Houston (CBS Houston) – The Houston Rockets on Wednesday night showed a pulse. It may not have been an easy or especially pretty win, but the Rockets started to look like the Rockets again. They took down the Pelicans 108 to 101 getting a strong game from James Harden who nearly recorded a triple-double finishing the night with 24 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists.
While Harden had a pretty solid game it was really about the bench. For the first time all year, the Rockets had three players off the bench each score 10 or more points.
“The bench was great,” Dwight Howard said, “I think Corey (Brewer) came in and played really good off the bench. Ty (Lawson) came in and played amazing. TJ (Terrence Jones) played great. It was a total team win, and we’ve got to have more games like this, where everybody is contributing,”
The Rockets first unit floundered in the first quarter allowing the Pelicans to go up 29 to 17. The bench would come in the second quarter and provide the spark the team has not seen from the bench since last year outscoring the Pelicans 31 to 21 in the second quarter to go into the half down by two.
“Our defense picked up,” Harden said, “I think, in the first quarter we gave up 29 points. The second qurater was a little bit better. I think as each quarter went on, we got better defensively. That’s the reason why we won the game,”
The momentum would build out of the half as the Rockets continued the aggressive style of basketball. The Rockets in the final half played much closer to the basketball that had them in the western conference finals last. The guys flew around on defense, played the lanes, got steals pushed the pace on offense and hit shots.
While the Pelicans would keep it a close game they were just not able to handle a Rockets team that played good basketball end to end down the stretch.
The Rockets are now winners of three of their last four games, we could be seeing the turnaround everyone has been hoping for.