The Houston Rockets started the game in a daze. Brooks and Ariza both seemed clumsy and out of sync. Hayes, Battier and Scola were all a step slow defensively. The Sixers' Dalembert, Iguodala and Brand, on the other hand were aggresive and hungry for a win. If it were not for the bench, the game might have gotten out of hand. Landry, Budinger and Lowry came in to spark the team to within 3 at halftime.
The game was won in the third quarter. The entire team came together and put forth a defensive effort that held the Sixers to only 13 points. Offensively, the Rockets fed off the defense, scoring 28 points, mostly off Philadelphia misses. That was a fun quarter to watch.
If there can be a goat in a win, it would be Chuck Hayes. You gotta love the guy, but he did not play well at all last night. Samuel Dalembert beat him like a bastard stepchild. Hayes scored only one point, had only four rebounds (to Dalembert's 14) and committed five fouls in just 16 minutes of play. I would not want to be Andrea Bargnani Sunday night. He's Chuck's next opponent.