Three Takeaways from Houston Rockets Win Over Grizzlies

Mar 14, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard Jason Terry (31) celebrates after scoring a basket during the third quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 14, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard Jason Terry (31) celebrates after scoring a basket during the third quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

A look at three main points in the Houston Rockets win over the Grizzlies.

After Saturday’s loss to the Charlotte Hornets, the Houston Rockets opened their three-game homestand Monday, in a 130-81 victory over the helpless Memphis Grizzlies. What’s surprising is the way Houston won. Who would have imagined on a night where James Harden only scored 15 and Dwight Howard just 7 points, the Rockets still had enough firepower to win by 49 points.

While both Harden and Howard took the night off on offense, the sharpshooting from Patrick Beverley and Trevor Ariza helped the Rockets take a commanding first quarter lead. It was the first time since January 30th, Houston held a lead after the opening period.

By halftime, the Rockets held a 24 point lead. Midway through the third quarter, JB Bickerstaff cleared the bench with the game well in hand. Despite playing a Memphis team who was missing nine of their core players, it was still a great win for the Rockets.

Three Things We Saw

The Return of Captain Hook

For the first time since returning from a back injury, Donatas Motiejunas played his best game of the year. He notched a season-high with 18 points, grabbed 6 rebounds, and assisted on two baskets. Motiejunas felt so good, he attempted his first dunk of the year. Unfortunately, he came up short.

It was great to see Motiejunas play like the player fans fell in love with last year. If he can carry the momentum over to the rest of the season, Houston would be a dangerous team in the playoffs.

Hopefully, Motiejunas can continue to be an effective low-post player who can play both ends of the floor. However, Wednesday was a step in the right direction for the Lithuanian big man.

.@DonatasMot putting in that work tonight with 18pts.

Rockets 91
Grizzlies 49
2:56, Q3

— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) March 15, 2016

Still a Defensive Juggernaut

Although he scored only seven points, Dwight Howard‘s contributions have gone under the radar. The Rockets held the Grizzlies’ shooting to a season-low 29.7 percent. A big part of their defense came from the former Defensive Player of the Year.

Howard rejected five shots and altered several others. He also dominated the boards with 13 rebounds. Other than the three silly fouls he picked up in the first half. Howard played one of his best defensive games of the season.

People can say what they want about him, but D12 is still a dominating force in the league. He may not be the same player he once was in Orlando, but Howard has proved he is still a defensive juggernaut.

The Rockets had 14 blocks as a team tonight, Dwight finished with 5 of them!

— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) March 15, 2016

The Best Second Unit in the League?

Must-see highlights from @MONSTATREZZ tonight!

— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) March 15, 2016

The biggest takeaway from Monday night’s win was the spectacular play from their bench.

Since Jason Terry made it a goal for the second unit to average 30 points the rest of the season. The Rockets have had the highest-scoring bench in the league, scoring a season-high 68 points in a loss to the Hornets. The Rockets second unit scored 64 points against the Grizzlies.

For the majority of the season, it looked as if a dark cloud hung over the Rockets’ bench. Now, it looks like JB Bickerstaff has finally found the right combinations of players. Imagine how great it would be if Houston’s second unit can continue their phenomenal play. If so, perhaps a title in June isn’t far from reality.

Next: Two offseason Storylines That Will Keep You on The Edge

Space City Scoop is always looking to add new talent to our writing team. Currently we’re looking for individuals with a specialized focus. The first area of focus is perfect for someone who is constantly surfing the web for breaking news on injuries, trades, insider info etc. This individual would select the top news items and provide timely quick hits to keep SCS readers in the loop.

The other area of focus is someone who possesses a strong social media background who likes to interact with Clutch City Fans. You’ll promote SCS team content on facebook and twitter while also making sure to promote the best content coming from H-Town fans. If you have this capability and are interested check out this link and fill out an application.