Wow. The Houston Rockets outscored the Golden State Warriors, 25-12, in the fourth quarter on the road in a critical Game 4 to tie the series, 2-2. It was Golden State’s first playoff home loss since LeBron James and the Cavaliers won Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals. It followed a classic Warriors’ third quarter (34-17 GSW, 17 points with five threes for Stephen Curry). It included an absolutely outré final 10 seconds.
But whatever happened, reality is that this series is tied going back to Houston.
This game had a lot, including James Harden inexplicably passing up one of the most open threes ever and also Harden inexplicably unleashed holy rage with a dunk on Draymond Green. We also had Curry almost clocking a referee while celebrating.
In the end, as Tim Cato writes, the Rockets proved they are the Warriors’ only true rival. They need two more wins to prove they are better. Let’s see if they can pull it off.
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Cavaliers at Celtics, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Series tied 2-2
All three WNBA games on Wednesday are local TV or League Pass only. But League Pass is only $17 for the entire season (and has a free trial going through Thursday), plus one of those Wednesday games — Atlanta Dream at Chicago Sky — is a day game that tips at noon ET. Daytime basketball! Storm-Mercury at 10 p.m. ET should be good.
Tim Cato on how Mike D’Antoni taught the NBA to unleash the power of joy. Lovely piece.
Kristian Winfield breaks down what Kawhi Leonard’s options are once the Spurs extend a supermax offer. This summer is going to be fascinating and, quite possibly, once again, never-ending.
Rick O’Donnell writes that Luka Doncic made his case for No. 1 at the EuroLeague Final Four. I should say!
My Disney soundtrack power rankings started a conversation on Tuesday. I do have two admissions: I totally slipped on leaving Beauty and the Beast off of the top-five list — that’s a classic full of jams — and I completely forgot Tangled, which is a sleeper hit (both the movie and soundtrack, which stars Mandy Moore, who is the voice of Rapunzel.) “I See the Light” is too good! So I’m going to revise my top-five Disney soundtracks to incorporate these missed albums. Consider it a hazard of sautéeing takes so early in the morning.
3. Beauty and the Beast
2. The Princess and The Frog
I accept that The Lion King is getting disrespected. I am comfortable being accused of that. “Circle of Life” is one of the greatest Disney songs ever but the others just don’t hit me. Much respect to Elton John, though. My wife/reputation manager wants me to slip in a mention of Pochantas’ one-two punch of jams, as well. We are verging on this edition of Good Morning It’s Basketball turning fully into Good Morning It’s Disney Music Takes, though, so let’s just move on.
What can the Thunder do if Paul George walks away? Other than, you know, bake some more cupcakes.
Back in January, Bucks rookie Sterling Brown was arrested on alleged misdemeanor resisting an officer. But charges were never brought. Now Brown is suing the Milwaukee Police Department, and city officials are trying to preparing everyone for Wednesday’s release of the body-cam footage showing the lead-up to officers hitting Brown with a stun gun. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has sources who indicate the video will show excessive force being used.
The Brown situation has shades of the Thabo Sefolosha situation in New York a couple years ago. The difference: NYPD officers broke Sefolosha’s leg, which really impacted his season and career, and Sefolosha wasn’t playing in New York at the time. Brown suffered no apparent major injury in his incident, but he plays in Milwaukee, the very city where it went down. This is going to be interesting. There’s also the immediate reaction from other NBA players: while Brown is new to the league and doesn’t likely have a ton of connections, both the Cavaliers and Celtics have been vocal on social justice and policing issues. If they see the video before the game and it’s as bad as it seems, this is something to keep an eye on.
Interesting read on the stereotypes Jeremy Lin still faces.
And finally: Rockets franchise owner Tilman Fertitta is trying to make Thursday night’s Game 5 special for Sante Fe High seniors.
Be excellent to each other.