The Houston Rockets are red-hot. Following Tuesday’s 129-103 rout at the Sacramento Kings, the Rockets have won nine of their last 10 games and are now 39-18. Their lone loss through the last 10 contests was an overtime defeat at the Golden State Warriors. Their wins include the San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and the Phoenix Suns twice.
James Harden has been the team’s best player and is playing better as the season has gone on. He finished Tuesday’s game with 43 points after having scored 30 in the first half. Dwight Howard has been a force in the middle, both on the offensive and defensive sides. Chandler Parsons continues to develop into one of the NBA‘s ten best small forwards. Coach Kevin McHale is simply getting his guys to play together and play better. They are turning into one of the NBA’s best teams.
The Kings were no match for the Rockets. DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay did all they could to try and get the Kings back in the game, but they didn’t receive enough help from their teammates. Isaiah Thomas and Ben McElmore each struggled mightily as the Kings were rocked right from the beginning. Houston steamrolled to a 42-17 lead at the end of the first quarter in Sacramento.
The schedule gets difficult for the Rockets in the next couple weeks. They play at the Los Angeles Clippers Wednesday night, home against the Miami Heat on Mar. 4, home versus the Indiana Pacers on Mar 7., home versus the Portland Trail Blazers on the Mar. 9 and then a three-game road-trip at the Oklahoma City Thunder, Chicago Bulls and the Heat again from Mar. 11-16.
If Houston hopes to keep up their winning ways, they will need to keep playing at their current high level. This stretch could go a long way in predicting how they will perform during the playoffs. It will also be a significant factor in their conference standing.
The Rockets can beat any team. They just need to keep showing it.