Dwight Howard and Houston put the city of Los Angeles down Ol’ Yeller style in tonight’s primetime beatdown.
Well this one wasn’t that much fun, a blow out of ep…PSHHHHHH, CAN’T EVEN KEEP A STRAIGHT FACE WHILE TYPING IT! Yeah a lot of terrible basketball was played tonight in LA but at no point was I not enjoying Dwight’s return to that god forsaken place.
Whether it was because of the layoff from the All-Star break or because everyone was fired up to get Dwight a win, the Houston Rockets had a pep in their step. Especially DW12. Howard was doing everything HARDER. He was jumping higher, grabbing rebounds stronger, swatting shots with more force, blinking tighter, converting oxygen into carbon dioxide at a more efficient rate, etc…
The game itself isn’t worth a total recap but I’ll delve into the best parts.
The (Really) Skinny
This may have been mentioned once or twice or a billion times but the Rockets are a very deep team. The last five off the Rockets bench versus the Lakers starting five would be a toss up. It didn’t matter who was on the floor for Houston, the Rockets were going to grow or maintain the lead that the starters established in the first quarter. With the exception of Wesley Johnson and maaaaaaybe Jordan Hill none of the Lakers would ever see the light of day on Houston’s roster. Poor Chris Kaman.
ESPN should have put a sock on the door knob because a national audience walked in on the Rockets making sweet love to the Lakers painted area. And we didn’t alert the RA.
I’m sure Kaman knew Dwight was going to be fired up, but I doubt he expected the tidal wave that hit him head on. Dwight was brushing everyone out of the way in an effort to slam every single lose ball he touched. I think by the end of the third quarter the Lakers were dreading Rocket misses because that meant Howard was about to fly over them for the put-back jam. The dude was out for blood. In the last matchup with the Lakers Pau Gasol actually played Dwight pretty evenly. Now with Gasol on the bench, Kaman and Robert Sacre got screwed worse than Donatello. (That video is 3 minutes of pure gold btw…if you’re into that sort of thing.)
Harden had one of his best shooting nights of the year. He went 5-7 from three and 4-4 in the third quarter. Chandler Parsons continues to cement himself in the hearts of Rockets fans everywhere with another extremely efficient and active night. At the half the Rockets “Big Three” had asserted their dominance, CP with 14, DW with 14 and JH with 15. Harden finished the game with 29 points and 11 assists.
The Lakers held in there for the first ten minutes. Houston only lead 23-22 with two minutes left but once Parsons and the Rockets started getting out on the run, the Laker’s bravado soon deflated, and it turned into a massacre.
At multiple points during the game, while their team was down at least 20 points, the Lakers faithful started to chant “Howard Sucks!” and this created some of the most priceless moments of the game. The first time it happened, Dwight lead off by chanting along with them. Then on the ensuing play, as Howard and James Harden were coming down the floor, Dwight whispers some sweet nothings in James’ ear. They set up for the pick and roll, Harden puts the lob up, Dwight snags it with his body partially behind the basket, and throws it down over which ever Laker defender was unlucky enough to find himself in the area.
On a different occasion, as the game was winding down, the chant started up again (this time down 30). Dwight was sitting in-between Chandler Parsons and Patrick Beverley so all three of them begin to chant along with it. Soon the chant dies out, and the only thing left to be heard was the sound of the final buzzer.
As the game on the court quickly turned into a route, I turned to games in the broadcast booth. Luckily my all time favorite coach and color broadcaster, Jeff Van Gundy, was on the call. So counting the times he went the PC route instead of saying how he actually felt, and also the number of times he used the word penetrate became my past times. So Jeff, you think the way every player throws up a sign after they hit a three is “interesting”? Interesting like how you thought Steve Francis was interesting? Whoa it’s ok Jeff, the bad man can’t hurt you or your transition defense anymore.
#BeatLA? More like #BatteredLA.
In Other News
THE PROPHECY HAS BEEN FULFILLED! Your move Mr. Houston.
Reminder to follow the great @MacNZ_. He's got tonight's recap which is sure to somehow include Pitch Perfect, Ninja Turtles, and a sock.
— House Of Houston (@HouseOfHouston) February 20, 2014
Check back tomorrow for your correct Powerball numbers.
The statistical nitty-gritty is here.
The Rockets do it again tomorrow at 9:30 PM CST against the Warriors on TNT.