After a sluggish 4-7 start to the season under Kevin McHale, the Houston Rockets surprisingly axed the Hall of Famer and appointed J.B. Bickerstaff as interim head coach in hopes of carving out a new defensive identity that can catapult them back to the Western Conference’s upper echelon.
Despite a new face strolling up-and-down the sidelines on Wednesday night, the Rockets’ performance, most notably in the first half and some of the third quarter, mirrored what all of their other outings have been this season: sluggish and listless displays of basketball.
In the fourth quarter however, Houston decided to ratchet up the intensity and that increased energy-level got them right back into the game. Setting up for a dramatic finish to the fourth quarter.
Portland tried to foul James Harden in the backcourt as he trudged up the floor, but the slippery Harden was able to elude Allen Crabbe’s grab. He then flung it to Corey Brewer, who launched a one-legged three pointer before CJ McCollum even had the opportunity to foul him.
Luckily for Brewer, the heave was nothing but net and it tied the game for Houston, sending the contest into overtime. The Rockets would go on to edge the Trail Blazers 108-103, with Harden scoring 30+ in the 2nd half en-route to a 45 point, 11 assist, eight rebound, five steal performance.
I’ll let my man Spongebob Squarepants take us home.