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(SportsNetwork.com) - The Houston Rockets will put their perfect record on the line tonight in their stiffest test to date, a home battle with the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs. Later, two of the Western Conferences postseason teams from a season ago tangle early in this campaign when the Portland Trail Blazers welcome the Dallas Mavericks to the Moda Center. Both games can be seen on TSN2 beginning with the Rockets vs. Suprs at 8pm et/5pm pt. The Rockets can become the leagues first 6-0 team with a victory on Thursday. The Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors are also perfect in the early part of this campaign. Houston is supremely confident and should be against the Spurs. The Rockets swept the season series in 2013-14 and have won seven of the last nine at home versus the defending champs. The Rockets reached 5-0 in their toughest challenge before Thursday, toppling the previously undefeated Miami Heat, 108-91, in South Beach on Tuesday night. James Harden was a rebound shy of a triple-double, tallying 25 points and 10 assists for the Rockets. We showed tremendous confidence, especially in the fourth quarter, said Harden. We got stops when we needed to. Dwight Howard posted 26 points and 10 boards and Trevor Ariza nailed five 3- pointers and netted 19 points for Houston, which is off to its first 5-0 start since opening 6-0 during the 1996-97 season. Patrick Beverley returned from a two-game absence due to a hamstring injury and scored 15 points. The Rockets started the season against relative NBA lightweights, but the level rose with the four-time defending Eastern Conference champions. It gets even higher versus the NBA champions. Im happy with our progress, but were not satisfied, Howard said after the Miami victory. Weve got a tough game with San Antonio. We have to be ready for our next opponent. The Spurs were well-rested for their home tilt with the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday. San Antonio had only played twice early in the campaign and it showed some rust, but escaped with a 94-92 win. You can make the argument on both sides, was there rust there, or is it good to get rest? opined Duncan. Luckily, we got the win and well build on that. With the score tied with 13.6 seconds remaining, Manu Ginobili drove the lane and kicked to the corner, but was fouled with 3.8 ticks on the clock. He buried a pair of free throws, then Boris Diaw blocked a last-second heave to allow the Spurs to survive. We need to be sharper, execute better, and today we just didnt, said Ginobili. Ginobili scored seven of his 12 points on Wednesday at the foul line. Duncan and Tony Parker each finished with 17 points, with the former grabbing 13 rebounds with six blocks, four assists and three steals. Kawhi Leonard and Diaw each scored 11 points in the win. Tiago Splitter returned from a calf injury, then left because he felt tightness in the area. His availability for Thursday night is undetermined. Mavericks and Blazers battle in Portland Two of the Western Conferences postseason teams from a season ago tangle early in this campaign when the Portland Trail Blazers welcome the Dallas Mavericks to the Moda Center. Theyre a great team, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. Theyre a playoff team, and theyre a different team than what weve seen with the quality of their big men and their 3-point shooting ability straight across the board. Its a tough matchup, and thats always a very difficult place to play. The Mavs begin this mini road trip on a roll, winning three straight and vaulting into the league lead in scoring at 111.8 ppg. Dallas will also visit the Utah Jazz on Friday before returning home. The Mavericks reached 3-1 Monday night with a 118-113 victory at home over the Boston Celtics. Chandler Parsons scored 29 points on 10-of-15 shooting, but the Mavs nearly squandered a 26-point lead. Jeff Green and Avery Bradley fueled the Celtics comeback, totaling 35 and 32 points, respectively. Bradley had a chance to tie things at the free throw line with 39.5 seconds to go but only made two of his three attempts. Monta Ellis, after fouling Bradley behind the arc, ended Bostons 9-0 run with a tough runner off the glass to give Dallas a 116-113 lead. He made two more free throws to seal the win. They are scrappy and you know that they are going to continue to fight back, Mavs center Tyson Chandler said of the Celtics. Dirk Nowitzki netted 27 points with seven rebounds while Ellis added 14 points for the Mavs. Chandler posted a double-double with 10 points and 12 boards, while Devin Harris managed 12 points. The Mavs shot 53.7 percent from the floor and 56 percent from long range. The Blazers got back on track Tuesday night. They halted a two-game slide with an emphatic statement game, a 101-82 home victory over LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Needless to say, it was good to get a win, said Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts. But more importantly, it was how we got it, how