Well, that winning streak sure didn't last long. It was nice, though.
The Rockets fell to the Nets last night, 110-105. The Rockets looked sluggish early on and were not able to hit many shots. I had the feeling it would be a long night for the Rockets after Trevor Ariza went down in the first quarter with bruised lower back. The Rockets again found themselves down 18 points during the game, but again fought back to pull close at the end.
Below are three takeaways from the loss:
Anyone but you Roman!!!
If you understand that, you might see that I am a little bit of a wrestling fan. Kudos if you got it.
The Nets on Tuesday night employed the "anyone but you Roman" defense. The Nets chose to make James Harden's night very difficult, they did a good job at denying him the ball, doubling him on rolls, helping him to an off night.
Harden was 0-for-5 on uncontested field goals, and he finished the night 2 -9 and 5 -6 from the free throw line. That rough shooting was paired with a just-as-ugly 7 turnovers. The Nets neutralized The Beard.
The bench came alive
Trevor Ariza leaves the game in the first not to return, James Harden only scores 10 points and the Rockets only lose by five. How the heck does that happen? Benchmode was engaged, that's how.
Corey Brewer and Marcus Thornton came in and could not miss! The duo combined to go 21-34, scoring 54 of the Rockets 105 points. Needless to say, without their contributions the Rockets would have lost by 20+ points EASY.
Brewer was clearly on fire, making multiple crazy shots. In the second quarter, Brewer had a wide open three, then for some reason chose to pass to Terrence Jones near the hoop . The ball ended up being bounced around and was kicked out to Brewer, who nailed a second wide-open three.
Thornton on the other side is pretty streaky and prone to some hot nights.The good news is that when Thornton gets going he stays that way for a little bit. When Thornton had his stint starting he was putting up 17 points a game.
Unforced errors, and lots of them
The Rockets finished the game with 24 turnovers a season high, a lot of them were unforced mental errors.
The awful thing about 24 turnovers and losing by five points is that anyone of those turnovers could be the one that moves the Rockets closer to a win.
Donatas Motiejunas had another six minutes of action and had two turnovers, but his are to be expected he's still trying to figure out NBA basketball again.
But Dwight Howard and Harden both had some key turnovers down the stretch at really hurt the team as they were getting back in the game.
Down eight with four minutes left, Thornton drove the lane and tossed an easy pass to Howard for a dunk. Instead, Howard mishandled the pass and the ball went the other way.
In the same stretch, Harden was driving the lane and instead of trying to score or draw the foul, he passed out to Thornton for a three but missed him by about five feet.
Harden on the night had seven trying-to-do-too-much plays. While the Rockets are OK with that because getting other guys involved is his job, a Harden that is feeling it on the offensive end usually tries to finish at the rim. But the Nets did a really good job at packing the paint last night, and the offense suffered.