Houston Rocket Game Summary: Head Butt Takes Center Stage

By Tamberlyn Richardson
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Jan 12, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Houston Rockets guard Jason Terry (31) celebrates after making a three point shot against the Brooklyn Nets during the fourth quarter at the Barclays Center. The Rockets defeated the Nets 113-99. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Rocket Game Summary :

Our Houston Rocket game summary has more individual performances standing out then we’ve had in a while which speaks to how well the team is gelling of late.

Obviously it doesn’t hurt they’ve been playing more Eastern squads and sub-.500 teams, but don’t get too excited as they’ve got two huge Western opponents (OKC/GSW) coming up after they finish their road trip against Orlando tomorrow. Til then we break down the game versus the Nets and highlight the factors and players who helped Houston earn their fourth consecutive win.

3 Keys to Win:

One: Though the Rockets had just two fewer turnovers than the Nets it played a crucial part in the win. For the Rockets they’ve allowed too many opponents to stay in games based on their high turnover rate. Secondly, the fact the Rockets were able to keep their turnovers down (14) may point to the fact they are now beginning to gel. As the new recruits and returning healthy players are spending more time together it’s leading to them understanding each others individual habits better.

There is also the possibility coach Kevin McHale may be taking advantage of time on the road for extra film sessions, walk throughs in the hotel and possibly throwing in some practice sessions.  They are playing Eastern teams which aren’t of the same caliber as what they’ve faced up until now, but visually they definitely look more in sync.

Two: It’s no surprise the Rockets who lead the league in three point attempts and makes per game stayed true to their character getting up 40 attempts and hitting 16. What is relevant is they were on fire in the first quarter and once they determined the Net’s defense wasn’t going to be able to cover them from behind the arc they just kept shooting from outside.

Four teams in the league attempt as many three point shots as the Rockets made on this night and their total of 16 makes more than doubles what the Nets  average (6.8) on the season. In fact on this night even Josh Smith connected on half of his attempts (2-4) which speaks to how well Houston is moving the ball as all four of his attempts were taken when he was wide open. Several Rocket players hit above 50%: James Harden (4-7), Trevor Ariza (3-5) and Donatas Motiejunas (1-1) joined Smith in their success from behind the arc.

Three: The next key came in the first quarter when the game was barely underway. More on that next.

Next: How a head butt became the game changer