You simply can’t shoot the ball better than the way the Houston Rockets did as they tied the NBA record for three pointers in a game, while Jeremy Lin got to standout more than anyone else for the right reasons this time, outscoring James Harden and orchestrating an offense that couldn’t have worked any better.
Winning 140-109 (beating the Golden State Warriors), the Rockets become the second team in NBA history to his 23 shots from beyond the arc, tying the Orlando Magic’s achievement from the 2008-2009 season, making 23-37 against the Sacramento Kings in a 139-107 win. The Rockets did score a point more, but they shot “only” 23-40 on their way to the record.
Mark Jackson was part of the reason they never did, as the Warriors head coach ordered his players to foul the Rockets so they don’t break the record at their expense. Nine different players hit three pointers for Houston on the day, as the team won its second consecutive game and fifth of six; Jeremy Lin with five, Chandler Parsons and James Harden made four, Marcus Morris hit three, Toney Douglas and James Anderson hit a couple each, Patrick Patterson, Donatas Motiejunas and Patrick Beverley also hit one. And to think Carlos Delfino didn’t even play.
The Rockets also set a season best for points at half time and in the game, scoring 140 in regulation and 77 at half time. The Utah Jazz did score 140 earlier this season, but they needed three overtimes to get there in a 7 point win against the Toronto Raptors. The 249 points combined by the Rockets and Warriors is second-best this season for a non-overtime game, falling behind the 258 points in a Kings 131-127 victory on December 19, also against the Golden State Warriors.
Jeremy Lin was the star of the show, not just with his shooting but with his passing. The Rockets have stretched the floor much better since coming out of a long losing streak, but the Warriors giving up at some point on trying to stop them from making three pointers made it much more easier than usual. Lin finished with 28 points and 9 assists, his highest scoring output this season with James Harden playing next to him (he scored 38 in a game Harden missed).
James Harden? Kind of quiet, but there was no need for anything special from him on a day like this – only 18 points and 7 assists, while Chandler Parsons (16 points and 8 assists) had just a big of a role in it as the “big two” for the Rockets did. The Warriors, usually an excellent three point shooting team through Curry and Klay Thompson, tried to keep up, but ended up with only 3-15 on the night, helping Omer Asik and Patrick Patterson improve their rebounding numbers.
In some games, at some point, teams just breakdown, taking too many punches early on. The Houston Rockets, against a certain kind of opponents, can be that fearsome scorer that can get hot in minutes and finish the game before it got started. It happened in Chicago on Christmas. Sometimes it has to do with James Harden playing exceptional basketball. For once, it was about Jeremy Lin first, and the rest of the team as well.