After a massive win against the Dallas Mavericks, the Houston Rockets came through against the Eastern Conference top seed Milwaukee Bucks with their small-ball lineup, winning the match 120-116. The Houston Rockets cut down a 7-point lead in the final few seconds with elite clutch defense.
James Harden experienced an off night offensively due to foul trouble early on in the game, scoring 24 points with 35.7% efficiency. However, he defied popular media narrative with 6 steals and 7 rebounds, coming up big on the defensive end.
James Harden also moved to #5 in the all-time list of made 3-pointers in the regular season.
Milwaukee Bucks slip through double digit lead
After trailing all through the QT by as many as 13 points, the Houston Rockets cut down the chase and finished 32-29 at the end of the first QT against the Bucks.
The Rockets exhibited a good distribution of scoring, whereas the reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton combined for 23 points in the first QT. Officiating did not seem to be working in Rockets' favor tonight.
Robert Covington stepped up for Houston Rockets as Harden struggled from the 3-point line, while 90-40-50 club member Khris Middleton went 4-4 from the field.
The Houston Rockets retained their lead in second QT and found themselves in a bit of predicament as James Harden slipped into foul trouble early on in the game. After a questionable officiating call, James Harden picked up his fourth and got benched by coach Mike D'Antoni as a result.
Rusell Westbrook took some mid-range shots to give the team a double-digit lead. The Houston Rockets concluded the first half with a whooping 9 steals while the Milwaukee Bucks committed 14 turnovers, a concerning stat. Giannis Antetokounmpo was largely absent from the defensive end on the court, and half-time ended 54-62 in the Rockets' favor.
The Houston Rockets exhibit elite defense
After a rough first half, the Milwaukee Bucks went on a 9-0 run with Khris Middleton taking shots from all over the court to tie the game towards the end of third QT, while Giannis made a comeback by scoring 12 points in the same quarter. The Bucks outscored and outrebounded the Houston Rockets this quarter, while James Harden added 6 steals to his box score.
It looked like Milwaukee were going to win it in the first 9 minutes of the fourth quarter, but they chocked their lead away by committing several turnovers and fouls in the last 3 minutes.
Russell Westbrook was extremely clutch in this game to snatch the game away from the Milwaukee Bucks and led the Houston Rockets to a last-minute victory.
Published 03 Aug 2020, 10:02 IST