After coming off of a 122-108 victory against the Phoenix Suns, the Houston Rockets were back in action Saturday night where they faced the Milwaukee Bucks.
Coming into this game with 2 days of rest and playing a team that has struggled all year long had me thinking that this would be an easy win for the Rockets. Not to mention before the game, the Bucks had key players missing tonight, and was definitely going to play a factor on the outcome of this game. With Omer Asik returning to action tonight for the first time since December 2nd, a lot of Rockets fans knew that he would help on defense with the second unit. Therefore, the Rockets should be scoring on all cylinders and play lights out defense. Well, tonight, my expectations were you could say, “a bit too much”.
You could describe this game in many ways, but this game was definitely more interesting than what most Rockets fans expected. The Houston Rockets came out of the gates with tons of energy and aggressiveness being shown, but it didn’t quite last the whole game. When you refer back to previous Rockets games, we all know that leads aren’t safe. Tonight, whenever the Rockets had a decent size lead, the Bucks never gave up and kept on “hanging around”.
Instead of giving up the lead, which happens often, the Rockets were able to hold on as the game came to an end. Leading the way for the Rockets were James Harden and Dwight Howard. Harden had 22 points and Howard had 27. Dwight Howard put on a show. One thing worth noting, is that in the first quarter on a rebound, James Harden’s elbow hit Larry Sanders right in the eye and he was ruled out for the rest of the game. With that being said, Dwight was going to work on the Bucks backup centers. By the end of the night, Dwight Howard had recorded his 33rd double double of the season.
Along with Howard and Harden doing their thing, Patrick Beverley and Jeremy Lin both had a good night. Patrick Beverley totaled 15 points while going 3/5 from behind the arc. Jeremy Lin finished with 18 points with a ton of good looks. Earlier I mentioned that Omer Asik returned to action tonight. Well, despite only playing limited minutes, his defense was decent, and his pick-and-roll with Lin was excellent. The Houston Rockets were able to get the shots that they wanted and took advantage.
The Bucks however, didn’t go away until the final buzzer. We would all think that without many key players, they would be put away in a heartbeat, but as it turned out, they kept making things interesting. Leading all scorers of the Bucks was Khris Middleton. When the Rockets don’t guard someone, they tend to gain confidence and start finding their rhythm which is what Middleton took advantage of. Along with Middleton came Brandon Knight contributing 23 points and the rookie Nate Wolters with a career high of 19 points. I have to give credit to this Milwaukee Bucks team for making things closer than we all expected, but I am thrilled that the Rockets closed the door to push their winning streak to five games.
The Houston Rockets will now travel to Minneapolis to face the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night. The game starts at 7pm and can be seen on CSN Houston or NBA TV. Keep in mind, Houston area viewers will not be able to see it on NBA TV due the blackout rules.
Tags: Houston Rockets