• Brian L. Barefield

“Aha Moment” Rockets defeat the Pelicans as the winning streak continues.

Photo Credit/Houston Rockets

The Merriman-Webster dictionary defines an Aha moment as a sudden realization, inspiration, insight, recognition, or comprehension and nothing makes a coach feel jubilated, then when his players experience it for the first time. For Houston Rockets head coach Stephen Silas, he could see it coming for his team in spurts as multiple lineups caused certain players to have the moment at certain times. Now with a healthy lineup it seems as if everyone who has touches the floor for the Rockets is having them.

Houston (9-9) defeated the New Orleans Pelicans (7-11) on Saturday night at Smoothie King Arena by a score of 126-112 to win their fifth game in a row.

“We're moving in the right direction,'' said coach Silas, who watched his team shoot almost 50% from the floor against the Pelicans. “It is the character of the guys in the locker room. If we didn’t have great guys in the locker room, we wouldn’t be moving in the direction we are moving. With high character guys, play hard guys, and guys who are selfless. A coach has the ability to coach.”

The Rockets were led once again by center Christian Wood who finished the night with 27 points on 11-for-13 shooting from the field (84.6%). Wood, 25, who has stated on numerous occasions that he plays every game with a chip on his shoulder because of the lack of respect he has been giving throughout the league, had a little extra motivation against the team who cut him back in 2019.

Photo Credit/Houston Rockets

“It was definitely a little bit of a revenge game,” said Wood. “I definitely wanted to show them what they missed out on.”

Houston got down early in the first quarter as New Orleans carried over their hot shooting from the day before when they hit 21 three-pointers to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks. The Pelicans hit 6 out of the 11 shots taken beyond the arc to lead 35-27 after the first period.

But the Rockets bounced back in the second quarter scoring a season high 48 points and holding New Orleans to just 22 and allowed and took an 18-point lead into the half led by Victor Oladipo who hit four three-pointers during that stretch. The Pelicans would make a small run in the third quarter, but not enough to bring them back as Houston maintained its lead and steady pace to seal the victory.

“When we are committed on the defensive end with all five guys, we are a tough team to compete against,” said point guard John Wall who had 15 points and nine assists on the night.

Wall also wanted the media and the fans to know who is responsible for the strong defensive presence the Rockets have every game.

“PJ (Tucker) may not show up in the stat sheet, but all the things he does on the defensive end by communicating and taking the challenge. That’s a guy you want on your team,” Wall added at the conclusion of his post-game press conference.

Houston will be back in action on Monday as they take on the Oklahoma City Thunder.

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