HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – 24 hours ago, the Rockets lost to the Pelicans 111-83 in a game that inspired Kevin McHale to describe that performance as “sh*tty.”
A day later, it was a complete transformation as the Rockets defeated the Heat 115-79 in a game that wasn’t close at any point in the second half. Houston outscored Miami 92-52 after the opening quarter.
“(The Pelicans) murdered us yesterday, that’s all I can say,” said Donatas Motiejunas, who got the start in place of Josh Smith and got the Rockets going with nine points in the opening quarter. “That was kind of an embarrassment to watch. Sorry to the fans for that kind of game. Today, we tried to bring the opposite of what happened last night and try to prove to everyone else that it was just an accident, (that) it’s not going to happen again.”
The Rockets more than atoned for their Friday woes. After Motiejunas’ fast start, Dwight Howard took over. In the second quarter alone, he had 19 of his 23 points and also grabbed seven rebounds in that frame. He finished with 13 rebounds to go with his 23 points.
“(It’s) just being patient and doing all the small things, talking on defense, and on offense, I got rewarded,” Howard said. “I’ve just got to continue to bring that energy for my teammates every night and hopefully get some more wins.”
James Harden led the way with 28 points. Six Rockets finished in double figures, including Corey Brewer and Josh Smith off the bench. Trevor Ariza tied a career high with six steals.
“Tonight, we came out in the beginning and we played great,” Brewer said. “We played hard. We played together. And we got a win.”
“As bad as we were last night, we moved the ball pretty well tonight,” Kevin McHale said. “We just tried to get more ball movement, more body movement, and our defense was solid.”
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