The Houston Rockets had an improbable comeback in their game against the Dallas Mavericks. Down seven with 45 seconds left and trailing most of the game it looked like the opening game was all but lost.
Even while trailing players like James Harden, Danuel House, Ben McLemore, and Russell Westbrook kept the Rockets in the game. Defensive lapses and just hot shooting by the Mavericks had the Rockets playing catchup most of the game. Even though Robert Covington was 0-8 heading into the last seconds of regulation he still made the play of the game. With a few seconds left Covington went around two Mavericks and tip in a missed free throw by Harden to send it to overtime.
In Overtime the Rockets made big play after big play and somehow pulled out an amazing win. We will take a look at the player grades for the Rockets amazing come from behind victory.
Westbrook had a great game despite Rockets Twitter pulling their collective hair out most of the game. Westbrook at times did struggle with control finishing with 6 turnovers and at times his shot. With the game in the balance late in the fourth and overtime though Westbrook delivered. Finishing with 31 points 11 rebounds and 8 assist Westbrook made multiple defensive plays down the stretch.
What else can be said about James Harden? First quarter Harden could not and did not miss finishing with 23 points in the first quarter. The last three plus quarters the Mavericks switch to double teaming Harden every-time down the court. Even with the double teams Harden continued to make the right pass and find open teammates.
Harden defense was just as good. Multiple possessions Harden stripped the ball and moved his feet enough to slow down dribble drives. Harden played about as good of a game you can play as he was the driving force in the Rockets win.
The forgotten player from last night’s game is definitely Danuel House. Consistent all game House-made 3-pointer after 3-pointer as the Rockets fought uphill all game. House finished with 20 points on 6-12 shooting from deep. House also had five rebounds and two steals.
Robert Covington was two sides of the same coin. Two totally different games starting 0-8 from 3-point range Covington had his worst shooting game as a Rocket. He did of course had the biggest offensive rebound and putback of the game. When it mattered Covington also had the biggest 3-pointer of the game as his shot from downtown in overtime closed the game out.
His defense late in the game was great as well as he made multiple switches and had a huge block on Porzingis in the fourth.https://youtu.be/4BQH71Q0_8k
Tucker will never be known for his offensive firepower. Tucker finished with seven points on three shots. But of course Tucker made several big defensive plays including drawing a charge on Luka Doncic in overtime that was Doncic sixth foul. Tucker though was the only starter with a negative +/- .
The Rockets did not go deep into their bench as usual of course. They only went three deep and two of the three had the worst +/- on the team. Rivers and McLemore provided great shooting though off the bench combining for 8-12 from the field. Especially McLemore who was 4-4 from downtown.
Of course some of this falls on the players but the Rockets defensive lapses and scheme left a lot to be desired. It seemed like the Rockets had not practiced switches or defensive assignments at all. Time after time in the first three quarters the Rockets were slow on switches. Also multiple runs happened without timeouts or they came too late.
D’Antoni did make the decision to run pick and roll action with Harden and Westbrook which seem to get Westbrook going to the basket later in the game.
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