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Phoenix Suns 107, Houston Rockets 105: Harden Can’t Do It All

James Harden snapped out of his recent funk by exploding on the Suns with 38 points on 17 shots, but it simply wasn’t enough. The rest of the Rockets shot 38% from the field, falling to a scrappy Phoenix bench led by Hamed Haddadi, Kendall Marshall and Jared Dudley. The Rockets sputtered all night and weren’t ever quite able to get a run together after their 6-0 run to start the game. Some incredible late game heroics pushed the Rockets to within two by the buzzer, but the Rockets just couldn’t get in position for a win.

James Harden was a beast. He shot 7-10 from deep, grabbed 5 boards and dished  8 dimes. His 8 turnovers were grim indeed, but that wasn’t even half of the team’s total (19). As the game progressed and the win slipped farther out of Houston’s reach, Harden turned it on in the third and took over. The Rockets had been trying to create for a variety of scorers, to move the ball and to play as a team. That wasn’t working at all. When they simply gave the ball to Harden and let him break down his man, the Rockets scored. With fatigue aplenty to go around, perhaps there simply wasn’t enough in his tank to shoot more often. It’s too bad, because he was packing high octane in the tank.

Carlos Delfino was the only other Rocket making any headway against the Suns, turning in 21 points on 8-15 shooting. The rest of Houston’s had 9 points 25% shooting. The Suns’ bench, on the other hand, had 55 points on 44 shots. Jared Dudley led his team with 22 points on 75% from the field. Hamed Haddadi played solid defense and looked clearly better than Omer Asik. Kendall Marshall his huge, critical threes as well as a last second heave of a two that somehow found its way home. The Suns played their bench huge minutes, and those players simply looked fresher and more excited than anyone in red.

The difference in effort was striking. While a few 50/50′s went the Suns’ way, the fact of the matter is that the Suns’ bench unit simply beat the Rockets’ starters. Parsons had 14 points on 16 shots and Lin scored 11 on 9. The Rockets went 4-6 on free throws outside of Harden’s 9-12. Omer Asik grabbed 16 rebounds, but nobody else in red had more than 5. Patrick Beverley’s 5 assists beat out Lin’s 4 and the starters had 17 turnovers.

For a 2:45 stretch in the second, the Rockets went scoreless with 3 turnovers and 2 shot attempts. The Rockets’ offense has looked weak in recent games, and the ability to defense Golden State was crucial in their win on Friday. The Suns simply proved too much to handle as they scrambled and hustled to boost their chances. Discounting the four intentional fouls by Houston late in the game, both teams committed 20 fouls on the evening. The Suns, however, were much more aggressive with the ball, resulting in the Suns shooting 31 free throws to the Rockets’ 18. The Rockets shot over twice as many threes, and that’s not a recipe for shooting fouls.

There’s little good for Houston to take away from this game, save for perhaps a sense of urgency against the Suns on Wednesday, Houston’s next game. The Suns looked like a better team, winning despite starting center Marcin Gortat sitting with an injury. At the start of the year, these two teams were predicted to be between 30 to 40 wins, with the Suns being a bit better. The season so far has told a different story, but this alternate reality came true for a game tonight.

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  • JSosa13 says 1 YEAR ago I think the whole team looks exhausted. Jeremy Lin, Asik and Harden have never played big minutes before everyone else is either a rookie or second year guy. Hopefully this homestand will help them get out of this funk, and more importantly give these guys a chance to rest a little more...
  • Jason says 1 YEAR ago

    New post: Phoenix Suns 107, Houston Rockets 105: Harden Can't Do It All


    Harden didn't do it all. He had 8 turnovers which really hurt us. Many of which lead to fast breaks the other way. If there is one area in which harden needs to improve its turnovers. Sometimes he throws the most ridiculous passes that have no chance of getting to a rockets player. This happened many times last night.
  • Red94 says 1 YEAR ago New post: Phoenix Suns 107, Houston Rockets 105: Harden Can't Do It All
  • Cooper says 1 YEAR ago Disapointing loss to say the least
  • Jason says 1 YEAR ago

    Have no fear, The Beard is here.


