The Houston Rockets came out red hot following a two day break. The Rockets were up by 31 entering the fourth quarter before the “scrubs” mopped up the floor to finish off the Celtics 109-85.
It was Terrence Jones who helped give the Rockets an early 28 point lead after the first quarter. Jones scored 11 of his 24 points in the first quarter alone, and was a perfect 8-8 after the first half.
After the first half the Rockets were up 68-44. The Rockets shot 26/36 from the field (72.2%) in the first half, including 19 fast break points and 36 points in the paint. It wasn’t the offense that was the most impressive after one half. The Rockets defense looked the best it has all season, with 8 blocks in the first half alone. The Celtics finished the night shooting just 32/99 (32.3%).
James Harden finished the night with 15 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and a team high +32 on the night. Harden has struggled from three point territory all season, but was a perfect 3-3 tonight. Dwight Howard finished with 10 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 blocks (all early in the first quarter). Terrence Jones finished with a career high 24 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks.
The Rockets still have some things to work on, even after their 24-point blowout. The Rockets turned the ball over 18 times, and continue to lead the league in that negative territory. The Rockets also gave up 18 offensive rebounds, though that has more to do with the Celtics missing 67 shots tonight, than the Rockets getting worked on the glass.
Omer Asik didn’t see the court until the game was way out of hand. It’s clear the Asik is still in McHale’s doghouse for the time being.
The Rockets head to Dallas to face the Mavericks for the second time this season. Tipoff is scheduled for 8:30 PM and the game will be nationally televised on ESPN.