I know we lost, but IF we played like this every night there is no way in hell we would be a .500 team. Although the game was high scoring, you could tell the hustle and intensity was there. Even James was playing defense. Contesting shots, hustling back in transition, not standing around like a lost child at Wal-Mart looking for his mom while he was playing off the ball. He did have a couple defensive lapses in the first quarter, but it appeared once Curry started getting hot, James took it personal and ramped up the intensity. It’s pretty obvious he still feels slighted for last year’s MVP. By the way, funny how Steph has 19 points in the first quarter and it sounds like the announcers are jizzing in their pants as they commentate, but when Harden has 18 in the second you hardly hear a sound.
The up-tempo pace of the game led to some solid statistical nights for several Rockets players. Harden dropped a smooth 37 to go along with 5 boards and 5 assists. Oh and as mentioned above he played defense! Ariza had 19 and knocked down 4 of his 7 three point attempts. He also gave Thornton a death stare for a mishap on defense that was pretty intimidating. Howard had a nice dub dub with 16 and 15, but he didn’t exactly dominate his matchup with Australian Boozeman Bogut like you would hope/ expect. Marcus Thornton AKA Busta Rhymes scored 15 off the bench (see images below). He also had 3 assists, which is surprising considering that every time he touches the ball, he shoots. Bev did as he always does and contributed with some hustle plays. He had 7 points, 7 assists, and the highest +/- of the game for the Rockets at +9.
What is scary is that as a team we played hard, shot the ball well (especially from deep), and Harden damn near dropped 40, but we still lost. Golden State is as good as advertised and if the season were to end today we would be set to play them in the first round of playoffs…
Next Up: Tonight at 9:30 CT at Portland in the battle for 8th place. This will also be the last game before the All-Star break.