The Rockets lost to the Kings on Tuesday night, 107-97. The Rockets only gave up one 30-plus point quarter after giving up two the night before in Denver. Progress?
The Rockets were down early in the first quarter, 11-2, took a timeout and brought in the bench, and they ended tying up the game at 31-all at the end of the first.
The second quarter, the Kings would take the lead back by keeping the Rockets to only five made field goals, and they would go into the locker room up 57-50.
Out of the locker room, the Kings would keep their lead. While the Rockets would get close every now and then, the Kings would just put the foot back on the gas and extend their lead. The Rockets had chances and some wide open looks that would have made this a really interesting game but just could not get the shot to go down when they needed it.
Below are three takeaways from the loss
James Harden was 10-18, so why didn't he take 40 shots?
I am all about spreading the wealth, but Harden last night was pretty much the only guy who was able to get the ball to go in the basket. Harden shot over 50 percent and the rest of the team shot 37 percent. Harden needed to be more aggressive and Tuesday night he needed to carry the team in order to win.
If Harden isn't playing solid, all-out defense, then he should have the energy on the offensive end to score 45-50 points a night, right?
Harden isn't the only reason for the loss. The defense was awful yet again. But he could have been the only reason for the win.
It's another missed opportunity in a long line of missed opportunities this season. Losses to the Kings and the Nuggets are the games you will look back on at the end of the year when you wonder why this team is an eight seed instead of a five seed, if they even make it that far.
There is small and then there is Small
Toward the end of the third quarter, the Rockets used a unique lineup. The Rockets not only went small, they went ant man small.
For a few minutes, they used a group of Trevor Ariza, James Harden, Marcus Thornton, Patrick Beverley and Jason Terry.
And, actually, that group played pretty well. For most of the game, Dwight Howard was getting beaten by DeMarcus Cousins and when Ariza moved on to him during super small ball, the Kings had trouble getting the ball into him. With the smaller lineup, the team also made a mini-run to close the gap to under ten points.
No lie, but I would like to see a longer look at this lineup, I think it has potential to be helpful every now and then.
Corey Brewer's eyes say it all
Late in the game on Tuesday night with the Rockets trailing, the camera panned over to Brewer who was sitting on the bench only to catch a glimpse of him just staring blankly off into the distance. It's not an uncommon look, it's a look you have seen from athletes' eyes from time to time. But usually on really awful teams, and much later in the season.
Brewer shared the same look that I am sure many Rockets fans have had when looking at the TV this season.
The look, while brief, was painful to see. In my mind, I started to ponder what Brewer could be thinking. How on earth does this get fixed? Can this really get fixed? What am I doing here?
James Harden after the game said the team shows spurts of good defense just haven't been consistent, when asked why they haven't been consistent he responded with "good question."
If your leader doesn't know, Brewer's blank stare starts to make a whole lot more sense.