Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Recap: Houston Rockets 86 – Oklahoma City 117

The Houston Rockets get rolled by the Thunder. There were lots of these types of photos to choose from, so take Jeremy’s hint and cover your nose because tonight STANK.

Kevin Durant strapped the Rockets defense down to the operating table and then proceeded to surgically dismantle it…painfully. It’s going to be tough to put a lot of substance into this recap because at no point did it ever feel like the Rockets were playing the same game that the Thunder were, but here goes nothing.


The Skinny

So Houston didn’t score their first points until there was 5 minutes left in the 1st quarter. I was genuinely starting to wonder if the basket had a lid on it.

I don’t know if OKC felt like this game was a statement game or if this is the same amount of intensity that they always play but their defense was swarming. The Rockets couldn’t find a shot worth taking and when they did finally take one they were settling for an outside jumper. Perkins did a solid job on Howard and every time a ball hung in the air too long, it was swatting by a player in a blue jersey.

By the end of the 1st quarter Houston was down 26-14 and nothing about that was promising.

On top of that I had been thinking of derogatory lamb jokes all day, but Jeremy Lamb went and had the best game of his career (22/5/5). Rude.

One of the remarkable things about players like Durant and Harden and Lebron is that they have a way of hitting their shots right after the opposing team starts to begin “a run”. If you have watched the Rockets enough times this year, you know that this team is never really out of a game. But like clock work, every time the Rockets would make a couple plays to light a little glimmer of hope the Durantula would coming flying in and dump a vat of Vaseline on the whole thing. So just to clarify, that is a large flying spider, hauling a vat of petroleum jelly, and dumping it on the Rockets players who are trying to rub a couple of sticks together.

As the night progressed you could see the Rocket players hesitating more and more on long jumpers. The Rockets always wear out their pump fakes but tonight was especially bad. One of the things I will always respect about players like Francisco Garcia and Aaron Brooks is that they have no conscious when it comes to shooting. They don’t care that their last 7 shots didn’t reach the rim; they are open so damnit they are going to shoot it. I think that is a tangible benefit that veteran presence brings. Players like Omri Casspi and Jeremy Lin to a certain extent don’t feel like they have earned the right to jack up threes no matter the situation but I think that is a quality you develop over time.

The Rockets treaded water in the 2nd quarter, scoring 30 points on a robust 42% shooting, while allowing OKC to pile up 30 points of their own.

You knew the Rockets had more talent and out of the half time break Parsons hit a tough 3-pointer so you start thinking “here we go.” However that was immediately followed by a 10-0 run from the Thunder. To me, that broke the Rockets. The body language fell apart, and we started to see the back ups pretty soon after that.

Oh and Durant went 5-5 for 15 points in the 3rd. Petroleum Jelly my friends.

The highlight of the 4th was…Isaiah Canaan getting some playing time? I’m not totally sure because at that point I was pretty busy rooting for the Cowboys to lose.

The statistical knitty gritty and a cool video of Aaron Brooks hitting a half court shot are here.

The Rockets have a much easier schedule coming up as your one stop shop for all Houston sports has pointed out:

They play the Kings on New Years Eve at 6PM CST, so buy your self a personal bottle of champagne and lets bring in the New Year with a win and a headache.

Check out our boys over at Thunderous Intentions for more coverage on tonight’s game or the Thunder in general.

Tags: Houston Rockets

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