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Western Notes: Howard, Harkless, Jones

Despite the reports that he is unhappy playing second-fiddle to James Harden, Rockets center Dwight Howard insists that he’s committed to the team and disputes any notion that he’s projecting negativity that is affecting his teammates, Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle relays. “The one thing that I don’t want to happen is people to assume that because things are not going quite well for us that I’ve quit on the team and take away from all the positive things we have done, despite the loss, making the city feel like they’re unwanted,” Howard told Feigen. “There’s a lot of negativity going around. I haven’t caused it. I haven’t said anything negative to anybody about this team or this situation. I’ve just been trying to find ways to make this situation better, trying to grow as a man, as a basketball player. You just try to laugh at it. I don’t want to go out and persecute the people that persecute me. That’s the hardest part. The first reaction is to go back at them. You just have to respond with love.

Here’s more from out West:

  • Wolves rookie point guard Tyus Jones has been assigned to the D-League since December 5th, and he is expected to return to the team after the Idaho Stampede’s game on Saturday, Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune relays (Twitter links). The reason that Jones will be recalled this weekend is due to Idaho not having another scheduled contest until after Christmas, Zgoda adds.
  • Maurice Harkless has been struggling thus far this season, his first with the Blazers, but coach Terry Stotts thinks it would be unfair to make any judgments on the young swingman with so much of the 2015/16 campaign left to play, Joe Freeman of The Oregonian writes. “It takes time,” Stotts said. “That’s why this season is a season of growth for everybody. I think it’s difficult to assess [his play] a third of the way in as far as road blocks and things like that. I think it’ll come and I think too many times players are evaluated by their box score. I think he’s doing his best to fit in the best he can.
  • The Kings have assigned power forward Duje Dukan to the Reno Bighorns, their D-League affiliate, the team announced. This will be Dukan’s fourth jaunt to Reno on the season.

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