Friday night at Toyota Center the Rockets started out hot. Before three minutes had been played they led the Cleveland Cavaliers 13-4, but from there it was all downhill in a 71-77 loss.
The Rockets started the game by hitting 5-of-6 shots from the field, but were just 2-for-17 the rest of the quarter, but didn’t trail until a Tristan Thompson steal turned into a Matthew Dellavedova floater with .3 seconds left in the quarter. The turnover was just the Rockets second of the night, though, there would be more, a lot more, and the Rockets never got the lead back.
In the second quarter, the Rockets gave the ball up nine times, and they were held to 14 points in the period and trailed 46-35 at halftime and the Cavs lead grew to as many as 21 in the third aided by the Rockets 5-of-21 shooting.
Houston finished the game shooting 35 percent, thanks to a 56 percent fourth quarter, and knocked down just 6-of-25 shots from behind the 3-point line, and turned it over 19 times.
James Harden was responsible for eight of those turnovers. He was limited to just 11 points on 2-of-10 shooting. He managed to attempt seven free throws, but only two came after the first quarter.
Dwight Howard gave the Rockets a double-double, but the bench struggled, especially Marcus Thornton, Terrence Jones, and Corey Brewer. They combined to hit 3-of-20 from the field.
Kyrie Irving was the game’s high scorer with 23 points while LeBron James added 19 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists. Cleveland shot just 39 percent, 23 percent from 3, but grabbed 17 offensive rebounds.
The loss snaps the Rockets 5-game win streak, and at the halfway point of the season their record sits at 21-20.