It was a very solid win for Houston, who lead by 15 after the first quarter and had the lead for pretty much the entire game. James Harden lead the way with 35 points, 15 assists, and 11 boards. It was his 21st triple-double of the season. Regardless of what Russell Westbrook did in Denver today, you certainly cannot let Harden’s accomplishments go unnoticed. Both players are having phenomenal seasons, and today’s game was basically a tune-up for their playoff series beginning next weekend.
The rest of the team certainly seemed more awake in the game, especially Ryan Anderson, who made his first six shots, all threes, en route to 21 points. Clint Capela dominated with a +28 and 18 points. Lou Williams matched that total off the bench, and Bobby Brown, the first player to come off the bench today, had a season-high 16 points in 25 minutes.
The Kings were down by as much as 22, but were able to stick around much in part to rookie Skal Labissiere’s 25 points and former Rocket Ty Lawson’s 20. Sacramento has a young, upbeat squad and Houston was supposed to beat them today pretty convincingly, and they did.
With this win, the Rockets clinch the third best record in the league as they sit at 54-26 with two games left to play. This means that in the case the Rockets make the NBA Finals, they will have the homecourt advantage! This is certainly a team that exceeded expectations this year. This 54th win matches the total from 2013-14, and two wins in the last two games will get the team to 56, matching their win total from 2014-15, when the team went to the Western Conference Finals.
The Rockets aim for their 55th win tomorrow against the LA Clippers, one of the few teams in the league still jostling for playoff position. A win for them could clinch homecourt advantage in the first round, and the Rockets will try to play spoiler. Tipoff is at 9:30 PM CT on TNT and Root Sports.