Rockets 122, Thunder 112 - Vindication

By Forrest Walker on March 6, 2018

For the sixteenth time in as many games, the Houston Rockets are the victors. This time, the loss came at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder, a team 15 games back of the Rockets but nonetheless often considered a realistic threat to them. The Thunder walked away with Christmas day win on their first meeting of the season, but didn't have enough to prevent the Rockets from extending their win streak to 16 games and picking up their 50th win of the season.

It turns out that Carmelo Anthony is not sufficient to guard James Harden in space. Harden blew past Anthony time and time again when he got that particular switch, helping lead to his 23 points on 61.5% shooting. His 11 assists capped off a night which was not his best, but was plenty sufficient to put away that's still reeling from the loss of Andre Roberson.

Roberson's lockdown defense would likely have helped curtail Houston's well-rounded scoring, led by Chris Paul's 25 points on a mere 14 shots. The only Rockets players to hit the floor and not score in double digits were Nene and Gerald Green, who scored 8 and 6 respectively. The Thunder had no answers for Houston's offense, and trailed by as much as 18 points in the second half. It was through a great deal of effort and a great deal of intentional fouling that they were able to close it up as much as they did late in the game.

It was not, however, enough.

Houston turned the ball over an alarming 21 times due to Oklahoma City's frenetic defense, but they gave up 19 turnovers themselves, including 9 from Russell Westbrook. The Thunder shot 35.3% from behind the three point arc tonight, but after early misses, the Rockets finished the night at a blistering 51.5% from behind their own three point arc. No matter how many swings the Thunder took, the Rockets stayed just out of reach. It was an ugly, physical affair between two teams dead set on beating one another.

One of those teams was better. The Rockets will look to extend their streak to 17 in Milwaukee tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment