to come, when the Rockets predictably got rolling in a 38-point second-quarter, they did not get much separation, barely emerging with a 63-59 halftime lead.

They did find their 3-point touch for the most part. After making 1 of 9 3-pointers in the first quarter, the Rockets sank 8 of 15 in the second quarter, even with Harden just 1 of 6 in the first half.

He made up for that by living at the line, hitting all 15 attempts in the first half, more than his league-leading average. It might have shown something about the Rockets’ offensive weapons that Harden and Westbrook could be 5 of 22 in the first half and the Rockets could still put up 63 points.

Still, the Rockets led largely because the Spurs took the same number of free throws as Harden and missed five of theirs.

For all the Spurs’ issues defensively, they can be an efficient offensive team. But they made 57.1 percent of their shots in the second quarter, scoring 22 points in the paint.

The Rockets briefly led by 11, but seemed surprised to find the Spurs on their heels for so long.

That was nothing, however, compared to the shock when they could not dunk the Spurs much later.

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Even Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has not seen the defenses swarming James Harden


Published

7:17 pm CST, Tuesday, December 3, 2019

PHOTOS: Rockets game-by-game

Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) jogs down the court after scoring during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game at the Toyota Center on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019, in Houston.

Browse through the photos to see how the Rockets have fared in each game this season.

less

PHOTOS: Rockets game-by-game

Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) jogs down the court after scoring during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game at the Toyota Center on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019, in

… more

Photo: Jon Shapley/Staff Photographer

Photo: Jon Shapley/Staff Photographer

PHOTOS: Rockets game-by-game

Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) jogs down the court after scoring during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game at the Toyota Center on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019, in Houston.

Browse through the photos to see how the Rockets have fared in each game this season.

less

PHOTOS: Rockets game-by-game

Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) jogs down the court after scoring during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game at the Toyota Center on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019, in

… more

Photo: Jon Shapley/Staff Photographer

Even Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has not seen the defenses swarming James Harden

SAN ANTONIO – Though coaches routinely point out that they had not previously seen the sort of defenses James Harden faces each night, with double-teams sent his way when he crosses midcourt, no one has the years in the NBA of Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, in his 24th season.

No one had used as many techniques, from trapping pick-and-roll to going over screens to funnel him toward rim protection, as have the Spurs over the years. They even used a triangle-and-two against Harden and Chris Paul in the 2017-18 season.

Popovich, however, said he had never seen any player get the kind of attention from the opening tip that has been directed at Harden.

“Once in a while everybody goes, ‘take it out of his hands,’ but mostly end of game stuff,” Popovich said. “‘We’re not going to let Kobe beat us’ kind of thing. ‘Somebody else will have to make the shot.’ But not as a practice.”

Harden said on Monday he has enjoyed trying to solve those puzzles, with Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni saying it is a strength that Harden has shown, especially this season.

“He’s just really good at it,” D’Antoni said. “The more he sees something, the more he figures out where he wants everybody. He likes everybody in place so he understands how he can get to the rim, how he can make a pass or make an assist or score. It’s almost like a quarterback going through his checks. He’s just super good at it.”

GO BEYOND THE GAME: Go inside the breaking news and box scores with insights, detailed analysis and metrics in our Texas Sports Nation newsletter. Subscribe here.