Dec 16, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) shoots the ball during the third quarter against the New Orleans Pelicans at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
The Houston Rockets are rolling and man-handle the Pelicans
The Houston Rockets broke the NBA record for three pointers attempted (61) and three pointers made (24). While, the Pelicans coming off a huge win against the Pacers, struggled. Even more so when Anthony Davis did not start the second half and eventually called it a night mid-way through the third. To put it lightly, this was a beat down.
With former Rockets great, Rudy Tomjanovich, in attendance Houston put on a shooting clinic. Although, early on the shots were not falling as the Rockets came out shooting 1-6 from beyond the arc. But, Ariza and Beverley’s active hands came away with some early steals and Trevor caught fire with 10 early points, which included a couple of threes.
The shooting barrage came from all the usual suspects and because of their success the spacing on the floor was prime for cuts to the paint. Sam Dekker exploited the defense as they rushed to close him out and dashed to the lane for the easy dunk or lay up. His continued emergence has been key to the Rockets recent run and his athleticism is good for a couple of highlights per game.
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Eric Gordon has been on a hot streak and it didn’t stop tonight. In fact, Rockets announcer and former H-Town legend Drexler, joked about how far back Gordon is firing away from. With him lighting it up, the Rockets took an early 17 point lead and the team had already made 10 threes with five minutes left in the first half. Gordon finished with a season high 29 points and made 7 triples.
The Rockets led 72-50 at the half, which is one point off of their season high. They outscored the Pelicans 37-26 in the second quarter and actually had three players in double figures by half time. In addition to the scoring output, James Harden almost had a triple double by half time. It was that kind of night for the home team.
The Pelicans started the third with an 8-0 run and Anthony Davis wasn’t even on the floor. He came in a little later, but because of a lower leg contusion, he was done early in the third. He finished with 19 points, 5 boards, and 3 dimes.
Houston came out sluggish in the third and Coach D’Antoni immediately put in the energizer bunny, Trez Harrell. The defense Pat Beverley and Trez brought turned into easy transition buckets and the Rockets took back control of the game.
The Pelicans made a couple of runs in the fourth, but the game never felt in doubt.
James Harden finished with a triple double and passed Hakeem for the most in Rockets franchise history. A crazy feat for this young player and at such an early point in his Rockets career. The Beard dropped 29 points (6 triples), 11 boards, 13 dimes, and only 4 turnovers.
Clutch City won easily with the final score of 122-100 and have won 9 straight. They now travel to Minnesota for a match up with the young Timberwolves. Can they keep the hot shooting going and continue their win streak?