Dec 26, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) brings the ball up the court during the third quarter against the Phoenix Suns at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Houston Rockets shoot lights out to crush the Suns and get back to winning ways
The Houston Rockets utterly embarrassed the Phoenix Suns in a much needed win. Ryan Anderson led the way early with consecutive buckets and the Rockets came right out the gate with a 9-2 run. By the time Ryno checked out for a rest, he had 10 points and hadn’t missed a shot from the field. It was that type of night for Red Nation.
Houston led 39-23 after one and shot 58% in the first quarter. The points for the Rockets came from beyond the arc (18 points from three), in the paint, and free throws. The Suns comical defense allowed James Harden to pick them apart and choose the exact way he wanted to roast them. He was attacking the defense as they rushed to close out his three point shot and then ended up driving right by them.
The Rockets also picked up the defensive intensity and forced the Suns into several 24-second violations. In addition, Ariza’s active hands came away with a couple of early steals, which led to easy fast break buckets. Overall, the Suns were forced into nine turnovers before the half. These Phoenix miscues led to Houston going up by twenty heading into halftime.
Even though there were a couple of moments when a timeout was needed to stop Phoenix’s scoring outburst, the game was never in question. The Rockets ended the half by going on a 14-2 run and went to halftime leading 69-43.
The beat down continued in the second half. The Rockets started the third quarter by going on a 9-4 run and the lead swelled by as much as 34 points. The Red Rowdies began chanting for their favorite bench players midway through the third.
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Phoenix was held to 35% shooting as Pat Bev and Splash Gordon made the Suns work for every bucket they got. Splash then made them pay on the offensive end, attacking off the dribble, firing away from well beyond the arc, and even dunking on a couple of the Suns bigs.
The Rockets were cruising and have more games with 90 or more points through three quarters, than the Cavs and one behind the Warriors at 15 games.
This game was over early and the bench mob was called to close the game out. Although Brandon Knight tried to prolong the game, it really was all for naught.
The ball movement was crisp and the Rockets had six players in double figures. Harden finished with 32 points (2 triples), 5 rebounds, and 12 assists.
When the misery was over the final score was 131-115. Houston moves to 23-9 and will face the Mavs on Tuesday evening. Follow Space City Scoop as the Rockets travel to Dallas and look to sweep the season series from Dallas.