Guess what Red Nation, the Houston Rockets are on another losing streak! After a tough loss to the power house Oklahoma City Thunder, the Rockets lost their third consecutive game Saturday, this time by one point (123-122) to the Washington Wizards.
With the loss, the Rockets have fallen back to .500 (25-25) on the season and seventh in the West. However, do not fear Rockets fans. There is a high possibility that Houston will win their next four games. Just when the Rockets are looking like a title contender once again, they will drop their next three. It’s been the norm all season.
Three Things We Saw
Another great outing by the Beard wasted.
Chef Harden was cooking in the kitchen last night, but none of his teammates came ready to eat. It was another great game for James Harden, yet Houston still came out on the losing end.
After putting on a show against his former team, Harden’s night got off to a quiet start. He only scored six points in the first quarter, and seemed to be a step slow with the ball. However, once Howard’s fight against the officials started, the Beard took over the game scoring 12 points in the second quarter alone.
While everyone in Houston looked out of breath in the second half, Harden turned up the heat on the Wizards. After Dwight Howard got ejected early in the fourth quarter, James Harden gave his all to carry Houston to a win.
With 40 points, 11 assists, 7 rebounds, and 4 steals, it was one of Harden’s best game of the season. Sadly his MVP performance was wasted due to the lack of help he had from his teammates. What makes matters even worse, no one will remember Harden’s great game, only that the Rockets lost by one point.
That step-back! https://t.co/1LL9co1lzg
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) January 31, 2016
Where is the Defense.
At this point in the season, the Rockets are the most pathetic team in the association on the defensive end. Last night, Houston provided the perfect example of how bad their defense has become this year.
Yes, it is understood that the Rockets were playing their fifth game in seven nights, but there is no excuse to allow a team to score 123 points on their home floor. As well as getting out rebounded on both ends of the court.
The Rockets allowed the Wizards to shoot 52 percent from the field, and gave up 48 points in the paint. Their lack of defense played the biggest factor as to why the Rockets lost their third straight game. Most of Washington’s points came from layups and dunks from their wing players.
It’s no secret that the Rockets were a step or two slower than the Wizards, but up by one with 15 seconds remaining, Houston could not provide one defensive stop to win a game.
The Rockets allowed Wizards Jared Dudley an easy backdoor layup that gave Washington the lead. With “Defensive Stoppers” like Trevor Ariza, Patrick Beverley, Corey Brewer, and even Clint Capela on the roster, there is NO WAY any team should score this easy on the Rockets.
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) January 31, 2016
Howard gets ejected in back to back games
“Stuff like that can cause players to get injured. You don’t want that. Just play basketball. I wouldn’t intentionally try to hurt anybody. I wouldn’t want people to try to intentionally hurt me.”-Howard
The NBA has seen it’s share of awful officials this year, and they have made their way to Houston. If fans thought calls against the Rockets were bad in Oklahoma Friday night, the worst was yet to come. Just about every player had at least one questionable call, but no one took more of a hit than Dwight Howard.
It was so unfair the way the officials handled Howard Saturday night. After he posted his highest scoring quarter of the season with 13 points, John Wall and his Wizards must have paid the refs some extra money to help slow the big fella down. The officials allowed the Wizards to attack Superman dirty over the next two quarters.
The refs allowed Washington to attack Howard so violently, that he hyper extended his elbow late in the second quarter. Even after the injury, the officials allowed the Wizards to continue their assault on D12.
At one point Washington’s forward Jared Dudley jumped all over Howard’s neck and shoulders in an attempt to foul. When Howard tried to voice his frustration they gave him his first technical.
However, the boiling point came early in the fourth when Howard and Wizards’ center Nene got involved in a physical altercation which resulted in a ejection for both players.
Hopefully Adam Silver will fix the awful officiating this season, but until then, Howard has to be smart and not allow his opponents to get the best of his emotions. For the second night in a row, Howard’s ejection cost the Rockets the game. Without Dwight protecting the paint, the Wizards had a field day scoring layups on the Rockets.
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