The Houston Rockets (14-14) got back to .500 after beating the Memphis Grizzlies (16-13) 105-97, extending their win streak to three games in a row. James Harden led the way with his second straight triple-double with 32 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists. Clint Capela put together a magnificent game with 26 points and added 10 rebounds, while Chris Paul had a double-double on the night with 10 points and 10 assists. Memphis was led by Mike Conley, who recorded 22 points and six assists, while Marc Gasol added 17 points and nine rebounds.
The Rockets led most of the contest and had a comfortable 21-point lead going into halftime. However, the hardnosed Grizzlies shrunk the lead to just seven after the Rockets started the 3rd quarter shooting 0-for-7 from the field. Gerald Green then rose from the bench and gave the team a spark with three straight three-pointers made, while Harden added a three himself in between Green’s triples. Memphis fought their way to bring their deficit to a manageable five points, but Houston was able to keep the lead theirs and take the road win.
The new bench tandem of Gerald Green and Danuel House, dubbed the “GreenHouse Effect” by commentators Craig Ackerman and Matt Bullard, have brought new life to a second unit that was subpar throughout most of this season. Green hopped off the bench and gave the squad 17 points and shot 3-for-3 from behind the arc. House did not record any points, but managed a team-high +14 while he was on the floor. The “GreenHouse Effect” combined for a +24 and their contributions were crucial in helping the home-town team win versus a quality opponent in the Grizzlies.
Eric Gordon, who was questionable with knee soreness, struggled again tonight as he added four points while shooting 0-for-8 from the three-point line. The Rockets and their fans have been waiting for the former sixth man of the year to break out of this season-long slump, but it does not seem that Gordon is shaking the skeptics at this point. In 25 games this year, Gordon is shooting a career low 29% from three. He is now suffering his career-low field goal percentage, at 37% (stats courtesy of Basketball Reference). Obviously, there is still a lot of season left and Gordon has a career track record of being a three-point marksman. Time will tell if he can pull it together for a team that needs his contributions.
The Rockets next play at home with tip-off at 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 17 against the Utah Jazz. In their previous two meetings this season, the Jazz have won 100-89 and 118-91. Houston will be looking to stretch their win streak to four games in the contest.