The Rockets lost their second game in a row, 107-97 to the Sacramento Kings, on the back half of a road back-to-back. But somehow "losing" doesn't begin to cover it.
This might have been the disgrace-iest disgrace of effort so far this year. The Rockets turned the ball over 22 times, and showed no interest in getting back defensively. And the primary offender was, of course, James Harden (not pictured):
I mean, come on. Dwight Howard was foul-happy, terrible with layups around the basket, and picked up a technical. Late in the third quarter, with the Rockets down big, JB Bickerstaff went with a pint-sized lineup of Pat Beverley, Jason Terry, Harden, Corey Brewer and Trevor Ariza. The fact that those five didn't hemorrhage more points says a lot about where they were before.
The most galling part of all this is, the Kings didn't play that well either! They had 29 turnovers of their own, and they left three-point shooters open all night. But the Rockets steadfastly refused to outplay the Kings.
Harden scored 33 points, and though his scoring kept the game close in the fourth quarter, it felt like a hollow total because of his poor effort on defense and his lack of care with the ball. Dwight Howard was just as careless, and also had possibly his worst offensive night of the season, bricking layups all night to the tune of a 2-7 effort from the field. He was consistently boxed out by smaller players on the glass, and was slow with his help rotations (along with the rest of the team).
Patrick Beverley may have gotten his scoring going tonight with 14 points, but he failed to record an assist and let Darren Collison light him up all night. Ty Lawson made an appearance, but was yanked pretty much immediately after a nasty turnover and, you guessed it, lack of effort on defense.
Pity poor Trevor Ariza, who's still largely carrying himself like a veteran. He was trying on defense, God bless him, but he was often left guarding two people (and even guarding DeMarcus Cousins for a stretch) thanks to the breakdowns around him.
In summation, blech. Sorry if you had to stay up for this game; it was brutal.