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Houston Rockets

NBA Pre-Season Recap, Day 7 - Ja vs. Trae, Steph cooks and LaMelo dazzles

Seven games of preseason action were on tap today, as preperations continue for regular season tip-off in less than a week!

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From Steph Curry to Trae Young to James Harden, the stars were out with highlight performances across the league.

If you missed the action it's ok, we've got you covered here with all the main takeaways.

LaMelo Ball puts on a show in Orlando

The Charlotte Hornets aren't exactly projected to contend in 2021 but they will be extrememly watchable, with LaMelo Ball once again flashing his ability against the Orlando Magic.

The 19-year-old guard came off the bench to see 26 minutes of action, racking up 18 points to go along with two rebounds, five assists and a steal.

While Ball's jumpshot continues to be a work in progress when it comes to efficiency, he certainly isn't shy in letting it fly and on this night it worked well, as he was able to connect on four of his nine attempts from long range.

Along with his outside scoring, Ball was able to slice his way to the basket for numerous tough finishes and as always drizzled in some highlight reel passes including a transition lob in the third quarter to Miles Bridges.

To cap it all off, Ball blew by Markelle Fultz for a lay in with 58 seconds on the clock to give the Hornets a 121-113 lead and ice the game.

Steph showing no signs of rust in Warriors win over Kings

A 16-point third quarter was enough evidence to suggest Steph Curry is going to hit the season in good form.

The two-time MVP finished with 29 points on 6-for-13 shooting from beyond the arc in just 26 minutes as the Warriors held on for the 113-107 win.

Curry's outburst was supported by 41 points combined between Kelly Oubre Jr. and Andrew Wiggins, while Marquese Chriss added nine points and 12 rebounds.

"We're going to be much better two or three months from now than, say, next Tuesday," Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said pregame.

While he might be right, you get the feeling they are going to be just fine from opening night if Steph enters the season in this kind of touch.

Boban misses shot at overtime glory!

With the game on the line in overtime between Dallas and Minnesota, Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle pulled out the preseason play for all preseason plays.

With possession of the ball in the front court, Dallas had 6.9 seconds on the clock while trailing 129-127 in the extra period.

From there, Carlisle drew up a three at the top for the 7-foot-4, Boban Marjanovic, who ultimately missed, handing the T-Wolves the victory.

Marjanovic has attempted just 27 triples across his 230 regular season appearances, knocking down eight of those tries. Credit where credit's due, Boban was wide open...time will tell if Carlisle looks to pull this play out during the season.

I'm going to guess not..

Ja vs. Trae in a matchup of rising stars

Memphis vs. Atlanta might not have been the most attractive of matchups in recent years, but those days are gone now that Ja Morant and Trae Young have hit the scene.

CHECK OUT OUR 23 UNDER 23

Morant (5) and Young (3) both ranked near the top in NBA.com's 23 Under 23 feature this week and for good with reason, with the duo rapidly rising to become two of the most electric guards in the league.

On this occasion it was the Grizzlies who took control, outscoring the Hawks 60-40 in the second half en route to a 128-106 win.

Morant continuously cut through the Hawks defence to score and dish, pouring in 18 points to go along with 13 assists, while Young tallied 15 points on a tough 4-for-15 shooting night.

The real shame about watching this matchup was the realisation they are in seperate confences, as the budding rivalry is truly box office viewing.

Christian Wood worth every cent?

Struggling to find his place in the league after going undrafted back in 2015, Christian Wood's breakout campaign with the Detroit Pistons resulted in a $41 million deal with the Houston Rockets in free agency.

If the earliest of returns are any indication, the Rockets will be feeling very comfortable with their decision to fork out for the UNLV product.

Wood tallied 27 points and 10 rebounds in Houston's win over San Antonio, scoring at the rim and on the perimeter in the 10-for-18 shooting display. Adding a block and a steal for good measure, he was able to form a nice connection with James Harden on several occasions, both rolling to the basket and popping behind the arc.

How impressed were Wood's new teammates?

"He's similar to like an Anthony Davis," Rockets guard, Eric Gordon said postgame when referring to his athletic ability and shooting capabilities.

Ok...maybe we should pump the brakes a little on the AD comparisons but it would be hard to deny the debut was as impressive as it could have been.

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