The Houston Rockets looked tired from the get go. Despite the return of Chris Paul to the lineup, the Rockets could never find their groove against the Washington Wizards, looking every bit a team that suffered an emotionally taxing defeat the night before.
Houston had no shooting legs, finishing with just 42 percent shooting from the field and 13-47 from beyond the arc in leading to a 121-103 pounding tonight in Washington.
James Harden led the team with 20 points on 7-14 shooting, but he had 0 rebounds and just 4 assists in a game that saw a very little ball or player movement for Houston. They had just 15 assists for the night on 38 made shots.
Despite their poor body language and offensive flow, the Rockets gutted it out for a while, keeping the lead around 10 points and even getting to within 5 points, trailing just 67-62 with 7 minutes to go in the third. But as the game hit it’s final frame, the Rockets completely fell apart and allowed the Wizards to roll to a big finish.
Poor team defense once again reared its ugly head tonight, as the Rockets allowed Washington to shoot 53 percent from the field, including a scorching 18-36 from deep. They also gave up 46 points in the paint.
In addition to Harden, the Rockets also got 18 points apiece from Eric Gordon and from newcomer Gerald Green. They were the only other Houston players in double figures. Ryan Anderson did have 12 rebounds, but he was 1-8 from three, and Chris Paul had just 8 points and 6 assists on 3-11 shooting.
Perhaps more importantly, the Houston offense looked as stagnant as any point during the current streak and the defense looked as poor as at any point, despite Paul’s return.
The Wizards were led by Otto Porter Jr. , who finished with 26 points, 7 three-pointers, 6 rebounds, and 7 assists, and they also got 21 each from Bradley Beal and Kelly Oubre, 17 from John Wall and 13 from Jodie Meeks.
The Rockets now fall to 25-9 on the season, and they’re just one game up on the third-place San Antonio Spurs. In fact, they currently hold just a four-game lead on the fourth-place Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Rockets now get a much-needed day off, and they get to return to the Toyota Center after a disastrous three-game road trip to face the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.
With the Lakers one of the teams to already defeat Houston during their losing streak, and the team currently in a tailspin, it’s fair to wonder when Houston will snap out of their funk. With games coming up next week against the Golden State Warriors and a suddenly tough Detroit Pistons team, let’s hope it’s sooner rather than later.