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How the Rockets’ defense has been surprisingly clutch all year

Kristaps Porzingis Russell Westbrook (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Kristaps Porzingis Russell Westbrook (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
Kristaps Porzingis Russell Westbrook (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

The Houston Rockets have had one of the most clutch defenses in the NBA, which has helped seal several victories in the bubble already.

The restart to the season has been a roller coaster ride of emotions for the Houston Rockets and their fans. From turnstile defense in the first half against the Dallas Mavericks and a remarkable comeback late in the fourth, to a back-and-forth game against the Milwaukee Bucks. Regardless of the swings in each game, the outcome was the same in both instances: improbable comeback wins against contending teams.

The Rockets haven’t been perfect in the bubble, as they’ve had huge wins in the first two games, followed by a disappointing loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. There have been several factors that have stood out in the Rockets’ two victories, and even in their lone defeat.

The most encouraging of those factors has been their clutch defense, as defense has been the key for the Rockets. Going all the way back to the Rockets’ best regular season in 2017-18, defense has always been the most important factor for success.

This has been even more evident in the first two restart games, as the main reason why the Rockets were able to pull away in each game was because of their clutch defense. It may be a surprise for many, but the Rockets have been clutch for most of the season.

Next: Outlining the Rockets' clutch defense