With James Harden sidelined due to a nagging foot injury, it gave an opportunity for someone off the Houston Rockets bench to step up: enter Aaron Brooks. Brooks hit 4 of his first 5 3-pointers in the first half, and scored 16 points off the bench to spark the Rockets to a 112-101 win.
Brooks scored a season high 26 points in all, in just 27 minutes, while all 5 Rockets scored in double digits. Terrence Jones continues to shine in the starting lineup, finishing with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Patrick Beverley added 17 points on 5 made 3-pointers. Jeremy Lin, who filled in for Harden in the starting lineup, scored 19 points, and added 5 rebounds and 5 assists.
The Rockets made a season high 17 three-pointers, and shot over 52 percent from the field for the game. It was the effort on the defensive end that was impressive, holding the Wolves to just 40 percent shooting, and 31 percent(8-26) from behind the arc. Dwight Howard finished with just 11 points and 13 rebounds, but controlled the paint and limited Nikola Pekovic to just 14 points and 7 rebounds. The Rockets won the rebounding battle overall, 54-44.
Holding on to a 55-42 lead at halftime, the Rockets started the second half on a quick 6-0 run, extending the lead to 62-41, before the Wolves racked up a 7-0 run of their own. Kevin Love dominated the third quarter, scoring 15 points and 7 rebounds by himself as the Wolves trailed just 82-74 as the 4th quarter started.
That’s where the outside shooting of the Rockets took over. Brooks and Beverley made 2 3-pointers each, and Lin scored 10 points in the 4th quarter to help close the game out, something that the Rockets have had trouble with all season.
|Kevin Love, PF||36||11-22||2-5||3-3||6||9||15||2||1||0||2||1||-15||27|
|Corey Brewer, SF||38||8-14||1-4||5-7||0||2||2||1||5||0||1||2||-7||22|
|Nikola Pekovic, C||36||6-13||0-0||2-4||5||2||7||1||1||1||1||1||-6||14|
|Ricky Rubio, PG||35||3-9||1-2||0-0||1||4||5||8||4||1||3||2||-10||7|
|Kevin Martin, SG||35||7-19||3-6||2-2||1||2||3||1||1||0||0||3||-16||19|
|Derrick Williams, PF||8||0-2||0-1||0-0||0||2||2||0||0||0||1||1||+4||0|
|Dante Cunningham, PF||14||1-3||0-0||0-0||1||1||2||1||0||0||0||1||-8||2|
|Robbie Hummel, SF||8||0-2||0-1||0-0||2||1||3||1||0||0||0||1||-1||0|
|Gorgui Dieng, C||3||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||2||2||0||0||3||0||0||+3||0|
|J.J. Barea, PG||18||1-10||1-5||0-0||1||1||2||1||1||0||0||1||-6||3|
|Alexey Shved, PG||8||3-6||0-2||1-1||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||+4||7|
|A.J. Price, PG||3||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||0||+3||0|
|Shabazz Muhammad, SF||DNP COACH’S DECISION|
Fast break points: 23
Points in the paint: 52
Total Team Turnovers (Points off turnovers): 10 (15)
|Dwight Howard, PF||34||5-9||0-0||1-2||4||9||13||4||1||4||3||4||+3||11|
|Terrence Jones, PF||32||7-10||2-3||2-2||4||6||10||3||0||2||1||1||+3||18|
|Chandler Parsons, SF||37||6-14||1-4||1-2||0||6||6||4||0||1||3||0||+10||14|
|Patrick Beverley, PG||33||6-12||5-8||0-0||0||2||2||3||1||0||3||3||+1||17|
|Jeremy Lin, PG||34||5-11||2-5||7-8||1||4||5||5||2||1||5||4||+8||19|
|Donatas Motiejunas, PF||1||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Omri Casspi, SF||17||2-8||1-4||0-0||0||5||5||1||1||0||2||1||+8||5|
|Omer Asik, C||13||0-0||0-0||2-2||1||7||8||0||0||0||1||3||+8||2|
|Aaron Brooks, PG||25||10-14||6-7||0-0||1||3||4||5||1||0||4||0||+9||26|
|Francisco Garcia, SG||15||0-1||0-0||0-0||0||1||1||1||0||1||1||0||+5||0|
Fast break points: 14
Points in the paint: 46
Total Team Turnovers (Points off turnovers): 24 (37)
Love finished with 27 points and 15 rebounds, while Corey Brewer added 22 points and 5 steals. Former Rocket Kevin Martin scored 19 points.
The Wolves, who are 7th in the NBA in points off turnovers, capitalized on 24 Rockets turnovers, scoring 37 points off those miscues, which was the only reason that they stayed in the game throughout the 2nd half.
But the story of the night was still Brooks, who’s 26 points was the most that he’s scored since April 7, 2010 when he went for 28 points during his first stint with the Rockets. He also made 6 of 7 threes, dished out 5 assists, and did a solid job defending Ricky Rubio in the 3rd quarter.