Rockets escape Pelicans, 126-123

Three Pointers from Rockets win over New Orleans

The winless Houston Rockets hosted the winless New Orleans Pelicans Saturday night. Poor shooting and continued early season chemistry issues contributed to a closer game than it should have been. Russell Westbrook heroics late in the fourth would ice the Pelicans, however and the Rockets secured their first win of the 2019-2020 season

Slow start from Harden

A winless New Orleans team maintained their reputation as a pesky out against the Rockets once again Saturday night. James Harden did very little to help Houston pull away to start the contest, shooting 1-10 from beyond the arc in the first half. Harden would finish with 29 points, but 2-18 from three on the evening can be looked at as a major reason why the Pelicans were able to remain in the game for so long.

Westbrook makes history

Westbrook unleashed himself upon a hapless Pelicans team to the tune of 28 points, 13 assists, and 10 rebounds. In his second consecutive triple double as a Rocket, Westbrook passed Magic Johnson for the second most triple-doubles in NBA history.

Chemistry still developing

The Rockets on paper are clearly the superior team, but basketball is a finesse sport that is predicated on repetition and timing. Houston's main ball handlers are clearly still developing this with their new teammates as James Harden and Westbrook combined for 12 turnovers tonight.

Rockets Player of the Night

Russell Westbrook: 28 points, 13 assists, 10 rebounds, 1 steal

Pelicans Player of the Night

Brandon Ingram: 35 points, 5 assists, 15 rebounds

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Another tough loss for Houston. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images.

The Houston Texans lost again as their road game ineptitude continues. Former Texans stars DeAndre Hopkins and J.J. Watt helped the Cardinals to the 31-5 victory.

1. The lack of talent is getting exposed earlier and earlier each week. The Texans have seen games slip away faster and faster from them each week. The team is overmatched almost everywhere.

2. Penalties remain a problem for the Texans. It seems like clockwork the team gets an illegal motion or illegal formation each week. Jordan Akins torpedoed a drive with a chop block. Max Scharping erased a positive play with a hold.

3. Davis Mills had some solid moments, but again, this team isn't good. It is hard to assess Mills with this team. He's making quicker decisions but he doesn't have the time or the players to make big plays.

4. The offensive line stinks. The interior of the line is still a mess and with Laremy Tunsil down the edges find themselves shaky as well. The running backs don't block well. The blocking tight ends don't block well. It is bad football in what was supposed to be a much-improved unit.

5. Desmond King was the best returner in the preseason. The team elected to give Andre Roberts an opportunity for a few games, but with his departure, the duties went to King. King is the most successful returner the Texans have had in a long while. Yes, it is that clear after just one game.

6. Max Scharping was benched in favor of Justin McCray. McCray produced similar levels of success. Scharping was benched last year for a journey-man veteran as well. The former second-round pick isn't getting it done.

7. Speaking of former second-round picks, Lonnie Johnson had an interception. That was the highlight of his day. Otherwise, Johnson frequently has me asking "what is Lonnie Johnson doing?" The former second-round pick at cornerback has been less than impressive at safety. Johnson seems to frequently be out of position or making the wrong choice in coverage.

8. DeAndre Hopkins had a solid day against the team that traded him away. Hopkins hauled in seven catches for 53 yards and a touchdown. After he scored, Hopkins looked to bring his hands together and mimic a prayer motion. I don't anticipate this was a nod to Arian Foster but perhaps could this have been about Jack Easterby?

9. The Texans had some sacks, but little of that action came when the game was close. Jonathan Greenard added two sacks to his total. The success Greenard is having is frustrating when you consider he couldn't get on the field last season. Charles Omenihu returned to action and had some pressures for the defense.

10. During the game reports surfaced that the Panthers might be interested in trading for Deshaun Watson. It was also reported by the Houston Chronicle Watson had vetoed a trade to Philadelphia, so the Eagles will not be involved in the Watson sweepstakes. The Panthers can only trade two first-round picks. The Miami Dolphins have three first-round picks they can trade for Deshaun Watson.

11. The Texans decided on a "culture" head coach in David Culley. His team has looked lifeless on the road. While the Texans took their beating, the Lions gave it their all against a good Rams team. Detroit is winless, but they play harder and better than the Texans. It grows clearer each week "culture" is meaningless if the team can't win.

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