Rockets credit ‘short memory’ for massive rally at Phoenix

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The odds were stacked against the Houston Rockets heading into Friday’s road matchup versus the Phoenix Suns. Many NBA analysts looked right past the game and were more caught up in discussing more significant matchups around the league.

Even on local sports shows, the Rockets discussions were pushed to the fourth segments and deservedly so, as Houston had looked abysmal in consecutive games against the Denver Nuggets.

Making matters worse, the Suns entered with the best record in the Western Conference, yet again, led by a superstar in Devin Booker that had just completed the incredible feat of scoring 51 points in only three quarters in the team’s previous game versus Chicago.

So, it was safe to say that the Rockets were entering a game where most had already predicted the outcome. However, envisioning how a game will go in this business is equivalent to trying to forecast weather. Houston pulled off its biggest win of the season by defeating the Suns, 122-121, and ending Phoenix’s six-game winning streak.

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Houston started at the same methodical pace they had in Denver and fell behind quickly, as the Suns dominated the first five minutes. Even though the Rockets were able to claw their way back and make the score look respectable at the half, it never seemed as if they had continuity. Jalen Green struggled to get going, as he only made two of the 12 shots he attempted and scored just 9 points.

In the third quarter, the game’s tempo still favored Phoenix, as Houston trailed by as many as 16 points. In the past, the Rockets would likely have allowed games like this to slip away from them. But this year, they have more frequently fought through adversity, and that is precisely what Green did as he took over the game by scoring 20 of his team-leading 30 points in that quarter.

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“One thing about my young guys is they have a short memory, they keep going,” said Rockets head coach Stephen Silas.

The third-year head coach was extremely proud of the job Green did defensively by taking on the challenge of guarding Booker.

“He took on the challenge of guarding Booker,” Silas told reporters postgame. “That’s growth. Showing his competitiveness, showing what he can be. I was really proud of him for that.”

Houston still trailed by double-digits heading into the fourth quarter, but Green’s play had turned momentum in the Rockets’ favor. By midway through the quarter, they were able to tie the game up at 106. Reserve center Bruno Fernando came off the bench and gave the Rockets a huge spark, finishing at the rim with authority.

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“It is great having those guys with energy off the bench,” Green said.

The Rockets (6-16) will face the Golden State Warriors on Saturday in the final game of a difficult four-game road trip.

“We needed this,” Green said of the win. “I always say that after a win, but we really needed this heading into Golden State.”


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Story originally appeared on Rockets Wire

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