Coming into Saturday night’s game, the Memphis Grizzles had not won in Houston in over six and a half years. Largely due to an offensive onslaught from Jeremy Lin ’10 and teammate James Harden, the Rockets continued their winning ways by notching their third straight victory in blowout fashion.
Houston totaled 32 assists on the night, its season-high, 11 of which were contributed by Lin. The Harvard alum also put up 15 points and six boards, earning an efficiency rating of +18 in the 121-96 win.
"I think tonight we showed how explosive we can be offensively because we put 120 points on a team that hasn't allowed over 100 since the first game of the season," Lin explained in his post-game interview. "This is just a testament to people moving and passing the ball."
The Grizzlies gave up 32 more points than what it was allowing to opponents, on average, thus far this season. The cause of this? The transition play of Lin’s Rockets. The speed of Lin and Harden proved invaluable for Houston on Saturday, as they lead their team to 33 fast break points. Memphis managed only three for the game.
“It was our job to push the tempo, get stops, and get in transition,” Harden said.
Accordingly, the Rockets first points of the night came on a quick outlet pass and the ensuing transition play, ultimately leading to a four-point possession for the home squad.
“[W]e wanted to make sure…that we got the ball out and just run as fast as we can," Lin said.
Houston will be forced to play in transition even more in the next few days as it faces three teams in four nights, all on the road. The Rockets’ next game is on Dec 25, exactly one year and one day after the squad released Lin from the team last season.