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Houston Rockets Game Recap- Nab 40th Win of Season

By Tamberlyn Richardson
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Houston Rockets Game Recap- Nab 40th Win of Season:

Entering the night we weren’t sure if James Harden would even suit up after he twisted his ankle late in the game versus the Clippers. He had sat out practice on Thursday with coach Kevin McHale noting he couldn’t run. While we’ve become accustomed to Harden powering through different injuries this season this one felt like maybe a game he could rest if need be. In the end, his presence proved to be just as necessary as it has for the previous 39 wins of the Rockets season as they notched their 4oth win of the year.

102. 169. 98. 147.

No, it wasn’t a thirty point scoring effort by the beard, but he did garner a double-double of 15 points and 12 assists. Playing the role of facilitator proved to be exactly what the Rockets needed from him on this night.

The win tonight marked the 40th of the Rockets season and highlighted for them a team they continue to own: this was the eighth straight win over the Nets at home in Houston.

X-Factor:

As we highlighted in our pregame analysis Terrence Jones has been steadily improving and he proved to be the difference Friday. Jones looks to be back to the player everyone imagined the Rockets would get prior to him missing over 40 games with nerve inflammation in his leg. By night’s end he had 26 points and 12 rebounds for his own double-double. This is a very positive sign for the Rockets as they head into what will be a hellish week facing Cleveland on Sunday and then two sets of back to backs series over 5 nights.

Notes:

  • Patrick Beverley returned to the line-up after missing 2 straight games due to the flu notching 9 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists.
  • Pablo Prigioni had to receive stitches to his head after a collision with Nets’ Allan Anderson
  • For the second consecutive game Houston kept their turnovers down (13) and forced more by their opponent (16)
  • Houston had a decided edge in fast break points: 17-7
  • Despite the size of the Nets’ front court and absence of Howard, the Rockets won the points in the paint battle: 58-54
  • Houston continues to win with ball movement as they posted 26 assists (Nets had 17)
  • Trevor Ariza continues to serve as the Robin to Harden’s batman as he posted 20 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists.
  • While Jones and Ariza provided able scoring and recipients for Harden’s passes the game was won by Harden with less than a minute remaining. He drew a foul on Markel Brown and then scored to put Houston up 98-95. Several free throws for both sides followed (Jones hit some critical free throws) however the Nets never recovered from the made basket by Harden which ultimately sealed the Rockets victory.
  • This was the 40th win of the season for Houston and their fourth in a row which is the hottest streak in the Association at the moment (tied with New Orleans)

Next: Who has inside edge on MVP?

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