Houston Rockets: 112, San Antonio Spurs: 106 – Beard’s Gonna Beard

This was, without question, the best win for Houston in this young season. Houston held on to win on the road against the best team in the conference despite blowing more than a 20 point lead. A few thoughts:

Moment of the Game – With Houston down 103-106 with less than a minute to play, James Harden drilled a three pointer to tie. A few seconds later, Patrick Beverley squirted out from a crowd of 7-footers to tip the ball in and give the team a two point lead, and the Rockets never looked back.

MVP – James Harden. He dropped an All-Star line of 31 points (on 19 shots), 7 rebounds and 6 assists, but somehow remained invisible most of the game until drilling the game-tying three. All hail the conquering hero-baller.

That Was…Bizarre – During San Antonio’s final inbounds play of the first half, the Spurs had to inbound the ball from right in front of Houston’s bench. Kevin McHale, who apparently caught something from his recent encounter with Jason Kidd, decided to stand so close to the inbounder, Tim Duncan, that the Spurs were forced to throw an awkward three-quarter-court pass. The incident sent Greg Popovich over the edge, and he was whistled for a technical for giving one of the refs and earful before his assistants shepherded him toward the tunnel. To cap it all off, James Harden whiffed the technical free throw at the start of the third quarter.

X-Factor – Terrence Jones. The Katana set a new career high with 16 rebounds, many of which were hotly contested. He also nailed a three and made one of the wildest baskets of the game on an and-1 in which he was undercut by Kawhi Leonard while going for a dunk, and somehow managed to land on his feet.

Ouch – Within the last few seconds of the game, Chandler Parsons went down with what appeared to be back spasms, and Francisco Garcia’s knee collided with Tim Duncan’s knee brace. Garcia shook it off and finished the game, but Parsons’ back has been nagging him all season. Hopefully he can get back to 100 percent.

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Total comments: 26
  • Sir Thursday says 9 months ago

    I disagree. Hack a Howard works best when the Rockets are working on coming back from like a 10 point deficit in the 4th quarter and all of a sudden there is life with a couple of 3's and a drive to the bucket by Lin or Harden.

    At that point, it behooves our opponent to slow down the Rockets momentum with Hack a Howard.

    The Spurs were never close to being in control of the game.

    And D12 hit his free throws when the Spurs fouled him anyway.

    I very strongly disagree with you about this. A hacking strategy serves two purposes - to decrease the rate at which the opposition is scoring and to increase the number of possessions left in the game. If you are behind in the game, then it is in your interest to do both of these. But if you are ahead, it is in your interest to minimise the number of possessions left in the game in order to give your opponents fewer chances to make up the deficit. That makes a hacking strategy far less attractive when you are ahead in the game than it would be if you are behind.

    ST

  • SadLakerFan says 9 months ago

    Hack a Shaq wasn't used too often because Shaq was so strong, with such great footwork in the low post that you either risk a flagrant or risk an and 1. Dwight's not there yet. But, he's got the talent and the size and, based on what we saw last year in LA, that's what he wants his game to be. We'll see if he gets there. If he makes significant improvement in his low post game, and the Rockets don't make any poor trades (it would be nice if Beverly were 6'-5", but other than that I don't see any glaring weaknesses), I think they can contend for the title. They're doing the right thing, limiting minutes and using a deep bench. They can shorten the rotation in the playoffs. It might cost them 2 or 3 wins during the course of the season, but a healthy core rotation and fresh legs are more important than home court in a 7 game series.

  • rockets best fan says 9 months ago

    Exactly! This team is ahead of schedule and there was no way the Rockets were going to hold that lead in San Antonio. I think by the end of the season the Rockets may be able to challenge the Spurs for dominance in the West but bench experience and health will be essential.

    totally agree we are ahead of schedule. however I predicted the team wouldjell quick because of how well the parts fit together. I would also add that McHale did a nice job coaching this game........there may be hope for him yet. we have already loss 3 of these types of games this year. nice to see we are learning from our mistakes. the NBA better watch out, something dangerous is brewing in H-Town

  • Buckko says 9 months ago The rockets were going to lose that lead no matter what, spurs were not going to get blown out in their own house.
  • vonsteve says 9 months ago

    I don't remember even Hack a Shaq being done as often. Maybe it was, but it seemed more sporadic.

  • rocketrick says 9 months ago

    For a team like the Spurs, Hack a Dwight is a bad strategy, because it takes an elite defensive team out of its rhythm. I suspect we won't see it again from Pop.

    I disagree. Hack a Howard works best when the Rockets are working on coming back from like a 10 point deficit in the 4th quarter and all of a sudden there is life with a couple of 3's and a drive to the bucket by Lin or Harden.

    At that point, it behooves our opponent to slow down the Rockets momentum with Hack a Howard.

    The Spurs were never close to being in control of the game.

    And D12 hit his free throws when the Spurs fouled him anyway.

