ADVERSITY AT ITS FINEST

Here's what Eric Gordon's injury means for the Rockets

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It was just reported today that Eric Gordon will miss two weeks because of an ankle injury. Gordon has looked good in practice, so it caused Mike D'Antoni to put him in the starting lineup over Danuel House. D'Antoni has raved about putting Gordon in the starting lineup despite a tough start against the Toronto Raptors.

"Actually, our lineup is better with Russell, James, Eric, P.J., and Covington," D'Antoni said last Friday.

D'Antoni felt Gordon added more of a veteran presence to the starting five he created.

Honestly, Gordon missing time can take away from his rhythm again. Missing two weeks is major for the Rockets. The Rockets are already chasing the third or fourth seed with a tough schedule ahead of them. They need every weapon before the shorter season starts. The team will miss Gordon's strong veteran presence and shooting.

"Of course Eric is a huge part of what we're doing. Hopefully, he can get his ankle healed soon as possible," said James Harden after the win against the Boston Celtics on Zoom. "But we've played with adversity all year. It's another opportunity for us to step up."

The Athletic's Kelly Iko reported that Austin Rivers' minutes will go up but who will get the starting position? It's looking like Danuel House could get his starting position back. Ben McLemore would be a good option because of his shooting. He understands his role well and uses his athleticism in transition. Do not be surprised if Robert Covington or P.J. Tucker move to the SF position for Jeff Green to start.

D'Antoni has a lot of options to replace Gordon. He is an offensive genius and will make the right decision for the Rockets. Hopefully, Gordon will not miss too much time.

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After a rough, disheartening loss the night before to even the series at one game apiece, the Astros tried to shake it off and regroup for a win on Thursday to get the series win against the Diamondbacks in Arizona. Here is a quick recap of the finale:

Final Score: Diamondbacks 5, Astros 4.

Record: 6-6, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Junior Guerra (1-0, 0.00 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Ryan Pressly (0-1, 40.50 ERA).

Bielak tosses an impressive start as Houston puts him in winning position

After both teams finished the first three innings scoreless, the Astros were able to get a little bit of good luck on their side, unlike the night prior. Jose Altuve started the inning with a much-needed single, stole second, then moved to third on a groundout for the second out. That set up Yuli Gurriel, who hit a ball down the third-base line that would strike the bag and bounce away from Arizona, allowing Altuve to score and put Houston up 1-0.

Though he likely would have preferred more run support, Brandon Bielak made do with that one run in his first career MLB start. He was able to complete five innings of work, holding Arizona scoreless over that span despite allowing a runner in each inning. He left in line for the win, with a final line of 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 0 HR.

Altuve extends the lead, then Diamondbacks go ahead

Jose Altuve helped double the lead in the top of the sixth, connecting for a one-out solo home run to make it 2-0. With Bielak's night over at five innings, Cy Sneed took over in the bottom of the sixth and allowed back-to-back one-out doubles to cut Houston's lead in half. He allowed a single to put runners on the corners before Dusty Baker would move on to another reliever to try and preserve the lead. Blake Taylor would enter but allowed the tying RBI-single to take Bielak out of winning position. Taylor would go on to allow a go-ahead run before getting out of the jam.

In the bottom of the seventh, Taylor was still on the mound but would only get two outs before another call to the pen. Andre Scrubb would enter and get the final out of the inning. In the top of the eighth, Jose Altuve would improve to 3-for-4 on the night with a two-out double, setting up Alex Bregman for a go-ahead two-run home run to make it 4-3, Houston.

Ryan Pressly allows the walk-off

Scrubb went back to the mound in the bottom of the eighth and was able to record a 1-2-3 inning to move the game to the ninth. After a scoreless top of the ninth, Ryan Pressly would attempt to get the save in the bottom of the inning. Instead, he would allow the walk-off, loading the bases with no outs on a walk and two singles before a two-RBI single to give Arizona the win and the series victory.

Up Next: The Astros will travel to Oakland to kick off a three-game weekend series with the A's on Friday at 8:10 PM Central. The A's will send Chris Bassitt (1-0, 0.93 ERA) to the mound while Houston will turn to Zack Greinke (0-0, 5.00 ERA) to help cut down Oakland's division lead.

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