When the Rockets were draining 3s and the lead was swelling, things might have seemed right.
The Rockets were taking all those 3s — and making more than their share — because they were not getting much of anything else going. They did circle the 3-point arc as usual, and they did move the ball to open shots. But as they started heading toward the record again, Rockets coach Kevin McHale said, the Rockets got “3-happy.”
That the Rockets cooled off after the first 14 treys was not the problem. Rather than wait for the Rockets to move within a shot or two of the NBA record and then intentionally foul to stay out of the record book, the Wizards adjusted before it was too late.
They moved to a smaller lineup. They began switching on screens. They closed out to shooters. Unable to get enough defensive stops to make a 17-point lead hold up, the Rockets never adjusted as the Wizards rallied for a 105-103 win Saturday night at Verizon Center.
“We made some shots early,” McHale said. “We shot an extraordinary amount of 3s tonight. I think we got a little 3-happy. We didn’t get enough penetration. We didn’t get enough of the ball moving from side to side to compress their defense and get those really clean, open looks.”
Rockets’ lead withers when 3s begin to miss mark
Houston Chronicle | Feb 24