A Christmas Miracle (Houston beats San Antonio)
It’s weird how only 2 days after the Rockets let guys like Payton and Gordon light us up in Orlando, Houston plays astounding defense against the #3 offense in the league San Antonio Spurs. Houston held the Spurs overall to 41% from the field, and 5-19 from the 3 point line and only allowed them to get to the line 8 times (for 7 makes). And they tacked on 17 turnovers as well.
You could tell they had a plan for Aldridge. At times the would double him on the post or deny him the ball, other times they would try to guard him straight up. The result was a solid, 18 points but it took him 17 shots to get there, the key was that they didn’t send him to the line at all.
Ariza and Brewer spent most of the game on Leonard, and held him to a 20 point game on 19 shots. Duncan put up 5-10 for 13 points, Diaw had a 5-11 game and Ginoble had a 3-7 game, but outside of that all of the supporting cast had horrible shooting nights.
On the offensive end for Houston wasn’t that great, but against the best defensive team in the league, I’ll take a 88 point 43% shooting game. Harden was smothered on the offensive end in the first half and only was able to score 2 points. But then seemed to find his shot in the 2nd half. San Antonio wasn’t giving him any easy looks in the paint or at the 3 point line, but when he started pulling up from 5-10 feet away from the basket, some of those shots went in.
Harden ended the game with 20 points on 21 shots and only went to the line 5 times (San Antonio refused to foul him). If you had told me that you would get a night like that from Harden, I would have bet anything that the Rockets would’ve lost a game against the 2nd best team in the league. But Houston got good games from the supporting cast once again. Jones had 14 points on 6-11 shooting. Howard had 11, Terry added 12, and Lawson had a decent 7 points and 5 assists on 3-5 shooting.