It's how you finish

The Rockets report, brought to you by APG&E: Rockets rally back to beat Spurs 109-107

Much like Houston's win over the Cavaliers last week, this game could have gone in an entirely different direction had the Rockets not responded to the Spurs' run with appropriate fear. The Cavaliers lept out to a 27-12 run to start the first quarter and didn't look back for the entire first half. The Rockets ended the first half down 73-59.

Harden really struggled in the first half scoring only 9 points on 4 of 17 shooting from the field. The third quarter is really where he turned it on, scoring 12 points on 4 of 6 shooting from the field and making 2 of his 3 three-pointers. The Rockets followed suit, outscoring the Spurs 30 to 17 in this period.

"My confidence is never gone," said Harden. "No matter if I go 0-for-20 or whatever. Like I'm going to always shoot the basketball and be aggressive."

I think it's huge. James didn't have a great first half," said D'Antoni." Just a lot of good things happened. A lot of guys contributed and it was a good win. All wins are good, but that was a really good win."

Star of the game: Thought the Rockets were utterly lost in the first half, it's anyone's guess where they would be without Russell Westbrook's 25-points on 10-16 shooting from the field.

"He held us in there," said D'Antoni. "His points gave us a chance."

Ironically, Westbrook had the team's lowest plus/minus (-10), but finished the game with 31 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block on 53.5% true shooting. To his credit, Westbrook has answered the bell every single time James Harden has had an off night. He may not be having a career season, but the games he does perform at a high-level are important for this Rockets' team.

Honorable mention: After worries about how he'll perform off the bench, Ben McLemore has proven he can be every bit the reserve that Gerald Green was for Houston before broke his foot.

"it's not just making adjustments," said McLemore about coming off the bench. "It's just playing free, you know, not thinking too much and just going out there and just playing the game. That's what I've been doing over these last few games."

McLemore poured in 17 points on 6 of 11 shooting from the field and 4 of 9 shooting from three-point range for Houston. With Danuel House struggling with

Key moment: The Rockets had to come out of the half on fire if they had any chance

Up next: The Rockets travel to Los Angeles at 9:30 p.m. to take on the Clippers

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Things are quickly changing. Composite photo by Jack Brame

Proving that things can always get worse, the Houston Texans(1-6) hit rock bottom losing to the Green Bay Packers 36-20 Sunday at NRG Stadium. The Packers (5-1) extended their winning streak at NRG stadium to 6-0.

All phases of the Texans defense failed to stop the Packers' marching orders. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers was good for 23-34 throwing for 283 yards and four touchdowns. Two of those scores went to Davante Adams, who had a career day with 13 receptions for 196 yards.

With Gareon Conley still on the IR, defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver moved cornerback Lonnie Johnson to safety. The move did not pan out. The Texans played man coverage instead of zone, which led to Adams having his big day. Houston's corners stunk up the joint, too.

The offense wasn't anything to brag about, either. Quarterback Deshaun Watson continues to struggle with a lack of talent surrounding him. Is there a less effective running back tandem than David Johnson and Duke Johnson? While DeAndre Hopkins was having his 34th career 100-yard game for the Arizona Cardinals, running back David Johnson, who the Texans received in trade for Hopkins, delivered another lackluster performance, rushing for 42 yards on 14 attempts. Johnson is making $12 million this year and averaging less than four yards per carry. Meanwhile, Kenyan Drake (Arizona), Antonio Gibson (Washington), and James Robinson (Jacksonville) all are averaging more than four yards, and all three of their salaries combined are less than Johnson's. Sorry Houston, you won't see a return on the David Johnson investment.

Looking forward

The Texans franchise is clearly foundering. Former multi-untalented general manager and head coach Bill O'Brien didn't just leave a 0-4 record, he left a dumpster wildfire that may take the Texans years to extinguish. While other losing teams may be "Tanking for Trevor," the Texans are bereft of first and second round picks next year.

Last season, the AFC South saw the emergence of the Tennessee Titans and the division is even stronger now. If the New York Jets are in position to draft Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and that plays out, current Jets' quarterback Sam Darnold could be heading to the Indianapolis Colts. The years of winning empty titles in a weak division are over for the Texans. Davante Adams' performance Sunday made one thing painfully clear to Texans fans: second-tier coaches directing third-tier players is a recipe for disaster.

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