The Houston Rockets are on a 4-game home winning streak, and beat the Phoenix Suns the last time these teams met back in Arizona. Since that loss, the Suns are 1-4, with their one win coming against the San Antonio Spurs. Two of those losses came in back-to-back testy games in New Orleans against the surging Pelicans.
The Rockets only have eight wins this season, but several of them have been great wins. The win Sunday night against the Milwaukee Bucks obviously constitutes one, and the 122-121 over the Suns a week and a half ago also qualifies. Houston trailed by 16 late in the third quarter, but outscored Phoenix 36-25 over the final frame and escaped with the win. In Houston’s win over the Bucks, they held Milwaukee to 92 points. It was easily their best defensive game of the season. They only allowed Giannis and co. to score 13 points over the final 12 minutes. So, uh...defense wins games. Especially in the fourth quarter.
The turnaround defensively has been good to see, and we can only hope it continues to trend in that direction. Houston certainly isn’t going to hold opponents to 37% shooting every night, but we can look at it the same way as the progress we expect from Jalen Green and Jabari Smith Jr.: steady and trending upwards overall, with several bumps along the way.
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