Rocket traveled to Utah for their second game after the all-star break. The Jazz are one of the top ranked defenses in the league and have been strong at home, winning their last 6. Rockets looked to go into Salt Lake City and gain some momentum to make a push for the playoffs.
For starters the fact that we need to make a push to make the playoffs is beyond pitiful. The first three quarters of this game were great to watch. It was a back and forth game and the Rockets were hustling, sharing the ball, and communicating on the defensive end. Josh Smith played some quality minutes and looked like he was finally in game shape, but rarely saw the court in the second half. Ty Lawson even looked like the Ty Lawson we thought we were getting for 8 minutes or so in the third.
Then the fourth quarter came around and James went to the bench as he usually does to start the quarter. We immediately reverted back to the old Rockets. Lackadaisical passes, shitty defense, and we almost seemed to turn the ball over on purpose. We also got to witness T Jones for the first time since his car accident. I’m glad the guy is okay, but geez I kind of wish he was still concussed. I would match rather see Montrezl get his minutes.
Behind Harden’s offense, Ariza’s defense, and a clutch 3 by old man Terry we were able to force overtime. Overtime wasn’t much better than the fourth quarter. We showed no sense of urgency as James casually walked the ball up the court each possession. We had a chance at the end of the game to tie it up but came up short as we missed a couple of three pointers. Losing 117-114 puts us in the 9 spot being Utah in the playoff picture.
James had another standout game in a Houston loss with 42 points which now ties him with Steph for most 40 point games. Wish these crazy numbers would equate to some wins. Ariza played a ballsy game tonight as he looked injured the entire way. He seemed to have a leg injury but didn’t let that slow him down from playing great defense as he locked up Gordon for the last 11 second of regulation to force overtime. That plus knocking down some big threes proves that Trevor hasn’t given up on this team yet.
Good news is according to Sports Center we caught a dub tonight!! Haha a little premature on their part. Can’t say I blame them, I thought we were going to win as well.
Rockets need to have a short memory as we face Dame Lillard and a scorching hot Portland team on Thursday. We get them on prime time so hopefully we can get a win and prove that we are still a team worth watching.