Welcome to the roundup of must-see sports news from Thursday, highlighted by reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks ruining Russell Westbrook’s Houston Rockets debut.
We’ll also take a look at the Houston Astros about-face move to fire their assistant GM following his inappropriate comments that were directed towards female reporters and the Minnesota Vikings grind out a win on ‘TNF’ against the Redskins.
All this and more as we get you up to speed with the sports world on this Friday.
Antetokounmpo’s Triple-Double Spoils Westbrook-Harden Reunion, Bucks Outlast Rockets 117-111
Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks got the best of James Harden, Russell Westbrook and the new-look Houston Rockets on Thursday night, beating them 117-111.
In a game that featured the last three NBA MVP award winners, the reigning MVP, Antetokounmpo, came out on top with a triple-double in the opener (30 points, 13 rebounds, 11 assists).
Thursday’s game was the Rockets debut for Westbrook, who was reunited with former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate Harden when he was acquired by Houston in the offseason.
The 2017 league MVP, Westbrook, had a solid performance in his first game with the Rockets, with 24 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists.
Harden struggled from the field going 2-for-13 and 1-of-8 from three-point range, but still managed 19 points, 14 assists and seven rebounds.
The Rockets led for the first three quarters until the Bucks went on a 13-3 run to open the fourth. Milwaukee outscored Houston 39-24 in the final quarter to close out the win on the road.
Astros Admit They Were Wrong, Fire Assistant GM Brandon Taubman Following Inappropriate Comments
The Houston Astros fired their assistant general manager Brandon Taubman on Thursday, performing a 180 and admitting in a statement that their initial reaction to his “inappropriate comments” following Saturday’s ALCS game was wrong.
Sports Illustrated’s Stephanie Apstein published a report earlier this week that described Taubman’s outburst during the Astros’ celebration after they clinched the American League Championship Series.
The report said that Taubman turned to a group of female reporters in the clubhouse — including one wearing a purple domestic violence awareness bracelet — and repeatedly yelled, “Thank God we got Osuna! I’m so f—ing glad we got Osuna!”
Astros closer Roberto Osuna served a 75-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy when he was on the Toronto Blue Jays in 2018.
The Astros organization initially reacted to the report by calling it “misleading and completely irresponsible” and even went as far as accusing Sports Illustrated of attempting to “fabricate a story where one does not exist.”
“Our initial investigation led us to believe that Brandon Taubman’s inappropriate comments were not directed toward any reporter,” the Astros said in a statement on Thursday.
“We were wrong. We sincerely apologize to Stephanie Apstein, Sports Illustrated and to all individuals who witnessed this incident or were offended by the inappropriate conduct. The Astros in no way intended to minimize the issues related to domestic violence.
“Our initial belief was based on witness statements about the incident. Subsequent interviews have revealed that Taubman’s inappropriate comments were, in fact, directed toward one or more reporters. Accordingly we have terminated Brandon Taubman’s employment with the Houston Astros. His conduct does not reflect the values of our organization and we believe this is the most appropriate course of action.”
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow reiterated that the original reaction from the organization was wrong.
“It was an organizational statement; there was nobody’s name on it; there were a lot of people involved in reviewing it, looking at it, approving it; and it was on behalf of the Astros,” said Luhnow. “But regardless of who wrote it and who approved it, it was wrong; it was incorrect; it should never have been sent out. We’ve learned a lesson about it.”
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WORLD SERIES GAME 3: Houston Astros at Washington Nationals
The nation’s capital will host it’s first World Series game since 1933 tonight. The Nationals stunned the Astros by taking the first two games in Houston and now are in the driver’s seat as they return home for Game 3 looking to get one step closer to winning their first-ever title. Aníbal Sánchez will toe the rubber for the Nationals against the Astros’ Zack Greinke.
WHEN: Tonight, 8:07 p.m. ET
SERIES: Nationals lead 2-0
NBA: Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Lakers look to bounce back from an opening night loss to the Clippers when they host the 1-0 Jazz on Friday night at Staples Center.
WHEN: Tonight, 10:30 p.m. ET
Missed Yesterday’s Roundup? Click here for it.