Cypress Falls boys beat Bellaire in bi-district playoff game

By Adam Coleman, Houston Chronicle Published 10:13 pm, Tuesday, February 20, 2018 Photo: Michael Wyke, Freelance Image 1of/1 CaptionClose Image 1 of 1 Cypress Falls' Nigel Hawkins (23) tries to make a pass, but Bellaire's Doug Young has other ideas Tuesday night. Cypress Falls' Nigel Hawkins (23) tries to make a pass, but Bellaire's Doug Young has other ideas Tuesday night. Photo: Michael Wyke, Freelance Cypress Falls boys beat Bellaire in bi-district playoff game 1 / 1 Back to Gallery Cypress Falls will rely on the same selfless team-first mantra this postseason that bagged its first state title last postseason. The Golden Eagles will just have to do it without DJ Weaver. The 6-8 forward is injured and out for the postseason, leaving Cypress Falls without one of its key pieces. Things went off without a hitch in Tuesday's 70-54 bi-district playoff win over Bellaire at Delmar Fieldhouse. But Cypress Falls coach Richard Flores knows Region III-6A only hardens for the defending Class 6A champions. "Nobody's going to replace DJ," Flores said. "It's like when (Trajan Wesley) was out. I told the guys nobody's going to replace these guys, but everybody can step up and take a charge. Everybody can be a good passer. So you have to take those things into consideration, and they just kind of buy in." The Golden Eagles have been here before, as Flores alluded to. They were without then-injured point guard Wesley for much of the first half of the season and still netted a District 17-6A title. Sports Channel Now Playing: Now Playing Planet Futbol TV Episode 14: The Voice of FIFA 18 Fernando Palomo and MLS with Paul Tenorio Sports Illustrated Chris Paul Talks Acting, NBA 2K and the City of Houston Sports Illustrated In Memoriam Of Beloved Peruvian Soccer Announcer Daniel Peredo Continue Reading

HS BASKETBALL: Preview capsules for Tuesday, Feb. 20 playoff games

By Will Korn and Christopher Hadorn Published 9:00 pm, Monday, February 19, 2018 Photo: James Durbin Image 1of/1 CaptionClose Image 1 of 1 Buy photo Greenwood's Ryan Snodgrass (10) dribbles against Levelland on Dec. 15, 2017, at Greenwood High School. James Durbin/Reporter-Telegram Greenwood's Ryan Snodgrass (10) dribbles against Levelland on Dec. 15, 2017, at Greenwood High School. James Durbin/Reporter-Telegram Photo: James Durbin Buy this photo HS BASKETBALL: Preview capsules for Tuesday, Feb. 20 playoff games 1 / 1 Back to Gallery BOYS CLASS 4A BI-DISTRICT GREENWOOD VS. CLINT When/where: 4 p.m. today, Fort Stockton High School Records/seeds: Greenwood 17-16, No. 4 seed out of District 4-4A; Clint 19-9, No. 1 seed out of District 3-4A Notes: Today’s game is a rematch of last year’s bi-district game in which Clint topped Greenwood 63-48. .. The Rangers have been on a bit of a slide recently, as they ended the regular season losing four of their final District 4-4A games. But first-year head coach Nate Bridges said his team has gotten a boost from the sight of a fully healthy and available roster during practice last week. Part of the reason the Rangers struggled down the stretch was because a few players were out with minor injuries or sickness. “(Last Friday) was the first time in over a month we’ve had everyone at practice and it was good to see. Everybody is healthy and everyone is doing what they can to help the team.” … Clint, the back-to-back District 3-4A champions, feature a pair of sophomore standouts in guard Johnathan Garcia and forward and Marcus Juarez. Garcia is averaging 22.8 points per game and has made a team-high 48 3-pointers this season, while Juarez is posting 11.7 points and 7.4 rebounds per contest. … Bridges said his team Continue Reading

NBA Playoffs: LeBron James struggles, Miami Heat drop Game 5 as Pacers’ Paul George scores 37

