In one of their easiest games this year, the Houston Rockets rolled over the Phoenix Suns for their 40th win of the season.
The Houston Rockets never trailed at any point to the Phoenix Suns, and the game was all but decided by about halfway through the first quarter. With 5:30 left in the opening frame, the score was 29-5 in Houston’s favor. The Suns never got back to within single digits, and found themselves down by 40 in the third quarter. All things considered, this outing was one of the most convincing wins of the season for the Rockets.
James Harden played one of the best games of his 2016-2017 campaign, despite not putting up a triple-double or even a double-double. His 40 points, 8 assists, and 6 rebounds on 8/15 shooting from deep were impressive, especially considering that he didn’t touch the floor in the fourth quarter. Patrick Beverley also played well, scoring 19 points on 6/10 shooting to go along with 10 rebounds and 5 assists.
Interestingly enough, with how dominant the Rockets were, Phoenix’s bench outplayed Houston’s. Mike D’Antoni‘s second unit was a collective -10 on the night, while each starter posted at least a +27 in the +/- category. Those kinds of stats are deceiving, though. Sam Dekker‘s 14 points on 75% shooting helped his team, and his negative effect on the game can be chalked up to lack of effort during the contest’s waning minutes.
The Suns just couldn’t get anything going all night, shooting just 39% from the floor. The young Devin Booker led his team in scoring, putting up 18 points. However, it took that many shots for him to get to that total, dampening the effect. The only other notable stat line from Phoenix’s group was Alex Len‘s 13 points and 8 boards. He was one of the few Suns who shot better than 50%, making 5 of his 8 attempts.
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There are a couple of neat stats from this game. The first is that the Houston Rockets have now scored at least 100 points in 43 straight games, tying the longest streak since 1992-1993, which was set by none other than the Suns.
The second is that the Rockets’ 40th win this season came exactly 60 days earlier than last year’s 40th win. It goes to show how far Houston has come since 2015-2016’s disastrous campaign.
As I’ve written before, the Rockets have one of the easiest February schedules in the league. They’ll get a full three days of rest before their final pre-All-Star break matchup against the Miami Heat on Wednesday.
There are only four games left in the month, and if Houston’s group looks anything like it did against the Suns during that stretch, it’ll be smooth sailing.