The Rockets broke a three-game losing streak
“I thought both teams were desperate for a win,” said forward Marcus Morris. “We had dropped three straight so we were trying to get the win and that was the emphasis coming into this game.”
McHale went home to Minnesota to attend to a family matter, with reports indicating his youngest daughter, Alexandra, has had health issues.
Kelvin Sampson served as interim coach.
“It was good for us to come out and get a win, especially for Coach McHale and what he’s going through,” said Rockets guard James Harden. “I think defensively, we played well. Offensively, we moved the ball a lot better so hopefully we can build off this game.”
“I was nervous at first,” Sampson said. “I coach everyday in practice. We have inter-squad games. The first time I walked out into a game without a notebook in awhile. I kept tonight in perspective. I kept thinking of Kevin (McHale) and his family and what he’s going through. That’s something far more important than me coaching a game for the first time in five years.”
The Rockets were able to rally around the loss of McHale.
“It’s a tough situation that he is going through right now and all we can really do is keep him our prayers and continue to play hard and to be a product of him and keep working,” said Rockets forward Chandler Parsons.