After losing back to back games against Western Conference teams (Clippers and Suns), the Houston Rockets badly needed a win. The task wasn’t easy as their next game was against the 3rd place Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant, and Houston was still without starting guards Kyle Lowry and Kevin Martin. The Rockets however have a tendency to play well in games in which they are undermanned and playing a strong opponent. If you don’t believe me, refer to my last post, or continue reading.
The Rockets started out the game slow, giving up 40 points in the first quarter and only scoring 25. However this team is known to be scrappy and to always play hard. Houston clamped down on defense in the 2nd quarter, only giving up 16 points to the Lakers, while scoring 26 themselves to cut it to a 5 point game at halftime. Houston kept it about even throughout the third period, and got some help when Andrew Bynum picked up his second technical foul of the game and was ejected with 1:10 left in the 3rd. When the 4th quarter came around, Ramon sessions took over. There were 5 straight possessions where Sessions either scored or assisted and the Lakers took a 12 point lead, 95-83, with 6:43 to go in the game. Kobe the closer came back into the game, and in my opinion, totally ruined the flow of the Laker offense. Sessions stopped looking for his shot, partly because Courtney Lee started to guard him, and partly because the offense went through Kobe. From that point on Houston dominated the game. The Rockets finished the game on a 24-9 run and won a thriller at home, 107-104.
The Rockets got a great a team effort tonight. Goran Dragic had 10 of his 16 points in the 4th quarter, as well as 13 assists and 7 rebounds. Courtney Lee and Luis Scola added 23 points each. Chandler Parsons had 13 points and 7 rebounds, but his biggest contribution was his stellar defense on Kobe Bryant. Kobe had 29 points but on 10-27 shooting. In fact, after being outscored 40-25 in the first quarter, the entire Rockets team played great defense and outscored LA 83-64 in the last three quarters.
This was already a big game for the Rockets, who are battling for a playoff spot currently sitting at 8th in the West. After blowing an opportunity to pick up a game on the 9th place Phoenix Suns on Sunday, this win became even bigger after Phoenix blew a 10 point 4th quarter lead against Miami tonight, and the Rockets were able to pick up a full game on them. Utah however got a big win against OKC and only sit a .5 game behind Houston. The Rockets will play 4 of their next 5 games at home and will look to gain ground in the always competitive Western Conference
About the Author
Written by Mohsin Ghesani
Huge sports fan! More specifically, huge HOUSTON sports fan. Love the Rockets and Texans!