In one of the most entertaining games of the year, Jeremy Lin and a three point barrage propelled the Rockets to a dominating victory over the Golden State Warriors, with Lin's 28 points leading the way in a 140-109 game. But it was not Lin that was the biggest story on Tuesday night, but rather the record-tying 23 three pointers that the Rockets poured on the Warriors.
From the start, this one seemed headed for a shootout. The Rockets made 14 three pointers on their way to a 77 point first half, and Golden State seemed content with the status quo of an all-offense matchup. When the teams came back after the half, the Rockets kept going with the shooting, and they pulled the starters with a few minutes left for them to try and break the NBA record.
What transpired was one of the most bizarre and entertaining finishes you'll ever see in a 30 point blowout. With the Rockets sitting on 23 made three pointers with 3:41 remaining, the Warriors took to guarding the three point line exclusively and conceding anything inside the arc. Patrick Beverley slammed one all over the Warriors and drew a technical foul for taunting, and then the chippiness began.
After a couple of possessions, the ball went back out to Beverley in the corner and rather than concede a potential record-setting three pointer, Draymond Green clotheslined Beverley, drawing a flagrant two foul in the process. Marcus Morris intervened, drawing a technical foul and being ejected in the process.
From there on out, the Warriors were even more dedicated to keeping the Rockets out of the record books. In the remaining possessions, the Warriors intentionally fouled the Rockets, sending them to the line in a decided game. Kevin McHale said after the game that he had no problem with the Warriors fouling at the end of the game, but as a fan, it has to anger you.
Personally, I'm a bit conflicted. The game was decided, so it basically became a fight to see if a team could break the record. If the Rockets are shooting three pointers up 30, aren't they due some criticism if you're going to criticize the Warriors for their gamesmanship? On the other hand, everything the Rockets were doing was well within the norms of basketball, and all the Warriors did was eliminate all the excitement because they were determined not to get a record set on them after they seemed determined to have the record set on them for the first 45 minutes.
What say you? Were Mark Jackson's plays bush league or were they just a fair response to Rockets' tactics that could be seen as equally unsportsmanlike? Weigh in in the comments!