Misery of 1st half propels Rockets in 2nd
The Rockets' first half was one to forget. That helped make the second half one to remember.
In the first half, the Rockets had eight assists to 15 turnovers and shot 38.5 percent. They trailed 57-39 to previously 22-40 Minnesota. They weren't happy about it.
"I was mic'd up for the game and I threw off the mic," Chandler Parsons said. "I was miserable. And I don't know what they heard on the mic in the first half, but that motivated us because we kept our heads up. And now, looking back at it, that's huge that we didn't hang our heads. We could've packed it in, but no, we understand what's at stake. We were hungry for this win."
"There wasn't a magical phrase or anything," Jeremy Lin said when asked what was said at the half. "It was just, we've got to take pride in how we play. We were an embarrassment in the first half. And so, we can't afford to do that. It was just looking around at each other and realizing, 'We're playing for something! So we've got to pick it up.'"
That they did. In the second half, they completely flipped the script: 17 assists, only three turnovers, and 60 percent shooting. That, and a 108-100 win where the Rockets outscored the Timberwolves 69-43 in the third and fourth quarters.
"We played defense and that allowed us to make some shots," James Harden said. "I think we were relying on our offense so much in the first half that, when we weren't making shots, we weren't playing defense at all, so we kind of picked up our energy and intensity a little bit on the defensive end. We made some shots. And we got a win."