FINALLY! The Houston Rockets are back and playing their best basketball of the season. Last night’s game showed the improvements this team has taken in order to get their season back on track.
During the final minutes of the foruth, the Rockets held on to win their fifth straight game in a row Wednesday, as they defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 107-104, in the Toyota Center.
Three Things We Saw
The Rise of the Beard
Despite a few silly turnovers that could have been avoided, James Harden had one of his best shooting nights of the season. Although he posted a double-double of 27 points and 11 assists, it was his milestone achievement that made the headlines.
Midway through the fourth, Harden banked in a free-throw which gave him his 10,000th point of his career. Harden joined a small, yet legendary group of seven players who have recorded over 10,000 points, 2,000 rebounds, 2,000 assist,700 steals, and 200 blocks in less than 500 games.
This milestone alone is a testimony of how great Harden has become since coming to Houston four years ago. He went from playing second (or rather third) fiddle behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, to leading his own franchise as contenders in the Western Conference. And just think Harden hasyet to reach the prime of his career.
Congratulation to the bearded one on an amazing milestone, keep up the good work.
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) January 14, 2016
The Return of the X factor
In both of the Rockets back-to-back games against the Grizzlies and Timberwolves, Terrence Jones played some of his best basketball of the season. If it wasn’t for his 16 points and 9 rebounds, the Rockets would have seen their winning streak come to an halt against Minnesota.
When Jones was on the court, The Rockets outscored Minnesota by 13 points, and he did a great job containing their sensational rookie Karl-Anthony Towns on the defensive end.
With the way Jones has played over the past four games, perhaps he is trying to become the MVP of the Rockets’ second unit. It no secret that Jones can play an important role for Houston, but can the Rockets really rely on him to show up every night.
The only flaw in Jones’ game is his lack of consistency. If Jones can find a way to stay consistent, the Rockets second unit will continue to be one of the league’s best.
.@TerrenceJones1 with another
Air Canada Wiggins
The reigning Rookie of the Year has shown flashes of Tracy McGrady in his game and has been on a hot streak lately.
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Over the last five games Wiggins has posted 23.4 points while shooting 47.1 percent from the field. In an effort to end his team’s losing streak, Wiggins torched the Rockets for 28 points in the lost.
Mark my words, Andrew Wiggins will be a top tier player in this league sooner than many expected. After watching him run circles around Trevor Ariza and Harden, I think I’ve become a fan of the Air Canada Wiggins’ Show.
Wiggins has already established himself as a elite scorer, but has to increase his contributions in other categories on the court. Once Wiggins becomes a better play maker and defender, the Timberwolves will become a deadly force in the West. Perhaps Wiggins has already made his mark as the second best player to come out of Canada.
Make sure you catch up on our entire Team Preview Series, our Houston Rockets Player Profile Series as well as our SCS Round Table Sessions to help you get through the early season. Start your morning with SCS Rocket Science Daily and visit us throughout the day to keep abreast of all your Houston Rockets news and updates.