On Christmas Day, the Houston Rockets scratched out a four-point victory over the juggernaut San Antonio Spurs, one of only seven losses they've suffered this season. Since the victory, the Spurs have defeated the Rockets twice by a total of 49 points, including last night's 31 point drubbing.
The unfortunate trend: Teams looking for revenge have found it against the Rockets.
The Spurs used the Rockets to rebound from a blowout 30 point loss to the Golden State Warriors suffered on Monday. The game was a disappointing drubbing with all competitiveness expunged in the first quarter and a Harden-Howard white flag waved at the end of the third. San Antonio's offense was on full display with crisp three point shooting putting Houston in a hole they'd never recover from.
It's safe to say San Antonio has found their revenge for the game on Christmas Day.
This loss is nearly cyclical. Two weeks ago the Cleveland Cavaliers handed the Rockets a 14 point loss on national TV one night after losing a close fight with the Spurs. It's an unfortunate problem. Teams looking for revenge from tough losses have been able to find wins against Houston.
Meanwhile, Houston faces bleak prospects against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night with a different revenge problem: The only two teams with a winning record Harden and crew has been able to defeat multiple times this season are the Los Angeles Clippers, who themselves beat Houston in overtime last week, and Dallas Mavericks.
Only nine Houston wins this season have come against teams who currently hold a winning record.
Houston handed OKC a loss in the opening weeks of the season, but their recent losses to San Antonio and Los Angeles mean the men in red and yellow will be slogging against the grain in their search for a Friday night win.