Yes, D.J. Augustin and David Nwaba. You heard that correctly.
The Houston Rockets were down for most of the night, falling behind by as many as 19 at one point, but they hung close enough in the third before Augustin and Nwaba took over the game in the fourth to spring Houston to a 132-126 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
Augustin finished the game with 22 points on 7-9 shooting from the field and 6-7 from deep, and 16 of those points and four of those triples came in the fourth quarter. Augustin also scored 5 straight points to give Houston their first lead since the opening quarter with 3:44 left to go in the game, and he also hit two clutch free throws in the closing seconds. He finished as a game high +21.
Nwaba played just 11 minutes, mostly all in the fourth quarter, and he was essentially a stick of dynamite. He was all over the place, making plays at both ends of the court, and he finished with a line of 10 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and a steal. He shot 4-5 from the field and 2-2 from deep, and it was his energy that kept the spark lit for the Rockets. He was +17 in those 11 minutes.
None of this would’ve happened without Eric Gordon, whose steady hand kept the team together through some tough moments in this one. Despite turning the ball over on back-to-back possessions in the fourth, EG finished with a team-high 32 points on 10-16 shooting from the floor and 5-8 from deep.
This was a gutsy performance by the Rockets and maybe my favorite win of the year so far.
Other Houston contributors were Alperen Sengun, who finished with 11 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, and 2 blocks, and he closed the game at center over Christian Wood, who was quiet tonight with 12 points and 5 boards on 4-13 shooting.
The Rockets also got 13 points, 6 boards, 3 assists, and a block from K.J. Martin, who also hit a big three down the stretch, and they got the typical all-around game from Jae’Sean Tate, who finished with 15 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks.
As for the Hawks, Trae Young was unstoppable, going for 41 points and 9 assists, while Clint Capela had 12 points, 16 boards, and 2 blocks in his first matchup with the Rockets since leaving, but it wasn’t enough, as Houston snapped a two-game losing streak with an impressive win on the road.
The Rockets now have tomorrow off before heading to Cleveland for a Wednesday game against the Cavaliers.