Rockets Win Sixth Straight Game, Are 7-3 Since James Harden Trade

Houston Rockets Eric Gordon 3 Pointers

  • The Houston Rockets defeated the OKC Thunder 136-106 on Monday night.
  • Houston made 11 three-pointers in the first quarter, tying an NBA record.
  • The Rockets have now won six straight games and are 7-3 since trading James Harden.

The Houston Rockets continued to roll on Monday night as they blew out the OKC Thunder 136-106 and pick up their sixth straight win.

Don’t look now, but Houston is one game above the .500 mark at 10-9 on the year and they are in second place in the Southwest Division, one game behind the equally red-hot Memphis Grizzlies who are 9-6.

Monday’s win was another offensive clinic for Houston and this time around, they shot their way to the record books by raining threes in the first quarter.

Rockets Rain Threes on Thunder

Prior to their 48-point second quarter against the New Orleans Pelicans last Saturday, there had only been two 48-point quarters in the history of the Rockets franchise. After scoring 48 points in the first quarter of Monday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston now has two 48–point periods in their last four quarters played.

Monday’s torrid opening frame against the Thunder was highlighted by an NBA record-tying 11-three point baskets made by the Rockets. Houston shot 11-14 from deep (78.6%) including four-point plays by Danuel House and Eric Gordon. The Rockets bench scored 17 points in the first quarter with Gordon putting up 10 and House scoring 10. Gordon, Christian Wood, and Victor Oladipo already scored in double figures at the end of the first quarter.

Houston finished the game shooting 28 for 52 from three-point land (53.8%), setting a new franchise mark for three-pointers made and attempted in a single game. A total of 10 Rockets players hit at least one three-pointer in the game, including five with at least three triples made. As a team, the Rockets made 15 three-pointers more than the Thunder and took 18 more triples.

Gordon in Beast Mode

The Rockets are 7-3 since Harden left and they are playing much better basketball right now, with good ball movement and sharing of the wealth. When you examine the Rockets recent performance under the microscope, Eric Gordon’s showing stands out. He’s clearly flourishing while playing in a much bigger role.

Eric Gordon was once again in beast mode on Monday as he led the Rockets with 25 points in just 22 minutes of action off the bench. The 2016-17 NBA Sixth Man of the Year shot 8-12 from the field including 5-9 from behind the arc. Gordon has scored at least 20 points in four of Houston’s last six games, all wins. He now has a total of nine 20-point games this season, after only having six such games during the 2019-20 campaign.

Since the Harden trade, Gordon is averaging 19.7 points, 2 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game. He is shooting 45.1% from the field and 38.8% from deep with a true shooting percentage of 58.8%. Gordon’s offensive rating during the period is 113.1 points per 100 possessions while his defensive rating during that span is an impressive 102.8 points per 100 possessions.

Rockets Move Up

With the win over the Thunder, the Rockets have now moved to a tie for 8th place in the Western Conference at 10-9. That’s impressive considering this team was five games below the .500 mark at the height of the James Harden drama. Now that it’s over, the holdover team is forging its own identity as a versatile scoring and defensive team.

Christian Wood has been the biggest surprise as he leads the team in scoring and rebounding at 23.6 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. Then there is also Victor Oladipo who has scored at least 20 points in five out of his first seven games in a Rockets uniform. John Wall still hasn’t returned to his All-Star form but is contributing 17.8 points and 5.8 assists per game.

The best NBA betting sites still have the Rockets in fourth or last in their Southwest Division team standings, hovering at +700 to +950 depending on which sportsbook you use. However, with the way they are currently playing, don’t be surprised if those odds shorten soon. This Rockets team is just five games off the Western Conference leaders L.A. Clippers and it won’t be a surprise to see them compete for a playoff spot.

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