Saturday, 25 May, 2019

Chris Paul returns to Houston lineup Friday vs. Wizards

Chris Paul returns to Houston lineup Friday vs. Wizards Chris Paul returns to Houston lineup Friday vs. Wizards
Shannon Reynolds | 02 January, 2018, 01:26

Paul finished with 28 points and 10 assists in his second game back from a groin injury.

Houston had completed a 14-game winning streak before the alarming slide. "We just have to deal with it". But with the Lakers back in front, Paul made a pair of free throws to tie it and after he missed a drive for the lead, P.J. Tucker swooped in for the rebound and put-back for a 144-142 left with 5.7 seconds remaining.

Houston arrived in Washington less than 24 hours after falling 99-98 to the Celtics in Boston in a game during which the Rockets led by 26 points.

The Wizards took an 11-point lead into halftime by keeping Houston (25-9) out of its rhythm on the perimeter.

The Rockets have been troubled by a series of injuries recently and the coach believes that it's just a part of game.

This is not the type of news the Rockets wanted to hear heading into 2018, as the team recently got star point guard Chris Paul back after missing a few games with a strained left adductor. We've got all kinds of excuses, but that doesn't work. "We've lost some games". One of them opened a window for the Celtics to grab their first lead of the night, the second turnover gave the Celtics an opportunity to seal the win with two seconds left.

Rockets: Houston is 15-2 with Harden and Paul in the lineup. It's simply impossible to ask D'Antoni to cut down on minutes at this point. F Ryan Anderson had a season-high 12 rebounds. Julius Randle had 18 points and seven rebounds as he took over as the starting center from Andrew Bogut. The last time they hit that many was November 6, 2013 against Philadelphia. In the first quarter, Porter's three makes from beyond the arc matched the team total for the Rockets. F Mike Scott was away from the team for the birth of his daughter.

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The Rockets had one last chance after Horford's go-ahead hook shot, but Harden was called for another offensive foul and time expired after Horford missed his second free throw.

That is why when the team finally gets healthy later this month, D'Antoni can start cutting down the minutes for players like Harden, Ariza, Paul and Gordon.

However, there is something to be said about building bad habits and getting comfortable in them, which is something the Rockets did way too often last season. "We're fortunate that he had an off night".

Brooks said the team "was not happy" after Wednesday's loss, but he could find the irony in Washington's efforts against teams like Houston compared to Atlanta.

"But I'll be good. The guy has two arms wrapped around my whole body". We'll see. I think we don't play again until [Wednesday against Orlando].

Because of this recent stretch of poor defense, the Rockets have dropped out of the top 10 on that end of the floor, and now sit at 11th (per Cleaning The Glass, which excludes garbage time).

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