Found March 21, 2013 on
Fox Sports Southwest:
HOUSTON The best news these days in Houston is no news. The Rockets are jamming along in seventh place in the Western Conference, and the last thing they need is drama. Drama means trouble.
There was no drama Wednesday at Toyota Center. There almost was. The Rockets never trailed and led by 26 points at the crest of the evening, but it wouldn't have been a Rockets game if some shoddy defense didn't allow an undead foe to spring back out of the coffin just as the dirt was hitting the lid. Utah got it down to five points with 1:29 left, but the Rockets scored the next two baskets and soon enough Kool and the Gang was urging everyone to celebrate good times.
Houston 100, Utah 93. No drama.
"Coach (Kevin McHale) was explaining the mathematics and the importance of this one," Rockets forward Chandler Parsons said, "understanding the tiebreaker and the seeding and all that."
The Rockets (37-31) left Wednesday's game just as they entered it in seventh place and one night closer to the playoffs. Maintenance is really the main goal around here these days.
Nobody thinks this team is winning a championship, so the difference between seventh place and sixth or eighth place is academic (fifth place is out of the question). They put a little more space between themselves and the Jazz (34-34), who are in ninth place, a game and a half behind the Lakers for the final playoff spot and two games ahead of 10th-place Dallas with 14 games left to play.
But now that the Rockets have a core in place James Harden, Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik it is important they get that taste of the playoffs the organization hasn't had since Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming were the headliners. So boring nights like Wednesday night are good nights.
And now we get to the business of how the Rockets did it.
Harden, of course, scored a bunch. He got 29 points on 14 field goal attempts, hitting 17 of 18 free throws. Performances like that are the caffeine in Houston's coffee. For sugar and cream, you can add Jeremy Lin's 24 points, Carlos Delfino's nine off the bench or Omer Asik's 12 rebounds.
Without Gordon Hayward the Jazz wouldn't even have been competitive. They scored just 33 points in the first half, which was one fewer point than any Houston opponent has scored in a half all season. Hayward scored 22 of his 27 points in the second half and it was Hayward's free throws that cut Houston's lead to five at the 1:29 mark.
But this was not Utah's night. It shouldn't have been. It didn't deserve to be.
"It's hard to dig yourself out of a hole on somebody else's court," Jazz big man Al Jefferson said.
The Rockets' perspective was a little different, of course. The way they saw it the Jazz totally could have dug itself out of a hole on Houston's home court, and the Rockets would have had nobody to blame but themselves.
"We started nursing the lead, which you can't do that," McHale said.
McHale mentioned that he is still trying to figure out what to do with forwards Donatas Motiejunas and Thomas Robinson, neither of whom was in the rotation a month ago. That had something to do with it, especially on defense, and especially against a team that likes to feed the post the way the Utah does. Couple of rookies, basically.
And maybe on some other night against some other team, the Rockets would have paid the price for that. Maybe things get a little more dramatic, which is to say bad.
But not Wednesday.
"We had gotten down by 20 in the last two games in the first half," Lin said. "So we wanted to make sure tonight that we build the lead for once so we weren't always playing uphill."
BEST OF MAXIM
Royce White thinks the Houston Rockets and the NBA in general want him to just go away.
The Houston Rockets rookie said this in an interview with the Huffington Post, the latest in a seemingly unending series of interviews with various media outlets in which White, a first-round pick in the 2012 NBA draft, casts himself as a trailblazing, truth-telling everyman going to war with...
At this point, White is just a wasted draft pick for the Rockets, who is getting paid and not doing much of anything productive. Unless you considering talking to the media at every chance her gets to complain or getting into it with his multiple baby mamas on Twitter.
When it comes to basketball, he has just been a bystander besides a few games in the D-League. He and his doctor...
Royce White has left his D League team, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, and has returned to Houston. White however, won’t be rejoinging the Houston Rockets although he has indicated that he will be working out. As per White’s preferred method of communication, White posted a message on Twitter.
Have been advised by our team physician it is most logical I be in Houston the...
Rockets rookie, Royce White, who has yet to play a game for the team this season, joined CNN’s Don Lemon Thursday to talk about his anxiety disorder. White announced via Twitter Thursday that he would be leaving the Rockets’ D-League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, after playing just 12 games because it was advised by a team physician. The Rockets management reportedly...
Does Royce White have a point? Maybe. However, the Houston Rockets and the NBA seem to have been accommodating as possible to his mental health condition. White's anxiety had been addressed up front when the Rockets drafted him, but White felt the team was not doing enough to accommodate him, refused to go to the D-League, made a big scene on Twitter, but has since joined...
Royce White is back with the Houston Rockets' developmental league affiliate, five days after he left the team.
White announced on Twitter that he had returned to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers and that a ''miscommunication'' with the Rockets had been cleared up. He said last week that he had left the team and returned to Houston on the advice of a team doctor...
James Harden had 29 points and the Houston Rockets improved their positioning in the Western Conference playoff race with a 100-93 win over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night.
Jeremy Lin added 24 for the Rockets, who currently hold the No. 7 spot in the West. They lead the idle Los Angeles Lakers by 1 1/2 games and are three ahead of the sliding Jazz.
The Rockets led by 19 points...
Jeremy Lin, the Houston Rockets guard and the man who spawned “Linsanity” (which, from what I understand, sadly will not be properly recognized as a legitimate mental disorder in the DSM-5), attended Harvard, starring on the fine learning institution’s basketball team.
So, you can only imagine Lin’s excitement on Thursday night as he watched his beloved 14th-seeded Harvard...
While Royce White just recently had some pretty negative comments about the Houston Rockets organization and the NBA, he has left his developmental league team, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, to return to Houston and prepare for next season with the Rocket. And he says he's excited about it. Per his doctor, White says it's the best thing for him. Have been advised by our...
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Royce White announced Thursday via Twitter that he would be leaving the Rockets’ D-League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, after just 12 games. White, who averaged 9.6 points and 5.6 rebounds during his short stint in the D-League, tweeted that the team physician advised it would be most logical for him to return to Houston, not the Rockets, for the remainder of the season...
Royce White posted on his Twitter account that he will rejoin the Houston Rockets next season.
Remember the Jeremy Lin “Linsanity” from about 13 months ago?
Yeah, ESPN gave us a basketball version of Tim Tebow for awhile. Well Jeremy Lin will be back in the spotlight now that his alma mater, the Harvard basketball team were the talk the NCAA Tournament’s day. It didn’t happen until the very end of college basketball Christmas Day, but Harvard basketball upsetting New...
HOUSTON (AP) — – Before Wednesday night's game against the Utah Jazz, Houston coach Kevin McHale got his team together and explained the possible implications for the postseason., http://juicedsportsblog.com/sports-news/news/rockets-100-jazz-93-yahoo-sports
The Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets sound like desperate teams with 15 games remaining and their postseason fates uncertain.
That's just fine with coaches Tyrone Corbin and Kevin McHale, who hope to see more inspired play when their clubs meet in a crucial matchup Wednesday night in Houston.
Utah (34-33) sits in ninth place in the Western Conference, one game behind the Los Angeles...