The Big 3 for the Rockets all shined tonight. Clint Capela and Chris Paul both had double-doubles and CP3 was two assists shy of a triple-double. James Harden scored 31 points and dished out nine dimes while Capela made 10 of his 11 attempts from the floor, scoring 25 points and grabbing 11 boards.
The Rockets came into tonight the smaller team, but the team held their own tonight, grabbing 50 rebounds compared to the Timberwolves’ 42. The second chance points came in handy tonight and it is another stat that will leave you astounded about the team’s capabilities.
The starters started off cold but picked it up as the game progressed. All five starters scored in double figures, including Trevor Ariza, who played in his first game since January 28 after suffering a hamstring injury. He had 11 points and made three of his six threes.
With the win, the Rockets have won 11 consecutive games and have not lost a game in four calendar weeks since the Rockets visited the Pelicans in New Orleans. In that game, DeMarcus Cousins ruptured his Achilles and played his final game of the season. Hopefully All-Star Jimmy Butler did not suffer the same fate tonight.
During the third quarter, Butler awkwardly planted his foot during a drive to the basket and needed assistance to leave the court. Butler scored 10 points before leaving the contest. As Minnesota’s leading scorer, the Wolves are hoping their star player will see the court again this season.
In the first half, Butler was leading a charge that saw the Wolves outplaying the Rockets. The Wolves had a lead as big as nine points, but the Rockets found ways to climb back. A 9-2 run to end the first half saw the Rockets take a one-point lead going into the break.
The Rockets’ momentum carried from the end of the first half to the third quarter as the Rockets outscored the Wolves 33-21 in the third. The bench came alive in the second half as the newest Rocket Joe Johnson led the way and scored 10 points in the second half.
The bench is the shiny, new feature on the Rockets that allows the team to stand out over its competitors. The depth on this roster is deeper than any team the Rockets have fielded in the past and makes this team dangerous down the stretch. Hopefully the win tonight could be a sign of things to come.
The Rockets will look to get their 12th straight win in Denver on Sunday night. Tipoff is at 7 PM CT.