Rockets 136, Wizards 11 - A New Record

By Forrest Walker on December 19, 2018

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The best thing about this win for the Houston Rockets was how much the winning part was overshadowed by the NBA record-breaking part. For a Rockets team that's been looking for some rhythm seemingly all season, a historic win over the Washington Wizards was just what they needed. Now they get to congratulate themselves on setting a new all-time NBA record for made three-point shots in a game with 26, rather than simply being happy to be above .500.

Let's cut to the chase. The Rockets now hold the record for the most three-point makes in an NBA game ever with 26. The record-breaking 26th make came in the final seconds of the game, shot by none other than Michael Carter-Williams. As soon as Rockets head coach Mike D'antoni emptied the bench, there could have been no funnier eventuality. Carter-Williams is notorious for his utter lack of three point shooting prowess, and seems to have one foot out the door as Houston's rotation now completely disincludes him. On a strange and fun night, this was both the strangest and the most fun.

Other notables on this evening of delight include Chris Paul remembering how to shoot and then burying the Wizards (5-9 from deep), James Harden absolutely torching his old teammate Trevor Ariza (6-11 from three, 35 points, 9 assists, 2 steals, 2 turnovers), and Sam Dekker having one hell of a revenge game against Houston (15 points on 88% shooting in 15 minutes). The game was often closer than the Rockets would have liked, but they were up by double digits for the majority of the game, which can only be positive for the team.

This game featured the return of prodigal son Trevor Ariza, and he was given a lovely tribute video on the in-arena screens. He would go on to shoot 1-8 on threes, but 7-15 overall to go with 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. This wasn't his best night but it certainly wasn't his normal awful in Phoenix earlier this season. Hopefully he will find success going forward, though one would guess the Rockets prefer it to continue not to come at their expense.

The defense was sporadic and Clint Capela looked a step slow. Isaiah Hartenstein returned from the g-league and fouled 4 times in 6 minutes. Brandon Knight played for under 6 minutes and his ability honestly has yet to be seen. Overall this game was a step in the right direction, but also a lot of mistakes were pasted over by truly incredible three point shooting (26-55, 47%). They have a lot more steps to make, but over the last five games, each of these strides has been accompanied by wins, so it's hard not to be cautiously optimistic.

And in this season, cause for optimism is a real upgrade.

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