Eugene Doom Blog
Rockets cruise past lowly Nets in 112-87 victory
The record is greatly improved, as far above .500 as it has been all season. The turnaround has been impressive, enough to put the Rockets in the playoff chase and keep things interesting down the stretch.
They had, however, never in their surge achieved the accomplishment they claimed with their 112-87 rout of the New Jersey Nets on Tuesday.
In the mark of a strong team that knows precisely what it needs to do, the Rockets did not play all that well, at least by the standards of their recent wins, or even their loss in Miami on Sunday, and they still won easily.
They brushed aside the Nets as barely a distraction on their way to a much greater test Wednesday night in Philadelphia, winning an eighth-consecutive game in New Jersey. The Rockets have won 13 of 17 games, averaging 109.3 points.
The win moved the Rockets to within two games of Memphis for eighth in the Western Conference with eight to play heading into tonight’s game against the a Sixers team that has given them fits, a particularly crucial game with the Grizzlies playing Golden State at home.
The Rockets did go through a few rough minutes, making 1 of 6 shots to start the game, but they never seemed to have any trouble with the Nets defense. They spent most of the first half carving up the Nets. Though it was far from a hot-shooting game, they rolled to an easy 61 points in the half, the 31st time that have scored at least 60 in a half this season, more than the previous two seasons combined.
The Rockets led by as much as 20 in the half, but the more encouraging and probably more important development was that Kyle Lowry had no problems with his sore left foot, scoring 14 in the first quarter. He finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds and seven rebounds, playing just 29 nminutes.
After a rocky start, Kevin Martin got going in the third quarter, scoring 12 points of his 20 points to lead the Rockets in scoring for an eighth-consecutive game.
Though the Rockets did not shoot particularly well, seeming bored with how easily they were scoring, the ended the third quarter with a Courtney Lee steal that he and Lowry took to a fast break and a 20-point lead heading to the fourth.
That was enough to allow Lowry to spend the fourth quarter with his foot up, having exerted all the energy he would need to for the night.
The Rockets never needed all that much.