Houston Rockets: Player grades from win over Los Angeles Clippers

Houston Rockets Isaiah Hartenstein (Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets Isaiah Hartenstein (Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images) /
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The Starters

Houston Rockets. JAMES HARDEN. A+. Nobody in the NBA plays with the swagger James Harden does. Well, maybe nobody except his newest backcourt teammate who will soon see action. James once again lit up the box score, finishing with 37 points, seven rebounds and seven assists on 17-of-20 from the free-throw line. The Beard used everything in his bag of tricks, from his patented step-back 3s to drawing in the defense and lobbing perfect passes, to yes, another one-legged step-back 3-point attempt. Harden would go on to get fouled on the attempt, coming very close to making it anyway. Harden’s 4-of-14 from downtown was his only knock, but considering everything he did right, Houston will take that.. Guard

C+. Eric Gordon didn’t shoot the ball well from the outside in his 19 minutes. The former NBA Sixth Man of the Year finished 0-for-3 from beyond the arc and turned the ball over three times but had a couple of nice drives in the second quarter. Eric is continuing to push the ball up the floor frequently, which should please Mike D’Antoni as the season draws closer. Chalk this one up to just a bad shooting night for E-Money.. Guard. Houston Rockets. ERIC GORDON

A. Once again, Clint Capela ran the floor with reckless abandon and reaped benefits because of it. As usual, the Swiss center played perfectly in sync with James Harden, frequently rolling to the basket for easy lobs and a couple of fast-break layups. Not only did Capela finish with 14 points and 11 boards, but five of those boards were offensive. It was another solid night for the big man.. Center. Houston Rockets. CLINT CAPELA

PJ TUCKER. B -. It was another quiet night for PJ Tucker but in a good way. Tucker played his usual solid defense on the perimeter and pulled down seven rebounds to go along with two steals. The veteran forward missed his one and only shot attempt, but these new-look Rockets don’t need big scoring nights from him anyway.. Forward. Houston Rockets

Houston Rockets. BEN MCLEMORE. B+. With Russell Westbrook resting and Danuel House being a last-minute scratch, Ben McLemore got the start on Friday and made the most of it. Ben’s first shot was a corner three that looked pure right as it left his hands. He also showed on two occasions that he has the transition pull-up 3 in his arsenal, doing so in the second and third quarters. McLemore finished with nine points, two rebounds and one steal.. Guard

Next: The Bench