HOUSTON — One thing that stood out about the game-winning basket produced by Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul on Thursday against the Portland Trail Blazers was the fact that Hernan Perez Milwaukee Brewers Jersey , a week earlier, the Rockets received a buzzer-beating jumper from another member of its backcourt.
When Paul converted a driving floater with eight-tenths of a second left, he not only secured a 96-94 victory that extended the Rockets’ homecourt winning streak to 20 games, he followed a similar bit of heroics delivered by Gerald Green on March 30 against the Phoenix Suns.
While Paul saved the Rockets the indignity of playing an extra period after once holding a 24-point lead, Green capped a comeback from a 21-point deficit with his game-winning, corner 3-pointer.
The Rockets (64-15) received a similar shot from guard Eric Gordon on Oct. 25, with Gordon nailing a 3-pointer at the buzzer to cap a 105-104 road victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. When it comes to needing a bit of late-game heroics, Houston has ample options at its disposal.
If needed, the Rockets hope to use one of their options to close out another game Saturday night when they host the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“We’ve got a lot of closers http://www.redskinsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-kevin-hogan-jersey ,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said. “Eric has made a big shot, Gerald has made a big shot, Chris does, James (Harden) does. We’ve got a lot of them.”
Harden, an MVP frontrunner, is absent from the Rockets’ list of buzzer-beating contributors. He has, of course, produced his share of clutch shots and appreciates the additional support.
“It helps a lot,” Harden said. “These last few years especially I’ve learned that http://www.raidersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-brandon-parker-jersey , obviously, you can’t do it by yourself. You need guys to step up and make big shots and make big plays. We have enough guys here on any given night that can change a playoff series. That’s what you need. That’s what can push you over the top.”
The Thunder (45-34) are aware of the challenge that comes with defending the Rockets’ multitude of shooters. Atop any scouting report on Houston is that particular directive.
“Biggest thing is, eliminate as many 3s as possible and having a focus on more than just James and Chris, having a focus on everybody,” Thunder forward Paul George said. “They’ve got guys that can shoot the ball.”
Oklahoma City will be seeking a season series victory at Toyota Center, having split the previous two meetings with the Rockets at Chesapeake Energy Arena. A win by itself is of greater significance for the Thunder, losers of four of its last five games during this stretch run.
The Thunder remain squarely in the playoff picture, but the tenuous standings at the bottom of the West make for perilous footing for several teams, but they are not worried.
“We’re not in the situation to press http://www.ramsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-john-franklin-myers-jersey ,” George said. “We’ve just got to handle what our job is. We’re not on the bubble trying to play and fight our way in. We’re in right now; we’ve got to sustain that. It’s not a scenario where we’re in the situation to be pressing. We’ve just got to handle our job and close this year out on a high note.”
The Oakland Raiders reached a deal with another blocking tight end, agreeing on a three-year contract to retain Lee Smith on Wednesday.
A person familiar with the deal confirmed the agreement reached on the first day of the new league year. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the signing hadn’t been announced by the team. NFL Network first reported the deal.
The Raiders also were trying to lure former Green Bay star receiver Jordy Nelson, a day after he was released by the Packers. Nelson visited the team facility and Oakland hoped to get him to agree to a contract before leaving.
Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie worked in the Green Bay front office when Nelson was drafted in 2008, and Oakland wide receivers coach Edgar Bennett is a former receivers coach and offensive coordinator with the Packers.
Nelson made the Pro Bowl in 2014 and won AP Comeback Player of the Year in 2016 when he led the league with 14 touchdown catches a year after missing the entire season with a right knee injury.
The 32-year-old Nelson struggled last season with 53 catches for 482 yards and six TDs, recording a career-low 9.1 yards per reception as Aaron Rodgers missed more than half the year with injuries.
Nelson had four 1,000-yard seasons in Green Bay, including 1,519 yards on 98 catches in 2014. In 136 career games, he has 550 catches for 7 Keke Coutee Color Rush Jersey ,848 yards and 69 TDs.
Nelson has experience playing outside, as well as in the slot, and his addition could impact whether Michael Crabtree comes back for a fourth season in Oakland. Crabtree has a $7.7 million cap hit this season but can be cut without dead money.
The Raiders agreed to a three-year contract earlier this week with free agent Derek Carrier, a second person familiar with the deal said on Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the contract hadn’t been announced.
Smith joined Oakland originally as a free agent in 2015 and has been a strong run blocker in his three years with the team. He played 35 games, missing most of the 2016 season with a leg injury. He has 26 catches for 175 yards and one touchdown with the Raiders.
The Raiders have several major holes they will look to fill in free agency starting this week as they try to rebound from a disappointing six-win season that led to the firing of coach Jack Del Rio and the move to bring Jon Gruden back for a second stint as coach.
The most glaring spots for the Raiders are on defense, where Oakland will be seeking a starting cornerback to pair with last year’s first-round pick Gareon Conley. They must also decide whether to bring back middle linebacker NaVorro Bowman as a free agent or find a replacement elsewhere, and they need to upgrade the pass rush, especially at defensive tackle.
The Raiders also will likely be in the market for a possible replacement for released former starting right tackle Marshall Newhouse, and a running back if they decide not to bring Marshawn Lynch back for a second season.
NOTES: The Raiders tendered offers to all five exclusive rights free agents: LB Shilique Calhoun Youth Saquon Barkley Jersey , LB James Cowser, S Erik Harris, OL Denver Kirkland, K Giorgio Tavecchio.