Warriors vs. Rockets: Score, updates, highlights as West powers battle in Houston

The Rockets claimed an impressive victory over the West-leading Warriors on Saturday night, 116-108, in Houston. Chris Paul and James Harden combined for 55 points, with Paul pitching in 11 rebounds and seven assists. Kevin Durant led the Warriors in scoring with 26 points.

In claiming the rubber match so far this season between the two teams, the Rockets snapped the Warriors’ 14-game winning streak, which was the third-longest road winning stretch in NBA history. The Warriors still lead the West with a 37-9 record, but the Rockets closed the deficit to 3.5 games with the win.

Rangers forward Vladislav Namestnikov skated in his first game at MSG since being acquired at the trade deadline from the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Twelve members of the gold medal-winning U.S. women’s Olympic hockey team were honored during the first period. … Rangers F Pavel Buchnevich skated in his 100th game. … Rangers F Mika Zibanejad missed the game with the flu. … Rangers D Kevin Shattenkirk skated with the team in practice for the first time since having a knee operation in January. … Winnipeg sent goalie Michael Hutchinson to the AHL to make room for Mason. … Defenseman Toby Enstrom missed his fourth consecutive game.

Greg Wyshynski and Emily Kaplan take a deep dive into the NHL postseason bubble and cover Alex Ovechkin’s chase for 600 goals. They also welcome former Penguins and Sabres coach Dan Bylsma of the NHL Network to talk hockey analytics, as well as Kings broadcaster Patrick O’Neal of Fox Sports Los Angeles. Listen ?

Peters: I think I’d want to go into a situation where it feels more like the ground level. That’s the way I view the Coyotes at this point. I like their prospects and young players on the roster. You’ve got a great No. 1 in Oliver Ekman-Larsson and while his production slowed, I still think Clayton Keller is a cornerstone player long term. The big caveat here: How much am I going to get to spend? Despite the recent overhaul on D, Arizona might have to do even more there and I don’t think it’s necessarily going to get solved at the draft — unless the Coyotes win the lottery and get Rasmus Dahlin. The roster I’d least want to have at this point isindians_021

Isaiah Thomas surprises 14-year-old Celtics fan … twice

When 14-year-old Robbie McNulty saw someone walking toward him on a playground in Cambridge, Massachusetts, last week, he didn’t think it was anything out of the ordinary. The man looked a lot like the usual hoopsters he might encounter while getting up shots at St. Peter’s Park.

A closer inspection revealed it was actually Boston Celtics 5-foot-9 All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas, who asked McNulty if he could shoot with him for a bit.

“[McNulty] was the only kid there,” Thomas told the Globe. “So I’m like, ‘I’m just going to go get some shots up with him.’ When I walked over, he rebounded his own shot and turned around and I’m like, ‘Can I get a couple shots?’ And he stopped. He didn’t even say a word, like his eyes were so big. He just stopped and froze and I’m like, ‘Pass me the ball.'”

McNulty, who just entered his freshman year of high school, posted the picture on Instagram with a caption that noted, “Isaiah Thomas played basketball with me.” Thomas even replied to the post from his Instagram account writing, “Nice rebounding for u.”

Make sure you draft point a point guard in the first two rounds.

This might seem like common knowledge for longtime fantasy hoops players who realize the importance of a point guard-heavy roster, but it rings truer in 2016-17 than it has in years.

Humor me for a second and think back to your youth, when you passed time by playing tic-tac-toe. You remember, don’t you? If you were anything like me, typically your first turn always seems like a good move.

That’s similar to the way the first round of fantasy hoops drafts feel this year.

Looking through ESPN’s updated rankings, you see a top 12 filled with big names like James Harden, Karl-Anthony Towns, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, LeBron, Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins and Paul George, who tantalize you with their upside and overall talent at positions other than point guard.

While there are other lower-ranked point guards, the problem is the steep drop-off after the first two rounds; Rajon Rondo (46) and Goran Dragic (50) are the next two point guards in the top 50, and both are over 20 picks lower than Bledsoe.