The Rockets got well quickly after their disappointing loss to Oklahoma City on Thursday night, beating the Milwaukee Bucks, 114-104.
They never trailed and were never truly threatened by the Bucks, who never got any closer than 10 points in the fourth quarter. The Rockets took control of the game in the second quarter when second-year forward Terrence Jones exploded for 21 of his career high 36 points. It was an array of dunks, layups, tip-ins for Jones and he didn’t miss any of them, going 7-of-7 in the quarter, and added a 7-of-8 performance at the free throw line to notch the most points any Rockets player has scored in a quarter this season.
The comments from Bucks head coach Larry Drew after the game summed up the performance by the Rockets sensation on this night: “We just couldn’t contain him. He just manhandled us on hustle plays, on second effort plays, he just totally from a physical standpoint, he out-muscled us. It’s one thing to go into a game with a game plan and we knew we had to slow down Dwight (Howard) and slow down James Harden and defend those guys at the three point line, but you don’t factor in a guy like that having that type of game.”
“You have to give credit where credit is due,” Drew added. “He played a much more physical game, he beasted us. He had a phenomenal game."
Jones made 12 consecutive shots spanning from the first quarter all the way through to the fourth quarter, including a long 3-pointer, the last of his 12 straight makes.
“I was just playing through our offense and guys were just finding me on cuts,” Jones said. (I was) just trying to offense rebound, just do all the little things that I’ve been doing. It was just coming to me tonight.”
He was asked if during those last couple minutes he was shooting for 40 points. He laughed and smiled. “A little bit,” he said.
Jones also had 11 rebounds for his 13th double-double of the season. Dwight Howard added his 26th double-double with 20 points and 14 rebounds. It was his 27th career double-double against the Bucks, the most among all active players against Milwaukee.
But Howard was quick to note the night belonged to Jones.
“Terrence Jones had an amazing game,” Howard said. “He just went out there and played basketball. He got a lot of easy points He ran the floor in transition and had a good game. “I’m just happy for him. I’ve been telling people, that guy Terrence has a chance to be a pretty good player in this league. He’s doing all the small things, that’s what matters.”
Jones’ former Kentucky Wildcat teammate Brandon Knight, who led the Bucks in scoring with 26 points was very complimentary of Jones after the game.
“I’m extremely happy for him and I have joy because I know the type of player that he is and how talented he is," Knight said. "My year with him at Kentucky, he’s a very talented guy. He’s physical, that’s something he’s worked on. He’s very long and a lot of people underestimate his length and that’s something he brings to the table. (He’s got) length, physicality, and athleticism, a pretty good skill set for a guy his size.”