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Late-game scuffle sparks Rockets win over Hawks

The Rockets snagged a win.

Atlanta Hawks v Houston Rockets Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

If there was any time you needed confirmation if the Rockets had some ‘dog’ in em, last night was the night!

The Houston Rockets came back from a large deficit in the third quarter, after the Atlanta Hawks backcourt Trae Young and Dejounte Murray we’re throwing a slew of taunts towards the Rockets way, as the Hawks went on a 9-2 run.

The most notable of taunts, included a three-point contested shot that was made in front of Jabari Smith Jr. that led to Murray to tap Jabari in the head as a way to ‘son’ him.

That move wasn’t taken well by the young Rockets as it led to a scuffle, in which Smith later said in the post game interview, “There was a little disrespect going on from their side, so we just wanted to check them on it and just do some straightening.”

‘Straightening’ indeed. Before this happened it looked like any other night. The Rockets would start strong, look competent, then wonky lineups/adjustments would come in, they lose lead, opposing star goes off and scores a blitzkrieg of point, then lose game.

But something was different, despite losing the third quarter 32-25 and the Hawks backcourt combining for 69 of the 104 points scored in the quarter. The taunts backfired as the energy level around this Houston team just kept rising and rising, as they wouldn’t give up.

By the fourth quarter, the Rockets outrebounded the Hawks 14-8 and were disruptive with five steals.

They would also have five players score double digits which included a rare Garrison “Garry Bird” Matthews appearance who finished with 20 points (11 points scored in fourth quarter).

Last nights win was great night for Rockets fans. Yes, the win slightly hurts the tank for Victor Wembanyama agendas in the win/loss column, but this was a stepping stone of growth for the team.