What a game for Dwight Howard in the victory over the Phoenix Suns. The All-Star center led the Houston Rockets to a great 122-108 win on their home floor over the surprising Suns with a dominating performance down low. Phoenix hung around for a long time in this game behind the play of their point guard Goran Dragic, but in the end, Howard’s presence in the paint was too much for an undersized team to handle.
Howard finished with 34 points and 14 rebounds against the Suns’ weak interior defense and proved why he earned the right to be in New Orleans for the NBA All-Star game after a performance like this. At the beginning of the game, the Suns tried to use Miles Plumlee to contain one of the best big men in the league, but he was no match for the more physical center in the post. Plumlee quickly took a seat on the bench after failing to make any kind of impact in the game tonight and it cost the Suns the game.
Phoenix was forced to go to a smaller lineup by putting in the combination of Markieff Morris and his twin brother, Marcus Morris, to hopefully stop Howard down low. However, the plan didn’t work at all on the defensive end. In fact, the change to a smaller lineup played right into the hands of the Rockets. The Morris twins provided some much-needed offense to hang around, but they were manhandled in the paint by the All-Star center for Houston. Howard was able to get whatever he wanted in the low post and finished 11-for-17 from the field to guide his team to a big win.
He wasn’t the only one to benefit from the Suns’ poor choice to play a small lineup either. Chandler Parsons and Terrence Jones found life a lot easier without the presence of a shot blocking threat for Phoenix. Both scored 19 points and went a combined 16-for-24 from the floor to help finish off the Suns in front of the home crowd for a good win to improve their position in the Western Conference playoff picture.