Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
This was definitely the most exciting game of the season so far for the Houston Rockets. They didn’t necessarily light up the stat sheet, but both teams kept the game very interesting throughout. The Los Angeles Lakers have been struggling so far this season and the Rockets are still looking for their true identity. Either way, both teams fought until the end and the Rockets came out on top in stunning fashion, beating the Lakers 107-105.
What more can you say about Kobe Bryant? He’s a Rockets killer and if it wasn’t for the rest of the team Kobe would have walked out with yet another win against Houston. That wasn’t the case as Houston took down the hated Lakers. Kobe dropped 39 points in 34 minutes.
The most shocking thing about this game was backup center Greg Smith. He came in and played great for all 24 minutes he was able to play. He played so good that Kelvin Sampson elected to play him over Omer Asik in the crucial moments of the second half. Smith showed energy and toughness every second he was on the court, going up against Dwight Howard and former Rocket Jordan Hill. Smith by far had his best game of his career and made more than one clutch basket for the Rockets. He finished with a career high 21 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks in 24 minutes off the bench.
The Rockets bench is what won the game for Houston. They scored 58 points and grabbed 22 rebounds. Jeremy Lin was benched in favor of Toney Douglas who had by far his best game as a Rocket, scoring 22 points, dishing out 3 assists and grabbing 4 rebounds in 28 minutes. Carlos Delfino also gave the Rockets a spark with his 15 points in 30 minutes.
The bench not only won the game for the Rockets, it gave Lin and Asik much needed rest they haven’t had all year long. The Rockets backup point guard and center positions have not produced much so far this season and will look to build off of this game. There is no question Greg Smith has won the backup center spot over Cole Aldrich. It is yet to be seen if he will keep that position.
The Rockets are finally above .500 and will have two days of rest to get ready for their cross-state rival against the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night.