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Payback in the making? HOU now up 21 after Harden plays DB, picks off West, then drains a triple. Rockets nothing short of dominant.
James Harden insisted on Wednesday that this was just another game. I don't think he agrees with himself.
Call overturned because it was ridiculous. It was an obvious foul, but nothing flagrant about it.
I assume JVG is going nuts over this being called a flagrant foul. Will be reviewed, but Howard and Hibbert have been slamming each other.
After Rockets' starting five took it to Miami Tuesday night, they're in process of doing similar things to Indy tonight.
Big-time response after pair of George buckets to open half, cut lead to 3. Harden, Howard winning All Star battles so far, have 15 each.
The best thing about those Harden-to-Howard/CP-to-Howard alley-oops is that you can see them developing ... and they still can't be stopped.
Pacers came out swinging to cut it to three, but a 9-0 Rockets run later and Houston's lead is back to 12.
Terrence Jones battling West as best he can, but if Joe Rogowski wants him in weight room tomorrow, Jones won't argue.
Howard bucket was not on a fast break, but he beat Hibbert down the floor, posting up in restricted area. Can't get much better than that.
Pacers have outscored opponents by a league-best 272 points in 3rd quarter this season. Blew game open against the Rockets in 3rd in Indy.
Pretty good game on both ends. And I don't have to fly home from Tapei when it's over. As with game in Indy, start of 2nd half will be huge.
Still, HOU did what it had to do. Now Pacers get chance to show why they're league's best 3Q team and best in 2nd half overall.
Rockets 50, Pacers 43 at half. Rockets had lead up to 16, but got locked in Pacers D late in half. Pacers shot 50 %, Rockets 48.7 %.
HALF: Rockets 50, Pacers 43. 11-3 closing run by Indy makes this a lot tighter. Harden has 12 points, Howard 8 and Beverley 7.
Rockets were really, really good for most of 1st half. 7-pt lead at halftime nothing to scoff at, but does feel as if it should be more.
David West giving Rockets fits inside. Too much power in that power forward for Jones.
Funny how often I hear Rockets don't score enough inside. Hou No. 2 in PIP in NBA, have 28 vs. NBA's best paint defense. Indy allows 34 pg.
I hope ESPN had a camera on Howard and Hibbert battling for position in low blocks. Really good stuff. Later, they'll knock over walls.
Rockets now forcing turnovers by the bushel, turning them into easy buckets you gotta have vs. this Indy team. Now up 39-24.
Pacers are the team with with the historically great D, but Rockets' top-10 unit is the one strangling life out of opposition right now.
Huge ovation for Hakeem and T-Mac. Hakeem waved to the crowd... T-Mac was obvlious. Dream had to tap him to let him know it was happening.
Another Hamilton chase-down block a reminder that he has been doing things Rockets lacked at that possession off bench beyond scoring.
Jordan Hamilton pulls off another amazing fast break block, leading to a Jeremy Lin fast break layup. 37-24 Rockets, 7:10 2Q.
Jordan's Hamilton's fast-break stopping efficiency numbers from the past game-and-a-half are off the charts.
And now Lin draws one. Rockets should just start drawing them on better players.
D-Mo draws charges on consecutive possessions. Don't see that often. Bad news for Rockets is that sends Mahinmi to bench, Hibbert back in.
Rockets' 10 1Q assists tonight matched their total for the entire game last time they played Pacers
As well as the Rockets usually score early, assists on 10 of 12 field goals is not typical. Had just 3 tos, none in last five minutes.
HOU's ball movement nothing short of sensation during second half of that 1Q. Has to be to put points on board vs Indy. 10 asts on 12 makes.
Rockets 27, Pacers 16 after 1. Rockets have outscored opponents by 204 points this season in 1st quarter. (Pacers best in 3rd.)
The Pacers, by the way, are the league’s best team (by a WIDE margin) in the 3Q
Terrific end to the first quarter as Harden finds Motiejunas for a corner three. Rockets 27, Pacers 16 after one.