    Harden needs to score 30+ tonight for us to win
  • Steven says 1 YEAR ago Have no fear, The Beard is here.
  • Jason says 1 YEAR ago

    I think I jinxed them :unsure:

    .

    Lol. The thing that we have to remember is how young and inexperienced we are. Any road game has the potential to be challenging for use because of this, no matter what team it is.
  • 2016Champions says 1 YEAR ago

    I think I jinxedus :unsure:

  • Jason says 1 YEAR ago Wow, this is awful
  • Jason says 1 YEAR ago Ugly game so far
  • Steven says 1 YEAR ago Especially considering the Jazz's collapse.
  • 2016Champions says 1 YEAR ago

    We play the Suns 4 times, and a bunch of other horrible teams. I think it's safe to say we're making the playoffs lol

  • Jeby says 1 YEAR ago It won't matter if Harden is fresh as a daisy for the playoffs if the Rockets aren't in them. He has to play.
  • 2016Champions says 1 YEAR ago

    If Harden was closer to 30 I'd say let him sit, but he's 23. Hopefully we can blow PHX out and Harden only has to play like 26 minutes.

  • phaketrash says 1 YEAR ago

    Rather he play limited minutes after we blowout PHX early or something. LAL and UTAH are right on our heels, and it really is anyone's game right now. We have to pull out like 7-3 or (better) 8-2 out of the games from ORL down to Cleveland I think. We're 3-1 right now, so on track. Starting after the Cavs game, we have SA, Pacers, MEM, and LAC. o.O Tough stretch.

  • Richards says 1 YEAR ago

    Play like clippers and keep starters around low 30 min unless situation required. I knew I knew Clippers has deep bench. We don't have true backups.

  • thenit says 1 YEAR ago

    Even without Harden I think we can easily split the games. I rather have him rest 2 games and be 100% than go 80% the rest of the way. It seems like he has a nagging knee and ankle injuries. I want him to rest, rather than have him make it worse or not be 100% for playoffss

  • Jason says 1 YEAR ago

    What's wrong with limited minutes? Maybe play the first and fourth quarters?


    Or just let him play. He's 23 yrs old. He will be fine.
  • thejohnnygold says 1 YEAR ago

    What's wrong with limited minutes? Maybe play the first and fourth quarters?

  • Jason says 1 YEAR ago

    True, but who are we playing, I think we could beat Phoenix without Harden the way Parsons is playing. So sit out those 2 games until next Friday against Minnesota. You don't think we could beat Phoenix 2 times in a row without Harden?


    Nope
  • timetodienow1234567 says 1 YEAR ago

    True, but who are we playing, I think we could beat Phoenix without Harden the way Parsons is playing. So sit out those 2 games until next Friday against Minnesota. You don't think we could beat Phoenix 2 times in a row without Harden?

  • Cooper says 1 YEAR ago If we sit harden for a week we lose 2-3games we can't afford to lose
  • timetodienow1234567 says 1 YEAR ago

    So you want him exhausted and looking like last night come playoff time?

  • Jason says 1 YEAR ago

    Is it just me or do other people want Harden to sit for 1 week or 2 weeks. I think we'll survive a few games without Harden and still squeak into the playoffs. However, we won't go ANYWHERE unless Harden is 100% healthy, and even then, it's unlikely. We need Harden well rested and healthy come playoff time. I think we can handle PHX without Harden and in my opinion Harden should sit.


    In a word, No
  • timetodienow1234567 says 1 YEAR ago

    Is it just me or do other people want Harden to sit for 1 week or 2 weeks. I think we'll survive a few games without Harden and still squeak into the playoffs. However, we won't go ANYWHERE unless Harden is 100% healthy, and even then, it's unlikely. We need Harden well rested and healthy come playoff time. I think we can handle PHX without Harden and in my opinion Harden should sit.

  • Jason says 1 YEAR ago Go Rockets! We gotta win this one. Cannot afford a let down game.

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