The Rockets struggled out of the gate, going down double digits early. The Nets led by as many as 14 late in the second quarter, but the Rockets went on a 13-4 run to cut the deficit to five at halftime.
The team continued their momentum out of the second half with an offensive attack led by Eric Gordon and Carmelo Anthony gave the Rockets a lead in the middle of the second quarter that the team did not relinquish.
Houston was also able to play better defensively in the second half, with the Nets shooting 65 percent at the break and ending the game shooting just 49 percent.
For the Nets, Caris LeVert shined with a team-high 29 points on 10-17 shooting. Joe Harris was also perfect from downtown and notched 18 points.
All but 16 points came from four Rockets that had been struggling to begin the season but looked much better Friday night.
Perhaps tonight’s best efforts came from CP3, who desperately needed a good offensive night after scoring a combined 29 points in his last two games.
He was able to eclipse that total tonight with a team-high 32 points on 13-27 shooting and he was able to dish out 11 dimes.
CP3 struggled in the first quarter, but really came into his own about halfway through the second. He knocked down two buzzer beaters and his play really sparked a fire under the team that was vital.
Chris Paul second buzzer beater in the game to put Houston up 5. pic.twitter.com/3eqe9oGhKI— UnwrittenRules (@UnwrittenRul3s) November 3, 2018
Melo put together his best game as a Rocket and he took advantage of the hot hand tonight.
Anthony scored 28 points off the bench, a season-high for him. He made nine of his 12 shots from the floor, with six of those shots coming from beyond. Tonight, Melo shushed his doubters and the people that keep saying he is “washed” or “out of the league.”
If this is “washed” Melo, I hope “washed” Melo comes every night.
Carmelo Anthony is picking up the slack for this struggling Rockets team— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) November 3, 2018
Only 23 minutes played thus far. pic.twitter.com/BbfcIXwWxe
Capela was tested in the paint all night long and looked like a liability on the defensive end throughout the first half. But, as the game progressed, Capela seemed to come into his own.
Tonight, he recorded his fifth double-double in the last six games, but tonight was probably his most impressive performance of the season so far. 22 points and 13 rebounds capped off a nice night for Capela, and he even overcame a Hack-a-pela reign late in the fourth quarter that allowed the Rockets to ice the game.
One of the early-season storylines this team has dealt with is Eric Gordon’s poor play thus far. Tonight, we saw less of it than what we have seen this season.
It wasn’t a spectacular night, but 21 points on 6-14 shooting was a step in the right direction. EG looked like a much more polished finisher at the rim tonight and it was incredibly welcoming to see that from Gordon again. We’ve missed it and it’s nice to know it’s on its way back.
The Rockets were by no means amazing tonight, and the problems they’ve created and the hole they’ve dug for themselves are all still prevalent. However, this team got a little better tonight and that’s all that fans can ask for.
Let’s see if they can keep the momentum going when the team heads to Chicago to face the Bulls tomorrow night. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. CT. Oh, and the Beard will be back.