Despite the absence of Chris Paul, the Houston Rockets annihilated the New Orleans Pelicans for their 59th win of the season.
The way this team is playing, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith might be forced to take back his words for thinking the Houston Rockets do not have a chance at defeating the Golden State Warriors this season.
Following the 100-96 win over the Detroit Pistons, the Houston Rockets (59-14) extended their win streak to eight in a 114-91 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday in the Toyota Center. Everyone was expecting a great battle between the top MVP candidates, but this game just didn’t live up to the hype.
The Rockets came out hot and on fire, scoring every way imaginable. James Harden had 12 points in the opening period, and the Rockets took a 29-16 lead in the first quarter. Despite only shooting 1-10 from behind the arc, the Rockets shot 52 percent from the field, which gave way to the big lead.
Then, Houston’s run in the second quarter blew this game out of the waters. The Rockets would go on to shoot 6-11 from downtown to take a 64-37 lead into the break.
The 37 points scored by the Pelicans in the first half was the fewest the Rockets had allowed in a half all season long.
While scoring 24 points in the third, the Pelicans tried everything in their power to make it a game, but it wasn’t enough to slow down the league’s top offensive team. New Orleans would win the third quarter 24-19, but Houston still led 83-61 heading into the fourth.
Despite a 25 point, eight rebound night by Anthony Davis, the Rockets annihilated the Pelicans in the win. Harden led the way with 27 points, eight assists, and six rebounds. The league’s MVP set another career milestone after recording his fourth straight season scoring 2,000 or more points.
With Chris Paul out for his second straight game, Clint Capela stepped up in his absence, recording his 38th double-double of the season with 18 points and 16 rebounds. For the first time in franchise history, the Rockets will look to capture their 60th win of the season in a Sunday evening showdown against the Atlanta Hawks.