Clint Capela’s confidence in his squad has been bolstered.
Following Saturday’s 116-108 win over the Warriors, the Rockets big man claimed his team has surpassed the defending NBA champions after beating them twice this season.
On the other hand, Warriors star Kevin Durant dismissed the importance of Houston’s win and said the real battle will begin when the postseason starts.
“No,” Durant said when asked if the game mattered. “The season starts over when you’re in the playoffs anyway, so it doesn’t matter. You’re going to have to get through these teams to get to where you want to go. You have to play at home and on the road, so it really doesn’t matter. We just want to be playing good basketball when it comes down to that point.”
The Rockets (32-12) sit 3.5 games behind the Warriors (37-10) for first place in the Western Conference.
Fans made up 50 percent of the voting (active NBA players and NBA media made up 25 percent each). All-Star reserves (selected by NBA head coaches) will be announced Jan. 23 and the full team rosters will be unveiled Jan. 25 all on TNT.
“I used my only move in the bag of tricks,” said Archibald.
Vancouver pulled ahead with nine minutes to go in the third. An Islanders turnover sprung Leipsic with Virtanen trailing him on a 2-on-1. Virtanen went five-hole for a rare goal in front of the home crowd.
“My first (goal) at home in two years apparently,” said Virtanen. “Definitely nice to get that one.”
Eberle scored to force overtime with Leipsic off for slashing. He swatted in a rebound to tie the game 3-3.
Jaroslav Halak made 19 saves for the Isle.
“I can’t break,”James said. “I’m the last one that can break at this point. I’m the leader of this team. Hopefully we can get some wins, and that definitely helps, but I’m going to stay as positive as I can be. You guys know me, patience is not always been a thing for me, but knowing the rough patch that we’re in right now, that’s what I’m going to give to this team. Just stay positive.”
The Cavs (27-18) will look to get back on track when they visit the Spurs (30-17) at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday.