Rockets win 10th straight, top Kings John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding MOST READ Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH CJ McCollum added 29 points for the Blazers (32-26), who go into the All-Star break six games over .500.“Going into the break, how tight the standings are in the West, needing to come up with a big win, and we came up with it. So it’s probably our best performance, if not the best then definitely top two or top three,” said Lillard, who has scored 133 points in the last three games, the highest point total for that span in franchise history.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutLillard is also the first player in the league this season with at least 39 points in three straight games.Portland spoiled Durant’s fifth career 50-point game and first this season. He added seven rebounds and six assists, but despite his efforts Golden State had its three-game winning streak snapped and fell a half-game behind Houston for the league’s best record. Durant said the Warriors need to have more of a sense of urgency.“Teams get up to play us. They want to beat us, and they give us their best,” Durant said. “Some guys are going to have great nights against us. They did tonight.”Portland had lost four of its last six, including a 115-96 loss to the surging Utah Jazz on Sunday night.Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic left that game and was listed as questionable against the Warriors with low back soreness, a right calf strain, and right oblique pain. But he started and finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds.Golden State’s Draymond Green was also questionable with a sprained left index finger, but he also started and had 16 points and 12 rebounds.Portland jumped out to a 19-8 lead after Lillard hit a pair of 3-pointers and McCollum added another. Lillard’s layup extended the Blazers’ lead to 38-18.Lillard finished the first quarter with 18 points. Portland led 63-51 at the half.Durant made a 3-pointer and a free throw to narrow the score to 74-73 in the third quarter, his second four-point play of the game. It was as close as the Warriors could get in the quarter and Portland led 92-87 going into the final period. Durant had 18 points in the third quarter alone.The Blazers were 10 games below .500 at the All-Star break last season. Portland is in sixth place in the Western Conference, a half-game up on the Nuggets and Pelicans.“Like I said, it’s a tight race. There’s a lot of teams in the mix and you get to the point of the season where teams are fatigued physically and mentally,” Lillard said. “To be a leader of a team you’ve got to be willing to lead the charge, and not just by saying it, it has to be your actions.”TIP-INS Read Next NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers LATEST STORIES Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Warriors: Warriors coach Steve Kerr was asked before the game if he’s still feeling mentally fried. “No, I’m going to Hawaii tomorrow,” he said. … It was Golden State’s first game on Valentine’s Day since 2007. They had won five straight on the holiday. … Durant on the 50 points: “I took the same shots tonight as I always take. I just happened to get more of them up.”Trail Blazers: Lillard was presented with his All-Star jersey before the game. It will be Lillard’s third All-Star Game. … Former Blazer Bill Walton was part of the television broadcasting team, but during a few timeouts he joined the stunt team in tossing T-shirts to the crowd.SPEAKINGKerr spoke before the game about Wednesday’s school shooting in Florida.“Nothing has been done. It doesn’t seem to matter to our government that children are being shot to death day after day in schools. It doesn’t matter that people are being shot at a concert, movie theater. It’s not enough apparently to move our leadership, our government, the people who are running this country, to actually do anything. That’s demoralizing. But we can do something about it: We can vote people in who actually have the courage to protect people’s lives and not just bow down to the NRA because they financed their campaign for them. Hopefully we’ll find enough people, first of all, to vote good people in, but hopefully we can find enough people with courage to actually help our citizens remain safe and focus on the real safety issues, not building some stupid wall for billions of dollars that has nothing to do with our safety, but actually protecting us from what truly is dangerous, which is maniacs with semi-automatic weapons just slaughtering our children. It’s disgusting.”UP NEXT:Warriors: Host the Los Angeles Clippers on Feb. 22.Trail Blazers: Visit Utah on Feb. 23. View comments Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles03:12Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH AFP official booed out of forum The Blazers led by as many as 20 points in the first half but Stephen Curry’s 3-pointer tied it at 99 with 7:10 left.The Warriors couldn’t get ahead and Lillard’s 3-pointer put Portland up 109-101 with 5:05 to play.Durant’s 3-pointer closed Golden State to 114-111 but McCollum got a 3 for the Blazers on the other end with 2:15 left. Durant’s reverse layup and a pair of free throws cut the margin to 117-115 before Evan Turner’s free throws padded the lead for Portland.The teams traded free throws before Durant nailed a 3-pointer — but the officials said he stepped out of bounds. After review the call was confirmed and the Warriors (44-14) couldn’t catch up.“It was obviously kind of a signature win for us this year so far,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. “We knew we were going to have to score points to have a chance to beat them and we made a lot of good plays. Dame was terrific from the start.”ADVERTISEMENT 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard clenches his fist after scoring against the Golden State Warriors during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)PORTLAND, Ore. — Damian Lillard said it may have been Portland’s best win of the season.Lillard had 44 points and eight assists, and the Trail Blazers overcame Kevin Durant’s 50 points to snap a seven-game losing streak to the Golden State Warriors with a 123-117 victory on Wednesday night.ADVERTISEMENT