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Paul George went into desperation mode to salvage the Pacers' season. It was barely good enough. The 24-year-old All-Star scored 21 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter and inspired Indiana to fend off Miami's late challenges as the Pacers staved off playoff elimination with a 93-90 Game 5 victory on Wednesday night. "My message to the whole team was the light needs to be on green for all of us," coach Frank Vogel said. "You need to go, you need to attack, you need to be aggressive. Paul took it and ran with it and took it to a crazy level." The most crucial shooting performance of George's career allowed the Pacers to climb within 3-2 in the Eastern Conference finals and postponed Miami's fourth straight coronation as conference champs. Game 6 is Friday in Miami. It took everything in George's repertoire to get it done. He was 12 of 19 from the field in the second half, finished with six rebounds, six steals, five 3-pointers and only three turnovers in 45 minutes. But the Pacers also needed everything else to go right. Four-time MVP LeBron James was limited to 24 1/2 minutes because of major foul trouble. He finished with a career playoff-low seven points, two rebounds and four assists. The Heat committed 17 turnovers, compared to just 13 for the usually turnover-prone Pacers, and Indiana had a 45-38 rebounding edge, too. The biggest difference was George, whose 21 fourth-quarter points were the most scored against Miami in any playoff quarter. The previous record, 20, was set by Michael Jordan in May 1997. "I just felt it. I felt in rhythm. I had to be aggressive," George said. "I tried to come out and be aggressive to start this game off and I was getting looks. I got hot." George fell just short of his playoff career high, the 39 he had in Game 4 against Washington in the previous series, and was just four points short of Reggie Miller's franchise Continue Reading

Jerry West: Warriors’ Kevin Durant ‘other-worldly’ in NBA Finals Game 1 win

OAKLAND – The Logo was impressed.Jerry West, the NBA legend who has spent the past six years as a trusted voice for the Golden State Warriors, has seen them at their best. But Thursday night was up there when it came to sheer dominance, with Kevin Durant and his basketball artistry leading the way in a 113-91 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena.Yet as West and the Warriors learned a year ago, when they led 3-1 in the Finals only to lose grasp of that Larry O’Brien trophy in the unprecedented collapse, this is no time to assume the Cavs can’t counter.“It’s not letting your guard down; you have to give credit to the other team,” West told USA TODAY Sports about the 2016 Finals. “We went through a little adversity last year. We had guys banged up, and obviously Draymond (Green) getting suspended (for Game 5) really took the steam out of us. But you have to give them credit. They won against long odds, and hopefully we can win three more games (this time around).“I think we missed some shots (in Game 1) we can normally make. Nine days off from really tough competition (after their Western Conference Finals sweep of the San Antonio Spurs) is a lot, and you’re going to lose your sharpness. And I thought in some stretches out there, we were brilliant. And Kevin was other-worldly. He’s an other-worldly player anyway, but he was just so good it was a joke.”Durant was nothing short of special, finishing with 38 points, eight rebounds and eight assists while handling his unenviable defensive duties with aplomb. He guarded the Cavs’ LeBron James more than anyone, helping force him into eight turnovers during the near-triple-double performance that looked better in the box score than it did in real time (28 points, 15 rebounds, eight assists). Latest NBA Finals coverage: If the Warriors are looking for reasons to believe they can play even better, they’ll Continue Reading

NBA Playoffs Round 1: Brooklyn Nets vs. Chicago Bulls, will Derrick Rose play?

The Bulls locked up the fifth seed without former NBA MVP Derrick Rose, who has been practicing for a while and hinting at nothing in particular. Imagine if he returns for the playoffs? Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo said he’s preparing for the Bulls with Rose, who tore his ACL one year ago this month but can’t clear the mental hurdles necessary to play in games. He was medically cleared to play more than a month ago, so it’s not unrealistic he’ll make a dramatic entrance at the United Center for Game 3, or even before. “You know he’s going to have a premonition in the middle of the night,” joked a Nets executive. Until he rules out a return, Rose’s looming presence represents the biggest storyline of the series. It’s become a source of great intrigue, debate and criticism in Chicago, where he has gone from local hero to a selfish and overcautious star. The Bulls were a 62-win team and a conference finalist with him as the league’s MVP in 2011, but you’d figure there’d be rust or chemistry issues associated with a sudden thrust back into the lineup. Nobody seems to know what to expect out of Rose, or whether he has already mentally checked out until next season. He’s the giant wild card that Deron Williams admits can only improve the Bulls, no matter how long his layoff. Tom Thibodeau told ESPN of Rose: “He’s not quite ready, but there’s always a possibility.” Aside from Rose, the Bulls have lingering injuries to Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson. But the Bulls still believe they can beat the Nets, as they did three times in four games this season. Carlesimo, meanwhile, is coaching with his job on the line because Mikhail Prokhorov expects his large payroll investment to translate into playoff wins. Prokhorov said before the season that the goal is to advance to the conference finals. It’s safe to say a first-round Continue Reading

