Houston (CBS Houston) – The Houston Rockets know what they need to do to make sure their disappointing Wednesday loss to the Spurs doesn’t happen again Friday night.
“They got all the loose balls. They got 13 offensive rebounds. They did all the little things that we’ve got to do if we want to win,” said Rockets Head Coach Kevin McHale after Thursday’s practice.
He said his team didn’t play very well and that the Spurs “out hustled us, outworked us, and outplayed us” in Wednesday’s 110-98 loss. He went on to say there was a lot of “simple stuff” the team needed to do to have a better performance in tomorrow’s rematch.
He put the pressure square on his players backs to make it happen.
“We got to walk over some stuff but it’s just guys playing better,” he said. “We had guys that didn’t play very well. If you’re on the floor you’ve got to play well.”
Jason Terry is well aware the team had plenty to focus on from the loss. He said a lot of the players viewed tape on the trip back from San Antonio so they knew what to expect from the team’s film session today.
Despite the loss, Terry thinks their defeat has a major positive.
“We kind of were thinking we were playing playoff basketball for a stretch there but last night we really [saw] it live up close and personal,” he said. “So we thank the champs for that whoopin’ they gave us.”
Terry agreed when asked if the game was a wake-up call for the team. He said the team understands the level of intensity they have to play with to beat a team of the Spurs caliber.
“I thought for three quarters last night San Antonio was the much more [hungry] team.”
Terry said he is relishing the chance to play San Antonio again right away. He mentioned the team feels like tomorrow is a “must win” game because they have designs on being the Western Conference’s second seeded team.
Dwight Howard isn’t letting Wednesday weight too much on him though.
“We gotta let that game go,” Howard said multiple times Thursday. “One game is not going to determine how we play in the playoffs and this season.”
Howard said the team knows they have to have a mentality that the Spurs won’t out-work them on Friday night.
“We gotta let that game go,” he said. “[Friday’s] gonna be a different game. I’m pretty sure we’re going to play a lot better, and I think the outcome will be a lot better.”
The answer to sticking with the Spurs for 48 minutes was a simple one from Howard.
“We just got to play harder. That’s it.”
The Rockets will play the Spurs Friday night. A win would help them keep on pace for the second seed in the conference. A loss would drop Houston to the Spurs current spot which is the sixth seed in the West.
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