Rockets credit veteran poise for success this season
HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 22: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets and Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets celebrate against the Miami Heat on January 22, 2018 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
NBA.com staff report
The Houston Rockets are one win away from sole possession of the second-longest win streak in team history. A victory tonight against the Oklahoma City Thunder would push Houston's run to 16 games, putting them six games behind the 2007-08 Houston team that ran off 22 straight wins.
No matter the outcome tonight, though, Houston has been a success story on the road. The Rockets are 24-7 this season away from Toyota Center, trailing only the Golden State Warriors in that department (25-7 on road). Having a team stocked with veterans at virtually every position ensures coach Mike D'Antoni's crew doesn't get rattled no matter the environment, writes Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:
"Chris Paul, James (Harden), your point guards have seen everything, every kind of defense," D'Antoni said. "They're not going to get rattled. Then, we have a bunch of veteran guys, whether home or on the road shouldn't make any difference."
After playing three of their past four games on the road, the Rockets still face a stretch of seven road games in their next nine games, with the first of the two road games, against the Spurs, in the second half of a back-to-back after a four-game road trip. That stretch could go a long way toward determining the Rockets' chances at holding on to the top seed.
"We're a veteran team," guard Eric Gordon said. "We don't make a ton of mistakes. Offensively, we're the best out there and defensively, we're getting up there. As long as we bring it defensively, we'll have our chances against anybody."
"You don't really think about (the winning streak). We know we have a tough road trip ahead of us. We have a talented team. I wouldn't doubt we could win a whole bunch more. We know we have a tough road trip ahead of us. We look forward to winning every game."