House or not, the Houston Rockets showed embarrassing effort in Game 4

LeBron James Robert Covington (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
LeBron James Robert Covington (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

In the absence of Danuel House, the Houston Rockets struggled to generate offense and exert the defensive effort they’ve exerted all season.

Game 4 is officially in the books, and the Houston Rockets find themselves in a 3-1 hole. The Los Angeles Lakers defeated a deflated Rockets team that staggered out of the gate, 110-100.

Trailing throughout the game, Houston Rockets superstars James Harden and Russel Westbrook combined for 46 points. Both guards struggled from 3-point range while 16 of Harden’s 21 points came from the free throw line. Both also combined for eight turnovers, which is not the ideal performance from the two focal points of the Rockets’ gameplan.

Eric Gordon continued his solid play in this series, scoring 19 points and shooting 50 percent from deep.  Unfortunately, this was about all the contributions made from Space City’s role players.

Surprisingly, P.J Tucker scored zero points and only snagged three rebounds. Joining Tucker in going cold at a critical time is Robert Covington, who scored three points in 23 minutes. Jeff Green also struggled to drop only nine points but had the team-high rebounds with seven.

Off the bench, Ben McLemore cashed in on all of his long-range shots going 3-for-3, which is a solid outing for only having about fourteen minutes. Another silver lining was Austin Rivers, who received a healthy amount of playing time at about 27 minutes, scoring fourteen points with five rebounds and assists. That’s about what you would want from the bench.

The Houston Rockets’ embarrassing effort

It was an all-around ugly game for Houston on Thursday night, where head coach Mike D’Antoni admitted that the efforts were almost half-hearted until late in the fourth quarter. What has usually been a display of crisp rotations and help defense turned into this:

Plays like this are inexcusable and happened in a critical game. It’s definitely not a good look, but all that can be hoped for is that the Rockets will finally get that energy going in a must-win Game 5.

Next. Covington is living like "The Dream"

The Houston Rockets look to come back from a 3-1 deficit, much like LeBron James did in the NBA Finals in 2016. Hopefully, Clutch City will live up to the name and give the King a dose of his own medicine.