In my opinion there was only one winner in tonight’s Houston Rockets vs. Denver Nuggets game and it was neither of the two teams facing off in the Pepsi Center tonight. The winner of the game were the Officials of the game, that is if they make it through the parking lot without security. The Rockets took advantage of the poor officiating in the first quarter and utilized it for the rest of the game.
A countless number of flops from the Rockets sent them to the charity stripe to hit 28 of 35 free throws, most of which were James Harden running into Nugget defenders at the three point line and chucking it dramatically into the air. If the Officials favored the Rockets’ acting so much they might as well give the whole team an Oscar. Meanwhile the Nuggets pushed into the lane and deserved hard earned fouls but did not capitalize on any of them at all only going 19 of 30.
Nikola Jokic got into some early foul trouble which limited his playing time tonight and it showed. Not only was Jokic’s absence felt but also Wilson Chandler, Danillo Gallinari, and Darrell Arthur. Hopefully we can get those guys back on the court soon because the current squad Denver is running now is getting a little gassed and could use some fresh rotations from returning key players.
With a limited amount of forwards to play, Juancho Hernangomez gained some time playing for 28 minutes and had a good game scoring 15 and going 3 of 4 from the arc. The guards on the other hand seemed to be off all night from the three. All guards tonight went for a combined total of 5 of 25 and Will Barton went for an embarrassing 1 of 9. Even though the Nuggets had some offensive struggles, they did rather well containing the Rockets from the three only allowing them to go 5 of 24.
To recap the game quarter by quarter, minute by minute, the Nuggets could not get anything to fall behind the arc or free throw line while the Rockets could not stop laying on the floor. The Pepsi Center cleaning crew should have been sent home early tonight especially the courtside sweepers because the Houston Rockets were pretty much doing their job for them without a single mop or broom. The final stats from the game are posted below and a fair warning, they are not pretty.
42.7% FG % 45.8%
32.3% 3 Point % 20.8%
63.3% Free Throw % 80%
The Denver Nuggets and Houston Rockets will face off again March 20th Monday night at 8:00pm ET in Houston.