Rockets fall to 0-2 in the series

3-pointers from Rockets 109-115 loss versus Warriors

Tuesday night the Houston Rockets took on the Golden State Warriors looking to even the western conference semifinals series at one game a piece. Houston came out sloppy from the start, and Golden State raced out to a lead that the Rockets would ultimately never be able to catch. While the game remained within reach throughout, Houston was unable to close in and the Rockets fell 115-109. The Warriors now lead the Rockets 2 games to none in the best of seven series.

Early Injuries

Almost immediately after the start of game 2, both teams received injury scares to key players one after the other. After swiping at a Clint Capela, point guard Stephen Curry clutched his left hand and made an exit for the locker room. They injury was reported as a dislocated middle finger, and Curry later returned in the first quarter with the injured digit secured to his other finger. Not too long after Curry made his exit, so too did James Harden. As the two teams battled for a rebound, power forward Draymond Green unintentionally swiped Harden's face causing an injury to both eyes. Harden wouldn't return until halfway through the second quarter, and after re-acclimating themselves both went to work lighting up the scoreboard. Harden would finish with 29 points, while Curry added 20 of his own.

Ball Security

Houston started the game either stiff or full of nerves. Whatever the case, the Rockets dug themselves into a hole with turnovers early that they would ultimately fail to overcome. Houston lost the first quarter turnover battle, 9-2, allowing 14 points. By the end of the contest they had given up 24 points off of 17 turnovers, while Golden State gave up only 9.

Quiet night

After 48 hours of nonstop talk surrounding the controversial officiating of game one, the focus only intensified Tuesday morning following the announcement that referee Scott Foster would be running the crew for game two. Foster, known for a perceived lack of impartial officiating towards Harden seemed like the worst timing the NBA could have run into, even if his assignment to this specific game had been made long ago. While Houston fans spent most of the day bemoaning what was assumed to be a repeat of game one, the contest was almost the exact opposite. Golden State was, in fact, the team that found itself in the most foul trouble in what was generally considered an evenly called game.

Rockets Player of the game

James Harden: 29 points, 4 assists, 7 rebounds, 1 steal

Warriors Player of the game

Kevin Durant: 29 points, 4 assists, 5 rebounds, 1 steal, 2 blocks.

Next up

The Rockets return to Houston for game three of the western conference semifinals against the Warriors at 7:30 pm.

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Another tough loss for the Texans. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

The Houston Texans started fast but faltered late as the New York Jets hand Houston their ninth loss of the season 21-14. Here are 11 observations from the game.

1. Starting safety Justin Reid was benched for the game. David Culley said after the game it was his decision as head coach and he would keep the matter internal with Reid.

2. This is the third defender benched for disciplinary reasons this season. Reid joins Zach Cunningham and Desmond King as players who missed time for discipline.

3. Justin Reid told Fox 26 he was benched because he had a disagreement with the coaching staff. He also said he was shocked the Texans benched him. You have to wonder if the “culture” the team is building is right when one of the more likable and personable players falls victim to their rules. Reid, who is a free agent this offseason, could leave the Texans.

4. Tyrod Taylor had a couple of nice plays early on for the Texans. His willingness to take some shots downfield was refreshing and led to a touchdown pass to Brandin Cooks.

5. Rookie tight end Brevin Jordan found the end zone. He has played well in recent weeks after finally getting on the field. Jordan is playing over Jordan Akins as Akins was a healthy scratch again this week.

6. Tytus Howard started at left tackle with mixed results. Howard has struggled to find his way at guard but could be a long-term option at tackle if given the chance.

7. The offensive line overall played poorly after some early success. The pass rush of the Jets got going and the run blocking was poor again. Lane Taylor played at left guard some, with Max Scharping also playing some at that spot.

8. The offense was horrendous after the two scoring drives. The Texans amassed 202 net yards with 91 yards coming on those two scoring drives. Houston gained just 49 net yards after their opening three drives.

9. After the game, I asked David Culley if he would be making a change with his play-caller. Culley stood behind offensive coordinator Tim Kelly and said he would remain the team’s play-caller.

10. Second-year defensive lineman Ross Blacklock had two horrible errors that handed the Jets a chance to turn three points into seven points. Blacklock got a personal foul on a field goal attempt giving the Jets a first down. The very next play his offsides penalty erased a sack. Each week Blacklock falls even more behind a bevy of players drafted after him who contribute positively on a regular basis.

11. The loss to another bottom-dweller has the Texans back in the second spot in the 2022 NFL Draft order. It also feels like the deflating nature of this loss erased some of the good feelings after the victory over the Titans. The Indianapolis Colts come to Houston next week to begin December’s portion of the schedule.

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