Pacers fans are used to Miller lighting it up on a constant occasion…but tonight it wasn’t Reggie who did. With the help of Brad Miller and Luis Scola playing big down the stretch, the Rockets were able to get a big road win without Yao Ming in the lineup against a Pacers team that has caused Houston a lot of issues in the past. Miller had 23 points and eight rebounds while Scola added 16 points. As it looked like the Pacers were pulling away in the 4th, Brad sank two 3’s on back-to-back possessions to give the Rockets the 91-90 lead. The game ball definitely goes to Miller who after undergoing some shooting woes in the early part of the season, finally showed Rockets fans why he put up career numbers playing in Rick Adelman’s system in Sacramento. He scored seven of his 14 second-half points during the Rockets’ game-clinching, 18-8 fourth-quarter run.
Talking about the Rockets backcourt, Kevin Martin again looked great out of the gates. He finished with 20 points, including a HUGE 3 pointer (his only one on the night) with around three minutes to play to put the Rockets up 97-93. K-Mart continues to hit big shots for this team when it seems they need it the most. After a solid start against John Wall last game out, Ish Smith struggled to get into any sort of rhythm against Indiana. Playing 13 minutes, and scoring 0 points, Smith was completely shut down by Darren Collison in the short amount of time he saw on the court. Luckily for the Rockets, Kyle Lowry shook off the rust from the Wizards game and came up big for Houston scoring 13 points off of the bench and dishing out seven assists.
While it has been the Rockets struggling early and fighting to come back late to make games close, it was the Pacers who trailed 73-63 with four minutes in the third period. They were able to rally to tie it at 78 at the end of the 3rd on Ex-Rocket James Posey’s 3-pointer with 10.5 seconds remaining (Posey had a Pacer high 19 points). Indiana made 5-of-6 3-pointers during the tying run, which spanned the final 3:32 of the third quarter. Darren Collison had a chance to tie it at the end of regulation, but his three point shot clanked off the rim.
This Houston team has led with less than six minutes left in every game this season, and with less than three minutes remaining in seven of the eight games. As three of the Rockets’ six losses have been by four points or fewer, it was nice to see one finally go Houston’s way.
-I was surprised Chuck Hayes only got 3 minutes of playing time. Since Chuck is constantly going against players a lot bigger than himself, I would have figured Adelman would see fit to having the Chuckwagon go against smaller power forwards in Josh McRoberts and Tyler Hansbrough…but it was Jordan Hill who got the majority of minutes off the bench at PF.
-I know the three-point shooting is going to go down since Aaron isn’t in the lineup, but shooting .389 from behind the arc isn’t going to win a lot of games for the Rockets (especially the way their offense is set up). But then again K-Mart isn’t going to go 1-6 from downtown too often either.
-After watching the Rockets up-tempo offense from last year, I keep expecting the fast break points to be off the charts with this team but that simply isn’t the case. The Rockets forced 15 turnovers but only had five fast break points.