HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – Energy and effort were brought up as big concerns following Saturday’s 131-106 loss to the Warriors.
There was no such concern on Monday night following Houston’s 110-98 victory over the Pacers.
The Rockets jumped on the Pacers out of the gate for a 17-4 lead, led by 10 at the half, by 20 after three, then were able to coast for the win.
“That’s the way we should come out every single game,” said James Harden, who finished with a season-high 45 points to go with seven assists and four steals. “(We were) focused on defense and then offensively, making it easier on each other, but I think throughout the entire game, (the Pacers) never really gained any ground on us because we kept on being consistent with what we did.”
“I thought it was really good for us to come out with that kind of start,” Kevin McHale said. “(We) held them to a 45-point half. I thought there was a lot of good stuff tonight, stuff to build on.”
All of which will lead into a three-game road trip that starts with the league-best Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night.
“(This was) very big,” Harden said. “Especially now that we go on a three-game road trip where every game is going to be tough. It was key for us to bounce back tonight. We’ve got another great opportunity in a few days against basically the number-one team in the league.”