It’s a little bit early for season-changing moments, but the Houston Rockets might have gotten one of those on Friday night. Having won just once in their opening six games, the team that pushed the two-time defending champions to a Game 7, needed something to go right. And for once this season it did just that. It was an awful start in New York, though, with the team falling behind by as many as 14 points early on. It was in the second quarter that Chris Paul took over with his leadership. During a timeout, the players had a huddle all to themselves. And whatever was said worked. As Paul said “enough was enough,” and from there the Rockets clawed their way back into the game. After that timeout, the Nets only shot 36% from the field. That, along with 28 points from Carmelo Anthony from the bench and 32 points from their point guard Paul, were enough to give them a 119-111 victory and hopefully get their season moving in the right direction.
Expectations aren’t nearly as high for the Washington Wizards as they are for the Rockets, but their team is still in a lot of trouble. Much like the Rockets, the Wizards have started the NBA season off very poorly, and that continued on Friday night with a 134-111 loss at home to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The loss sees them fall to 1-7 so far, and it also ensured that they were booed off the court by their home fans. Despite a valiant attempt in the third quarter to come back, it was just too little, too late. They had been outscored 44-20 in the second quarter, and you just can’t win NBA games with numbers like that.
And finally, Clayton Kershaw will be staying home in Los Angeles come next season, and according to his new deal, the two seasons following that as well. The veteran lefty has put pen to paper on a deal that will be worth $93 million over the course of three years. While he could have theoretically made even more money, he cited that he wanted to stick around in LA as a reason for this. He also stated that he wants to prove his critics wrong. In order to do that, he’s going to not only have to win the World Series but lead the Dodgers to it with a couple of wins in it. If anyone can do it at his age, it’s him, but he will have to continue to evolve in order to hold up against the test of time.