West Notes: Rockets, Jalen Green, Lakers, LeBron James, Grizzlies


Guard Jalen Green said the Rockets’ primary goal is to make the NBA playoffs, but even if they fall short, they’ve taken some nice strides this season.Jalen Green, NBA, Houston Rockets

“The main goal is to make the playoffs,” Green said, via Kelly Iko of The Athletic. “Either way it goes, growth is growth. We’ve gotten better as a team and we have the tools to do it.”

Individually, Green added that work habits have been responsible for his own rise.

“Super important,” Green told Iko. “Get in the gym, getting up shots in the morning, being in the gym when we don’t have practice. Just staying true to the gym. That’s the main reason your confidence is built up, because you’re aware that you put in the work.”

  • The Rockets (38-37) are likely to miss the play-in tournament, given that they’re three games back of the Warriors with just seven to go. Still, there’s no disputing that they have something on which to build under first-year coach Ime Udoka.


Star forward LeBron James indicated he’s not too concerned with where the Lakers end up in the NBA Western Conference standings.

“We want to continue to play good basketball,” James told reporters. “The postseason’s still kind of a ways away. … Postseason prep, all that other stuff is totally different from the regular season, so wherever we fall is where we fall.”

The Lakers (44-33) have won three straight and eight of 10. They’re now just a game back of the Kings for eighth place in the West.

  • Power forward Anthony Davis scored 19 of his 35 points in the first quarter to give the Lakers the cushion they needed in a road win over the Wizards on Wednesday. “When we’re scoring at will, teams are going to try to get into a zone and try to slow us down,” he said. “We’ve got to be able to get to our zone offense to combat that.”
  • James and Davis were forced to come back in after the Lakers blew a late lead. “I hate the term garbage time,” coach Darvin Ham said. “You’re playing in the NBA. There’s only so many spots, and you get a chance to play, even if it’s the last 50 seconds, go hard. Go hard or you stay home, pretty much.”


The Grizzlies got arguably their biggest win of the season when they beat the Bucks on the road on Wednesday.

Power forward Jaren Jackson Jr. erupted for 35 points, giving another example that he intends to finish the year on a high note.

“I was taking what the defense gives me,” Jackson said. “I’ve been working on my game a lot and I was glad to get the opportunity to get out there and show it a little bit.”

  • Jackson went 14-of-26 shooting, including a pair of crucial 3-pointers to give the Grizzlies the upset win.

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