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.

About the author: John Eby got on the Rockets bandwagon in 1994 and never got off. He is a public relations guy and recovering TV journalist living in South Carolina.

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