West Notes: Pelicans, Trey Murphy III, Rockets, Dillon Brooks, Suns


Guard/forward Trey Murphy III had a season debut worth noting, scoring 18 points off the bench in the Pelicans’ win over the Spurs on Friday.Trey Murphy III

“He’s been a big part of our success the last two seasons,” coach Willie Green said, per Christian Clark of NOLA.com. “We all were rallying for him to get on the floor and get back. It was like he didn’t miss a beat. Now it’s about building that chemistry with everyone on the team.”

  • Murphy missed the first 19 games with a left knee injury. But he had a tomahawk slam vs. the Spurs. “Just seeing an open lane, I just had to get up there and show people I still got my athleticism,” he said.


Houston entered the weekend ranked fourth in the NBA in defense, and that very well could have something to do with the addition of feisty forward Dillon Brooks, as relayed by Kelly Iko of The Athletic.

Brooks likes to clap in an opponent’s face when defending, too.

“I feel like everyone in the league knows I slap people’s hands on jump shots after the ball’s released,” Brooks told Iko. “So it puts a thought in their mind that when I close out, you’re not getting a free shot. When they work out, they’re so used to following through. But when I close out, I like to mix in different things like that.”


Coach Frank Vogel was not pleased with the defense in Friday’s loss to the Nuggets, though he admitted it’s always tough going against Denver star Nikola Jokic.

“We didn’t play with nearly enough toughness and attention to detail in the first half,” Vogel told reporters. “It was one of our worst defensive halves. But you’ve got to credit the Nuggets and Nikola Jokic — that’s why he’s one of the best in the world. He can take any four teammates and create great looks for those guys. He’s really special.”

  • Kevin Durant went 0-of-10 shooting in the second half but still managed to move into 10th place on the NBA scoring list late in the second quarter, hitting a layup vs. the Nuggets to pass Moses Malone. Durant now has 27,423 career points. Malone had 27,409 in the NBA — though he played two seasons in the old ABA before that.

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