The Rockets' two-game losing streak ended with a win over the hapless Lakers Thursday night,107-87. For the first time all season, the Rockets held the lead from start to finish.
In the first quarter, the Rockets caught fire from three, hitting on five of eight shots. The defense held up; while the Lakers got what they wanted in the paint, the Rockets did not allow a single mid-range shot or three-pointer.
The second quarter, the Rockets defense stayed strong and continued limiting jump shots. The Lakers did make a few threes, but the Rockets defense did tighten up in the paint.
The third quarter will forever be known as the quarter of Kobe Byrant, as the Black Mamba returned for a few minutes scoring ten points. The Lakers would close the gap on the Rockets would ride Kobe's momentum into the fourth quarter eventually closing the gap to five points. With the lead the Rockets had built nearly gone, the Rockets brought back James Harden into the game and the offense kicked it back into gear, finishing the game on a 26 to 11 run.
Thanks, Terrence Jones!
The Black Mamba took over the third quarter with a surprising dunk and some nifty plays, but the real star of the third quarter might have been T-Jones, who kept the Rockets in the lead while the Lakers were making a run.
Jones scored 13 points (4 of 6 from the field, 4 of 5 free throws) in the quarter, picking up the slack when no one else seemed to get anything to go down.
This wasn't a classic Jones game where he scores 20 points or collects 10 rebounds, but Jones was pretty much the only reason the Lakers didn't overtake the Rockets in the quarter. Jones wasn't great the whole game, but for the quarter he was on fire.
Marcus Thornton anyone?
What happened to Marcus Thornton? Is he a little injured or sick? Not that they needed Thornton during the win over the Lakers, but you didn't see him at all during the game.
The Rockets starters on Thursday all played well, but when they went to the bench they did struggle. Thornton has been one of the steadiest hands off of the bench, able to hit threes and run the offense.
In the previous game against the Kings, Thornton only played six minutes. He could have been helpful against Sacramento.
Falling in love with the 3 is annoying at times.
Yea, the Rockets shoot a lot of three's -- it's what they do, I understand. Yes, they often live and die by the three, and it is a good game plan when the shots are falling. But when the shots are not falling and the Rockets keep on shooting the three it can be a little maddening.
A handful of times on Thursday night, the Rockets would take a three, then get the offensive rebound and take another quick three, and it did not work once.
I understand this is what the Rockets do, but after the first or second time that doesn't work, how about running a play instead and not just taking a quick three?
When you get an offensive rebound you have to treat that possession like it is a precious thing; you worked hard to get the rebound, make sure you get points. If you get a three that's great, but make the defense work a little bit. Work to get a great shot, not just the easiest and quickest.