The Rockets put on a show Thursday night in Toyota Center. Too bad the fat lady sang at half time and Houston went to sleep. Houston had a commanding 73-59 lead at the half that included hitting 12 of 20 from behind the arc. The three point shooting that had eluded them in the past games were gone. Simply put, the Rockets were running and gunning — on national TV no less.
So how did Houston manage this collapsing 104-92 loss?
Here's a couple thoughts on the game:
- A tale of two halves for the Rockets — This game encompasses the Rockets season to this point. In the first half Houston shot 57 percent from the field, had five turnovers and 27 points from the bench. Most of the damage came in the secone quarter where the Rockets caught fire and exploded offensively. The 73 first half points are the most Houston has scored in a half this season. The bad news — Houston scored 19 points in the second half. Per TNT stats, Houston is only the second team in NBA history with 70 plus points in a first half and 25 or fewer points in the second half. The last team to do it — the Seattle Sonics on Dec. 21, 2001. The basketball gods had a good time with this one.
- Live by the three, Die by the three — Cliche, I know, but it bares repeating. In the second quarter Houston made nine 3-pointers but couldn't make one in the third, missing all six. The Thunder came out in the third quarter playing better defense and contributed to the stagnant Houston offense. The open 3-point shots in the first half were gone. The solution to this problem is Dwight Howard. When Houston can't hit an outside shot, all they have do to is dump it down him. The Rockets did it at the start of the fourth quarter. He got the ball on two of the first three Rockets possesions and some quick footwork led to two easy baskets. Foul trouble would put him on the bench shortly afterwards. Speaking of which, the Rockets bench only mustered two points in teh second half.