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Early Omer Asik sighting tonight as Dwight Howard picks up his second foul. Rockets down 12-3 just three minutes in.
As if things were not going badly enough, Howard with two fouls in 3:11, heads to bench.
As understandably dead as it is in here with 8-0 Portland start, the nightly science lesson incited comas.
Outside of Lillard missing a layup on first fg attempt, near perfect start for Portland. Two 3s and a fast break layup, Blazers up 8-0.
Really wondered if Rockets would have intensity of Miami, Indiana games. We have our answer quickly. Portland up 8-0. Rockets 0 good shots.
Slightly different crowd in the front row tonight. Some pretty wide-eyed looks when Hakeem found his seat next to them.
The Rockets always put Dwight Howard on the scoreboard during the "rockets' red glare" part of national anthem. His reactions are great.
Those numbers, btw, very similar to what he's averaged vs PDX this yr. Howard in that convo too, and he's averaging 28 & 14 vs. Blazers.
Among the lesser matters: With a win, Harden has every good chance to claim 2nd straight Player of Week. Averaging 26.7 ppg, 7 apg this week
Moments away from tip at TC. Obviously a great deal potentially riding on tonight's outcome vs Blazers (tiebreaker, etc.).
Thought we'd see Asik, Howard together vs. Indy. Didn't happen; could tonight. Asik played well vs. Aldridge in Por. Used in practice Sat.
Hardly anyone talks about this stat, but Rockets are 24-8 since Gersson Rosas officially returned.
Less obvious, but even more eye-catching, Terrence Jones is shooting 62.3 %, 57.1 % on 3s since break.
One key to Rockets surge: Harden's shot was off back in Dec., Jan. after foot injury. In 9 gms since break, has shot 51.5 %, 40.3 % on 3s.
Game day with the vipers let's get it..!!!
Nice gift from my fans! Thanks a lot! http://t.co/KfzHYY7uL3
After a career-high scoring night to key Rockets win against Pacers, Troy Daniels re-assigned to RGV of D-League. (He had 5 in final mins.)
Rockets announce they have re-assigned guard Troy Daniels to RGV Vipers.
As much as Rockets might have wished they were still in East when were missing or barely making playoffs, they are 20-3 vs East this season.
Rockets 3 back of OKC for best in West, but still just a couple gms into killer stretch. Portland on Sun before @ OKC, Chicago and Miami.
That's the thing about regular season games. Rarely are things -- motivation, rest, preparation time -- equitable. That comes in playoffs.
Dwight Howard: “That’s all we talked about, every time out, every possession, how they blew us out. We wanted to get payback.”
Didn't think was 'just another game" to Harden as he said Wednesday. "Always wanted to get back against them.” Dwight Howard went further.
James Harden on the third quarter: "(It) was probably the best I've seen us play offense and defense in one quarter. We were rolling."
Rockets have made at least half their shots in 26 games (23-3), the most since doing it 34 times in 94-95.
If you open windows around town you might hear the music coming out of Rockets locker room again.
McHale said it looked like Jeremy Lin had his first step back: "I thought Jeremy had a lot of juice tonight."
McHale: "As just a fan of basketball, it was fun to watch the team play like that."
Rockets 112-86 win two points shy of biggest of year. Move to 14-0 at home vs. East, have season-long 7-game home win streak, 22-6 in '14.
Rockets have added post-game interviews. Naturally, they ask about the fans instead of you know, basketball. Not many still here to hear it.
Rockets served notice to the rest of the NBA tonight with masterful massacre of Pacers. Houston wins 112-86. Quite a show.
FINAL: Rockets 112, Pacers 86. 14th win in last 16 as Harden (28p in 31m), Rockets cowboyed up, sent message to league: Houston's for real.
Rockets unbeaten vs. East in Houston with a 32-point lead tonight and one game left here, vs. Philly.
Even Jeremy Lin is getting into the act. He hits a stepback jumper, Asik with a rejection and Hamilton nails a trey. Rolling. 96-64 Rockets.
Will be overshadowed, but this is most Lin has looked like Lin since before All Star break. Not just that he's 3 of 4, he looks good again.
Rockets 88, Pacers 59 heading to the 4th. Rockets hit 14-21 shots (6-7 3P) in 3Q and turned it over just once, turning this into a blowout.
It's all happening. Rox up 29. Harden masterful. Crowd electric. J-Lin getting on track, too.NBA's hottest team hammering point home tonight
Rockets 88, Pacers 59 after 3. Will McHale give JVG a Pop interview? Harden with 16 in 3rd, again had shot 24.6 % vs. Indy with Rockets.
James Harden checks out to a loud ovation. He put up 16 of his 28 in the third quarter.
James Harden nearly shook his beard off after 3-pointer. Tell me again James. Just another game?
It's 31-10 Houston in this period. Which team is the league's best third quarter team again? 81-53 Rockets. Total party here at the TC.
Yeah, this game was just 1-of-82. Right, James?
Get comfy. Both teams over the limit and officials will call it very close for awhile.
That worked out OK for Rockets. Crowd electric. Double Ts meaningless and David West didn't break anyone in two.
Double Ts. Harden and Turner got in each other's face, but only Turner got physical. Officials still reviewing.
Between the cowboy duds, dunks and, now, "MVP" chants, get ready to see an awful lot of James Harden on your TV screen this news cycle.
Harden and Turner squared off until Turner gave him a shove. Expect double technicals. Harden getting an MVP chant tribute.
The Rockets have gone into fire ant mode. They are swarming, relentless and showing absolutely no mercy.
James Harden just brought down the Toyota Center with a fast break slam. That may have been the loudest it has been in here all year.
Rockets are tearing apart the league's very best team. 21-3 run and it's 71-50 Houston. Eye-opening performance on national TV.
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.