NOT AGAIN!

Houston Rockets road woes persist in Nuggets showdown

Houston Rockets road woes persist in Nuggets showdown
The Rockets are winless on the road. Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images.

Nikola Jokic had 32 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds, Michael Porter Jr. scored a season-high 30 points and the Denver Nuggets rolled past the Houston Rockets 134-124 on Wednesday night in Jamal Murray’s return from a hamstring injury.

Murray scored 16 points after missing Denver’s past 11 games. After starting 6-1 with Murray available, the Nuggets were just 6-5 without their point guard.

His presence led Denver to one of its best offensive outings of the season, with 19 made 3-pointers and 37 assists to just three turnovers.

“One of the security guards said, ‘Hey, great win tonight.’ I said it was a great outcome,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “I wouldn’t call it a great win. It was a great outcome.

”It was the third consecutive win for the NBA champion Nuggets, who had lost four of five before their current streak.

Jokic, who was sidelined with a lower back injury in a win Monday at the Los Angeles Clippers, recorded his seventh triple-double of the season. Entering the night, all other NBA players had combined for just eight triple-doubles.

“This is pretty easy basketball when you’ve got someone that good with the floater, but also that good at passing,” said Porter, who had 10 rebounds and made seven of his 12 3s.

Denver had lost twice to the Rockets in November, including a 19-point loss in Houston five days earlier. The Nuggets improved their NBA-best home record to 9-0 while dropping the Rockets to 0-7 on the road.

While Murray returned, Denver was without forward Aaron Gordon, who missed his third consecutive game with a strained right heel.

Welcomed with a roaring “He’s back!” from the public address announcer and a hearty ovation from the home crowd before tip-off, Murray injured his ankle after he came down awkwardly on a missed contested shot at the rim two minutes into the game and walked gingerly back to the bench after a Nuggets timeout. He immediately returned out of the timeout and finished with 22 minutes played, though he described his ankle injury as “frustrating.”

“The hamstring’s fine,” Murray said. “I’ve worked enough to get it back to strength. Now, it’s just another thing. I’ve got to work on that and hopefully I’ll be ready.”

After that initial scare, his team had little reason to worry the rest of the night.

Led by 12 points from Porter, the Nuggets scored a season-high 41 points in the first quarter and led by as many as 19 in the period. Denver never trailed and led by double digits for all but the opening 4:16 against a Houston team that was playing the second night of a back-to-back after a loss Tuesday night at the Dallas Mavericks.

“We just woke up pretty late,” Rockets guard Jalen Green said. “If we started off a little bit better, it would have been a different story.”

Green paced the Rockets with 26 points, including 18 in a third quarter in which he made all six of his field goals and all four of his 3s. Alperen Sengun added 22 points for Houston, which lost for the fifth time in seven games following a surprise 6-3 start.

The Rockets were without guard Fred VanVleet, the team’s third-leading scorer and $130 million offseason acquisition, who was sidelined with a sprained left thumb.

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Denver: At Phoenix on Friday.

Houston: At Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday

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Janice McNair, left, and Cal McNair, right, opposed the lawsuit. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

A lawsuit filed by one of the sons of the owner of the Houston Texans that had sought to have her declared incapacitated and have a guardian appointed for her was dropped on Monday, February 26.

Robert Cary McNair, Jr. had filed his application for appointment of a guardian for Janice McNair, 87, in November with probate court in Harris County.

But on Monday, lawyers for Cary McNair, along with others involved in the case, filed a motion in which they agreed to jointly drop the lawsuit.

News of the end of the case was first reported by the Houston Chronicle. Jeremy Fielding, an attorney for Cary McNair, told the newspaper the family made the joint decision to address these issues privately. Fielding said Cary McNair is concerned about his mother’s health and he had filed the lawsuit to protect his mother and not to “control her estate, as his brother Cal has incorrectly suggested.”

Attorneys for Janice McNair and her son Cal McNair, who is chairman and CEO of the Texans, had previously pushed back on Cary McNair’s claims that the elder McNair was incapacitated or needed a guardian to control her personal, financial, and medical decisions. Janice McNair became the principal owner of the Texans after her husband, Robert “Bob” McNair, died in 2018.

“Cal McNair is delighted that the frivolous lawsuit against his mother, Janice McNair, was dismissed today. He is relieved that she will not be burdened by an unnecessary medical examination nor placed under a repressive guardianship that would restrict her rights. She will continue to be actively involved as founder and senior chairperson of the Houston Texans,” Paul Dobrowski, Cal McNair’s attorney, said in a statement.

The decision to end the lawsuit came after Judge Jerry Simoneaux ruled earlier this month that Janice McNair would not have to undergo an independent exam to evaluate her mental capacity. Cary McNair’s attorneys had asked for the exam, arguing in court that her abilities to conduct business had been affected by a stroke she had in January 2022.

Details of what had prompted the guardianship effort had mostly remained private after some records in the lawsuit were previously ordered sealed by Simoneaux.

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