Everyone's got somewhere to be, so we're going to be short and sweet.
Tonight's game had a little of everything: A stellar offensive performance from James Harden. Good Dwight and bad Dwight. Failed fourth quarter James Harden hero ball. A Rudy Gay volume shooting performance. A 4th quarter Boogie Cousins defensive stand. And Jimmer.
The Rockets got off to a slow start tonight with poor three point shooting, turnovers and a lack of rebounding.
The Kings spent the first half riding a volume shooting performance from Rudy Gay who might think the Rockets are the only team to have traded him and he's intent on getting revenge.
Despite all of this the Rockets hung tough through three quarters. They gritted out a Moreyball game. The first half was a poor showing where the Rockets trailed wire-to-wire but played their game. When the game was tied in the third quarter the Rockets were losing the field goal attempt, rebounding and turnover battles but vastly winning the efficiency battle.
When the game was tied the Rockets had ten more made free throws and were shooting over fifty percent from the field with more than 15 less field goal attempts than the Kings.
Then the fourth quarter happened. The Rockets went ice cold from three in the fourth quarter and began settling for poor shots. With less than two minutes in the game the Rockets fell apart. A tie game gave way to an Isiah Thomas go ahead three pointer.
DaMarcus Cousins then picked the ball straight out of James Harden's hands during a pick-and-roll above the three point line leading to fast break points for the Kings.
On the trip back down the floor Cousins drew a charge on a Harden 1 on 4 drive to the basket. The Rockets never recovered.
A new common theme for the outcome of Rockets games is extremely streaky first quarter three point shooting. The entire team sees set on coordinating their efforts. Either they come out gunning or they come out bricking.
James Harden put in a classic fire and ice performance. He got to the line and scored close to the basket through three quarters on the way to a season high 38 points. In the third quarter alone he scored 16 points.
In the fourth quarter he tried to put the team on his back and make the most of his hot streak only to succumb to swarming defense and forced shot attempts.
There's a short and sweet recap of he Rockets failure to close the deal on a game which featured a solid third quarter but mixed results everywhere else.