The Houston Rockets trailed the Denver Nuggets by 10 after the first quarter and couldn't catch up as they fell to 0-2 on the year. The Rockets were still without their new offseason signees, John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins, due to COVID-19 issues. It was clear that the short-handed Rockets were gassed in the second half, playing in the higher altitude.
The Denver Nuggets were able to earn their first win of the season after starting 0-2. The Nuggets were led by All-Star Nikola Jokic, who recorded a triple-double in the win with a career-high 18 assists.
The Houston Rockets were led by James Harden, who put up 34 points and recorded eight assists. Christian Wood had another productive game with 23 points on 45% shooting.
Nikola Jokic controlled the floor for the Denver Nuggets.
Nikola Jokic is the playmaker for the Denver Nuggets. His size and vision can get everyone involved and set teammates up for open looks. The Nuggets had seven players in double digits thanks to Jokic's career-high assists.
Nikola Jokic is currently at +1900 odds to win the MVP, according to FanDuel.com.
The Houston Rockets and the Denver Nuggets have had conversations about the James Harden trade rumors. Harden wants out of Houston. The Rockets have expressed their interest in Michael Porter Jr., though some analysts do not believe that Harden's and Jokic's playstyles would merge well together.
Aside from Anthony Davis, Jokic is likely the best center in basketball. He recorded a triple-double tonight by the third quarter.
If Nikola Jokic can continue to play at the level he has been starting the season, the Denver Nuggets will be able to make some noise in the Western Conference.
James Harden could not keep the short-handed Houston Rockets from running out of gas.
The Houston Rockets were no match for the Denver Nuggets in the second half. The Nuggets outscored the Rockets 36-23 in the third quarter, and were down by 23 entering the final period before the reserves made the score respectable.
The Houston Rockets game went downhill from the opening tip. Aside from James Harden' 34 and Christian Wood's 23, the Rockets struggled to get points.
The struggles for the Houston Rockets will make James Harden want to force his trade even more. Harden has already named six teams he would want to be traded to, but after a performance like tonight, he may not mind where he ends up.
This is a game the Houston Rockets will quickly want to forget, as the 13-point loss made it seem like it was much closer than it actually was. The Nuggets controlled the game from the opening whistle to the final horn.Published 29 Dec 2020, 10:39 IST