After coming off of a very important win on Saturday night vs the New Orleans Pelicans, the Houston Rockets now only needed one win to secure home court in the first round of the playoffs. That one win, could happen against their long time rivals, the San Antonio Spurs. Not only did this win give them home court in the first round of the playoffs, but they also swept the Spurs 4-0 in the season series. So, how exactly did this game go?
Both teams came out with a ton of energy. The Rockets were playing at their pace which definitely gave them the advantage early on. With Tiago Splitter out, the Spurs had no chance of stopping Dwight unless they double teamed him. Well, they didn’t. Howard kept getting right to the rim and “taking the Spurs backup centers to school”. The Spurs however were getting great looks, but couldn’t make all of them. The Rockets transition defense was not all that great tonight, but after one quarter of play, the Rockets led 31-20.
Just like the first quarter, this quarter was full of good looks. Both teams just having what they want. Sure, they missed some, but this game was headed in the Rockets favor. Omer Asik got into the action against the “backup bigs”, and he took full advantage. Just completely changing their shots, and getting right to the rim on the offensive end. Terrence Jones also had himself a game. Whether it was penetrating, or coming off of a pick-and-roll, the Rockets “big men”, were dominating the paint in this game. However, the one guy you would think to have a good game, would be James Harden. Harden was really struggling in the first half. It really didn’t hurt the Rockets considering they found other options. At halftime, the Rockets still led, 50-43.
Starting off the second half with a spark is really critical. Sure enough, Chandler Parsons came out firing from all cylinders. He finally got shots to fall down, and he definitely provided a spark. James Harden was still out of sync. At least his teamates were stepping up. It wasn’t long until the San Antonio Spurs came back alive. The Spurs bench was just keeping them in the game. It didn’t help one bit that the Rockets defense was still lacking. At least they were scoring at the other end. Heading to the final quarter of play, the Rockets were still ahead, 76-68.
In the fourth quarter, the Rockets knew that the Spurs were not going to give up. Although Tony Parker, Manu Ginobli, and Tim Duncan were done for the night, the Spurs bench was really playing well. The Rockets started out the quarter with their bench. Production off of the Rockets bench was still not found. It wasn’t long before Coach McHale put his starters back in. From there, the Rockets were getting stops, and were doing exactly what they had to do. Similar to the 15-0 run at the end of the game vs the Pelicans on Saturday, the Rockets went on a mini run to end this game. Once again, Patrick Beverley was getting good looks, and James Harden came up huge down the stretch. Although Harden only had 9 points, he really helped execute plays. The Houston Rockets won 104-98.
What a game this was! The Houston Rockets not only swept the Spurs in the season series 4-0 for the second time in franchise history, but they finally secured home court in the first round when they take on the Portland Trail Blazers this weekend. First however, the Rockets will now finish off the season in New Orleans, when they face the Pelicans on Wednesday. That game is scheduled to start at 7PM, and can be seen on CSN Houston.
Tags: Houston Rockets