The Houston Rockets entered tonight’s game banged up, coming off a road loss from the Brooklyn Nets last night, and in the midst of a two-game losing streak. How’d they fair? Bleh.
Down ten entering the fouth quarter, it appeared as if the Rockets just wouldn’t have enough in the tank to pull out the win on the road. The Rockets did pull within one with 7:44 remaining in the game following a Harden free throw, but the Rockets wouldn’t get any closer after Terrence Ross and DeMar DeRozan took over for the Raptors.
The Rockets had their chances late in the game but simply couldn’t convert. Whether it was a Jeremy Lin turnover, or the Rockets stupidly giving the ball to Omer Asik and asking him to do something down a few buckets only to travel, or just a missed James Harden layup, the Rockets simply didn’t have it tonight. Jeremy Lin did hit a three with under 10 seconds to go to cut the deficit to three, but the ensuing inbounds play which seemed to be stolen by Lin only for it to be stolen right back (questionable whether it should have been called a foul on the Raptors) gave the Raptors the 107-103 win.
James Harden led the Rockets tonight with 26 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists. Jeremy Lin added 16 points and 7 assists, while Chandler Parsons netted 20 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. Omer Asik finished with 9 points and 15 boards in the loss. Terrence Jones was scoreless in 9 minutes before eventually leaving the game with the flu.
That’s now three losses in a row for the “reeling” Rockets. The team is obviously without Patrick Beverley and Dwight Howard, and Terrence Jones has been out/ineffective with a flu, but it’s no excuse. The Rockets are now just one game ahead of the Portland Trail Blazers (two in the loss column) and need to ensure home-court advantage in the playoffs.
Note: Tonight was likely the last game for assistant coach Kelvin Sampson as he took the UH Cougars head coaching job yesterday, and will start there immediately.
The Rockets head back home on Friday night to face the Oklahoma City Thunder. Tipoff is scheduled for 8:30 PM and can be seen on ESPN.