HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – Josh Smith has twice scored 21 points this year with the Rockets. On Wednesday, he scored 18 points, but it was his all-around game that had him saying this was the most comfortable he’s felt since he joined the team.
“I’m starting to find my way,” Smith said. “I’m starting to find spacing and other avenues to be productive and efficient. Each and every day, it’s getting better as it goes.”
This was a night where Smith tied his career high with four three-pointers. He only needed five attempts to achieve that. He made seven of 13 field goals. He had a steal and three blocks, with one of those blocks coming on a huge possession late in the game to prevent Tyson Chandler from getting an easy deuce as the Rockets led 97-92 with just over 80 seconds remaining. Right before that, Smith had put the Rockets up two possessions on the offensive end.
For Smith, it was his defense that really led to the big game.
“It’s always defense,” Smith said. “I think the defense sparks offense. Once we sit down and focus defensively on stopping the other team, that’s when offense kind of comes naturally.”
“His three’s went in, which is great,” Kevin McHale said. “But his rim protection, I think, helped win that game.”
Smith’s production is starting to become more consistent. In his last three games, all of them Rockets victories, Smith is averaging 14.3 points and 2.3 blocks. Not known as a high percentage three-point shooter throughout his career (27.7 percent before Wednesday), Smith is hitting over half of his three’s (5-for-9) in the last three contests. He appreciates the confidence shown in him by his teammates and coaches.
“It means a lot to be able to have confidence instilled within the coaching staff and the players,” Smith said. “It’s something that I work on daily and tonight, I didn’t hesitate. I took (the three pointers) and I made them tonight.”