GAME 48: Rockets 109, Warriors 83
By Dennis Silva II
Patrick Patterson and the Rockets had no problems stuffing the Warriors on Thursday for their fourth win in the last six games.
WHO: Rockets 109, Golden State 83
WHAT: The Rockets’ second win in a row was of the ho-hum variety. Golden State was overwhelmed in every facet of the game. Houston is still 8th in the West at 26-22 overall; however, it is just one game behind Dallas for 4th, which would mean homecourt advantage through the first round of the playoffs. And that’s precisely what Houston should be gunning for, as it is 18-6 at Toyota Center and 8-16 away. The Rockets have won four of their last six games.
WHAT HAPPENED?: It was a little bit of everything for the Rockets, from the continuing domination of Chandler Parsons (20 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists) to Samuel Dalembert (15 points, 10 rebounds) and even to 10-day signee Courtney Fortson (12 points in 18 minutes). The Rockets shot 47.1 percent to Golden State’s 41.5, outrebounded the Warriors 48-31 and for the second straight game did a fine job getting to the free-throw line, connecting on 23 of 27 (compared to the Warriors’ 9-of-10). It’s no surprise they are 2-0 in both of those games. Parsons, in particular, has really flourished offensively, notching the first 20-10 game of his young career and boasting sound progress with his once-woeful jump shot. Luis Scola had 18 points and a career-high tying seven assists to boot. The Warriors are, simply put, not good. If it wasn’t for the Rockets honoring their team of the decade for the 1990s (Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler, Robert Horry, Mario Elie and Kenny Smith), it would have been just another listless late March game. Four Rockets scored in double figures. Two had double-doubles. That kind of night.
SCOLA THE PLAYMAKER: Speaking of Scola, he’s been on quite a roll. Not only is he averaging 19.7 points on 66.7 percent shooting over the last three games, but he’s also tallying 3.7 dimes per contest as well. He’s also a big reason why the Rockets have dominated their opponents in the paint lately, including a 58-38 separation in their favor on Thursday, and it’s clear that he’s been in more of a comfort zone once the trade deadline passed. Once lost, he looks to have found his groove at just the right time.
ROCKETS’ DIAPER DANDIES UPDATE: Rookie wing Marcus Morris got some nice flow in garbage time and performed as well as could be expected against the lethargic Warriors, compiling 8 points on 3-of-6 shooting in 7 minutes, 46 seconds. With the Rockets clearly strapping up for a brutal stretch for playoff seeding, it might just be better to send Morris down to the D-League to join Greg Smith, who was sent down earlier this week. There’s no way he’ll get significant minutes anytime this season.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?: Easy win, yet crucial in that it was just that, a win. Thursday’s could have easily been a trap game had the Rockets been looking ahead to a critical stretch that has them play Dallas twice in the next three games. Yes, the same Dallas that is just a game ahead of Houston for that beloved fourth spot in the West. Houston hosts Dallas Saturday and hosts Sacramento Monday before heading to Dallas for another bout with the Mavs. The Rockets have yet to play Dallas this season. It’s a pivotal trio of games, but the Rockets are heading in with some nice momentum.