Rockets News

Houston Rockets win Christmas Day matchup with Thunder!

By Michael Knight
HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 25: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets shoots the ball against the Oklahoma City Thunder on December 25, 2018 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 25: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets shoots the ball against the Oklahoma City Thunder on December 25, 2018 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Without CP3, the Houston Rockets are now winners of two in a row! They just beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 113-109 and are now 3 games over .500!

The Houston Rockets just gave us a pretty sweet Christmas gift! They beat the Thunder to improve to 18-15 on the season and looked really good throughout most of the afternoon.

The effort, especially in the fourth quarter, was awesome by the team and will need to continue in the absence of Chris Paul, who is out with a hamstring injury for about 2-4 weeks. In two wins in a row without him, though, the Rockets have hustled hard and beaten solid teams. If they continue to play like this when he returns, watch out league!

James Harden

What more can be said about James Harden that hasn’t been said yet? He was absolutely incredible once again, posting his 7th straight 30-point game. He finished with 41 on the day to go along with 6 rebounds and 7 assists. He is in MVP form and is ready to carry the Rockets to success.

While he didn’t have his most efficient day (15-35), he was good on both ends of the court and was still getting some clutch buckets. He hit a much-needed runner late in the fourth quarter that helped seal the win for the squad.

Austin Rivers

Austin Rivers was an unexpected hero in this one. The recently signed guard contributed heavily in his first game for the Rockets. He played 31 minutes off the bench and put up 10 points, including back-to-back 3s in the fourth quarter. He also knocked down the free throw that officially put the game away in the last seconds.

His defense was incredible on Russell Westbrook the entire game. Russ was just 6-20 from the field, and part of that is due to the lock-down ability of Rivers. If he plays like this every game, the Rockets may have found a steal in free agency.

Clint Capela

The Rockets also had some help in the form of Clint Capela. He put up his second consecutive 20-rebound game, finishing with 23. He was a huge reason why the Rockets were able to out-rebound the big Thunder 54-52.

Capela improves each and every year so far in his career, and this one is looking no different. His rebounding and scoring are both up, as are his blocks and free throw percentage. That contract is looking better and better!

Next. Austin Rivers says he has “no problem” with CP3.

The Rockets will look to follow up their stellar Christmas Day performance Thursday night against the Celtics. Hopefully, they can get yet another W!

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