Regardless of all these Celtics-Cavaliers fireworks, it’s still Golden State’s world and probably will be for a long time. This deal didn’t change that.The Warriors will still be the favorites to win the last game of next season.The first game of next season, as luck would have it, just happens to be Boston at Cleveland.And just like that, the NBA has drama again.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ All good things, all edge to Cleveland.Give the Celtics credit for being bold. Danny Ainge knew winning the Eastern Conference’s regular-season crown last season was meaningless, so he completely blew up a team that was a No. 1 seed and got hammered by the Cavaliers in the East finals. Sure, the Celtics played most of that series without Thomas, but that wasn’t going to matter. The Cavs weren’t losing that series.So Ainge goes out and gets an All-Star point guard in Irving, after he hauls in Gordon Hayward during free agency and adds probable rookie of the year front-runner Jayson Tatum to the mix in the draft — plus gets another draft pick in either 2018 or 2019 for his trouble.It’s not a bad deal for the Celtics. They get Irving. It’s his team. A storied franchise is in his hands and he will savor that.It’s just a better deal for Cleveland, at least right now.ADVERTISEMENT Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim There are many ways to claim victory in the deal made Tuesday night. Kyrie Irving wanted his own team and got it, so he wins. Isaiah Thomas gets to play with LeBron James, so he wins. The Cavaliers got rid of a supposedly disgruntled star, so they won. The Celtics now won’t have to decide if Thomas is worth something like a $180 million deal next summer, so they won. It’s all semantics.But look past all that.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingIn the end, Cleveland won. James won, too.Here’s a few reasons why James will be celebrating this deal: He’ll still have a high-octane point guard; he’s getting an absurdly good defender in Jae Crowder (he could have helped the Cavs’ cause against Golden State in The Finals); he won’t be going into the season dealing with drama about Irving’s Cleveland future; this trade might even reap the Cavaliers the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft. NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul FILE – In this June 7, 2017, file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving (2) is guarded by Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) during the first half of Game 3 of basketball’s NBA Finals in Cleveland. Irving gets his new address and Isaiah Thomas gets to play with LeBron. They both can say they won in this Celtics-Cavs blockbuster deal. But the sum of the parts says Cleveland got the better of Boston in this swap of All-Star point guards. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane, File)MIAMI— It’s not the principals that will define the blockbuster trade between Cleveland and Boston. Great point guard leaves one city for another. That seems fair.All the other parts, they will tell the story.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ LATEST STORIES Minnesota never offered Andrew Wiggins. Miami never offered half its roster. Portland wasn’t giving up Damian Lillard. In the end the Cavs still got a star for a star, and since Thomas is only making about $6.3 million next season they got plenty of bonus parts as well to make the trade work.It also solved one big Cleveland problem.James’ only motivation is rings, and this move gives him just that.He will be looking to go to the Finals for the eighth consecutive year. Only three teams in NBA history have been to four straight finals — the Lakers, the Celtics, and the Miami Heat when James was with them. Golden State will be heavy favorites to join that club next June. The Cavaliers won’t surprise many if they join them.James will show up at camp in a couple of months and begin plotting ways to get his team back to the Finals. Had Irving still been there, James surely would have been wondering if they could make it work again. With Thomas, there won’t be a question. James and Thomas already have great respect for one another, and Thomas runs on the same prove-people-wrong gasoline that James uses.Cleveland has been through the free-agency-is-looming dance with James before, of course. If the Cavs want to keep him next summer, they simply have to go all-in to make him as happy as possible. This trade probably wasn’t a bad start on that front.In Boston, the Celtics will look very different this season.Irving and Hayward are in; Thomas, Crowder, Avery Bradley, Kelly Olynyk and Amir Johnson are out — meaning five of Boston’s seven top scorers from a No. 1 seed now play elsewhere.The Cavs weren’t overhauled; Irving is gone, Thomas, Derrick Rose and Jeff Green arrived.From a continuity standpoint, obvious edge to Cleveland as well. Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side View comments LeBron James heads to Manila again on September 2 Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.
LATEST STORIES Urgent reply from Philippine football chief Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Manchester United defeats Chelsea, advances to FA Cup quarterfinals ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte “Basketball fans around the world can interact in real-time and share in their passion for the game.”The online community debate around NBA contests is an offering that excites Devi Mahadevia, Facebook North America Sports Programming Lead.“The NBA boasts one of the most vibrant sports communities on our platform,” Mahadevia said. “By delivering these game recaps and hosting a weekly Watch Party, the league will be able to engage with fans around the world in new and exciting ADVERTISEMENT PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ View comments PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war In addition to NBA video recaps, Facebook Watch will feature game recaps for all Women’s NBA, developmental G League and NBA 2K League contests, including the NBA Summer League plus pre-season and playoff matchups.The NBA also will host a weekly Watch Party on Facebook, allowing fans worldwide to watch and interact with game recaps and videos in real-time.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesWNBA, G League and NBA 2K League Watch Parties will be held monthly.“We are excited to provide our millions of followers on Facebook with recaps to every game,” said Sam Farber, NBA Vice President, Digital Media. Team Giannis’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, of the Milwaukee Bucks dunks the ball against Team LeBron during the second half of an NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, in Charlotte, N.C. The Team LeBron won 178-164. (AP Photo/Streeter Lecka, Pool)The NBA, with one of the world’s largest Facebook communities, will make video recaps of every league game available on Facebook Watch, according to NBA Digital.The league, which resumes regular-season play Thursday following a break for Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game, has 400 million followers across all league, team and player Facebook accounts.ADVERTISEMENT