There was some hope the Houston Rockets had figured out some things. That we might not have to worry about the Rockets with no heart showing up again for the rest of the playoffs. Unfortunately we saw the Rockets outplayed, out-coached and out-competed in game three, falling to the Los Angeles Clippers, 124-99.
A lot did not go right in this game. In the first half the Rockets had fewer turnovers, out rebounded, had more assists, made just as many threes and made more free throws than the Clippers, but were still down nine points. The big issues were defending the Chris Paul and Blake Griffin pick-and-roll. The Rockets just were not interested in even attempting to defend that.
In the same respects they were not interested in playing defense on J.J. Redick at the three-point line either.
Then they made a run to start the third quarter to cut the lead down to three points. There was some hope, Trevor Ariza was getting into the lane, forcing turnovers and Jason Terry started knocking down three pointers.
It was at this point that Austin Rivers and Redick completely took over. Rivers and Redick led a 23-0 run to end the third quarter and extended it a bit into the third quarter.
The Rockets did not score a single point for almost seven minutes during this stretch. Rivers had just as many field goal makes in the third quarter as the Rockets.
Rivers and Redick did whatever they wanted and you could see the it was at this point the Rockets had quit.
Harden led the Rockets with 25 points, Corey Brewer had 11 off the bench, Terry had 13 before he was ejected. Dwight Howard had 14 points and Terrence Jones also has 12 points, neither scored in the second half.
Game four is Sunday at 7PM on TNT. The Rockets better show up for the game or the series is over. Can not have another outing like this.