After completing head coach J.B. Bickerstaff’s ‘mini training camp’ during the team’s break, the Rockets believed change was in the air. Unfortunately, this didn’t translate to the hardwood Wednesday night as the Rockets lost to the Memphis Grizzlies 102 – 93.
The Rockets tied the game up with just under a minute to go in the first quarter. But the Grizzlies capitalized on the Rockets turnovers and went on a 14-2 run, leading by as many as 12 during the second quarter. James Harden, who was 8-9 in the first half with 21 points, led the Rockets’ rally hitting a buzzer-beater to tighten the score to 56-53 at halftime
Harden continued his dominance by setting a career high of 34 points against the Grizzlies by the end of the third quarter.
Although Harden rested to begin the fourth quarter – limiting the Rockets’ offensive firepower-Memphis went over their foul limit with just under 10:00 remaining in the game. But the Rockets could not take advantage. The Grizzlies took their largest lead of the game of 13 points, and the Rockets didn’t record their first field goal until Jason Terry hit a 3-pointer with two minutes left in the game. With a second consecutive by Corey Brewer, they trimmed the Grizzlies’ lead to seven points with 1:27 remaining. But Memphis proved the Rockets rally to be too little, too late, winning by nine points.
Coach Bickerstaff’s intense practices may have raised the Rockets’ spirits, but it may take more to turn the Rockets still young, yet so far disappointing season around.