In the first half of the match, it began to look like the makings of a classic trap game. The Rockets came lumbering out of the gate, only making 4 3-pointers on 21 attempts, shooting 17-of-40 overall from the floor.
Luckily for Houston, Atlanta didn’t look any better. The young Hawks team made only 6 of their 22 3-point attempts and fouled the Rockets 13 times. Thanks to the Rockets going 15-21 from the free-throw line, compared to the Hawks’ 5-7, Houston went into the break with a 53-47 lead.
The second half would be a complete onslaught of threes for Houston.
Houston shot only 19-percent from downtown in the first two quarters of play, but went an astounding 15-26 from three in the second half, a rate of 57.6-percent.
Clint Capela absolutely had his way against the Hawks’ defense. The Rockets big picked apart the inexperienced opposition for his best game since returning from injury: 27 minutes, 26 points, 11 rebounds, 11-13 FG. Capela is coming off a 20-point, 13-rebound game against the Timberwolves, and now has six-straight double-doubles.
James Harden also had a big game with 31 points, 10 assists (5-straight 10+-assist games), and 8 rebounds in only 33 minutes of play. As you know, it was against the Hawks earlier this season that Harden’s 30-point streak ended. With this 30-point game, Harden has now scored 30 points against every opposing team this season.
But, arguably the biggest bright spot of tonight’s game was Danuel House Jr. House was third in Rockets scoring tonight, dropping 19 points on a career-high 6-11 shooting from 3 and a +20 on the night. He also put in a serviceable 33 minutes. House is averaging 17 points a game in his return to the lineup.
Some other notables:
Chris Paul: 13 points, 11 assists
Eric Gordon: 12 points, 4-7 from 3
Trae Young: 21 points, 12 assists
John Collins: 20 points, 10 rebounds
Houston is back to streaking, winning three straight games and 12 of its last 13. With this win, Houston gets a 1.5-game lead over the Portland Trail Blazers for third, and a 3-game lead over the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder. There’s no rest for the wicked as the Rockets have to touch down tonight in Memphis for a Wednesday night bout with the Grizzlies.