Houston Rockets Game Summary: Harden Posts Triple-Double in Win
It’s been an odd week for James Harden and the Houston Rockets. They beat the sizzling hot Cavaliers on Sunday with Harden undeniably outplaying LeBron James and then ending up suspended for his “kick” at the family jewels of the king. That suspension likely cost the Rockets a win versus the Atlanta Hawks where Harden’s services could have pushed them over the top.
Then in their last outing versus Memphis they lost the game by 2 points based on a no-call of a blatant Zach Randolph foul on James Harden. Suffice to say the Rockets could be crying foul themselves given how precious wins are especially in the Western Conference.
Fortunately for the Rockets the reeling Pistons arrived on a 4-game losing streak just in time to help re-launch the Rockets winning ways. Since acquiring Reggie Jackson the Pistons have failed to capture any cohesiveness and he has yet to prove he is anything more than a quality reserve point guard.
The Rockets were ahead 54-46 by the half and seemed to have the game well in hand with Harden seemingly taking care of business all on his own. By the start of the third quarter he already had 8 rebounds and assists to go along with his 30 points. So when the Rockets took a 97-75 point lead McHale took Harden out of the game knowing they have the second game of their back to back in Denver.
Stan Van Gundy also took out most of his starters, but the reserves went on a 14-2 run and suddenly the lead was cut to 99-89, and Harden had to reenter the game to close it out. Perhaps this night demonstrated exactly how essential Harden is to the Rockets success and how he is the closest thing to money when it comes to a closer in the league. By night’s end Harden had tallied a triple-double of 38 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists. This was Harden’s league leading 27th thirty plus point performance and third triple-double of the season.
— Chris Spisak (@ChrisSpisak) March 7, 2015
- Considering the Rockets are without their big man Dwight Howard and playing the big front court of Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe the fact Houston had only 4 fewer points in the paint (48) was impressive
- Another surprising stat was Houston turned the ball over 19 times, but it only lead to 23 points, whereas the 13 turnovers by Detroit transpired into 19 points. This just goes to prove when the Rockets get opponent turnovers they make those plays count.
- Yet beyond Harden’s triple-double the accomplishment Houston should be most proud of was out-rebounding Detroit 55-50. Even more impressive when you factor Drummond collected 21 rebounds all on his own.
— KHOU 11 News Houston (@KHOU) March 7, 2015
Once again Terrence Jones was big for the Rockets though he injured his hip in the second quarter, but was able to return and capped a solid effort with 17 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals and 3 blocks.
The bench was impressive though Josh Smith has yet to have a huge game versus his former team though he did fill up the stat sheet with 8 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks. Corey Brewer contributed 15 points and Joey Dorsey had a very solid game with 6 points and 10 rebounds (6 offensive).
With the second game of the back to back being in Denver I’m sure McHale would have rather not had to bring back Harden to ensure the win, but the “W” ended up being more imperative. Now Houston will try to do what the League as a whole struggle with, which is to fly into Denver to play on a second night in a row on tired legs made more relevant by the thin Denver air.
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