Mentioned in preview: Rockets have been NBA's best 1Q team this season. Another great start tonight, up 27-16 heading to 2Q.
Beautiful spin move in the post by D-Mo. Looked very confident on that move. Rockets up 24-14 after a Harden triple.
Beverley took a smack to his broken nose. Really hurting. Checks out, though this is when Lin usually comes in.
Rockets with seven assists on their eight field goals. Have to move to the ball vs Indy. They are early.
Strong start for Howard. The points and boards are expected, but he's also tossed a team-high 3 assists into that mix as well. Rox up 17-14.
Rockets running more side pick-and-rolls than up top. Got a couple good hoops off it. Pacers D fun to watch, though. Do so many things well.
Harden's 28.4% shooting percentage in seven games against the Pacers is his worst against any team. It's 24.6 % past two seasons.
8-0 Pacers run in large part because Paul George has just flat picked James Harden's pocket twice.
As always against the Pacers, Harden off to a very slow start. Missed his only shot - open J to start game -- and has couple turnovers.
Paul George wasting little time showing off his credentials as one of best wing defenders in NBA. Has picked Harden twice, Indy up 12-10.
Luis Scola... he's still getting a great ovation here in Houston.
David West gives Jones a shove for his second foul. Scola in, to a nice ovation.
With Pacers posting up David West inside, this might be a night to see a return of a Asik-Howard frontcourt at some point.
Leslie Alexander surrounded tonight by Rockets Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon and Skeeters righthander Tracy McGrady.
Scola was clear in that note, from Dec. in Indy, that first choice is to stick with Pacers. But clearly no hard feelings about amnesty cut.
With Bulls-Griz moving right along, Hou-Ind will shockingly start on time. First time Rockets have been late TV game without delay this yr.
Rockets, Pacers and Clippers only teams that have not lost 3 straight. As with previous game against Rockets, Pacers have lost previous 2.
Pat Beverley spent a lot of pregame warmup messing with his mask. In between, hit an awful lot of 3s, so I guess he he'll have to wear it.
Pat Beverley just arrived already wearing his mask. Doesn't look happy about it.
Cowboy James Harden arrives at the Toyota Center. http://t.co/6NfTy3coZO
In the last 10 years, Rockets coaches have improved the free throw shooting of our players by 2.4%. Next best team San Antonio at 1.3%.
Listening to Tony Nila and JVG discussing Rice baseball In great detail. Weird.
With Dwight, Rockets have generated 6+ rim points per game more than opponents, 2nd only to Miami. 6+ point rim edge worth about 24 wins
Finally got that verified check.!!
Rockets game Tuesday at OKC picked up by NBA-TV. Usual local blackout rules apply.
Pat Beverley says he doesn't feel comfortable with mask on for broken nose. Says he might not even wear it during tonight's game.
Jeremy Lin says he feels "great" this morning; says back is feeling way better than it was at certain points post all-star break.
The Rockets' loss to Pacers in December has NOTHING on what the Lakers did tonight with the Clips. Wowzers.
Harden has a good point. Magic scored 32 points on 60.9 % shooting w/ 1 to in 1st quarter; 57 ps on 39.3 % shooting w 16 tos rest of way.
James Harden scored 25 in 2nd half, but when asked what changed from early-season losses in similar games, said, "Our defense."
Pat Beverley ' nose was broken. Will be fitted for mask tomorrow.
Starters dominate 2nd half, take Rockets to 101-89 win in the latest in series of games won that would have been losses early this season.
FINAL: Rockets 101, Magic 89. Rockets rebound from horrible start as Harden (31 points) puts Orlando away in the second half.
Harden with 25 points in the second half to help HOU overcome slow start, knock off Magic 101-89. Now 42-19 on the season. Indy up next.
James Harden scored 25 of his 31 points in the second half. He was 4-5 from the field for 11 points in the fourth quarter.