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Houston Rockets Recap: Warriors Trounce Rockets

By Tamberlyn Richardson
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Houston Rockets Recap:

In what many thought had the makings of a classic defensive battle the Golden State Warriors left no doubt which team has more depth and are way ahead on the chemistry front.

169. 131. 41. . 106

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Houston entered the night on a four game home win streak and were coming off perhaps their most complete win of the season versus Oklahoma City.

Meanwhile Golden State arrived having played last night coincidentally also against the Thunder who had handed them their worst loss of their season.

Ultimately Golden State won easily pulling ahead to finish the half and then jumping on the Rockets early in the third quarter.

The player grades follow the box score:

THE STARTERS

JAMES <STRONG>HARDEN</STRONG>. D. <p><a href=. SG. Rockets

PATRICK <STRONG>BEVERLEY</STRONG>. D.  <strong><br /></strong><p>For a player considered to be a defensive specialist usually anything he can bring on offense is gravy. He limited Curry early, but like the star he is Curry eventually found a way to succeed ending the game with a double-double of 27 points and 11 assists. In fact he was just 3 rebounds shy of a triple double. Beverley in contrast had 11 points and 4 assists. </p>. PG. Rockets

C. What was curious this evening is Ariza seemed to have somewhat of an offensive flow early and managed his defensive assignments better than most of his team mates. However, in what perhaps also falls on Harden and Beverley’s shoulders they didn’t recognize Ariza could take advantage of his match-up and didn’t get him the ball for enough shot opportunities.   <strong><br /></strong>. SF. Rockets. TREVOR <STRONG>ARIZA</STRONG>

B-. <p>He played just 22 minutes so Kevin McHale must not have liked his match-up, but his stats showcase a decent performance from the power forward. Given Draymond Green didn’t have an explosive evening I found McHale’s decision to limit his time on the floor curious given this was another match-up I felt they could have capitalized on. </p>. PF. Rockets. DONATAS <STRONG>MOTIEJUNAS</STRONG>

Rockets. DWIGHT <STRONG>HOWARD</STRONG>. B+. <p>In some games this year it has appeared like Howard is simply doing what’s necessary and occasionally we get to see him dominate as his position. Facing a formidable opponent in Andrew Bogut and recognizing Harden was hampered on this night he did step up , but unfortunately no one else joined him in his efforts. His 23 points and 10 rebounds were both team highs.</p>. C

Jan 17, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) drives the ball to the basket during the second quarter as Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) defends at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

THE BENCH

<p>Although he had the worst +/- on this night (-20) he still brought energy off the bench, contributed on intangibles (4 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals and 1 block). Repeatedly I saw him trying to spur on his team mates, but they looked to be either fatigued or unfocused. </p>. SG/SF. Rockets. COREY <STRONG>BREWER</STRONG>. B-

C. <p><a href=. PF. Rockets. JOSH <STRONG>SMITH</STRONG>

Of the remaining bench players Kostas Papanikolaou brought some energy and contributed with 5 straight points to cut the lead to 16 with seven minutes remaining, but that was as close as they got.

Although we only provide player grades here this night showcased how good Steve Kerr is in his head coaching role. The one time in the second quarter when the Rockets appeared to be on the verge of breaking away his time out stopped the momentum which the Rockets never found again. Conversely McHale didn’t seem to have the same feel for the game as he allowed several runs by Golden State to continue into momentum building runs.

As always we welcome your words of wisdom in our comments section!

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