I asked for a competitive game in the thread and I guess that’s what we got, for the most part. Now I know to ask for more next time.
The Houston Rockets were looking like a team that had what it takes to steal a game in the concrete jungles where dreams are made of, until they weren't. A nasty 18-4 run by the Brooklyn Nets in the last three minutes crushed all dreams and hopes as the Rockets succumbed 123-114 down the stretch.
Brooklyn shot a ridiculous 9-for-10 from downtown in the fourth quarter that completely swung it their way and concluded a winless road trip for Houston.
It certainly appeared that the Rockets were going to pull this one out off of the strength of Kevin Porter Jr.’s 31-9-6 night and a collectively gritty 20 offensive rebound night, but that proved not to be enough.
It’s a shame considering that the team played well enough the first 45 minutes to win this one.
Alperen Şengün imposed his will around the rim and was a leading force in keeping the ball alive after missed shots. His 21 points and 12 rebounds will not go in vain in my book.
Neither will Josh Christopher’s 14 points as he hit a handful of difficult shots. His run cut into Jalen Green’s (14 points also) fourth quarter minutes, but it was hard to argue that he shouldn’t be out there as he showed some flair on his finishes.
In possibly the most surprising stat of the night, all four players off Houston’s bench finished with a positive plus/minus. That doesn’t help much though when you consider that the inverse was true of the starters.
Brooklyn’s starters put on a clinic with a hyper-efficient shooting performance capped off by what Brooklyn refers to as “The Twins”. Cam Johnson exploded for 31 points and Mikal Bridges poured in 27 as both players continued to excel in their expanded roles since arriving last month.
This game ultimately boiled down to one team that makes lots of defensive lapses and the other team capitalizing in the most painful way. My philosophy (a rather ingenious one if you ask me) is: if you’re not going to bother making threes (9-for-30), at the very least don’t let the other team make them (17-for-35). Oh well.
Anywho, I’m way past my breaking point and have long been in the acceptance stage as we enter the last five games of the season. It would be nice if the team wins the last two home games and gives the Houston crowd something to smile about, but a man can only ask for so much.