Our event of the day is the NBA fixture between the Houston Rockets and the Philadelphia 76ers at the Toyota Center in Houston. Both teams, with rosters full of talent, are fighting in highly competitive playoff races. Houston, led by James Harden, are third in the West and putting pressure on the Denver Nuggets and Golden State Warriors. The 76ers, led by Joel Embiid, are fourth in the East. This is sure to be a very exciting match. Last season, the Rockets were twenty-four minutes from the NBA finals. Then their scoring fell off and they lost in heart-breaking fashion to the Warriors. The offseason saw them lose talent they didn’t adequately replace and by mid-December, the best team of the 2017-18 season was sitting at a record of 14-14. Today, they are 41-24, third in the Western Conference and riding a 6-game win streak. James Harden, last season’s MVP, is having yet another MVP-calibre season. Harden is breaking records and setting a new standard for the league’s best. No-one aside from Wilt Chamberlain has ever scored 30+ points in more than eighteen straight games, this season James Harden achieved that in thirty-two consecutive games. He has been aided by the resurgence of Chris Paul, who began the season poorly. However, after returning from injury, Paul is putting up sixteen points, nine assists and five rebounds per game, providing the perfect addition to the offense that Harden is generating. In their six-game win streak, Paul has scored 94 points while Harden has dropped 193. This is a dangerous Rockets team that definitely has the tools, talent and tenacity to take home a championship this season. Tonight, they host the Philadelphia 76ers. The 76ers were undervalued and overlooked in the offseason. When the season came around, they struggled to find form and dealt with the issue of 2017 number one draft pick Markelle Fultz underperforming. However, they are now 41-24 and fourth in a highly competitive Eastern Conference. Joel Embiid has broken out as a true powerhouse in the league, Ben Simmonds is a quality player, and the addition of Jimmy Butler in November has only helped the team. The 76ers are on course for a third or fourth place finish in the east, which would set them up with a first round series against the Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons or maybe the Indiana Pacers - all of which sound like exciting match-ups! This is a match between two sides eager to maintain their firm footing in the playoff race and one you won’t want to miss.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the second T20 fixture between the West Indies and England at Warner Park in Basseterre in St. Kitts. After a tied ODI series, England took an early lead in this short T20 series with a 4-wicket win over their hosts on Tuesday. Johnny Bairstow shone for England, hitting a half century. Meanwhile, Tom Curran stymied the West Indies batting effort, taking four wickets in four overs for the visitors. After showing that they can challenge England in the other cricket formats, the West Indies will be eager to win today. You can expect some very exciting cricket. Elsewhere, in the Scottish Premiership, Hibernian host Rangers at Easter Road. On the European Tour, the Qatar Masters golf continues at the Doha Golf Club. In the NHL, the Carolina Hurricanes host the Winnipeg Jets at the PNC Arena. In Premiership Rugby, Bath host Saracens at the Recreation Ground. The World Triathlon Seriesbegins in Abu Dhabi.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by NBA
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