Man, this was a fun game to watch. One of the most enjoyable games of the season for sure. Probably the most enjoyable game I’ve seen this season (I missed the game in New York). Rockets played a perfect offensive game and shot so well throughout the game (except for one stretch in the third quarter when Jeremy was out of the game and Rockets couldn’t make a field goal for over 4 minutes). This game was definitely Lin’s best shooting game. Not just because he had a high field goal percentage, but it was the first game this season when I didn’t cringe when he shot the ball. His shooting stroke looked really good tonight. Hopefully, he can keep shooting with the same stroke. He has improved his shooting quite a bit in the past several games. So maybe he’s starting to get more comfortable with his stroke. We’ll see.
Rockets tied an NBA record for threes going 23 of 40 from three point (57.5%). They could have had a much better shooting percentage if it wasn’t for garbage time (they were 18 of 27 or 66.7% from 3-point range through three quarters and tied an NBA record for threes in a half going 14 of 18 or 77.8% in the first half from long distance. ). Speaking of garbage time, that was the most bizarre/eventful garbage time I’ve ever seen. There were flagrant fouls and guys getting thrown out of the game. Pretty crazy stuff. All because the Warriors didn’t want the Rockets to beat the NBA record for threes on their watch. The most ridiculous example is when Draymond Green wrapped his arm around Beverley’s neck, committing a flagrant foul to prevent Beverly from potentially hitting a record-setting three. I blame the fan’s. I think their chanting of “one more three” made getting another three a huge thing and it motivated the Warriors to prevent Houston from attempting a three at all costs. Had the fans just stayed quiet, I think the players might not have made it such a big deal. But, of course, can’t really blame the fans. It’s fun to chant things. That’s one of the reasons you go to the games. At least D-Mo can tell his grand kids that he hit the NBA record-tying three.
This is starting to look a lot like December, again. We’re starting to blow out teams, again. Man, I still want that Denver game. If we had that Denver game, this would have been a really great stretch of wins–especially since it’s against tough opponents. Warriors came off of a 4-game winning streak or something like that and they’ve been playing very well. We scored the most points this season against a great defense. Very improbable stuff. No one could have predicted we’d blow out the Warriors by 31 points!
Even going into half time, I didn’t think this game was in the bag, even though we were leading 77 to 62 (having made 14 threes). I thought we were just so hot from the field that we’d cool off in the second half, but it didn’t happen. I was worried that Rockets would fall in love with the three, but I thought the coaches did a good job of reminding them to no fall in love with the three. The ball movement tonight was as spectacular as it has been after the January slump. There was one possession in the second quarter when the ball was passed around so rapidly that I almost couldn’t keep up with my eyes. I don’t remember exactly the scenario, but it did involve Lin, Harden, Parsons and then it ended with a corner three from Patterson. Lin penetrated then dished out and then it ended up in the hands of Parsons, who penetrated and passed it to a corner three. That’s probably the fastest I’ve seen the ball move all season.
This Rockets team has been breaking a lot of records this season. That’s gotta count for something. When they’re gelling, they play out of their minds and are capable of blowing out most teams. They really need the practice time, though, because it seems like they always do so much better after they’ve had a few off days. I think they need to constantly be reminded of how to play their brand of basketball.
It goes without saying, but Lin was impressive tonight, both stat-wise and also how he played the game. He also shot the ball well. That’s the thing, if Lin can improve his shooting, he’ll put up impressive numbers consistently. It is one day after the Anniversary of Linsanity, so maybe that had something to do with it. Also, Lin was playing against the first team that cut him and against his good friend Lee, so I think those were also motivating factors. But probably the biggest motivating factor is that we needed this win badly and Lin likes to step up against good teams. Lin, for sure dominated the PG battle against Curry: Lin 28 points (10 of 16; 5 of 8 from three point, which is a career best for Lin), 9 assists, +37; Curry 7 points (3 of 12; 1 of 5 from three point), 9 assists.
Linharden dominated the back court battle: 46 points vs. 13 points and 16 assists vs. 10 assists.
Rockets as a team had 35 assists, which I imagine is the most this season. I wonder if it’s a franchise record. And they only committed 8 turnovers.
Rockets scored the most points of any team in Toyota Center (so many records were broken tonight). They also had a season high 77 points by half time. We had 8 players in double figures, but Lin was the only player of the game that scored more than 20 points. Asik ended with 15 boards, continuing his streak of board-domination. Patterson also had another high rebounding game with 10 boards. Parsons had another high assist game: 8. Both Parsons and Harden had 4 three pointers each. I thought Harden did a good job of not forcing shots too much today. He trusted his teammates and was more willing to pass, rather than score. So that was nice to see. I was very happy to see Anderson getting some minutes. I guess with Delfino out, McHale had no choice. And also they’ve had more practices to get Anderson up to speed. Anderson looked solid and was a very positive contributor. He didn’t just jack up threes, he also tried to make plays and even got four assists (he had two in non-garbage time). I’m hoping this is enough for McHale to give Anderson some minutes so Harden can rest. I think it was. We’ll see.
Anyway, it was one of the best wins of the season. Lets enjoy it and hope we continue our domination of the East with a revenge game against Miami. They stole the game from us the last time we met. We’re a much better team now. Lets see if Miami can run with us. I don’t know why, but I’m actually less fearful of Miami than I was of the Warriors. Of course, David Stern had to set it up so that the Rockets would be traveling to Miami on a back-to-back road trip against a Miami team that will have two days of rest for the game. It’s crazy how NBA schedules favor the big name teams. This and the refs favoritism of star players is blatant cheating that is just allowed in broad daylight.