Turnovers, poor shooting lead to Rockets loss

Turnovers, poor shooting lead to Rockets loss
December 4, 2013, 11:00 pm
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Dwight on Suns loss: 'Just piss-poor effort'

For the first time all season, the Houston Rockets have lost two games in a row. They fell on Wednesday night at Toyota Center to the Phoenix Suns, 97-88, in much the same fashion as they did on Monday to the Utah Jazz. They fell behind early and despite fighting their way back, they fell short in the fourth quarter each time.

“That’s two bad games in a row,” Rockets head coach Kevin McHale said. “That’s two games in a row that we had no flow.

“We had 13 assists and 23 turnovers. We had some really errant passing,” McHale. “We gave up 25 points off our turnovers. They were throwing them back at us, but we didn’t score off them at the rate they did.”

Phoenix had 20 turnovers, which is the second most turnovers against the Rockets all season, but Houston scored just 13 points off turnovers. The Suns scored 25 points off the Rockets 25 miscues.

Houston shot just 35.2 percent in the game, their worst performance of the season. James Harden was the biggest culprit missing all but three of his 17 shots. He was 0-of-10 on 3-pointers.

“We have 82 games, so it’s going to happen,” Harden said. “We’re going to miss some shots. On team defense and offensively we were stagnant. We didn’t get the ball moving and weren’t jumping like we’re used to. It’s a tough night for us.”

Suns forward P.J. Tucker said Phoenix was focused on slowing Harden down. “We knew the way they play, the number one offense in the league that we were going to have to play defense,” Tucker said. “Our main concern was definitely James Harden.

He is a great scorer and I just tried to deny him the ball and make him take tough shots and that’s what we did,” Tucker said. “The mindset going in was just to try and be physical with him and try and get him in different spots and make him make tough shots.”

Other than his 1-of-4 performance when he played only 26 minutes in a blowout win against Brooklyn, this was Harden’s worst shooting performance of the season. Only once in his Rockets career, in a game he finished, has he shot worse. He was 3-of-19 last December against the Lakers in a win last season.