Nets don’t disappoint in first NBA playoff game in Brooklyn, crush Chicago Bulls

NETS 106, BULLS 89 Neither Jay-Z nor Mikhail Prokhorov could have drawn up a blueprint as great as Saturday night’s. From Jerry Stackhouse’s momentum-building rendition of the national anthem to the annihilation of Chicago, the first NBA playoff game in Brooklyn was a lesson in strong first impressions, sealed with a reverse double-pump jam from Deron Williams that served as a testament to his health and growth. “I was like, ‘Whoa,’” said Reggie Evans. “I was shocked when he did that. Usually I still go run and try to get the rebound. But I had to step back this time.” It was a shocking performance on many levels, with waves presumably making their way to Miami, where the Nets would begin a potential second-round series against the Heat. Brooklyn left the Barclays Center with not only a 106-89 win in Game 1, but also an impression they can sweep the banged-up and punchless Bulls. Williams ripped Chicago’s defense to shreds, finishing with 22 points and seven assists, highlighted by that jam in the third quarter that would have been unthinkable just one month ago while he battled ankle injuries. “It just happened,” Williams said. “I just was trying to show some guys in the NBA I might be able to compete in the dunk contest next year. “My legs feel good, my ankles feel good right now. I’m excited to be back in the playoffs.” Brook Lopez, competing in his first playoff gamer, pounded the paint, adding 21 points and five rebounds. The Nets shot 56%. “Brooklyn hit us with a haymaker,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. On one particular spirit-breaking play in the second quarter, Williams made a fool out of Marco Belinelli, crossing him up before feeding Lopez for a dunk. Williams then retreated to the bench with the Nets leading by 17, and gestured to the crowd with his arms for more noise. It was over early. The anticipated Continue Reading

NBA Playoffs Round 1: NY Knicks vs. Boston Celtics, expect it to be a fight

Carmelo Anthony will have plenty of chances to confront Kevin Garnett without having to chase him all the way to the Boston Celtics’ team bus. In fact, Anthony and the Knicks are in position to send Garnett on an early vacation and place the futures of Garnett, Paul Pierce and Doc Rivers into the great unknown. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the Knicks to settle an old grudge with a long-time rival. They took a huge step during the regular season by defeating the Celtics three out of four times en route to the club’s first Atlantic Division title since 1994. The playoffs, though, are a different animal. The Knicks and Celtics have met 13 previous times in the postseason, most recently in the first round in 2011 when Boston earned a convincing sweep. The Knicks have improved significantly in two years, especially at point guard and bench. The Celtics, meanwhile, are weaker. For all the Celtics’ arrogance — which probably has something to do with all those championship banners – the green and white arrive at the Garden for Game 1 tomorrow as a vulnerable but proud foe. With Ray Allen shooting 3-pointers with the Miami Heat and Rajon Rondo recovering from season-ending knee surgery, Boston is far removed from its days as a legitimate championship contender. What they are, however, is a legitimate threat to upset the second-seeded Knicks and further damage Anthony’s suspect playoff resume while sending James Dolan and Mike Woodson back to the drawing board. The Knicks are the better team and if Tyson Chandler is healthy and J.R. Smith continues providing a spark off the bench, Woodson’s club should advance. But never discount Pierce’s heart, Garnett’s muscle and Rivers’ brain. Plus, the Celtics will be the sentimental choice in the wake of Monday’s terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon. The Knicks should consider themselves fortunate to have Continue Reading

NBA playoffs: Westbrook doesn’t ‘give an (expletive)’ about making NBA history in loss

