The Houston Rockets had a great week of basketball. Despite a few injuries along the way, the Rockets offense dominated, making this week an awesome 3-0 week.
Houston Rockets at Memphis Grizzlies W 93-86
The Rockets tipped off the week against the Memphis Grizzlies inside the FedExForum. The Grizzlies were missing Marc Gasol due to a sprained MCL, while James Harden was sidelined with a sore left foot. Both teams were missing key players.
The game started off slow, as the Rockets led 2-0 for about the first two minutes into the game. After that, the first quarter was a close, back-and-forth battle. At the end of one, Memphis led 24-20. The second quarter was when the Rockets fell behind, but still hung in there. Later in the quarter, Houston fell behind again, losing by 12 at the half, 44-32. In the third, the Rockets still struggled to keep up, falling behind in double-digits yet again. But at the end of three, Houston cut the deficit to eight, 63-55. The fourth quarter was where this Rockets offense impressed me the most, outscoring the Grizzlies 38-23, taking over the game, and winning 93-86.
Chandler Parsons shined in this one, scoring 17 points on 8-for-9 from the field, as well as hitting a 3. Omri Casspi had a great game, posting 16 points. Dwight Howard finished with 15 points and seven boards. Jeremy Lin added 14 points and four assists, and Terrence Jones chipped in 11 points and five rebounds.
As a team, the Rockets shot 49.3 percent from the field, had 20 fast-break points and 52 points scored in the paint. The Rockets also scored 22 points off of Memphis turnovers.
Houston Rockets vs Atlanta Hawks W 113-84
The Rockets next victim was the Atlanta Hawks, as the Rockets welcomed the Hawks into the Toyota Center. Hawks on-fire three-point shooter Kyle Korver did not play in this game, as he was dealing with a rib injury, and Harden was out for the Rockets once again.
The Rockets got off the a hot start immediately, making the lead 20-9 already in the first quarter. At the end of one, Houston led 30-19, and at that point, you already knew it was over. In the second quarter though, Atlanta went on a bit of a run, cutting it to single-digits with about five minutes into the quarter. The Rockets still held on though, making the score back to double-digits at halftime, 56-45. In the second half, the Rockets completely dominated, outscoring the Hawks 57-39. Houston went on to demolish the Hawks, 113-84.
Francisco Garcia and Aaron Brooks were phenomenal, as they racked up 21 points. Both Parsons and Jones finished with 14. Howard posted 11 points and eight rebounds. Omer Asik chipped in 10 points and nine boards.
Houston was once again very efficient from the field, shooting 55.1 percent, and were also on fire beyond the 3-point line, shooting 51.9 percent.
Houston Rockets vs Brooklyn Nets W 114-95
The Rockets final opponent of the week were the struggling Brooklyn Nets. Deron Williams was sidelined due to a sprained left ankle, and Kevin Garnett sat out, taking a night off. Jeremy Lin was out for Houston with a sprained right knee, who will be out for at least two weeks.
Right from the start, the Rockets had full control of this game. About halfway through the first, the Rockets already had the double-digit lead, and continued to build a lead. By the end of one, Houston led by 16, 33-17. The second quarter was no different, outscoring the Nets 33-23. At the half, Houston led 66-40. Halfway through the third quarter, the Rockets stretched their lead to 30 points, leading by a huge margin, 78-48. The Rockets went on to crush Brooklyn, 114-95.
Parsons was outstanding, finishing with 21 points, six boards, three assists, and two steals. He shot 7-for-7 from the field and an incredible 6-for-6 from the 3-point line. Casspi had another great game, posting 16 points. Garcia had 15, and Brooks had 14. Howard scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
The Rockets offense continued to click on all cylinders, as they shot 52.7 percent from the field and 59.4 percent from the 3-point line. The Rockets also shot 85 percent from the free-throw line.
These three games were very impressive, and showed a lot about this team. The Rockets offense was completely dominant, as they now rank first overall in points per game. Their dynamic offense, with a productive bench and role players, are going to poise many problems for many opponents around the league.