Every week I will bring you into Mission Control for the Houston Rockets. I recap the most recent games for your Rockets.
This week featured the good and the bad for the Houston Rockets. Wins over the Atlanta Hawks and Minnesota Timberwolves were bookends for a bad loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Rockets had big leads in two of the three-game and did not lead at all vs the Thunder.
Rockets defeat the Hawks 122-115
The Houston Rockets came into the game with the Hawks on a nice roll after two huge wins last week. The Hawks came in with the worst record in the league. Harden started off with a huge quarter scoring 22 points in the first alone. The Rockets led 45-29 after the first quarter. The onslaught continued in the second quarter as the Rockets pushed the lead up to 23 points 61-38 midway through the second quarter. The Hawks would make a run cutting the lead to 77-62.
The hot start by James Harden had in the first half was a thing of the past as his shot disappeared in the second half. The Hawks were able to get back into the game as the Rockets went cold from the field. Trae Young started to heat up and the Hawks cut the lead down to seven with three minutes left but the Rockets were able to push it back to 14 at 99-85.
The fourth quarter was a microcosm of the Rockets season so far. There once a 23 point lead was cut down to five with just under three minutes left in the game. Then the Rockets made enough plays down the stretch to hold onto the win. This has been a pattern all year as the Rockets have blown big leads to then come up big in the clutch. Eric Gordon hit a big 3-pointer to push the lead to six with a little over two minutes left. P.J. Tucker made huge defensive play after play and had a huge put back to seal the win. This game was the first to have two 40 point triple-doubles in one game.
James Harden 41
Trae Young 42
Rockets lose 92-113 to the Thunder
The Rockets travel to Oklahoma City to face the Thunder in Westbrook’s first game back. This game came down to two main topics. Westbrook returns to the place he played for 11 years and the Rocket’s inability to make shots outside of Westbrook. Danilo Gallinari and the Thunder played this game like it was the start of the playoffs. Making 3-pointer after 3-pointer and completely outplaying the Rockets the entire first half. Surprisingly the game was still within reach at the half as the Rockets only trailed by 12.
The wheels fell off for the Rockets in the third quarter as the shooting woes continued for everyone not name Westbrook and the Thunder started to run away with the game. Westbrook had a great game despite all of the emotions he was probably feeling finishing with 34 points and the only Rockets starter to shoot over 50 percent. The Rockets went on to lose by 21 but the game wasn’t even that close.
Russell Westbrook 34 points
Danilo Gallinari 23 points
Houston Rockets defeat the Timberwolves 139-109
The Rockets played one of there best games of the year as the destroyed the Timberwolves by 30 points. The Timberwolves were without Karl-Anthony Towns again and the Rockets came out fast and finished strong. A 16 point halftime lead balloon to 26 by the end of the third as this game was never in doubt. Isaiah Hartenstein had maybe his best game of the year as he finished with 17 points and 15 rebounds as Clint Capela sat due to a heal injury. Both Harden and Westbrook both finished with 30 points and Westbrook has now had 20 points or more for 14 straight games.
James Harden 34 points
Josh Okogie 16 points
Currently sitting at 26-12 and the fourth seed in the west. A three-game week is in store for your Houston Rockets as they face off against the Memphis Grizzlies, Portland Trailblazers and there first meeting of the year with the Los Angles Lakers. We get our first look at how the Rockets matchup with the conference-leading Lakers when they meeting in Houston on January 20th.
Check back next week as I bring you into Mission Control for the Houston Rockets.
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