The Houston Rockets have ran into one injury too many. Without Chandler Parsons, Omer Asik, and Jeremy Lin, the Suns were able to hold the Rockets to a season low 35 percent shooting en route to a 97-88 win.
Eric Bledsoe led the way with 20 points and 7 assists, while Goran Dragic scored 19 points. P.J. Tucker added 18 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals, while holding James Harden to just 14 points on 3 for 17 shooting.
The Rockets started off poorly, shooting just 29 percent(14 for 47) from the field in the first half, while missing their first seven 3-point attempts. 12 first half turnovers led to 17 fast-break points for the Suns, and the Rockets found themselves down 51-40 at halftime.
Aaron Brooks and Omri Casspi started the 2nd half in place of Francisco Garcia and Terrence Jones, which would give the Rockets a quick boost. An 8-2 run in the first 4 minutes of the 3rd quarter cut the lead to just 5. The Rockets made just 2 3-pointers in the first half, but drained 4 in the 3rd quarter alone to make it a 63-61 game. But a 3-pointer by Channing Frye, and another 3 from Tucker boosted a 10-0 run for the Suns to take a 12 point lead into the 4th quarter.
|Channing Frye, PF||33||6-12||2-6||0-0||0||6||6||3||2||1||0||4||+21||14|
|P.J. Tucker, SF||40||8-13||2-2||0-2||4||2||6||4||4||0||1||4||+18||18|
|Miles Plumlee, C||21||2-7||0-0||0-0||4||5||9||0||0||2||2||3||+1||4|
|Eric Bledsoe, PG||40||7-14||3-4||3-4||0||3||3||7||2||1||4||1||+11||20|
|Goran Dragic, SG||41||6-11||2-5||5-6||0||2||2||1||4||1||4||4||-5||19|
|Markieff Morris, PF||21||2-8||0-0||4-4||0||4||4||1||0||0||3||2||+3||8|
|Marcus Morris, PF||22||3-5||2-3||0-0||0||6||6||1||1||0||0||2||+2||8|
|Slava Kravtsov, C||0||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||+2||0|
|Archie Goodwin, SG||4||1-1||0-0||0-1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||-1||2|
|Gerald Green, SG||18||1-8||0-4||2-2||0||4||4||0||0||1||3||3||-7||4|
|Alex Len, C||DNP SORE LEFT ANKLE|
|Ish Smith, PG||DNP COACH’S DECISION|
|Dionte Christmas, SG||DNP COACH’S DECISION|
Fast break points: 26
Points in the paint: 42
Total Team Turnovers (Points off turnovers): 20 (13)
|Dwight Howard, PF||36||4-11||0-0||7-9||8||10||18||0||1||0||5||2||-18||15|
|Terrence Jones, PF||24||4-9||0-1||0-0||3||4||7||1||0||1||2||2||-13||8|
|Patrick Beverley, PG||42||4-10||2-5||2-2||3||5||8||2||2||0||1||3||+4||12|
|Francisco Garcia, SG||28||3-9||2-7||0-0||1||4||5||1||0||0||1||3||-10||8|
|James Harden, SG||41||3-17||0-10||8-8||0||4||4||2||1||0||5||4||-20||14|
|Donatas Motiejunas, PF||6||0-1||0-0||0-0||1||0||1||0||0||0||1||0||+4||0|
|Omri Casspi, SF||31||6-13||2-3||0-0||3||4||7||1||1||0||5||3||+9||14|
|Aaron Brooks, PG||33||7-18||3-5||0-0||2||2||4||6||3||0||2||3||-1||17|
|Greg Smith, PF||DNP SPRAINED RIGHT KNEE|
|Chandler Parsons, SF||DNP SORE BACK|
|Ronnie Brewer, SF||DNP COACH’S DECISION|
|Omer Asik, C||DNP RIGHT THIGH CONTUSION|
|Jeremy Lin, PG||DNP SPRAINED RIGHT KNEE|
Fast break points: 14
Points in the paint: 40
Total Team Turnovers (Points off turnovers): 23 (25)
Coach Kevin McHale made another adjustment to start the 4th quarter, putting Jones at center, and gave the Rockets a quick boost again. Brooks drained a 3 with 7 minutes left, which marked a 13-2 Rockets run to bring them within 1. That would be the closest that the Rockets would get, as the Suns answered back with a 12-0 run of their own. Former Rocket Marcus Morris made all 3 of his 3-point attempts in the 4th quarter, and drained the dagger from the right corner to push the Suns lead to 91-82 with just over a minute left.
Harden was unable to find a rhythm all game, facing double teams and sometimes triple teams, while dealing with the physical defense of Tucker. He scored just 6 points in the first half, and shot 0 for 10 from behind the 3-point line. Dwight Howard added 15 points and 18 rebounds, while Brooks led the way with 17 points and 6 assists.
The injuries had a clear effect, and Harden’s struggles all game didn’t help, but the Rockets did shoot themselves in the foot, committing 23 turnovers against the NBA’s top fast-break scoring team. The Suns turned those miscues to 26 fast-break points, and shot 48 percent from the 3-point line(11 for 23).