The Houston Rockets 97-88 loss to the Phoenix Suns Wednesday night was quite disappointing, a sentiment that was also felt by the players and coach Kevin McHale. Dwight Howard was not shy from saying what the main reason was for the loss: lack of energy.
“It had nothing to do with us missing shots; they just played harder than us. It has nothing to do with … the offensive end. Just play hard. It has to be important for guys to come out and play the same way every night. It’s just got to be in you, you can’t coach it. You can’t draw up a play or anything like that. You just have to have it.”
On the other hand, James Harden, who played his worst game of the season, scoring 14 points on a dreadful 3 of 17 shooting(0 for 10 from behind the 3-point line), did not open himself up for a postgame interview. Instead, he spoke for a few seconds from his locker before leaving.
But it was McHale’s body language in his interview that really symbolized the disappointment and frustration felt by him, and the rest of the team.
“Phoenix got real aggressive with us and were denying us around the court. We didn’t handle that very well. Then you compound that with shots not going. That’s two games in a row that we had no flow. We didn’t play the right way. We didn’t move the ball. We didn’t move our bodies. They got up on us and started denying passes. We didn’t go back door. We didn’t drive. When we did drive, we took wild … shots. We didn’t drive in there and move the ball for each other.”
The Suns lead the NBA in fast-break points per game, and were able to turn 23 Rockets turnovers into 26 points. The Rockets face a tougher task heading into Friday night as the Golden State Warriors come to Toyota Center.