The going looked rough early on in the Rockets' matchup against the struggling Denver Nuggets, but Corey Brewer would have none of that nonsense.
As soon as the former Nugget subbed in with four minutes left in the first quarter, it felt like the Rockets had momentum on their side. Behind Brewer's push, the Rockets were able to turn around an 11-point deficit and go on to beat Denver 114-100.
While it's true, Denver's home record- currently sitting at 13-19- is not the definition of impressive, heading into the mile-high city on the second night of a back to back always poses certain challenges. The exceptional altitude can tire plays earlier than normal, and pose serious lineup problems if the bench is thin. Lucky for the Rockets, Corey Brewer made sure that wasn't an issue on this particular occasion.
He tallied a total of 24 points, six rebounds, two steals and an assist while posting an impressive +/- of +18. That's some serious production for a mid-season acquisition, especially in what most would consider a trap game.
There's no question that Brewer was a vital part of tonight's success in an admittedly precarious situation, but one would be remiss not to give due acclaim to the NBA's leading MVP candidate to this point, James Harden.
He pumps, he fakes, he shimmies and he shakes. Bottom line, the man can put the ball in the bucket. If it isn't his own hands doing the deed, he'll figure out a way to create some offensive opportunity for those around him. At this point he's essentially conning the NBA out of numbers, and we love it.
Harden made ten of eleven free throws attempted on his way to 28 points and seven assists. He threw in four rebounds just for good measure. We at The Dream Shake obviously have some degree of bias, but this man is doing things. Slippin' Jimmy will see your foul, and raise you a made bucket.
Wilson Chandler and Randy Foye dropped in a respective 26 and 20 points each for the Nuggets while Ty Lawson was two rebounds away from the most meaningless triple-double in history with a line of 13 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.
Other notable performances include Donatas Motiejunas with 18 points, six rebounds and five assists as well as Trevor Ariza, who looked refreshingly spry with a respectable 19 points, four rebounds and three assists. Ariza- who has struggled from behind the arc this season, shooting a "bleh" 32%- dumped in three of his six attempts from behind the arc.
With Memphis and Portland both taking bad losses tonight, the Rockets continue trying to climb the Western Conference ladder against the Trail Blazers on Wednesday, March 11. Houston is currently positioned third in the conference behind both Memphis and Golden State.