This recap comes after watching my DVR replay of the game. It is difficult for me to be quite as focussed watching this way, so this recap may struggle.
The Rockets also struggled, greatly, in the first half, but mounted a comeback for a big win away from home. The story headlines might read "Memphis loses without Marc Gasol", but James Harden spent the game in sartorial splendor on the bench as well.
Sometime the absence of Harden is going to bite us, but tonight we saw something that should encourage Rockets fans - Kevin McHale worked his lineups until he found a combination that Memphis couldn't stop. It appeared to be an assault of SFs - Parsons, Garcia and Casspi turned the tide and defeated the Grizzlies from the end of the third through the fourth. Also welcome were 21 minutes of amazing defensive quality from Omer Asik after Dwight Howard struggled with Kosta Koufas (a vastly underrated player) and Zach Randolph.
Neither Terrence Jones nor Dwight Howard really got it going tonight (still logged 11/5 and 15/7 respectively, though Randolph was a very tough cover for Jones, who had his worst game in about 5). All same, the Rockets found a way to get it done, even if it wasn't pretty. Games in Memphis rarely are pretty, though, so set aesthetics aside and be happy for a win.
Consider the Rockets scored 32, thirty-two, points in the first half. They scored 61, sixty-one, in the second, and came from 14 down to win going away, by 7, but it wasn't that close at the end. The Rockets are yet to score less than 90 in a game. You wouldn't have thought they'd hit that number after the first half.
Memphis simply cannot win a scoring contest, and Rockets, after 30 minutes of play, turned the game into one, and ran away.
All in all a great team win as another guy seems to step up each night with James Harden resting his foot. Last time it was the Hot Tub Time Machine and Aaron Brooks. Tonight it was Casspi proving an unexpectedly tough cover for Randolph, and Chandler Parsons scoring like mad in the 4th, going 8-9 for the game.
In NBA news the Lakers signed Kobe Bryant to a 2 year, $48 million extension. $24 million a season for a player who will be coming off a major injury and will be 38 when the deal ends. Does anyone else find this deal baffling? In one go the Lakers extinguished much of their complete roster and salary clearance available next offseason. I appreciate the sentiment of the Lakers in making Kobe a Laker for life, but considering he's paid $30 million this season, in a deal under the old CBA, one wonders why a deal had to be done at $24 million now. Was there another $24 million dollar offer waiting for Kobe? Was there a $14 million dollar offer, particularly since no one has seen what Kobe will look like post injury? I frankly doubt either.