The Houston Rockets’ night could be summed up in a single statistic: only one player on the team’s entire roster had a positive efficiency rating in Saturday’s contest against the Oklahoma City Thunder. As a result, Houston and Jeremy Lin ’10 were blown out by the Thunder, 124-94.
The game, which came on the second night of a back-to-back, remained close well into the second quarter. After three consecutive points from Lin, the Rockets were within two of Oklahoma City, 52-50, with four minutes remaining in the half. And then it all went wrong for Houston.
The Thunder scored 16 straight points to close the period—11 of which were put in by MVP-candidate Kevin Durant—and went to the visitor's locker room with a comfortable 18-point lead. The Rockets were unable to decrease the gap in the third and fourth quarters, finishing the game shooting less than 40 percent from the field and 75 percent from the charity stripe.
“It’s just a matter of being consistent throughout the 48 minutes,” Lin said in his postgame interview. “Against great teams we can’t have [those] lapses…Tonight was just a tough one. Just one of those nights.”
Lin and backcourt-mate James Harden both struggled against the athleticism of the Thunders’s guards, and had almost as many turnovers, eight, as they did field goals, nine. Lin did tally a team-high seven assists, his fourth time achieving at least that many dimes in Houston’s last five games.
The Rockets will have one more chance to end 2012 on a positive note when they take on the Atlanta Hawks, a team currently on a four-game win streak, at home on New Year’s Eve.