Before the recap, let me extend my, and The Dreamshake's thoughts to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. MKG got hit in the back of the head by teammate Jeff Taylor on a defensive play in the 3rd quarter, and appeared to be instantly knocked unconscious. He wasn't moving, or awake, when carried off the court. I think everyone in Houston hope he is fine, and makes a swift and full recovery from this injury.
[Note by Xiane, 02/02/13 10:30 PM CST ] Latest tweets indicate that Kidd-Gilchrist is going to be fine going forward.
The score would tell you this game wasn't close. Checking in at any point from early in the first quarter through the early third quarter, you'd think this game wasn't close. Checking in for the last two minutes, and you'd see a Rockets team cruising to victory as All Star James Harden cemented his first career triple double.
And then there was the end of third quarter and beginning of the fourth. The Houston Rockets had lead the game by as many as 15 points in the third, but the Bobcats, in the words of Teddy KGB, kept hanging around, hanging around. In fact they rose out of the weeds to take a 5 point lead in the early fourth.
It appeared that the Bobcats would possibly eke out a win, when the Rockets should have stepped on their throats and cruised to victory. The third quarter collapse was keyed by many of the usual actors. Toney Douglas and his 3-11 shooting, turnovers, and truly, miserable awareness when asked to play the point. An appearance by Cole Aldrich in his role as "guy who can't dunk beautiful passes". And there was a bit part played by Bad Lin, the Jeremy Lin who gets flustered, tries to do too much, and gives the ball away. He was joined by Bad James, the guy who tries to do too much.
The script was familiar, and a home loss against the HorniCats loomed. Who could save the Rockets from snatching defeat from the jaws of victory?
Patrick Patterson, that's who. Patterson simply went berserk to start the 4th, pulled the Rockets even, then brought them the lead. 2Pat shot 10-12, and scored 24 points. He dropped 14 of those in the 4th, scoring 12 straight to open the quarter. With this space provided, Harden got it together to cement the win, Lin came in off of a long rest on the bench after his small turnover fest, and played great D on a hot Kemba Walker. Omer Asik also controlled the paint, scored points and further made the case that he really might be the best defensive center in the NBA. Don't believe reputation, believe your eyes - Asik could well be the best.
So we had some of the same themes - Rockets get big lead, Rockets lose focus, lose lead. Bench adds gasoline to the fire. Rockets bear down, and play hard to cement a win, instead of relaxing in garbage time on the bench. Better than a loss, but not as good as the Rockets need to be. This team can look excellent, it can look atrocious. Tonight excellent won out.
Patrick Pattereson - 24pts on 10-12 shooting 4 rebounds and an assist in 29 minutes. Clutch shooting to withstand a storm of crazy makes from Kemba Walker & Co.
James Harden - 21pts, 11 rebounds, 11 assists, 1stl, 1blk. The first of many triple doubles, I hope.
Chandler Parsons - Welcome back, Chandler "Bang" Parsons, as he threw down a tip dunk on a free throw miss, cleaned up mistakes and generally wreaked havoc. Parsons showed just why more than the ladies (and many gentlemen) were so excited about him last season. Tip dunks off FTs. Drives. Rebounds. Assists. Parsons scored 24pts, grabbed 11 boards, dished four dimes. Played 44 minutes.
Omer Asik - Was a rock. The Big Turk scored 19 on 8-13 shooting, with 15 boards and added 1 assist, 1 steal and 3 blocks. He played 38 minutes.
Toney Douglas - Didn't Patrick Beverley show he could actually run point and defend? Did we need to see TD go 3-11 in 20 minutes of classically wretched and clueless play. When he wasn't shooting ill-advised shots, or blowing a layup he was letting his man light him up. Maybe Lin needed to sit and focus, but you couldn't make the case for Douglas being the one to take those minutes.
Carlos Delfino - re-injured his shooting hand. We could have used some of The Fino, as Parsons had to play nearly the whole game.
Greg Smith, Patrick Beverley - Not personally down, but buried on the bench in coaching decisions that, I hope, were led by either McHale not fearing the Bobcats, or a bit of polish being applied to TD and Cole Aldrich before a trade. Or MC Hale just hates rookies. He might.
Bonus Down - Rockets bench scores 12pts. Bobcats bench goes for 48pts. This is not good.
Without Googling, who is who?
Player #1 – 14.2 Pts on 11.7 attempts, 5.7 rbs, 3.6 ast, 1.1stl, 2.5OWS, 1.3 DWS.
Player #2 – 13.6 Pts on 11.6 attempts, 5.5 rbs, 4.5ast, 1.5stl, 1.2 OWS, 1.7 DWS.
Also see - Rufus on Fire - The Bobcats blog.