After a worrying 2 game losing streak, the Houston Rockets bounce back in Atlanta to defeat the Hawks 132-126.
Houston was down by 19 points at one point during the 4th but they recovered and came back to win 132-126 thanks to veteran guards Eric Gordon and D.J Augustin who hit clutch shots down the stretch. Augustin scored 15 of his 22 points in the 4th and was on fire from beyond the arch, shooting 4/5 from three in the final quarter. Gordon showed out too during the whole game, ending with a season-high 32 points on 62.5% from the field and from the three-point line.
Matthews struggled during the game, with Matthews ending with a season-high 8 rebounds but shot a very poor 1 of 6 from the field and 0% from deep. Wood also struggled, finishing the game with 12 points and only 5 rebounds.
Trae Young had a night to remember ending with a full highlight reel in just one game plus a 41 bomb! Young continues to show the league that the new foul rules are not affecting him and that he still is the elite scorer known as Ice Trae! Young was also dishing dimes to teammates, ending the game with 9 assists, 1 off a double-double.
The Hawks will no doubt be watching film tomorrow to see how to prevent blowing these 4th quarter leads as they have been blown away down the stretch in the last 6 games. On Friday, the Hawks only scored 14 4th quarter points compared to Brooklyn’s 24 and tonight, Houston chalked up a whopping 44 points which was far more than Atlanta’s 25 4th quarter points. Not sure whether this is a coaching issue with Nate McMillan or whether it is just poor team performance. Either way, they need to switch something up because right now it ain’t working.
Rocket’s bench continues to dominate with 62 points tonight! Sengun had himself another great night off the bench finishing with 11 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks! He needs to be careful and try not to get in foul trouble as he was nearly fouled out with his 5th foul coming with 48 seconds left in the game. Christopher struggled to guard Trae Young and never really found his offensive groove ending with a plus-minus of -4. Nwaba was the X-Factor for the Rockets especially down the stretch when getting multiple hustle rebounds and huge defensive stops to get H-Town their 9th win of the season.
Houston continues to move the ball brilliantly, ending with 27 assists as a team and are currently 2nd in assists per game over the last 10 games (28.2). The Hawks bagged 69 points in the first half which was a season-high.
The Rockets are currently sitting at the 13th seed in the West (1.5 games behind 10th seed Portland) so they have a legitimate chance of making the play-in tournament this year. Just remember they are winning all these games with key players such as 21-year-old guard Kevin Porter Jr, 2nd overall pick Jalen Green, Danuel House Jr and former All-Star John Wall.
The Hawks are placed just out of the play-in-tournament at 11th, but currently have the same record as the 10th seed (Toronto Raptors). It would be a huge surprise and disappointment if the Hawks do not make the playoffs but the Eastern Conference is stacked with talent this season so we will see what happens throughout the rest of the season.