With their only true star out of the game in Tyreke Evans, the Kings put up a fight for the first 12 minutes of the contest. After that…it was all Rockets. After giving up 30 points in the first quarter to the lowly Kings, I shared sentiments with every other Rockets fan watching the game…we are in for a long night. But the defense tightened up and shots started to fall for Houston.
After coming off his best game as a Rocket, Kevin Martin struggled against his former team shooting 5-15 from the field. Luckily, the Rockets as a team shot 50% from the field while hitting 10 three pointers. It was the big second quarter that put the game out of reach as Houston outscored the Kings 31-18, creating a 58-48 lead by the half. The Kings couldn’t climb back in the rest of the night.
Seven Rockets scored in double figures, while Scola led the team in scoring with 23 points. He continues be the viable go-to scoring option, going 10-19 tonight. Scola is averaging 20.2 points per game this season; his previous career high was 16.2 last year. Air Bud led the way with 18 points off the bench (almost a season high). Jordan Hill continues to develop, earning more minutes off the bench. It is nice to see the contrast between the Rockets two Power Forwards. Adelman starts the game with Scola who can hit the mid-range jumper as well as any other big man in the league (aside from Nowitzki). Then you bring in Hill who is quickly learning he has no business taking shots from the outside. The young bruiser is developing a nice game inside the paint. To put it in perspective, tonight Scola took seven shots outside the paint while Hill attempted one.
At this point a win is a win, but losing to the Kings without Evans would have been heartbreaking. It is nice to see the Rockets get their 10th win on the year, slowly creeping back to .500. Still…giving up 105 to the Kings without Evans is cause for concern.
-It was good seeing Carl Landry back on the floor of the Toyota Center. I can’t help but think he will be back in a Rocket uniform one day. He loves the city, Morey loves his style of play, and he doesn’t look good in black and purple.
-The Rockets traded for Terrence Williams today. Williams who was sent down to the D-League this past month has tremendous upside but I can’t think of why Morey would do this. To me, Williams is just a poor mans Jordan Hill. Same type of player with not near the athleticism or skill set Hill CAN possess when he is at the top of his game. Unless there is something the public doesn’t know about the condition of Yao’s health, I don’t see why this trade took place.
-Speaking of Yao, ESPN reports he is ready to get back on the court. He is just waiting for the Rockets medical staff to come to the same conclusion. While it will be great to see The Ming Dynasty take the court again, I hope the Rockets can keep the up-tempo offense they have been displaying without Yao. Houston is 6th in the NBA in points scored. Remember Houston fans: the Rockets are 1-6 with Yao in the lineup this season.