It doesn’t matter if you start as long as you’re playing with the game on the line. That’s not completely true, but Jeremy Lin played a very big part in the final quarter as the Houston Rockets beat the Milwaukee Bucks, while Dwight Howard enjoyed having him on the floor while James Harden surprisingly didn’t try to take over.
The Rockets came away with a 101-95 win over the Milwaukee Bucks, who were playing without Larry Sanders since the first quarter after being elbowed in the head by James Harden, maybe his biggest contribution to the game. Dwight Howard led the team with 27 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists, followed by Harden with 22 points on another selfish shooting performance and 18 from Jeremy Lin, coming off the bench but playing the entire fourth quarter.
After a Jeremy Lin steal and assist to James Harden the Rockets had an 11 point lead over the Bucks with 3:46 left to play. Once again falling to the trap of giving the ball too much to James Harden and playing a stagnant and slowed down offense allowed the Bucks to make a game of it again, but Dwight Howard did a good job from the line to close out the game while both Terrence Jones and Jeremy Lin missed shots that could have eased the pressure off in the final seconds.
We didn’t attack like we needed to the whole game. There were spurts when we attacked the basket, but there were times when settled for the 3. We have to always be in attack mode. We’re too up and down right now. We go up 12 and then we are only up six. It would be nice for us to build leads and really dominate from start to finish.
The Rockets have now tied their longest winning streak of the season with 5, and improved to 15-3 against Eastern conference teams. One of the more interesting sights in the game was Omer Asik, playing for the first time in over two months. This ends a lot of speculation regarding his injury and whether or not it was for real, but this still doesn’t put an end to the talk of him being potentially traded. Asik played for 11 minutes, not taking any shots and grabbing 5 rebounds.
Patrick Beverley, one of the more up and down players you’ll get a chance to see, especially when it comes to his offense, had one of his better games in recent weeks with 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field. It’s still difficult to understand why he’s playing more minutes than Jeremy Lin, but that’s a question that’s being asked by more than one person for a very long time.
There’s not much of a difference between starting and coming off the bench if the minutes are right and the player gets to play when it matters. However, Jeremy Lin continues to be moved around, from real-time to garbage time, even though the Rockets’ best minutes come when he’s on the court.
He was part of the up & down trend the Rockets suffered from throughout the game, but they were at their best when he was in control, and not James Harden, with the slow and predictable basketball almost allowing the game to slip away from them in the find minutes.