The Houston Rockets keep the big MO (thats short for momentum) and complete and epic comeback against the Western Conference contending Trail Blazers.
And I thought this week couldn’t get any more awesome in respect to Houston Rockets basketball. After laying a beat down on the best in the east; Houston is setting its sights on the top dogs in the west. A lot as changed since Portland’s hot start that saw them holding the number one seed in the Western Conference. They have come back down to Earth and now find themselves playing closer to .500 basketball. They could still do some damage in the playoffs but that’s what happens when your success is predicated upon jump shots. Charles Barkley isn’t right about many things but that is one of the things he preaches and it’s true.
The officiating was a topic of much discussion as it seemed most folks believed a crew of three Tim Donaghys would have done a better job maintaining the “integrity of the game” tonight. But the Rockets rose above it all and conquered in overtime.
Tonight’s recap is going to be short and sweet. I didn’t get to see much of the game because I was working on another possibly exciting project for House of Houston that should be launching in the near future. I listened to some of the game and then the bits I did see weren’t live so I’ll give you what I can with what I have to work with. And yeah I know I missed one of the best games of the season. It kills me.
The (Very) Skinny
So the Rockets struggled out of the gates. Dwight Howard had some early touches that he squandered and as I said in the Pacers recap, with our current strategy, if Howard struggles early then the Rockets struggle early. Parsons kept the team afloat until James Harden was able to join the fray towards the end of the quarter.
One of the Rockets’ strongest traits, rebounding, was killing them early and often as the Trail Blazers collected 22 offensive rebounds in tonight’s game and scored 14 second chance points in the second quarter alone.
The Rockets went into the half losing 54-47 and this one had the feel of a let down game. Not to say that the Blazers should be considered push overs but Portland at home with a day’s rest at this point in the season should more often than not be a mark in the win column for Houston. Neither team was shooting the ball particularly well and the Rockets were an abysmal 1-13 from three. Harden and Aldridge each led their team with 12 points.
The Rockets were lethargic and anytime they started to make a run, Portland would slam the door on them. The Rockets ended up losing each of the first three quarters and going into the fourth they were down 73-85. Harden was sitting at 21 points but the outlook was bleak.
The fourth quarter however was a different, and much more interesting story. James Harden and Jeremy freaking Lin threw the lifeless body of the Houston Rockets over their shoulders and ran head on right into the teeth of the Portland defense. Harden scores 17 in the quarter, including the game tying three pointer that sent the game into overtime. Replays of this are all over the place so I suggest you check out the link below if you haven’t already had the video running on loop for hours now. It was a broken inbounds play that got James an extremely well defended shot from the corner and despite the odds, he nailed the three directly in the grill of Wesley Matthews.
Confident Lin made an extended appearance in the 4th and OT and played his tail off. He finished with 26 on the night and hit just about as many big shots as Harden did.
Lin scored six in overtime and the Rockets overcome a 16 point deficit to come back and beat the Blazers in extremely dramatic fashion. 118-113.
Check out the statistical nitty gritty here.
The Rockets do it again Tuesday at 7PM CST against the OKC Thunder. Another monster matchup.