After coming off of a tough loss last night in Minnesota, the Houston Rockets were right back at it tonight vs the New Orleans Pelicans. Coming into this game, you would think that it would be a blowout. Everyone was missing from the Pelicans, while the Rockets were missing only Chandler Parsons, and Francisco Garcia. The main thing however, was that Patrick Beverley and Dwight Howard returned to action tonight. So, how did the game actually turn out?
In the first quarter, the Rockets couldn’t really get things going. With Parsons out, the offense was very stagnant. Howard and Beverley looked very rusty in the quarter which was expected. About halfway through the quarter, Omer Asik came to the rescue! Once Asik got the ball down low, the Pelicans had a lot of trouble stopping him. Especially without their big men, they were left searching for answers. Although both teams were struggling early, the Rockets led after one quarter of play, 22-20.
To the second quarter they went. With only a two point lead, the Rockets wanted to build a bigger lead. Sadly, they couldn’t quite do that. As of late, their defense has been atrocious. The Pelicans were getting wide open looks, and having it their way. We would all imagine that with Howard or Asik guarding the paint, the other team would have a hard time penetrating. Tonight however, the Pelicans either got right to the rim, or hitting jumpers just outside the paint. Heading into halftime, the Rockets did not look good. They trailed 59-46.
The Rockets knew they had to step up in the second half, and the third quarter was a back-and-forth match between the two teams. Defense was still an issue, but at least they scored on the other end. The Rockets trimmed the Pelicans lead by three points, keeping the game within reach. On to the fourth quarter they went, the Pelicans led 82-72.
The Rockets needed an early push in the fourth and it didn’t quite start that way. One team scores, then the other team scores. If the fourth quarter kept up like the start of the quarter went, the Pelicans would’ve won. Luckily, that wasn’t the case!
About halfway through the final quarter, the Rockets defense finally came alive! Coach McHale went with a lineup consisting of four guards, and a “big guy”. Using this type of lineup was very unique, but when the game was all set and done, it was worth it.
Down the stretch, the Rockets began knocking down shots and made stops on the other end, finishing the game on a 15-0 run! No one could get a good looking shot for the Pelicans. Beverley made huge threes down the stretch, and Jeremy Lin rose to the occasion big time! Not to mention, James Harden also was a big factor in this game, as he scored 33 points. The Houston Rockets had pulled out a much needed win tonight.
Notes: Beverley left the game
The Rockets stay at home to face the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 PM and can be seen on CSN Houston and NBATV.
Tags: Houston Rockets