Houston Rockets win big one over Warriors without James Harden

The Houston Rockets just defeated the Golden State Warriors in a huge win to take the season series. They were without their MVP tonight, but that didn’t seem to matter.

“We had to play smart,” Chris Paul said after a huge win by the Houston Rockets over the reigning champion Warriors. Without James Harden, the path to a victory was much more difficult.

And smart they played. CP3 led the way with 23 points and 17 assists as the Rockets shocked the world. They outhustled the Warriors, putting up 21 second chance points and winning the overall rebounding battle.

The Rockets, as they hoped for all season, were able to handle DeMarcus Cousins in the rotation of Golden State. He was overmatched on the court and easily had the worst plus-minus on his team at -17. When Harden gets back, that should be even worse as they can try to switch Cousins onto him.

Where did the offense come from?

The main question coming into tonight was where the Rockets would be able to find scoring with James Harden out with a neck strain and flu-like symptoms. The answer ended up being from just about everywhere.

Eric Gordon led the team in scoring with 25 points and some big buckets in the fourth quarter. Kenneth Faried had one of his best games in a Rockets uniform with 20 points and 10 rebounds. P.J. Tucker had a nice comeback game, putting up 18 points and 10 rebounds. Gerald Green had 10 points to lead the bench unit.

When everybody eats, the Rockets are at their best. The scoring streak of James Harden is amazing, but tonight showed that this team can put up some buckets when needed. Harden said that he knows his dominant style of play won’t help the team win it all, so I bet it was nice for him to watch the Rockets tonight.

Next: Harden sounds off on Scott Foster

We’ll get more into some of the details of lineups that worked later, but for now, let’s enjoy this win. The Rockets are now 3-0 against the Warriors this year and have won the season series.