Well, the Western Conference finalists have finally done it. They’re .500 after beating the reigning champ Warriors 107-86 in what may have been the most lighthearted performance the team has showcased yet this season.
Drama around both teams has been roiling over the past week or so–between Carmelo Anthony’s absence and the Draymond-Durant feud there’s been plenty of storylines to go around. But last night was just pure basketball, and the Rockets finally played like the same team that made a deep playoff run just months ago.
Check out the smile on Chris Paul’s face during this sequence.
Haven’t seen that in a while. Everybody’s body language is different, and the team out of Houston seems ready to finally reach their sky-high potential. Scoring was almost insanely evenly-distributed among the entire roster–James Harden led the pack with 27, while James Ennis III followed up with 19, Eric Gordon with 17, and Capela and Paul each chipped in 10. And they had fun doing it.
One win against the Warriors hardly makes the reigning world champs obsolete, but it’s a good sign that the Rockets seem to have snapped out of the slump. It’s still anybody’s conference, and the Warriors will be looking for revenge on January 3rd.
Until then, though, it looks like the Rockets are on their way up.