  • feelingsupersonic says 9 months ago

    A bit of perspective--last year's 18th game of the season was also at San Antonio. We lost 114-92, which dropped us to 9-9. Now we are 13-5, having won 8 of 9, and are clearly one of the top teams in the league. Six guys played in that game who are no longer on the team--Delfino, Patterson, Douglas, Cook, Morris, and Aldrich. Casspi, Howard, Beverley, Brooks, and Garcia were not on our roster, and T. Jones played all of 8 minutes in last year's route. It is just remarkable all of the roster turnover. It is also remarkable how quickly we have jelled into one of the best team's in the league.


    Exactly! This team is ahead of schedule and there was no way the Rockets were going to hold that lead in San Antonio. I think by the end of the season the Rockets may be able to challenge the Spurs for dominance in the West but bench experience and health will be essential.
  • 2016Champions says 9 months ago

    They weren't inbounding to him really, but they were throwing inlet passes to him in the post.


    Yep, I went back to watch it and you're right, it's a pass to Dwight in the post and Spurs didn't foul.
  • SadLakerFan says 9 months ago For a team like the Spurs, Hack a Dwight is a bad strategy, because it takes an elite defensive team out of its rhythm. I suspect we won't see it again from Pop.
  • Dayak says 9 months ago Best win in this season so far. Hate how we were losing the lead, but at least we still won it.
  • Buckko says 9 months ago

    I hope they set Parsons out for the jazz game, he deserves it.

  • CanSayNOTC says 9 months ago

    this is the type of game i was waiting for to judge the rockets.

    3 more games with the Spurs and I have a feeling we'll need Parson's back, Harden's feet, Lin's knees, and maybe even Dwight's former self. God I hope they nurse those injuries and stay healthy

  • Buckko says 9 months ago

    Theofficiating was terrible, I thought towards the end that therefswere going to give the game to the spurs.

  • rocketrick says 9 months ago



    Pop's post-game interview: http://www.nba.com/spurs/video/2013/11/30/131130popmov-3059680

    You're welcome.

    Pop stated in the post game interview that Harden's 3 was the shot of the game.

  • miketheodio says 9 months ago

    this is the type of game i was waiting for to judge the rockets.

  • Johnny Rocket says 9 months ago

    A bit of perspective--last year's 18th game of the season was also at San Antonio. We lost 114-92, which dropped us to 9-9. Now we are 13-5, having won 8 of 9, and are clearly one of the top teams in the league. Six guys played in that game who are no longer on the team--Delfino, Patterson, Douglas, Cook, Morris, and Aldrich. Casspi, Howard, Beverley, Brooks, and Garcia were not on our roster, and T. Jones played all of 8 minutes in last year's route. It is just remarkable all of the roster turnover. It is also remarkable how quickly we have jelled into one of the best team's in the league.

  • Kiss_of_Death_Clutch_City says 9 months ago

    Didn't they? I could have sworn they were intentionally inbounding the ball to Dwight after the 2 minute mark and Spurs chose not to foul, even the commentators said something about it.

    They weren't inbounding to him really, but they were throwing inlet passes to him in the post.

  • Kiss_of_Death_Clutch_City says 9 months ago

    Loved it!! Man what a fun ride that was. Harden showed some serious fortitude with the and-1 and the 3 pointer to tie it at 106. Big ups Beard! Katana played like a beast, and D12 shook off the Hack-A-Howard. That's what we needed.

  • 2016Champions says 9 months ago

    I'm also curious why teams keep doing the terrible hack-a-dwight strategy -- but also curious why the Rockets don't give him the ball purposely with under 2 mins if it's so bad :)

    Didn't they? I could have sworn they were intentionally inbounding the ball to Dwight after the 2 minute mark and Spurs chose not to foul, even the commentators said something about it.
  • David says 9 months ago

    I'm also curious why teams keep doing the terrible hack-a-dwight strategy -- but also curious why the Rockets don't give him the ball purposely with under 2 mins if it's so bad :)

  • 2016Champions says 9 months ago And there was also the hack a Dwight which failed again, I'm surprised Pop tried that horrible tactic instead of relying on the elite defense of his starting line up
  • Jeby says 9 months ago

    Pop's post-game interview: http://www.nba.com/spurs/video/2013/11/30/131130popmov-3059680

    You're welcome.

  • Jeby says 9 months ago



    It was Duncan who was the inbounder.

    Yep, just saw that on the highlights and fixed it. Also, it was Leonard who undercut Jones, not Ginobili. Apologies.

    One more thing about Harden: Leonard was a non-factor all game long, and Harden's defense had a lot to do with that.
  • feelingsupersonic says 9 months ago What a game! It seemed to me to be a glimpse into the future. I thought the Spurs would be able to score down the stretch but the Rockets actually had some impressive defensive stands. I was glad to see Harden get that block.
  • kidnextdoor says 9 months ago

    Is it just me or was the officiating bad in this game?

  • Buckko says 9 months ago

    It was Duncan who was the inbounder.