The Portland Trailblazers move one game closer to the coveted eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference after they beat the Houston Rockets 110-102. Damian Lillard led the way for the Blazers with 21 points, 9 rebound and 8 assists on Tuesday night, while CJ McCollum had 20 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists. Carmelo Anthony had 15 points, 11 rebounds, an assist and hit some key shots down the stretch against his former team.
After the game Damian Lillard was asked about Carmelo Anthony and responded, “I find it real funny and disrespectful how people speak on him. He’s a Hall of Famer,” Lillard said, per Sean Highkin of Bleacher Report.
Rocket guard Russell Westbrook ego that when ESPN’s Dave McMenamin asked him about the key plays he made down the stretch.
“Melo is a Hall of Famer, man,” Westbrook said. “He’s an unbelievable teammate. It’s always good to see him do well, play well. He belongs in this league. He’s shown that time in and time out.”
As for the Rockets, Westbrook had 15 points, 3 rebounds, and 9 assists, while Harden had 23 points, 6 rebounds, and 9 assists. Before the Rockets took on the Mavericks last week, Rick Carlisle discussed James ability to score the basketball and the comparison to Michael Jordan.
Going into the game against the Mavericks, Harden was averaging 34.4 points per game after averaging 36.1 points during the 2018-19 season. The 2018 NBA MVP is on pace to be the only player since Jordan to average 34 or more points in back to back season. When Jordan achieve the feat in 1986-87 and 1987-88.
“In terms of the number of points and the efficiency, there are many comparisons,” Carlisle said. “The dynamics of the game when Jordan played were different. There wasn’t as much emphasis on the three. Michael Jordan operated in a lot of different areas on the court. So, the game looked different back in those days.”
“Pound for pound, Harden is one of the best scorers in the history of basketball, up there with all the greats,” Carlisle said. “You look at the number of points he’s averaging, it’s breathtaking what he’s done over the past couple of years.”