HOUSTON This night was going to arrive eventually for Rockets second-year forward Patrick Patterson, but in many ways it could not arrive soon enough.
By the close of his rookie season Patterson had become so integral to the success of the second unit that this season's struggles reclaiming form off offseason ankle surgery were obvious and protracted. He was inactive for only two games to open the season, but his energy and lateral quickness and exceptional burst remained absent. Through the grind of this compressed schedule, Patterson was advancing slowly.
The Patterson of old reappeared on Friday night against the Suns, providing a second-quarter jolt that enabled the Rockets to continue pulling away for a surprisingly casual 99-81 victory at Toyota Center.
"Earlier (Friday) just with the training staff (completing) my usual routine but my routine felt easy," Patterson said. "It felt like my legs were feeling a lot better. My quickness was there. I was telli...