The Houston Rockets lost to the woeful Brooklyn Nets by a score of 106-98 last night. Any momentum that was built off of the West coast road trip died Wednesday night. The Rockets should have won this game, and they should have won it easily. Instead, they allowed a bad team desperately in search of a win, confidence. And much like in any sport when you give confidence to the team that isn't supposed to win, they end up doing just that.
Below are three takeaways from the game.
The refs ate their whistles
I am normally not a "the referees hosed us" guy. But come on refs...
We all know James Harden is good for 10-14 free throws a game, he's going to go the paint, people are going to swat at the ball, he's going to get fouled. It's what he does, night in and night out. Even though he repeatedly went into the lane and would get bump/slapped/hit/whatever, the refs refused to give him anything.
It wasn't only Harden, Dwight Howard had a few put backs or dunk attempts that he'd get hit and instead it would just go down as a Brook Lopez block.
The most blatant no call came when Ty Lawson had an offensive rebound tipped to him. Lawson had the rebound, then Thomas Robinson ran him over, took the ball and dunked it. WHAT WERE YOU WATCHING REFS.
No Rockets player wanted to admit the refs frustrated them, but clearly something was awry.
Dwight Howard the protector
The rim protector came out in full force Wednesday night. Howard not only blocked five shots, he also changed a handful at the rim.
You could see that Nets players actively were looking when going into in the lane for Howard. If he was near, they would kick out to someone else with another shot.
Normally a night like Howard had at the rim would result in a win. Unfortunately for the Rockets in the second half the Nets shot 55 percent on threes.
The return of Terrence Jones met with little fanfare.
If you are a Terrence Jones fan you had to be excited for the return.
Then Jones actually started to play, and it was let's just say, he was not good. If you are a numbers person Jones had a plus/minus number of minus nine in just under 16 minutes of action.
Jones made almost zero impact, he finished the game with 0 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists.
McHale eased Jones back in playing opposite Howard for most of his 16 minutes, but he failed to produce. Often times Jones looked like he was trying to figure out what he was trying to do, instead of playing the downhill basketball this team thrives on.