The Rockets' three-game win streak was fun while it lasted. Wednesday night, the Spurs beat the Rockets into a pulp, 130-99. The game started off decently enough, the Rockets hanging in, down only six after the first quarter. After that, it went progressively downhill and by halftime, the game was over.
Below are three takeaways from the Rockets loss to the Spurs on the road.
Looks like Patrick Beverley is developing a little bit of game
For the longest Patrick Beverley has been the known as a decent spot-up shooter, hanging around 30ish percent from three. This season, he has bumped that up to over 40 percent.
On Wednesday night, he started mixing in some drives to the basket and putting up some floaters. It's not something new, every so often he will put up one or two a game. But he used it quite a bit against the Spurs.
The other good thing about Beverley's floaters is he puts it right at the rim which is good enough for Dwight Howard or Clint Capela to try and track down the offensive rebound if he does miss it.
The Spurs' big second quarter
A close game in the first quarter changed quickly when play resumed in the second. The Spurs outpaced the Rockets by 14 points, and at the half, they were up 20.
Offensively the Rockets ran into plenty of problems from the Spurs defense. It started off well with a few drives from Josh Smith (he was quickly taken out of the game), but then they started to settle for threes. The ball did not flow, the Rockets used a lot of dribbles then a pass off to someone else for a shot. The offensive was about as bad as it gets.
The Spurs, on the offensive end, were able to get whatever they wanted against the Rockets. Wide-open threes, uncontested drives through the lane with a finish at the rim, mid-range jumpers, behind the back half court threes and windmill dunks. The Rockets had a few good stretches where they would play good defense then they'd allow an offensive rebound, or turn the ball over on the offensive end for a quick and easy layup.
Watching the destruction was hard to stomach
We should have known this was coming... A one-point win over the Anthony Davis-less Pelicans should have been a warning sign. The Rockets went into the AT&T Center knowing Tim Duncan wouldn't play and Dwight Howard would be back. So things would be different right? Nope.
The Spurs could have been without Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili and it wouldn't have mattered. The Spurs are just so much better than the Rockets at this point. They move as one, a well-oiled machine. Too often, the Rockets can be easily taken out of what makes them successful.
Wednesday night, the Rockets were blown out in every facet of the game. By the fourth quarter, the Spurs Boban Marjanovic was in the game to finish it out, their version of calling off the dogs.
In a game like Wednesday, it would have been nice to see K.J. McDaniels and Montrezl Harrell finish out the game. Alas, those two are mired in the D-League.
The game film will be awful to stomach but hopefully, the Rockets can take a few lessons away from this.