One of the many reasons the Rockets started the season as loss collectors was they couldn’t hit their three-point shots.
That wasn’t the case Friday night in Memphis.
The Rockets went ballistic from deep against the Grizzlies, hitting an impressive 16-23 from long range as Houston lit up Memphis 127-111, improving to 7-12 on the season. The Rockets have now won three of their last four — all three wins against Western Conference opponents.
It was a night for Kyle Lowry, Kevin Martin and Brad Miller.
Lowry had a career high in points (28), threes made (4) and tied a career high in assists (12) (See: Video of Lowry’s big night). He went 4-5 from beyond the arc, which is practically unheard of for a career 26% three-point shooter. His assists were partially inflated by the Rockets’ unconscious assault from distance, but he’s also been setting up his teammates like this fairly consistently now. He’s averaging 8.9 dimes in his last 8 games.
“Guys are starting to trust each other more,” said Lowry. “Our record doesn’t show how good of a team we are. Tonight, we showed how we can play.”
Make no mistake — Lowry’s three-point barrage was an anomaly, a happy-to-see-it fluke, but his on-court leadership is now on display just about every game. If this keeps up, the Rockets could have a quarterback controversy on their hands when Aaron Brooks returns.
Brad Miller was amazing in this one as well, going 7-7 from the field, including 3-3 from downtown, and hit 6-7 from the free throw line. 23 points and 7 boards in just 24 minutes. The Rockets backup center is now hitting over 52% from three-point range.
It was Kevin Martin that set the offensive tone of the game, going off for 15 points in the Rockets 38-point first quarter. He matched Lowry’s 28 points, doing it with crazy efficiency — draining 5-6 from three and 9-9 at the stripe. Martin doesn’t play defense very well — we know this — but his pinball-like ability to rack up digits efficiently on limited shots is a rare on-court asset.
Courtney Lee also played like he was running layup drills, knocking down 7-9 from the field for 16 points in 19 minutes.