The Houston Rockets are quietly rising up the Western Conference standings. They are third in the Western Conference with a record of 42-25. The Rockets are two games behind the Denver Nuggets and 3.5 games behind the Golden State Warriors. Recently, the Rockets were tied with two other teams for the third spot. They were in a three-way tie with the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Portland Trailblazers. The Rockets broke the tie with their recent winning streak.
On Monday, the Rockets beat the Charlotte Hornets 118-106. Their win over the Hornets extended their winning streak to nine games. Their streak started against the Golden State Warriors on Feb.23 and continued with the Hornets.
The Rockets also have wins over the Boston Celtics, the Toronto Raptors and the Philadelphia 76ers during this streak. Wins over other potential contenders are a great way for the Rockets to establish themselves as a threat. These wins prove that the Rockets can at least compete against contending teams. If the Rockets go deep in this year’s playoffs, they could potentially face one of these teams.
James Harden has played well during the winning streak. Harden averages 30.2 points in the Rockets’ nine-game winning streak. He missed the first win due to a neck injury but has played the other eight. He scored 28 points against the Hornets and even had a 58-point game against the Heat during this streak. Harden’s streak of 30 or more point games is over, but he does not need to score 30 or more points a game. The Rockets are playing well regardless.
The Rockets finally look like a team that can compete in the playoffs. After starting the season towards the bottom of the Western Conference, the Rockets are near the top of the conference. The Rockets play the Warriors later today. If they beat the Warriors, they can keep their streak going a bit longer. Regardless, the Rockets are in better position than they were earlier in the season.
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