Highlights: Rockets roll over Spurs
With a 109-92 win in San Antonio on Thursday night, the Rockets claim the fictitious title of Texas state champions. A couple of nights after beating the Dallas Mavericks, Houston used a fantastic third quarter to blow past the Spurs. They'll close out their preseason Friday night in Memphis.
The Twin Towers started again and, just like their first outing, Dwight Howard and Omer Asik had some good moments and some not-so-good. After these first two experiments and almost assuredly a third in Memphis, it's safe to assume the Rockets will utilize this line-up as the regular season gets underway next Wednesday.
James Harden led the Rockets with 22 points and 11 assists. Chandler Parsons added 16 points and Harden, Parsons and Howard combined to shoot 21-for-40. The Rockets didn't dip too far into the bench through most of the first three quarters, but they got great production from the three guys who initially came off the pine. Jeremy Lin, Omri Casspi and Francisco Garcia scored 35 points and made seven of the 17 3-pointers.
It was over when
When the clock showed 2:29 in the third quarter. The Rockets led only 47-45 at halftime, but over the first 9:31 of the third quarter, the Rockets outscored the Spurs 34-14. Houston wasn't quite perfect. They did miss four times. Only four times. Their other 13 shots all dropped, including four 3-pointers.
It was a slow start on the offensive end for Dwight Howard, who had four first quarter turnovers, while making his only two field goal attempts. But as has been the case throughout the preseason, he dominated the glass. He had seven boards in the first quarter and finished with 16 and did not turn the ball over in his final 20 minutes of action.
Asik is struggling to put the ball in the basket. He connected on one of his two free throws for his only points and with his 0-for-2 performance tonight, he's missed seven of his nine shots in his two games.
Most importantly, the duo helped the Rockets dominate the paint, outscoring the Spurs 46-30 down low and winning the rebound battle, 51-41.
It's your turn
It was Patrick Beverley's turn to start, but he took a rather passive role in the game, scoring just six points and dishing out only two assists in about 28 and a half minutes of play. Lin came off the bench and looking very good doing so, contributing 11 points and six assists. Both have played well in both roles and as coach Kevin McHale has said countless times already, he doesn't view this "competition" as a very significant one, since they play with one another so often and have both thrived in either role.
Next up: Rockets at Grizzlies, Friday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. Memphis should provide the most intriguing challenge for the Rockets twin towers. Memphis has two legitimate bigs, in Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, who are head and shoulders better than any frontcourt twosome the Rockets have faced this preseason.