As has become their norm, the Rockets fell far back and then made a comeback. They have covered that ground so often, they know the way.
They also know as strategies go, theirs rarely work, and would not work twice.
The Rockets came back from their huge first-half deficit to close within three. But after dropping back by 15 again, they could not make another run last before the Pacers brushed them aside, 105-95, Friday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Rockets' season-long losing streak reached six games heading into their fourth game in five nights in Minnesota. The Pacers took their 11th-consecutive home win.
The Rockets, as has been their custom, rallied back from their 16-point deficit to within a bucket. Another fade dropped them behind by 12, but they still had time to make another run. But on consecutive possessions, Asik had his fifth turnover and Harden picked up his sixth.
Paul George nailed a 3-pointer to push the lead back to 15, leaving the Rockets 5:20 to make a run.
Carlos Delfino kept them in the game, scoring 12 points in the final five minutes. With 1:46 left, Harden put in a pair of free throws, cutting the lead to seven. But the Pacers called time out and quickly put the game away. Roy Hibbert sank a jumper. Harden missed a 3. And George Hill put in a pair of free throws to ice it.
In many ways, it was a surprise the Rockets were in the game that long. Harden made just 5 of 19 shots with five of the Rockets turnovers. The Pacers, averaging 6.4 3s per game, went 5 of 8 in first quarter. Paul George hit more 3s – connecting on 7 of 10 to score 31 points – than the Pacers average per game. The Rockets' power forwards, Marcus Morris and Patrick Patterson, combined to go 1 of 13 with two rebounds between them.
Rockets fail to right the ship against Pacers
Houston Chronicle | Jan 19