HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – On Friday evening, Terrence Jones made the most field goals of anybody on the floor.
James Harden, Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez. Jones had more field goals than any of them. For the night, Jones was 11-of-16 for a season-high 26 points and 12 rebounds.
While all this can’t completely make up for the tough times Jones went through when he missed 41 games with a knee injury, it certainly is a step in the right direction.
“I know when I first came back, I was a little tentative just trying to see what my role was going to be and where I was going to fit in,” Jones said. “It was a brand new team with a whole lot of players that made a lot of plays. With Corey Brewer being a new addition, Josh (Smith), guys I haven’t played with, I wanted to get out there and make sure I could add to it.”
Jones has seen his minutes gradually increase ever since he came back to the Rockets’ lineup on January 28. On February 23 against the Timberwolves, Kevin McHale began putting Jones in the starting lineup alongside Donatas Motiejunas. Since that time, Jones has averaged 18.3 points, 11.7 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks.
“I’m getting a lot more minutes, a lot more opportunities to do things out there,” Jones said. “I’m trying to just take full advantage of it. And I thank the coaching staff for believing in me and trusting me and seeing I’m putting in a lot of work after practice and just trying to bring effort to each game I’m playing.”
“Terrence had a big game for us (on Friday night),” McHale said. “He had 12 rebounds on a night where we were really scrapping to try to keep (the Nets) off the boards. He had some good putbacks. He finished around the basket. He’s starting to (be) lively and he’s looking good. We needed that.”
What’s scary is that Jones doesn’t yet feel that he’s all the way back to what he was before he got hurt.
“I believe I’m really close,” Jones said. “I still have a little bit of issues every now and then, but right now, I’m feeling very comfortable out there, just bringing a lot of energy, and I think it’s helping out the team a lot.”