Anderson Helps Houston Rockets Defeat Wizards-Players Grades and Summary
With a season-high 17 made three’s, the Houston Rockets defeated the Wizards on their home floor. The Rockets improve to 2-2 on their five-game road trip.
Following an embarrassing loss to an old friend in Atlanta, the Houston Rockets have reached the back half of their five-game road trip. On the eve of the most anticipated presidential election in U.S. history. The Rockets headed to the Nation’s capitol to take on the Washington Wizards.
Despite shooting 50 percent from behind the arc, the Rockets got off to a horrendous start in Washington. Second chance points, turnovers, and a lack of urgency on the defensive end resulted in a 30-23 lead for the Wizards after the first quarter.
The Rockets turned the ball over six times. As well as allowing the Wizards to score 20 of their 30 points in the paint.
However, after a sluggish start, the Rockets bounced back with a 13-0 run midway through the second quarter. Behind the hot shooting from Ryan Anderson and defensive anchor Clint Capela, the Rockets led 56-47 at the half.
Despite the hot shooting Houston displayed during the first 24 minutes, the Rockets missed six straight shots to start the second half. Although the Wizards battled back to regain the lead, James Harden caught fire scoring 24 points during the second half.
Behind Harden, Anderson, and Ariza, the Rockets held off the Wizards for their second win of their five-game road trip.
Point Guard, Houston
Once he found his mojo during the second half, Harden scored 11 third quarter points. The Rockets were able to maintain their lead behind the best part of Harden’s game. With that lead, Harden then turned his attention to creating scoring opportunities for his teammates. For the many critics of James Harden’s defense I point you to a point late in the game with the Wizards surging having cut the 10 point Rockets lead in half. Harden stood his ground against a driving Marcus Thornton to draw the charge and force the turnover.
Harden finished with a spectacular 32 points, 15 assists, and 6 rebounds
Power Forward, Houston Rockets
He had his most efficient game of the season. Yet, in the midst of Harden’s struggles during the first half, Anderson was Houston’s primary scorer with 12 points. When the Rockets needed someone other than Harden to score in the fourth, Anderson was clutch. By far the best game of the season for Ryan Anderson. 23 points, 7 rebounds, and most impressively he connected on 5 of 8 of his three point shots.
Defensively, Capela became the anchor the Rockets needed to slow the Wizards’ hot shooting down. His play on defense was the primary key to the Rockets’ 21-6 run during the second quarter. 14 points, 6 rebounds, 4 blocks.
Small Forward, Houston Rockets
Shooting Guard, Houston Rockets
Shooting Guard, Houston Rockets
Behind Gordon, Houston was able to gain new life during the second quarter. Overall, great coaching decision by Mike D’Antoni. As well as a solid performance for Gordon. 11 points.
Editor’s note: clearly Gordon will thrive in this bench role and will be on the floor at game’s end. The issue with D’Antoni’s decision was never about moving Gordon to the bench to kick start the sagging reserve unit. Rather it was more to do with who replaced Gordon in the starting line-up. K.J. McDaniels seemed like a more logical choice. That said, at least on this evening the decision to use Brewer didn’t cost the Rockets the game.
Point Guard, Washington Wizards
Beyond the ejection and turnovers Wall had a huge night but when the Wizards needed points in the fourth, Washington ran into a wall (pun intended). 21 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals and 6 turnovers
Ultimately the Rockets held on in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter as the Wizards did their best to claw back for the win. As mentioned John Wall’s night was marred by the ejection and his six turnovers.
Once again the Rockets had issues hanging on to the ball committing 18 turnovers of their own. If there was a takeaway from this game on the negative side the fact the Wizards out rebounded the Rockets 45 to 37 is worrisome. Perhaps this will light a fire under Daryl Morey to get the Donatas Motiejunas contract sewn up.
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As for positives to take from the win, the Rockets shot the ball from the field at a blistering clip of 51.9% and they were on fire from the perimeter shooting 45.9%. That won’t likely be the case with their next opponent the San Antonio Spurs.
Despite that fact the Rockets will need to take the other positive which was the Rockets held the Wizards to 41.5% from the field and 37% from deep. Again, their next opponent isn’t to be trifled with, so the Rockets will need to maintain a balanced effort if they hope to finish this 5-game road trip with a winning record.
Enjoy the season Red Nation and be sure to stay connected with Space City Scoop as our amazing team of writers keep you abreast of all things Houston Rockets.