The Houston Rockets took on the Milwaukee Bucks in a highly competitive shootout Sunday night, resulting in some high-caliber performances.
Both the Houston Rockets and Milwaukee Bucks were coming off close wins in their previous games, but the spotlight on the game was James Harden versus Giannis Antetokounmpo. Both superstars have exchanged words about each other to the media and this would be their first encounter since opening night.
Giannis has been very critical of Harden’s defense, claiming in the 2020 All-Star game that James would be the matchup they would look for to score on. Well, Harden may have taken that personally, because he was harassing the Greek Freak, especially in the final minutes of the game. Harden also recorded six steals, contributing to a total of 22 turnovers for Milwaukee Sunday night.
Despite being outrebounded 65 – 36, Houston was able to outlast Milwaukee after being down by eight in the final three minutes. Behind a revamped defense from Harden and a determined Russel Westbrook, the Rockets put together a 16 -4 run to put the Bucks down.
While Milwaukee was down Eric Bledsoe and Pat Connaughton, they still had their two All-Stars, Giannis and Khris Middleton, to lead their team. To counter that the Rockets, were without guard Eric Gordon, so the playing field was not as unbalanced as they tried to make it seem on Sunday night’s broadcast.
Taking down the top-seeded Bucks is a statement-making win that showcased Houston’s two superstars, Russel Westbrook and Harden, who both performed at the highest of levels. Games like this provide a preview of what could come in a potential NBA Finals matchup.
Here are how the Rockets individually performed in the big win.
Next: The Starters