Is Carmelo Anthony, like, allergic to Oklahoma City?
We have that and more in Friday’s NBA newsletter. The Rockets, who had enjoyed a little resurgence after a dreadful start to the season, went into Oklahoma City on Thursday hoping to chop down the Thunder’s momentum on national TV. It, uh, did not go well. OKC beat Houston 98-80 without Russell Westbrook, and yes, the Rockets scored 80 in a 48-minute game with both James Harden and Chris Paul in the lineup. The Thunder defense is quite good, and both Houston stars shot quite poorly. But not as poorly as poor Carmelo Anthony, who went 1-11 from the floor for 2 points in 20 minutes. Even that one make didn’t actually result in Melo putting the ball in the hoop -- it was a called goaltend against Nerlens Noel on a layup. There’s something about Oklahoma City that does not sit well with Carmelo Anthony. At least now it’s two games a year there instead of 41. Scores Rockets 80, Thunder 98Celtics 116, Suns 109 (OT)Clippers 105, Blazers 116Bucks 134, Warriors 111 Schedule Selections for the weekend action ... On Friday:Hornets at Sixers, 7 p.m. ET, NBA TVPacers at Heat, 8 p.m. ET, League PassCeltics at Jazz, 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPNTimberwolves at Kings, 10 p.m. ET, League Pass On Saturday:Bucks at Clippers, 3:30 p.m. ET, League PassSixers at Grizzlies, 8 p.m. ET, League PassRockets at Spurs, 8:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV On Sunday:Hornets at Pistons, 3:30 p.m. ET, League PassPacers at Rockets, 7 p.m. ET, League PassBucks at Nuggets, 8 p.m. ET, League PassCeltics at Blazers, 9 p.m. ET, League Pass Full schedule here. Links Another episode of Spencer Hall’s true sports crime podcast It Seemed Smart is out. This one focuses on the incredible rise, abrupt fall, and continuing relevance of daily fantasy sports. Paul Flannery with a big piece on Giannis Antetokounmpo on the NBA’s last folk hero. The Bucks absolutely shredded the Warriors on national TV on Thursday. Brilliant piece from Alex Wong on the loneliness epidemic and how NBA players deal with the difficulty of making friends in locker rooms. I wrote about the Grizzlies bringing grime back to the NBA, even though Grit ‘n Grind remains dead. Howard Beck’s piece has me hyped for the 2019-20 L.A. Clippers. A history and analysis of the impact of the Eurostep. Tom Haberstroh compares Steph Curry to Michael Jordan as someone who was dismissed, accepted and copied. Victor Oladipo needs some help. How Brandon Ingram’s defense could unlock the Lakers. One game in, Tyson Chandler looks like a great fit. Mavericks fans start thinking about Zion Williamson. And finally: meet the fan who dips her chicken tenders in soda at sporting events, starting a wave. Not all heroines wear capes. Be excellent to each other.