McHale: 'We couldn't make shots'
The Houston Rockets got off to their best start in weeks, with an 11-0 burst to open their game with the Hawks. But turnovers and miserable shooting the rest of the night allowing the Hawks to get the best of them, 83-80. It was the lowest point total of the season for the Rockets, who shot just 41 percent in the game, and just 36 percent over the final 42 minutes after they opened up their 11-point lead.
James Harden led the Rockets with 25 points and seven assists, but was unable to take over the game as he had in each of his last three games, scoring 37 or more points each time.
Dwight Howard had 15 points and 11 rebounds for his 23rd double-double of the season, but the team struggled mightily to get him the ball, especially in the second half. His teammates had 12 of their 17 turnovers in the second half, many of them coming on ill-advised and poorly-thrown passes to Howard.
Atlanta's Kyle Korver had 20 points for the Hawks, including 4-of-4 at the free throw line in the final 15 seconds. He missed the first game between the two teams, with a rib injury.
The game was over when
The Rockets had the ball with just over five seconds remaining, trailing by three points after a made free throw from Kyle Korver. With no timeouts left, Houston inbounded the ball to Dwight Howard, who eventually found Jeremy Lin down the left side. Lin was unable to shake free for a good look from behind the 3-point line and his pass off to Terrence Jones was not in time for the Rockets to even attempt a game-tying shot.
Highlight of the night
The highlight of the night, was the lone basket on nine attempts from former Rocket DeMarre Carroll. He was left open behind the 3-point line with the shot clock winding down and the Hawks trailing by two points. As the shot-clock buzzer went off, Carroll's 24-foot shot tickled the twine. It gave the Hawks a one-point lead with 1:55 remaining, they would not trail again.
Numbers of the night
The Rockets bench scored a season-high 67 points against the Hawks in their 113-84 win in November. This time around, the bench delivered just 23 points on 10-of-25 shooting.
The Rockets will play at the Washington Wizards on Saturday night. Houston split the season seires with the Wizards last year, with each team winning at home. Houston has won 11 of the last 14 meetings with Washington. The Wizards suffered their worst loss of the season on Friday night, losing 93-66 to the Pacers. It was their lowest point total of the season. The starters for the Wizards made just 16-of-55 shots (29 percent).