A normal blowout
The Rockets report, brought to you by APG&E: Rockets pummel short-handed Warriors in San Francisco 135-105
When the Rockets traded Clint Capela and their 2020 first round pick for Robert Covington at the trade deadline, nights like this is what they envisioned. Defensively, they have versatility to switch effectively and the quickness to double and recover when necessary. Offensively, they have a spaced floor for James Harden and Russell Westbrook to attack the rim uninhibited and make defenders pay with three-point shooting for doubling. To be fair, this was a pretty weak opponent, but the execution and effort from Houston was there in a way that could lead them to success against better opponents.
The Rockets were on fire from three-point range in the first quarter and that continued on for the rest of the night (25 of 49 from three-point range - 51.0%). The open looks they were getting from normal drive and kicks stood out and probably highlighted why Golden State is in the position they are this season.
.@Holla_At_Rob33 doing work with 20 points! https://t.co/pQzh2BIHe1— Houston Rockets (@Houston Rockets) 1582261925.0
New additions Robert Covington and Jeff Green both looked pretty good tonight, combining for 37 points and 9 rebounds on 13 of 20 shooting from the field and 9 of 15 shooting from three-point range. It's just one game, but it looks like Green will take the backup center role away from Thabo Sefolosha, with Sefolosha and DeMarre Carroll likely on the edges of the rotation. There's still plenty of time to get a clearer picture though. Overall, Houston's pivot and commitment to micro-ball at the trade deadline seems to be paying of.
Star of the game: James Harden was a team-high +32 for the Rockets in addition to having 29 points, 10 assists, 3 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. He didn't shoot the ball well is (6 of 16 from the field and 3 of 12 from three-point range), but because he got to the line a lot (14 of 15 from the charity stripe) he managed to have a true shooting percentage of 64.2%, giving him the edge over Russell Westbrook for tonight.
GQ Connection 💥 #AssistOfTheGame @BBVA_USA | #CreatingOpportunities https://t.co/y0gH1HoLmF— Houston Rockets (@Houston Rockets) 1582265409.0
Honorable mention: Russell Westbrook continued his pre-All-Star-break hot stretch tonight, tallying 21 points, 10 assists, 5 rebounds, and a steal on 10 of 20 shooting from the field and 1 of 2 shooting from three-point range. He was fast, he was springy, and he was effective at poking holes in an already very weak Warriors' defense.
Key moment: The Rockets outscored the Warriors 38 to 17 in the first quarter and it was pretty much over from there. Houston shot a blistering 8 for 12 from three-point range while Golden State shot a measly 0 for 6. They looked like a team that was foaming at the mouth for the All-Star break to be over. James Harden looked as sharp as he's ever been this season on both ends (11 points, 5 assists, 1 block, and 1 steal), Russell Westbrook carried his pre-break momentum into the game (9 points, 2 assists, 2 rebounds, 4 of 9 shooting from the field), and the Rockets were getting and hitting open shots from all over the floor.
Up next: The Rockets travel to Utah on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. to play the Jazz.