Houston started off the game on a thunderous scoring run and jumped out to a double-digit lead in the first quarter.
However, the young and scrappy Atlanta Hawks made their best effort to jump back into the game. In the second quarter, the Hawks outscored the Rockets 32-21 to tie the game at 60 going into the break.
The comeback was led by impressive rookie Trae Young, who knocked down a game-high 36 points on 12-23 shooting. He was also efficient from beyond, sinking eight of his 12 attempts.
The Rockets bounced back nicely in the third quarter, winning the frame 35-25.
Through three quarters, James Harden tallied just 17 points on the scoreboard and failed to make a bucket beyond the three-point line.
Overall, the team was ice cold from distance, making just 15 of 51 shots, good for 29.4 percent.
Eric Gordon made a team-high four triples and scored 16 off the team’s 38 bench points. Gerald Green was one of the team’s six double-digit scorers.
Chris Paul scored 20, Clint Capela had 12 and Kenneth Faried put down 13 on the box score.
Harden, the team’s leading scorer, had just 28, the lowest point total he’s posted in a game since December 6, when he had 15 in a loss to the Jazz.
The Beard had 28 with the ball in his hands in the waning seconds of the game, but opted to let the clock run out rather than attempt to continue the streak that ended at 32 consecutive games.
Had Harden made just one of his 10 three-point attempts, the streak would still be alive.
However, at the end of the day, Harden cares more about winning than the streak, otherwise he would have gone for it.
It’s part of the reason why these bits of information are buried this far deep into the recap.
At the end of the day, the Beard cares about winning, which is the main takeaway from today’s game, and the Rockets got their win.
With the Rockets and Trail Blazers winning tonight, the Rockets remain two games back of the fourth seed in the Western Conference. And with just 22 games left to go, it’s safe to say the Rockets will be eyeing the standings for the rest of the regular season.
The next chance to climb the standings comes Wednesday as the Rockets take on the Hornets in Charlotte. Tipoff is at 6 p.m. CT.