In a tale of two halves, the Bobcats went from a display of encouragingly determination to one of disappointing malaise.
The Bobcats shot well early but cooled off and Houston stormed to an 18-point lead. D.J. Augustin led the way scoring, but a lack of defense let the Rockets score at will from the perimeter and in transition. Kemba Walker led the early comeback, dropping four assists early despite not shooting well. The Rockets ended the half regaining momentum as Chase Budinger beat Gerald Henderson on a last-second inbounds play that freed Budinger for a midrange jumper. Houston went into the break up 50 to 40 over the Bobcats.
The second half was just awful. The offense with the starters on the court looked completely out-of-rhythm and the defense was beat more often than not. The Houston lead stretched to 20. Luis Scola and Samuel Dalembert dominated in the paint while the Bobcats struggled to get anything going on the floor. The game got completely out of control for the Bobcats and it devolved into garbage time with over nine minutes remaining.
Augustin scored was the most efficient scorer, but most of his points came on spot-up looks. The rest of the time, it looked like he was struggling to run the offense, even on the pick and roll where he had excelled earlier in the season. Turnovers plagued him on the night, as well. His defense allowed Dragic to go off, with Goran easily eluding him for open shots.
Walker had the opposite type of game, shooting quite poorly, but running a smoother offense. He played the pick and roll better, splitting defenders and kicking out well. He got plenty of open looks, but couldn't finish them. If he can just tighten up that jump shot, he'd be much more of a threat.
Bismack Biyombo scored on the first possession with a sweeping skyhook, but had trouble for much of the night. Dalembert's strength and range gave him fits defensively. Biyombo did defend the rim well on help defense, rejecting four shots.
Tyrus Thomas had another lackluster outing, hitting a few midrange jumpers and airballing just as many. He was pushed under the basket with ease on defense, too.
There was little else worth writing about. Gerald Henderson was mediocre, but that was at least better than the rest of the starters. Derrick Brown had one of those games you love to see from him, shooting 6-for10 for 15 points.
The main stat to take away from this game? Points in the paint: Rockets - 60, Bobcats - 28.