Durant is impressed with this new Rockets squad.

“They’re very tough,” Durant said. “I really like this team, I really like their coach, they got a good home crowd. I think the difference between them last year and this year — obviously, everybody I know, everyone is going to say CP, but they’re just playing harder. I feel like they’re playing harder on the defensive side of the ball, I feel like they’ve got versatile defenders. [Clint] Capela has gotten better. It’s just more than CP. They’re doing a good job of meshing together.”

“The ball’s thrown hard, it’s not an easy catch, there’s a [middle] linebacker standing there waiting for him,” Cousins went on. “A tough task. The ball’s tipped up in the air, the safety happened to be right where the ball was tipped, and we don’t come away with any points and they get the ball. And then we fumbled a punt return and now the field position is reversed, and now we’re snapping the ball from our half-yard line, trying to move the ball down the field. So you know, it’s a combination of factors. And I just don’t see those mistakes as effort-related. I just see them as mistakes that hurt us.”

“Mainly, up until the very end of the game, Teague had more free throws than our entire team,” Rivers said. “I thought we were driving and just as physical as them. It’s rare when you’re the home team and the free throws are 39-22. And a lot of their fouls came down the stretch, when the game was over; it wasn’t even as close as that.”

Clippers big man Blake Griffin was whistled for a technical foul with 4:50 left in regulation, with his team hanging onto a two-point lead. It shifted some momentum back toward the Timberwolves and upset Rivers and his staff.

Dolphins Coach Adam Gase hinted that changes were coming after Thursday’s embarrassing loss to the Ravens.

“I’m done compromising with anybody,” Gase said Friday. “I’ll do what I think is best, and those that want to come on board, great. Those that don’t, we’ll get rid of them.”jaguars_027