HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – The Rockets have taken pride in their defense all season long. Their average points allowed, even after Saturday’s 131-106 loss to the Warriors, remains under 100.
Yet it’s impossible not to notice that the Rockets haven’t lately been up to their lofty standards.
After four games where the Rockets gave up less than 100 points, all of them being wins, Houston has since given up an average of 117.3 points in three games over the last four days. Of course, this figure is somewhat inflated by the Warriors scoring 131 points, but Houston also gave up 120 points in a loss to the Magic on Tuesday.
“The last three or four games, it’s been slipping,” James Harden said. “Orlando, we gave up (120). OKC, we gave up a big number. And then last night, it just showed. Especially when we’re not scoring the basketball, we’ve got to really focus in on defense and (on Saturday), we didn’t get it done.”
“A lot of the baskets (the Warriors) got were run outs,” Kevin McHale said. “We’re not getting back on defense. Simple mismatches, or cross matches, where they just ran and we were running up to guys, leaving the basket open.
“Third quarter, they came out and scored 38 points and we had nothing for them. It was so disappointing.”
Saturday certainly was a capper to this rough stretch. The Warriors needed only three quarters to accumulate 102 points.
“It was more of our lapses on the defensive end and our lack of just getting back and just simple, basic plays,” McHale said. “It just seemed like (on Saturday) that we didn’t make nearly enough of them.”