Wednesday night against the Brooklyn Nets, the Houston Rockets extended their NBA best win streak to seven games. Their 114-104 victory was wire-to-wire excellence. They took the lead in the middle of the first quarter and never relinquished it.
The Rockets took charge early and held a 20 point lead in the second quarter, and they maintained a double-digit lead for most of the game. However, a four-quarter rally from the Nets nearly saw the game slip away.
With six minutes left in the game, the Rockets’ lead was cut to four points. Garrison ‘Garry Bird’ Mathews responded quickly. He nailed two free throws and a three to stretch the lead back to eight points.
While the Nets rested Kevin Durant and LaMarcus Aldridge on the second night of a back-to-back, they still fielded a lineup led by James Harden. The Rockets weren’t at full strength either. Both Jalen Green, a pulled hamstring, and Kevin Porter Jr, a thigh contusion, were out recovering.
Over the Rockets' seven-game win streak, the entire franchise has been reenergized as they expelled the stench of a fifteen-game losing streak. They became the first team from the major North American sports leagues to have a 15-game losing streak and a seven-game win streak in the same season.
The turnaround has been amazing, and nearly every night a new stud has emerged. Jae’Sean Tate's 32 point game against Oklahoma City, Garrison Mathews' turn as the Appalachian Steph Curry, and Danuel House's reemergence as a competent NBA player have all led to victories over the streak.
These are two studs and one dud from the Rockets victory over the Brooklyn Nets.