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Jekyll/Hyde Rockets fall to Thunder, continue to confound

Jan 17, 2014, 3:09 AM EDT

Oklahoma City Thunder v Houston Rockets Getty Images

It was the best of halves, it was the worst of halves.

Unfortunately for the Rockets the worst of halves was the second one.

That’s when Houston went ice cold from three (0-of-9), shot just 19.4 percent overall and put up 19 points. It was that half that makes you realize how far this Rocket team is from where it ultimately wants to be.

It was that half that cost the Rockets a win as they fell to Oklahoma City 104-92.

But oh, the Rockets fist half was glorious — they put up 73 points and shot 12of-20 from three. James Harden was attacking — on one play he raced up court and pretty much drove past every Thunder player for a dunk — and had 16 points. Chandler Parsons and Terrence Jones each had 10. Even Dontas Motiejunas had 13. As you can see from the Rockets shot chart for the first half they did their damage from three and got 24 shots inside 8 feet.

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Then there was the second half shot chart.

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Let’s give Oklahoma City some credit for cranking up the defensive pressure in the second half — clearly embarrassed by their first-half performance they got in front of guys, challenged shots and generally seemed to give a crap. Which is more than you can say about the first 24 minutes. Despite what some seem to think of him, Scott Brooks can and does make adjustments and the ones he made worked well.

But the Rockets just also missed shot after shot after shot.

Going from 73 to 19 points between halves is the biggest discrepancy in NBA history, and the 19 ties the NBA record for fewest points in a half.

Houston has been up and down all season, looking like a team trying to figure out who they are some nights, especially when challenged. Tonight was a microcosm of that. Dwight Howard was a non-factor all night with 11 points and 8 boards. It all shows they have a journey ahead of them still.

For a Thunder team struggling without Russell Westbrook this was a sustaining win for the Thunder, something they can build off of. You knew Kevin Durant would be special and he was with 36 points, but it was Serge Ibaka with 21 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks that put the Thunder over the top. Reggie Jackson came in with 23 points to give the Thunder other scoring options.

It was just one game, but it was one wild game. And one where the real character of teams at this point shown through.

  1. jgray30 - Jan 17, 2014 at 3:15 AM

    Dwight Howard is a clown 6 days a week..

    • au1978 - Jan 17, 2014 at 12:41 PM

      You obviously don’t watch the Rockets and neither do your thumbs-down friends. You’re just a jilted Lakers fan that still can’t get over the fact that he left.

      • ranfan12 - Jan 19, 2014 at 12:27 AM

        That’s a good point, but people were saying it was the lakers, injuries, and lack of touches fault he was averaging 17ppg, and a year later, not much has changed to be honest. He looks happier, but that seems to be about it game wise and stat wise.

  2. belleby123 - Jan 17, 2014 at 7:54 AM

    Is it too soon to say they’re better with Omer Asik?

  3. jgray30 - Jan 17, 2014 at 7:59 AM

    Either better or exactly the same.

  4. mrlaloosh - Jan 17, 2014 at 9:01 AM

    Harden, Howard, all they need is Curley. Yuk, yuk, yuk…..

  5. au1978 - Jan 17, 2014 at 12:42 PM

    OMG, the bridge dwellers are out in full effect today.

  6. urodaddy07 - Jan 17, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    That was an ugly loss. This is an OKC team that’s struggling without Westbrook. It’s not that they lost, it how they lost.

  7. jgray30 - Jan 17, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    Sure AU, that’s it! No I don’t watch all their games. What I do know is DH is a 18 and 12 player on a good night. Which he probably has one game like that a week. Definitely not the numbers a “jilted Laker fan” would consider a franchise player. I knew that before last season. Good riddins! Kevin Love is twice the player he is. If the Lakers wanted Dwight that much, don’t you think they would have made an effort to keep him? besides a billboard? I guaranfkntee that the fans could have cared less. I’m just pointing out facts. If he is even a top 5 center in the league, then the nba is in a world of trouble my friend.

  8. jgray30 - Jan 17, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    OK MAYBE two good games a week but nothing more. Lakers in the long term and short term were better without him. Just too many damn injuries. he hasn’t improved the Rockets. They are still the same team they were last year

  9. jgray30 - Jan 17, 2014 at 1:55 PM

    No Westbrook, still no chance for Houston to beat OKC!

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