It’s not really a fair fight between the two inferior Texas teams these days, especially when the Houston Rockets don’t have to rely on James Harden to win the game for them. Jeremy Lin was the epitome of effectiveness while Chandler Parsons had his best game of the season.
Bottom line? The Rockets kept a 2.5 game distance from the pesky Los Angeles Lakers with a 136-103 blowout of the Dallas Mavericks, who won’t be going anywhere this season. It wasn’t the defense the Rockets used to get over their state rivals, but who needs defense when you have the best offense (the numbers say) in the NBA, making 57.5% from the field and 41.4% from beyond the arc.
The rare object of attention was Chandler Parsons for the second straight game. He scored a season-high 32 points, going 12-13 from the field in just three quarters of play, at some point having 11 for 11. He later found out that the franchise record for field goals without a miss in a game is 12-12 by Yao Ming. He missed his only shot on a kinda forced three pointer he later regreted.
I got a little carried away. I was feeling it, so I just shot it up there. Now I really feel like an idiot.
Parsons wasn’t just having a special shooting night (also 6-7 from beyond the arc) on Rockets scale. It was NBA scale as well: He is the first player since Larry Bird to get 30+ points while shooting 92% in which at least 5 three-pointers were attempted. Bird did it March 13, 1986 by going 12-13 from the field, 4-5 from three with 33 points.
The game was tight at half time, with the Rockets leading 64-61. But you can’t expect the Dallas Mavericks to keep up with this kind of shooting and pace, not at this moment in time and stages of direction for both franchises. The Rockets exploded for a 44-17 third quarter before sitting down all their starters, which was a welcomed rest for both James Harden and Jeremy Lin, not at 100% at the moment.
Harden didn’t try to steal the show as he did earlier in the season, showing how he’s developed despite getting to be the star for the first time in his career. He scored 21 points but on a limited 5-10 from the field, having a big night from three as well, making four three pointers to go with his 7 assists. Jeremy Lin, on a rare instance, got to be the best backcourt player of the two, scoring 21 points as well, but on only 25 minutes of basketball, not to mention his 9 assists as the Rockets couldn’t avoid finding open men for easy shots.
This was a chance to give some new guys a shot, as Donatas Motiejunas takes over the starting power forward role for now, and Thomas Robinson finally had some time to show his stuff, as the Rockets are hoping he’ll become a starter in the very near future. He spent 18 minutes on the floor, adding 10 points and 8 rebounds, leading the scorers off the bench.
The Rockets won’t make it into the playoffs without a healthy Harden and Lin – their cushion isn’t big enough. These “easy” wins, blowing out a team that won the NBA championship less than two years ago, are perfect opportunity to heal the ailing bones of the players that matter, while others show they can shine as well.