Despite a career-night from Clint Capela, the Houston Rockets’ five-game win streak came to an end in an overtime loss to the Detroit Pistons. Here are three takeaways from the game.
Following a hard-fought win against the Detroit Pistons, the Houston Rockets‘ (9-8) five-game win streak came to an end in a 116-111 overtime loss to the Pistons (9-7), Friday night, in the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. With the loss, the Rockets split their home-and-home series against an Eastern Conference foe.
It was another entertaining game that took an additional five minutes to determine a winner. Following a three by Blake Griffin that put the Pistons up by two with 2.6 seconds remaining, Eric Gordon hit a tough go-ahead layup in the final seconds of the fourth quarter, to tie the game at 98 apiece.
Despite having all the momentum heading into overtime, the Rockets were outscored 18-13 in the final five minutes of the game.
Griffin led the way for the Pistons with 28 points, nine rebounds, and four assists. His frontcourt partner, Andre Drummond, recorded a double-double of 23 points and 20 rebounds in the win.
Despite turning the ball over seven times, James Harden led all scorers with 33 points and eight assists. After a slow start to the game, Chris Paul had a solid night with 20 points, nine assists, and four rebounds in the loss.
3 Takeaways from the game
Clint Capela’s career-night:
James Harden and Chris Paul are by far the Rockets best players, but Clint Capela maybe the most important. Following one of his best games of the year, the big fella from Switzerland had a career-night in the Motor City.
While helping the Rockets set a season-high in points in the paint (58), Capela recorded a career-high with 29 points on 67 percent shooting from the field. He not only stepped up huge on the offensive end, but defensively as well.
He cleaned the glass for the Rockets in Detroit with 21 rebounds and a season-high 12 offensive boards, to go along with three blocks in the loss. After another phenomenal performance, this marked the third straight game where Capela recorded over 20 points and 15 rebounds for the Rockets, and his fourth over the last five games.
After starting the season 1-5, Capela played a huge factor in the Rockets recent success, and despite the tough loss, look for Houston to continue playing through their big man in the middle.
No help from the second unit:
Since last season, Houston has made their mark by having one of the top scoring benches in the league. Unfortunately, the Rockets did not receive the memo in Detroit. Outside of the clutch layup by Eric Gordon in the final seconds of regulation, the Rockets bench was a no-show Friday night.
The Pistons second unit outscored the Rockets 25-13 in the win, and Houston’s lack of production off the bench played a huge factor in their loss.
Despite leading all scores off the bench with 11 points, Gordon ended the night with one of his worst performances of the season. He shot an awful 4-for-14 (29%) from the field, 1-for-6 (.16%) from behind the arc.
Last time out, the Rockets had one of their best shooting performances of the season. They shot 47.1 percent from 3 in their win over the Pistons Wednesday night. Sadly, Houston’s hot shooting did not cross over into the second half of the home-and-home against Detroit.
The Rockets could not buy a basket from long range as they shot a dreadful 10-for-36 (27.8%) from behind the arc. After they opened the game hitting three of their first nine attempts, Houston went on to shoot 4-for-15 heading into the halftime break, following a 1-for-6 outing in the second quarter.
As they struggled to score from the outside, the Rockets should have focused more on scoring from the mid-range throughout the game. On points coming within the 3-point arc, Houston shot a remarkable 31-for-62 (50%) from the field. After the loss, perhaps it is time for Mike D’Antoni to encourage his players to shoot more from the inside.
After the loss, the Rockets will return to the court against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Saturday, in the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. To stay up to date on all things Rockets and more, be sure to subscribe to You Can Argue That Sports and receive notifications of new posts and podcasts by email.