Houston Rockets Guard Breaks Long-Time Franchise Record in Orlando

Published 08/10/2020, 1:03 AM EDT


When the Houston Rockets win, the first name on the box scores is usually James Harden. But tonight, despite putting up 32 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists, he was not the star of the show. Austin Rivers was the hero for the Rockets after he had a career-high 41 points, despite coming off the bench.

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.@AustinRivers25 with a career-high 41pts tonight in the win! pic.twitter.com/fTxfSvioAk

— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) August 10, 2020

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It was an absolutely brilliant shooting night for the 2012 10th overall pick. He went 14/20 from the field while shooting 6/11 from beyond the arc. Russell Westbrook was out of the game due to a right quad contusion. So Rivers had his second straight game with 30+ minutes. He also had a near-perfect outing at the charity stripe, going 7/8.

With this performance, he joined Harden as the only Rockets players with 40+ PTS, 70+ FG% in a game since 2012. And he became the first Rocket to drop 40 off the bench since Sleepy Floyd in 1991.

Austin Rivers tonight:

41 PTS (career-high)
14-20 FG
6-11 3P

– He joins James Harden as the only Rockets players with 40+ PTS, 70+ FG% in a game since 2012

– He’s the first Rocket to drop 40 off the bench since Sleepy Floyd in 1991 pic.twitter.com/Cr6W6B34y7

— StatMuse (@statmuse) August 10, 2020

Is the Houston Rockets rotation good enough for playoffs?

The best part about trading for Russell Westbrook was that he can take over when Harden has an off game. But now along with Westbrook, the Rockets have built a solid squad around Harden to fit the system. The team is filled with snipers who can go ballistic at any time. They also have P.J. Tucker, who has been leading the league in most corner threes scored for three years now.

The Rockets have six players averaging double-digits in points and six players averaging at least a steal. Their offense has been stellar but their defense has also been solid. Leading the team defensively is the February trade acquisition Covington. His defensive presence in the paint has been immense. He is averaging almost two blocks and three steals so far in the bubble.

The Rockets have looked dangerous so far, but the biggest problem for them will be to replicate this form in the playoffs. However, they don’t have the Warriors to stop them this season, so that could lead to a change in fortunes.

They now play the San Antonio Spurs next, as they aim to seal their fourth seed spot in the Western Conference.

Sources:

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NBA Advanced Stats

Basketball-Reference 

StatMuse on Twitter

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Aaron Mathew

1468 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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