Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rockets drop Mavs to clinch playoff berth as Warriors and Cavs lose



Rockets drop Mavs to clinch playoff berth as Warriors and Cavs lose

Rockets drop Mavs to clinch playoff berth as Warriors and Cavs lose

The Houston Rockets clinched an NBA playoff berth with a 105-82 rout of the Mavericks in Dallas on Sunday as reigning champions Golden State and the Cleveland Cavaliers both lost.

Even with Most Valuable Player candidate James Harden sitting out with a sore left knee, the Rockets had little trouble from the Mavs.

Only a spate of eight second-quarter turnovers by Houston helped Dallas erase a 15-point deficit and briefly take a six-point lead.

The Rockets soon tidied things up to take a one-point lead at half-time that they wouldn’t surrender after the break.

Point guard Chris Paul scored 24 points and handed out 12 assists and guard Eric Gordon added 26 points for the Rockets, who led by as many as 26 in the fourth quarter.

Houston, who saw their 17-game winning streak ended by Eastern Conference leaders Toronto on Friday, improved their league-best record to 52-14.

They’re 1 1/2 games ahead of the Warriors atop the West, and Gordon said the Rockets would keep the accelerator down in a bid to claim the top seed.

“We want to finish No1 – I think that’s the main goal,” he said.

The depleted Warriors fell 109-103 to the Minnesota Timberwolves, the defending champs’ second straight defeat.

With superstar Stephen Curry missing a second straight game with a sprained right ankle, Kevin Durant scored 39 points and pulled down 12 rebounds for Golden State.

But Durant connected on just 11 of 32 of his shots from the field and sharp-shooter Klay Thompson needed 22 shots to score 21 points.

Draymond Green contributed 10 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Warriors, who were also missing Andre Iguodala, David West, Patrick McCaw and Jordan Bell as they lost back-to-back games for only the second time this season.

“We’re just in a bit of a tough stretch,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “I’m really pleased with the effort. We’ll get some guys back here hopefully in the next week or two, and I’m very confident with where we’re heading.”

Karl-Anthony Towns was a force inside for the Timberwolves, finishing with 31 points and 16 rebounds.

Although the Warriors were far from full strength, Minnesota’s Andrew Wiggins said it was an important win.

“This is big for us, because this is one of the best teams in the league, if not the best,” Minnesota’s Andrew Wiggins said.

Lakers beat Cavs

The struggles continued for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who fell to the Warriors in last year’s finals after beating them the year before.

LeBron James and the Cavs tied it twice but never led in the second half in a 127-113 loss to the Lakers in Los Angeles.

Lakers point guard Isaiah Thomas, acquired from Cleveland in a trade-deadline deal, scored 20 points.

Los Angeles forward Julius Randle poured in a career-high 36 points and pulled down 14 rebounds.

The Lakers’ performance offered James a glimpse of the young talent he could align himself with should he opt to move to Los Angeles as a free agent next season.

The Lakers, with money to spend under the salary cap, have been touted as one possible destination for James, although he’s said he’s only focused on getting Cleveland back to the finals this season.

James scored 24 points with 10 rebounds and seven assists, but the Cavs lost for the fourth time in six games.

They’re fourth in the Eastern Conference, half a game behind third-placed Indiana who edged second-placed Boston 99-97.

Eastern Conference leaders Toronto cruised past the New York Knicks 132-106.

The Celtics, playing without ailing Al Horford and concussed Jaylen Brown, squandered a 50-40 half-time lead in their narrow loss to the Pacers and saw Kyrie Irving depart in the second half with a sore left knee.

In New Orleans, Ricky Rubio scored 30 points with 10 rebounds and seven assists as his Utah Jazz withstood a triple-double from Anthony Davis in a 116-99 victory over the Pelicans.

Davis had 25 points, 11 rebounds and a stellar 10 blocked shots in his return from a one-game injury absence, but he had no win to celebrate on his 25th birthday.

MOST VIEWED

  • Municipal hall releases map detailing colour coded Covid risks by commune

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng released an official map detailing the red, yellow and dark yellow zones within the city under the new lockdown orders for Phnom Penh announced on April 26. The designation of red, dark yellow and yellow corresponds to areas with high,

  • Inter-provincial travel ban lifted; Phnom Penh and Takmao not exempted

    The government on April 25 decided to lift the inter-provincial travel ban and the closure of tourist attractions across the country, effectively immediately. The travel ban and closures of all resorts were imposed on April 6 and 17 respectively in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19,

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown extended for another week

    The government late on April 26 announced an extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province for another seven days – or longer if residents do not comply with Covid-19 preventive measures and the community outbreak does not subside – until May 5. According

  • Gov't mulls extension of Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown

    The Inter-ministerial National Commission for the Control and Enforcement of Lockdown held a video conference meeting on April 25 to review a draft document on the extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal province’s Takmao town. The meeting was chaired by Minister of

  • SBI LY HOUR Bank Launches Cross Border Money Transfer Service between Cambodia and Vietnam on RippleNet, utilizing DLT

    SBI LY HOUR Bank Plc and Hanoi-based Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) on Friday launched the first Cambodia-Vietnam money transfer service in real currency via RippleNet, provided by SBI Ripple Asia Co Ltd to provide safe, fast and convenient services. SBI LY HOUR