Baby steps

The Rockets report, brought to you by APG&E: Rockets build upon Memphis win, defeating Warriors 129-112

The Houston Rockets took a small step towards getting back to contending form Wednesday night with their blowout win over the depleted Golden State Warriors. After getting a decent win over the young, rebuilding Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night, the Rockets had absolutely no excuse to come return home and lose to an already shaky Warriors team missing All-Stars Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson. Houston did exactly what was expected of them for the second game in a row which is a nice change of pace to their up-and-down season.

Mike D'Antoni harped on the Rockets' conditioning being the reason for Houston's struggles to start the season.

"We're just not in great shape right now," said D'Antoni after the game. "We'll get there."

Multiple Rockets players agreed with D'Antoni's assessment, including notably, Clint Capela who'd struggled mightily up until tonight (19 points, 16 rebounds, 6 blocks, and 2 assists).

"I feel like everybody's not there yet, but it's getting there," said Capela. "It was a short preseason, we went to Japan, we came back, we're a vet team. We're like the 2nd oldest team in the NBA. For some of the guys, it took a little bit more than young teams to get where they want to be."

Star of the game: James Harden finished the game with 36 points, 13 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 steals, and 3 blocks. Harden shot 10 for 23 from the field, 6 for 16 from three-point range, and 10 for 13 from the free throw line.

Honorable mention: P.J. Tucker had his best game of the season, logging 22 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steal. Tucker shot 9 of 14 from the field, 4 of 8 from three-point range, and finished the game a +32.

Key moment: James Harden had an 18-point stretch to close the 2nd quarter after Eric Pascall turned to the Warriors bench and called him "food". Harden had been struggling with his three-point shot all season (25.3% before this game) and was due for a big game like this.

Up next: The Rockets travel to Chicago on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. to take on the rebuilding Chicago Bulls.

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