The Rockets report, brought to you by APG&E: Houston takes care of business against Miami 117-108
After losing three games in a row, the Rockets captured a quality win tonight against a fiesty Miami Heat squad. The Heat were without Jimmy Butler and there tends to be a "let your guard down affect" when playing against a team without it's star. Fortunately for Houston, they seemed to be ready from the opening tip.
The Rockets looked in a daze for the first minute or so of the game, turning the ball over twice. However, they quickly found a rhythm, going on a 10-0 run which later turned into a 17-1 run. With Clint Capela out with an illness, there was an opening for young players Isaiah Hartenstein and Gary Clark to enter the rotation. Hartenstein didn't do much in the 10 minutes he played (2 rebounds, 2 fouls, -1), but Clark had his best game of the season in the 29 minutes he saw the floor (12 points, 8 rebounds, 1 steal, and 1 block on 5 of 10 shooting from the field, +7).
Mike D"Antoni didn't make any guarantees, but left open the possibility of Clark making the rotation this season.
"Gary's good," said D'Antoni. "We're trying to find somebody to give us something consistent. It's up to him to do this. You know everybody in the NBA can do it one or two nights. Can you do it for six months in a row? We got to have that."
Danuel House also had a career high 23 points on 7 of 11 shooting from the field and 4 of 8 shooting from three-point range. "There are always good looks on this team," said House. "When those two guys (Russell Westbrook and James Harden) get going downhill, they put a lot of pressure on a lot of people. I'm open, open. So, thank you Russ and James."
Star of the game: James Harden started the game tonight with the clear intention of taking care of business against a Miami Heat team without Jimmy Butler. Harden had 24 points by halftime, giving the Rockets a 66-42 lead that the Heat were never able to recover from. Harden ended the game with 34 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block on 64.4% true shooting.
Honorable mention: Russell Westbrook had possibly his most efficient game of the season. Westbrook had 27 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 steals on 11 of 21 shooting from the field. Westbrook did most of his damage from the midrange where he made 8 of 14 shots. Westbrook also made 5 of 6 of his free throws after making 9 of 10 in the previous game.Key moment: After starting the game off down 3 with two turnovers, the Rockets went on a 10-0 run in the opening minutes of the first quarter that was progressively built on as the night went on.
Up next: The Rockets finish their home stand off against the Atlanta Hawks at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday.