The Rockets last possession on Friday night looked like so many of the one’s before it. They had a chance to win the game with less than eight seconds left, but couldn’t get anything going on the play.
“It was a pick and roll,” Rockets coach Kevin McHale said of the final play. “They put two on (Chandler Parsons). Dwight (Howard) rolled and we didn’t come back and replace behind.”
With no place to go, Parsons picked up his dribble and passed off to Patrick Beverly in the right corner who heeved a desperation three, but came up short, clinching the Memphis Grizzlies 88-87 win at Toyota Center.
“I just got kind of stuck, and I picked my dribble up,” Parsons said. “I should have kept my dribble alive.”
It was really the only mistake you can say Parsons made in the game’s last 24 minutes. After a four point first half, he went for 30 in the second half. He made ten straight three-pointers becoming the first player in NBA history to make 10 treys in a single half.
“I was pretty much unconscious,” he said. “My body went numb. I’ve never felt that feeling on a basketball court before.”
Parsons was the only reason the Rockets had a chance to win the game. The team shot less than 41 percent from the field, and nobody else could muster more than 11 points.
“Chandler kept us in the game,” McHale said. “Otherwise it would have been an 88-70 game.”
Memphis led 21-20 after a quarter, but they were able to stretch the lead to 13 at one point in the second. The Rockets whittled the lead down to nine at the break, but only scored 35 points, making a third of their shots from the field, and one of 14 three-point tries. In the second half, the Rockets, minus Parsons, scored 22 points, making eight of 25 shots.
“We just weren’t very sharp the whole game,” McHale said. We started off that way. We couldn’t get anything going. We couldn’t sustain anything.”
James Harden finished with 10 points, but was only shot 2-of-11, though he did dish out a career-high 13 assists. Patrick Beverly only canned one of his 11 field goals. Dwight Howard had to deal with foul trouble for much of the second half against the Grizzlies formidable frontline of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, but he did have a double-double.
The Rockets are now 2-1 against the Grizzlies this season with one more meeting during the regular season, and it happens to be Saturday night in Memphis. Howard is glad they get to see Memphis that soon.
“We get a chance to make up for this loss. Every game we’ve had against them this year has been down to the wire, so we need to come out there and finish better.”
A better finish would be nice, but a better start wouldn’t be so bad either.
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