Didn't catch all the action from Wednesday's NBA playoff games? Here's what you may have missed from all across the NBA playoffs:► History? Russell Westbrook doesn't "give an (expletive)."► Playoff Stephen Curry, oh how we missed you.And playoff JaVale McGee — thanks for joining the party.► Did Marcus Smart flip a fan the bird? The NBA thinks so. They fined him $25,000 for his "obscene gesture."► Thunder collapse puts them in 2-0 hole: Westbrook set an NBA record with the most points ever in a postseason triple-double, but the Rockets rallied late in the fourth to spoil his night.► Paul George insists he didn't throw teammates under the bus: George directed critical comments at C.J. Miles and Lance Stephenson following both Games 1 and 2, but says he has to apologize to no one.Speaking of Stephenson, he revealed his defensive strategy for stopping LeBron James to USA TODAY Sports. And no, it has nothing to do with blowing in James' ear.► Hawks hit a Wall: The Wizards went up 2-0 behind the late-game heroics of John Wall and Bradley Beal. Just two days after David Fizdale's rant directed toward officials (which led to a $30,000 fine) this game had 55 fouls called. Take that for data.► Warriors roll without Kevin Durant: It was 110-81. Need we say more?► Did the Celtics concede defeat in Game 2? According to Avery Bradley, Rajon Rondo — who made a bit of history in the win — told his Bulls teammates that the Celtics "gave up" during the game.Yeah, about those Celtics ... They're down 2-0 with the series headed to Chicago. GALLERY: Best of the NBA playoffs Continue Reading

Coaching in the NBA playoffs: You’re either the pigeon or the statue

Often ready with a good quote, Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey won’t revel in his lineup decision that has turned his series against the Milwaukee Bucks in Toronto’s favor.“This is an up-and-down league,” Casey said, “and one day you’re the statue, and the next day you’re the pigeon.”Casey has first-hand knowledge. Through three games of his first-round Eastern Conference series against Milwaukee, Toronto trailed 2-1. Casey was the statue.One lineup move later – Norman Powell moved into the starting lineup in place of Jonas Valanciunas – Casey is the pigeon, flying high with a 3-2 series lead.It is the nature of the playoffs where every coaching decision and non-decision is scrutinized on TV, in print, online and on ruthless social media.“The pressure of the playoffs is what you live for,” said Wizards coach Scott Brooks who is searching for answers after Atlanta erased Washington’s 2-0 series lead. Latest NBA playoff coverage: It is easy and normal to be a prisoner of the moment. Coaches make mistakes. It’s not a video game or fantasy league, but criticism is part of the well-paid gig.Former Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt once said NBA coaches have 150-200 critical decisions to make during a 48-minute game. A coach isn’t going to bat 1.000. Coaching is difficult, and they’re not robots, generating the perfect antidote to what an opponent is doing.Coaches don’t always make the right adjustment, have the right five players on the court, call the right plays or manage the clock well in the final minutes of the game.Benches shrink, and though a series moves quickly, teams have prepared detailed scouting reports so that players know opponents’ tendencies and plays. It becomes difficult to outsmart the opposing coach on a regular basis in the playoffs.“Coaches like to think we’re doing our job, so we go and we work,” Hawks Continue Reading

‘Game of Thrones’ dethroned as ratings champ by NBA playoff game between LA Clippers and San Antonio Spurs

BY DAVID HINCKLEY It took the combined efforts of Tim Duncan and Blake Griffin, but the NBA at least temporarily reclaimed the cable viewership title Sunday night from HBO's “Game of Thrones.” The San Antonio Spurs-Los Angeles Clippers game on TNT drew 4.4 million viewers, to 3.86 million for “Game of Thrones.” They tied among 18- to 49-year-old viewers. The other strong challenge to “Thrones” came from History’s “Ax Men,” which drew 3.48 million viewers for a 9 p.m. show and 3.52 for a 10 p.m. followup. On the night's lower-brow end, “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” on E! drew 2.85 million, “The Client List” on Lifetime drew 2.55 million, and “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” on Bravo drew 2.35 million. AMC’s “Mad Men” slipped to 1.96 million. In contrast, the top broadcast show of the night was “Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt” on CBS, with 12.93 million viewers. Almost all cable shows add viewers from repeat and time-shifted showings. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading