Sitting in a chair at his locker following a 114-104 win over the Milwaukee Bucks, the first question Dwight Howard got from the surrounding media was about his third quarter three-pointer. He talked about it briefly, cracking a joke as he’s know to do, and then on his own switched topics.
“That wasn’t the story of the night,” Howard said. “Terrence Jones had an amazing game.”
He was right. Jones scored 36 points, making 14 of 20 shots, grabbed 11 rebounds, six offensive, and blocked two shots. On Wednesday night in New Orleans Jones scored a career-high 25 points; Saturday night against the Bucks he matched that before halftime.
“He just kind of played inside the offense,” Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. “The ball found him and he made nice play after nice play.”
Saturday was another in a long line of solid performances from the second year pro. In his last fives games, Jones is averaging north of 21 points and 12 rebounds per contest. Jones has developed nicely after spending last season going back and forth between Houston and the DLeague, and Howard isn’t surprised by his success.
“I told you guys at the beginning of the year I felt like (Jones) was going to have a great season,” he said. “I saw a lot out of him at Kentucky, and then I saw some things last year when we played against him, and especially this summer.”
Howard himself had a pretty decent game. He needed just 11 shots to score 20 points while brining in 14 rebounds. Between him and Jones, the Rockets dominated inside, matching a season-high with 66 points in the paint, outscoring Milwaukee in that department by 22.
It is a good thing the Rockets dominated inside because the Bucks out-played them on the perimeter. Milwaukee mad 11 of their 23 shots from behind the arc, while the Rockets were just 7-for-27. Chandler Parsons and Jeremy Lin combined for 15 points on 5-for-17 shooting. James Harden scored 22 points, but only made seven of 16 shots from the field and one of his six three point attempts.
After Thursday’s collapse against Oklahoma City the Rockets needed a win, and that’s what they got. Houston never trailed, with the lead staying at six points or above the entire second half. It always helps when you are playing the league’s worst team, a luxury the Rockets won’t have when they take the floor Monday night against Portland.Follow @AdamSpolane
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