we played. That looked like the team that we need to be. We withstood their barrage in the first quarter, stayed with our schemes and our coverages and the next 3 1/2 quarters, we did a great job defensively. We stuck with the defense and we got rhythm to the offense. It was a solid win at both ends of the court. The Cavs opened the game 10-for-10 from the field, but tailed off offensively. Cleveland never posted 20 points in the remaining three quarters and finished the contest with 13 points over the final 12 minutes. Damian Lillard busted out of his shooting slump with 27 points. He went 6- for-13 from the field, 5-for-10 from long range and 10-for-10 from the foul line. Its the same game that Ive been playing, said Lillard. The only difference was the shots just went in. It was pretty simple: just play the game. I thought we did a great job of moving the ball and everybody defended well. Wes Matthews (21), Robin Lopez (19) and LaMarcus Aldridge (16) finished in double figures. The Blazers also held the fabled James to just 11 points. The Mavs won two of three against the Blazers last season and have captured 10 of the last 15 meetings. Dallas is 12-6 in its last 18 in Rose City. Cheap Salomon Shoes . However, after review it became clear Kadri kicked the puck in. Buy Salomon Shoes . Trailing 5-4 in the third set, the 12th-ranked Isner fought off two match points and evened it at 5-5 with consecutive aces. The former University of Georgia star had his only service break of the match to go up 6-5 before firing the last four of his 30 aces to close out Ginepri, an Atlanta resident ranked 281st. http://www.cheapsalomon.us/ . Miralem Pjanic dribbled through the defence to score an extraordinary goal in the 43rd minute at the Stadio Olimpico and Gervinho added another from a rebound in the 65th for Romas ninth straight victory — ending Milans five-match winning streak. Salomon Shoes Sale Clearance . Sharper briefly appeared in Los Angeles Superior Court, where his arraignment was postponed until Feb. 20 at the request of his lawyers. They issued a statement saying he would be exonerated. Prosecutors then filed a motion to increase Sharpers bail to $10 million and outlined details of investigations involving him in Las Vegas, Tempe, Ariz. Cheap Salomon Shoes China .com) - Eric Fehrs goal 42 seconds into overtime lifted the Washington Capitals to a 5-4 come-from-behind victory over Columbus, halting the Blue Jackets seven-game win streak.SAN ANTONIO -- In the first NBA Finals game of his reign as the leagues commissioner, Adam Silver had to deal with a sweltering arena. Compared to what hes gone through in recent weeks, that seemed like a breeze. Speaking to The Associated Press on Friday at an NBA Cares event, Silver said hes thrilled that the leagues attention can be on the championship series between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs -- and not, as it was for so much of the post-season, on the off-the-court matters involving the banishment of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling and now the looming sale of that franchise. "No question," Silver said. "In fairness to all the players and the teams, they worked so hard to get to this moment and a hot building is part of the competition in essence. And all those other things that weve been talking about the last several weeks are not." Posing for photos with Spurs players, coach Gregg Popovich, general manger R.C. Buford and others, Silver was all smiles when the ceremonial red ribbon was cut at the leagues latest "Learn & Play Center" at a San Antonio elementary school. Its the 897th time that the league has been involved with opening a facility like that, and another similar event will be held in Miami when the series shifts there nnext week.dddddddddddd Silver made no prediction, other than saying he thinks the Heat-Spurs matchup could be a long series. He also said he was satisfied that the air conditioning issues that overshadowed Game 1 have been cleared up and will not affect play when the series resumes in San Antonio on Sunday night. "We learn something new all the time," Silver said. "The league checklist continues to get longer, the things that we need to ensure are functioning properly before games." The Sterling matter was Silvers first true test since taking over for David Stern as commissioner, and many players raved about his response, both in terms of message and swiftness. Silver barred Sterling for life after the longtime owner acknowledged making racist comments on tape, plus fined him $2.5 million. Now, the Sterling matter looks to be essentially over. The Clippers are poised to be sold to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion, and Sterlings attorney said earlier this week that issues between Sterling and the NBA will be resolved without need for a lawsuit -- a decision that basically clears the biggest hurdle that would have precluded a sale. "Im pleased and proud that the attention is on the greatest basketball in the world," Silver said. ' ' '

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