-- The Houston Rockets entered Friday in ninth place in the Western Conference standings, one and a half games behind the Utah Jazz for the conference's final playoff spot, so they could use some help down the stretch. They got it in the form of a special visit from a former MVP. No, not Hakeem Olajuwon. Justin Bieber.
Bieber, the MVP of the 2011 Celebrity All-Star Game, is in Houston for his Purpose World Tour, which has a show scheduled at the Toyota Center on Saturday, one day before the Rockets host the Los Angeles Lakers. It's not the first time the Grammy winner has made the NBA a part of his tour travels. He also took in a Denver Nuggets game the night after playing the Pepsi Center in Denver.
Bad news for the Rockets: The Nuggets lost that game 124-102 to the Oklahoma City Thunder. And it's not the first time Bieber has been connected to a team's loss. In 2014, he surprised the Pittsburgh Steelers by visiting them at Bible study. Prior to Bieber's visit, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had thrown six touchdowns in each of his previous two games, but after hanging with Bieber, the Steelers lost to the New York Jets 20-13, with Big Ben throwing just one touchdown and two interceptions. Roethlisberger did absolve Bieber of any blame for the loss, but the Chicago Blackhawks didn't let him off that easy after he stepped on the team's logo in the locker room.
The Toyota Center will be the seventh NBA arena Bieber has played in on his current tour. Of the previous stops, the Blazers, Warriors, Clippers and Lakers all won their first home game after a Bieber show, while the Kings, Jazz and Nuggets all lost.