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Rockets Win! Next Victim? The New Jersey Nets

I didn't get to recap the game yesterday, because, well...I'm lazy. You got me, you pulled it out, I'm a lazy mofo. I had the computer up and decided to play with my son instead yesterday. So here we are, noon two days after a huge Rockets victory and I'm finally writing about it.

This streak of 18 games in a row and 9 games by double digits has been a bit odd. Mostly because the Rockets seem to just dump points on teams before you know it. I didn't get to watch the first half live on Saturday night and my DVR had some skips in the recording (I hate you Comcast), and it really pushed the point further, they'd be up 1 and then all of the sudden a minute later be up 6 or 7. It always seems to happen really quickly and the other team doesn't know what hit them. The guys just find a way to play 2-4 strong defensive possessions in a row and combine that with not missing shots themselves in their subsequent possessions.

With 8:22 left in the second the score was tied 28-28 and the Hornets didn't score until the 5:35 mark. The Rockets took that solid defense and didn't waste their offensive possessions scoring 12 unanswered points missing only one shot in that span. It was a remarkable stretch of the game, and the Hornets had no answer.

My overarching view of the game is that they really missed David West and only Chris Paul could make it happen without him. Chandler looked completely lost unless he was getting an alley-oop from CP3. The Rockets missed Landry badly as well, but decided to make 14 three pointers to compensate.

Chris Paul is a man, though he's not 40, he did everything he could to keep his team in it, but ultimately couldn't do it by himself. 37 points on15-26 shooting (and 4-4 from the line where he is a golden god) and 11 assists usually wins games, it didn't on Saturday. He's the best point guard in the league. (Note: Deron Williams is the second best, he is better in their head to head but not as good when not facing Paul) Rafer Alston was apparently trash talking the entire game, but I'm not sure about what, you don't have a guy shoot 57.6% on you and throw 11 dimes and talk trash to him. You just don't do it. Though I bet that was pretty fun to listen to.

I will give Rafer the props he deserves though. 7-13 shooting overall , 4-8 behind the arc, and (FINALLY) 2-2 from the line for 20 points deserves some accolades. He did hack Paul repeatedly though and get torched on the defensive end, so I'm going to hold back the back patting a bit.

Near the first 1/3rd of the streak I started praising McGrady for coming back to his old self, Saturday he shined like he hasn't in years. 41 points on 62% shooting and making all of his free throws is ridiculous. But he didn't stop there, he added 9 assists, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks. Tracy played defense like he actually wanted to be there and it was awesome. Now you've shown me you can do it though TMac, I want to see it every night. You're only 28 years old and should have 6 or so years left, keep it up.

Next up for the Rockets are the New Jersey Nets at 7:30PM CST in the Toyota Center. I wish I could say I'd be there, but I'll not even be able to watch it tonight. My wife got free tickets to the rodeo so that's where I'll be. Hopefully I'll be able to catch the 4th quarter on the radio on the way home.

The good guys are looking for their 19th straight victory, something only 3 teams have achieved previously in NBA history, and they get to try for it against an Eastern Conference scrub. It just so happens that the Rockets can tie the Nets of 03-04 with a 10th straight victory by double digits if they can accomplish that tonight.

New Jersey Nets: 26-37 (11-20 on the road) 3-7 in their last 10

Houston Rockets: 42-20 (23-9 at home) 10-0 in their last 10

The Nets have now lost 5 in a row and the Rockets have won 18 in a row, somehow they are both in the playoff picture of their respective conferences. When I first looked at the Nets last 5 games I thought, "Wow, they got killed by 5 good teams", then I saw this in there:

Mar 05 @MEM Loss 100-93

Ouch man, very ouch. Losing to Memphis at this point in the season? That's just not cool. It was on a back to back, so I guess I'll cut them a little slack, but still, that's hard to do.

Well, it's time to get back to what pays the bills, but...
What's my predictions? 19 in a row of at least 21