Things are going tremendously well right now for the Houston Rockets, who blew out the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night at Toyota Center, 114-96. Houston has won four in a row, their longest winning streak of the season, and have won seven of their last eight games overall.
Chandler Parsons led the attack with 21 points and didn’t miss a shot. Well, he did miss a free throw, but Houston grabbed the offensive rebound and found Parsons so he could make his sixth and final 3-pointer of the night. He was 7-of-7 from the floor overall and his six 3-pointers made tied his career high set twice, most recently on Mar. 13, 2013 vs. Golden State.
Terrence Jones had another solid night with 11 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots. He opened up the scoring for the fourth consecutive game and the Rockets never trailed. It is the fourth consecutive game at Toyota Center that they have never trailed. They were hardly even pushed in this game.
The Nets welcomed Brook Lopez back into their starting lineup after he had missed the last six games with a sprained ankle. But Kevin Garnett was given the night off and Deron Williams (ankle), Andrei Kirilenko (back) and Jason Terry (knee) all out with injuries.
Other than Lopez, who finished with 16 points in 21 minutes, the starters were terrible, scoring just 7 combined points on 3-of-23 shooting. Those contributions all came in the first half. Joe Johnson, Shaun Livingston, Audray Blatche and Paul Pierce were all benched for the entire second half.
The Rockets set a season high in 3-pointers made, going 19-32 and led by as much as 32 points, their largest lead of the season.
“After that last one (shot), I felt like everything I threw up was going to go in. It was just one of those feelings,” Parsons said. “My teammates did a great job of finding me and it was good that we got off to a good start like that. You want to get off to a good start and shut the door quick and that’s what we did."
The Rockets got James Harden back in the lineup, but also lost Jeremy Lin to a grade-one knee sprain for the next two weeks. Lin was hurt in the first quarter on Wednesday against the Hawks and did not return to that game. He’ll be re-evaluated in two weeks.
Harden finished with nine points and seven assists and played just under 26 minutes, which was something head coach Kevin McHale was pleased about.
“Our goal was under 30 (minutes),” McHale said. “Our big thing is see how he feels tomorrow. Hopefully that foot feels as good tomorrow as it did today. Hopefully, this (sore foot) is behind him now.
“I think had Jeremy not gotten hurt, I’m not sure, I think James wanted to give it one more day,” McHale aid. “But he said he thought he could go tonight. He moved the ball well, he’ll get his offensive rhythm going. I thought he looked good.”
Harden was been distributing the ball very well over his last six games, averaging 6.8 assists in those contests. He’s had more than six assists in four o f those six games, after having zero such games in his first seven games of the season.
“He didn’t try to do too much,” Dwight Howard said. “He just came out and made the right pass and that’s what you want and he’s going to have a full recovery.”
Houston will finish their fifth set of back-to-back games in San Antonio where the Spurs (14-2) are one of four remaining teams undefeated at home (7-0)