After coming off of a disappointing loss against the Golden State Warriors, the Houston Rockets now have a tough task on their hands. They have come to face the Phoenix Suns on Sunday night, to try to start another winning streak. Both teams have been playing exceptionally well, so who knows what’s in store for the fans to see.
Coming into this game, there was a ton of things to look forward to. The Houston Rockets have faced the Phoenix Suns twice coming into this game, and know how each team would like to play. First thing worth noting, is that the Houston Rockets finally have everyone healthy. Although Harden hurt his elbow in the previous game, he was set to go tonight. Another thing that was mentioned by many people was that could this possibly be a preview to the playoffs? Tonight we should expect that the Rockets and Suns battle it out the whole way and it should look like a “true” Western Conference playoff type feeling.
The Suns and Rockets both like to play at a fast tempo. With that being said, the Rockets can’t afford to turn over the ball. Of course with a fast pace, they can get easy points and good looks. All I can say, is that we all should buckle up, and enjoy a thrilling game.
In the first quarter, the Houston Rockets were firing away from all cylinders. A key to this game was to get the offense clicking and to get off to a fast start. Rarely, do we see them getting off to fast starts, but tonight, they did. All sorts of good looks early on. It was all Dwight early, he could not be stopped. Just hand him the ball and let him go to work. The Suns on the other hand, were playing terrible early on. Shots weren’t falling, and they had turnover after turnover. Throughout this quarter, the Houston Rockets were aiming towards a blowout. At the end of 1, the Rockets led, 30-16.
Going into the second quarter, we all knew the Suns would heat up at some point, which they did. Rockets may have had a huge lead in the first, but the Suns found life and went on a tear in the 2nd quarter. One thing worth noting was Goran Dragic lighting up the scoreboard. We all know he could do that when he was in Houston. Whether it is because he is playing against his former team, or he is just an absolute beast, he could simply not be stopped. Dragic found the touch behing the arc, and brought his team all the way back. Dragic had 25 points in the FIRST HALF. Besides Dragic, the Morris twins had their own share of points as they also contributed to “trimming the deficit”. Heading into halftime, the Rockets only led by four, 60-56.
To the third quarter they went, and all we could hope for is that the Rockets keep building on their lead. Sadly, just like the second quarter, the Suns still had the momentum. Gerald Green led the way in the third quarter. Not too often do teams win with only a certain player “hot”. With that in mind, the Suns knew that they had to heat up another player, which they did. The Houston Rockets defense continued to be suspect tonight. Based on the looks of the team, they looked tired and I was worried on how they would enter the 4th quarter. Heading into the 4th, the Rockets were trailing, 93-83.
Uh-oh. Heading into the fourth trailing on the road doesn’t sound too good. I’m guessing we are in store for another thriller? Never a dull moment watching a Houston Rockets game. In the fourth quarter, the Rockets starting to show some life and get defensive stops, and score at the other end. However, the Suns never let the lead slip.
McHale had noticed that halfway through the quarter the Rockets needed a lineup change. With the starters re-entering the game except Terrence Jones, the Rockets started pushing toward the finish line trying to regain the lead. Patrick Beverley had himself one heck of a quarter. We all call him a pest for a reason. Down the stretch, he made defensive stops and buckets at the other end that made this game head in a different direction. In “crunch-time”, Patrick Beverley nailed a 3 to give the Rockets their first lead for the first time in a while. Who knows where the Rockets would’ve been without Beverley down the stretch.
Also, D-Mo came up huge after nailing two big free throws to give the Rockets a 115-112 lead. D-Mo was only a 59 percent free throw shooter and he hit two big free throws that were huge at the end. At the other end, Goran Dragic had a good look, but the three did not fall, and the Houston Rockets pulled out a much needed victory against the Phoenix Suns.
What a game this was. The Houston Rockets are now back to 20 games over .500 at 38-18, and will look to continue to build on it. The Rockets will now head to Sacramento to face the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday. That game can be seen on CSN Houston. Keep in mind since it is a west coast game, the game will be at 9PM CT.