In the first half, Bill Worrell, Matt Bullard, and Clyde Drexler had a full, real conversation about their favorite varieties of turnovers. The pastries, not the biggest shortcoming of the 2015-2016 Houston Rockets.
That was the story as the Timberwolves matched the Rockets 12 turnovers in the first half, though Houston had 9 in the first quarter. It showed, too, as the Rockets ended the first 12 minutes trailing by 1. As the second unit came in and the game began to pick up, the Rockets started to force some turnovers of their own, which they actually capitalized on very well. Corey Brewer, specifically, looked particularly comfortable in such a fast paced game, which is encouraging, just as his recent play has been.
When two teams play each other both on the second night of a back to back, the energy starts to expire, and so do made jumpers in Houston's case. Through 3 quarters, the Rockets were 5-20 from the three point line, which is frankly a little discouraging after that had been such a strength during this mini-streak.
The pace picked back up, though, in the fourth quarter. Truthfully, after Dwight Howard received his 8th technical on the year, he just responded, and the team followed. Dwight had a fantastic dunk. Terrence Jones started to produce again after a lackluster game. James Harden scored his 10,000th career point.
But, as we all well know, basketball is a game of runs and the Wolves were bound to make one as the quarter went on. With just under 7 minutes to go, Minnesota tied the game at 93. Though the Rockets looked as if they could pull away, getting up by as many as 4 and keeping up strong enough defense to extend that lead, they just didn't. A couple more missed threes. A couple more turnovers, though only 16 total on the game after just throwing the ball away in the first quarter. The game was just never out of reach for the Wolves, and there would be plenty of reason to find that troubling.
The Rockets won. Their 5th in a row. The longest streak of their season. 2 games over .500 for the first time in what feels like a long time, and yeah, there is cause for concern. Sure, Houston is supposed to be a lot better than that Timberwolves team and probably win that game by a lot more points. It would be reasonable to be upset, or to beg for some more consistency, or some more effort.
But, I would ask that you focus on the facts previously listed in that paragraph. Not because I am pleading for ignorance, but because I am trying to show some positivity. Five wins in a row, as we've all figured out this season, is hard to do, and they've really had to fight for the last three. That November Houston Rockets team would'nt have done this. There is reason to be positive right now in Houston, even if it's not particularly palpable.
The Rockets will try to keep those positive vibes going on Friday against the Cavaliers.