Houston Rockets Take Control And Outlast; Edge Denver Nuggets

The Houston Rockets faced the Denver Nuggets for the second time in as many days for a rematch as filler to complete the remaining portion of the regular season schedule.

The Houston Rockets faced the Denver Nuggets for the second time in as many days for a rematch as filler to complete the remaining portion of the regular season schedule.

The Nuggets are fighting hard for a playoff spot and the Rockets are comfortably coasting their way to the finish line, holding on to the No. 3 seed in the West.

Although it would be nice for our team to gain a foothold in a higher seed, they’re in a good place right now and to that I’m proud.

The Houston Rockets did not shoot all that particularly well from behind-the-arc in Saturday’s contest, connecting on only 5-of-24 three-pointers but despite all of that, they found a way to win the game.

That definitely shows they can persevere in even the toughest of times.

Tonight’s game definitely demonstrated that they certainly turned things around.

The Houston Rockets started out tonight at breakneck pace, shooting their way into a 13-point lead after Sam Dekker nailed his first free throw — missed the second — with 1:20 left in the 1st.

Rockets 33, Nuggets 20

But then the Nuggets started rebounding their tails off, working their way back into the game, knocking down key shots.

This was mostly by the heroics of Will Barton, who picked up eight quick points and finally put the Nuggets back on top after a layup on the drive with 9:59 left in the 2nd.

Nuggets 37, Rockets 36

It was a 12-3 start at the beginning of the 2nd quarter for the Nuggets with them leading by as much as seven points, their largest of the game at that point.

However, the Houston Rockets continued to fight hard, continuing to make the match up tight.

To note, Patrick Beverley had an incredible play where he challenged Jamal Murray for a steal, received a jump ball call and won the tip.

This all occurred with 8:20 left in the quarter and it makes me damn proud that we have bruiser like Bev on our team.

But the Rockets continued to trail the Nuggets 65-62 at the end of the 1st half with James Harden ferociously leading the way with 20 points to boot.

The Nuggets also out-rebounded the Rockets 30-14 margin, with 24 of those being defensive rebounds.

It was apparent that the Rockets were slipping on that end of the court.

But what happened in the second half?

The Rockets tightened up their defense a bit, limiting their rebound rate to just 10 in the 3rd quarter but the Nuggets shooting continued to keep them in lock-step.

Eric Gordon came alive quickly, getting in double-digits with 10 points and a 4th three nailed to his credit.

When the dust settled, the Rockets were still trailed the Nuggets 97-94.

As for the start of the 4th quarter, the Rockets shooting continued to sizzle while they heartily increased their defensive prowess, eventually limiting the Nugs to just nine points through the first 7:20 of the 4th.

Gordon nailed the three to put the Rockets back on top 100-97, scoring his 16th point of the night.

In addition, Harden continued to dominate as he does on the offensive end, nailing shot-after-shot and drawing fouls with his signature-step move while driving into the paint.

But things culminated within the final minute of the game where Barton drew a foul off Gordon with 42.1 seconds left in act of shooting.

Barton made the shot and the penalty free throw putting the Nuggets up 124-123.

After two possessions of missed shots on both ends by Harden and Jameer Nelson respectively, the Rockets got the ball back and then the unthinkable happened.

Harden went coast-to-coast with unfettered access to a sweet finger roll in the paint, putting the Rockets up 125-124 with 2.4 seconds left.

After a timeout called by the Nuggets and Rockets respectively, the Nugs in-bounded the ball to a cutting Mason Plumlee to paint but the ball was intensely batted away by Harden!

This sealed the deal for the Rockets, giving them their 49th win of the season.

Click here for the BOX SCORE

The shot the three-ball a lot better, connecting on 12-of-29 bombs from behind-the-arc for 41.4 percent.

Harden led all scorers with 39 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds in a terrific, unselfish performance.

Gordon had 18 points, all of which were badly-needed at pivotal points of the game.

This game also saw four other Rockets — Trevor Ariza, Ryan Anderson, Clint Capela and Beverley — all in double-figures for six total.

Capela also put up a team-leading nine rebounds.

Gary Harris led the Nugs with 28 points while Will Barton had 24 points, eight assists and seven boards.

Nikola Jokic had 22 points and 13 boards as well.

The Rockets will be off for most of the week and will resume play at home this Friday against the New Orleans Pelicans at Toyota Center.

See you then.

What a win — go Rockets!




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