Fan Reacton: Rockets victory over Wizards
The Rockets get the win in Washington to move to 4-3 on the season overall, 2-2 on this current road trip. Before the game started, D’Antoni announced that Brewer would start in place of Gordon at the point guard position today. It was made so that we would have a better defender on Wall for those first moments of the game. The jury is still out on whether that was a good move or not, because Gordon and Brewer both had the same +/- of 4, so we’ll have to wait and see how things work out in the next couple of games.
The 2nd quarter was key for Houston. The started the quarter down 7, and at the 10 minute mark had their largest deficit of the season at 11 points. But then the defense turned it on, and the offense without Harden on the floor was able to get going and cut the lead to 5 before the Rockets starters returned. They continued to play great defense and score on the other end of the floor. At one point they were on a 27-7 run with 2 minutes left in the quarter, and maintained a 9 point lead going into the half. The Wizards would finish the quarter with 17 points and shoot 20% from the floor for the entire quarter.
Harden had an inconsistent first half. Was able to rack up 10 assists, but only 7 points on very poor shooting. But that would turn around in the 2nd half. He finished the game with 32 points and 15 assists (and 8 turnovers) and shoot 9-19 from the floor.
In the third quarter the Wizards made quick work of the Rockets halftime lead, erasing the whole deficit only 3 minutes into the half. Fortunately the Rockets responded and the score mostly went back in forth for the rest of the game. Houston would lead by 1 going into the final period, and they would trade leads until Houston finally managed to pull away with a few solid defensive stops in a row followed by great offensive plays on the other end.
There was a stretch of 4 back to back plays that were key. The first being a block by Nene to prevent the Wizards from tying the game with 5 minutes left. Then the next play Nene set a pindown screen on Ryan Anderson’s guy and it resulted in a open 3 pointer. Then on the defensive end they managed to guard the pick and roll well forcing a bad pass which Ariza intercepted, and Harden ran the court and got the easy layup in transition. Then a few plays later another forced turnover and Rockets basket on the other end of the floor and it was over.
The Rockets went into this game 28th in the league in defensive efficiency, but gave a solid defensive effort tonight only allowing the Wizards to shoot 42% from the field. Capela had 14 points and 4 blocks (career high). Ryan Anderson also scored a season high 23 points shooting 9-15 from the floor and 5-8 from 3.