Guard Chris Paul is still undefeated in a Houston Rockets uniform. Houston extended its unbeaten streak to 11 straight, a roll that began when Paul returned from an absence of one month because of a knee injury, with a 12-point victory over Charlotte.
In games that Paul has played this season with Houston, the Rockets are 12-0. Paul missed close to one month earlier with a left knee bruise. However, following the game earlier this week, Paul said his knee felt fine and he was back to 100%.
Paul was traded last July by the Los Angeles Clippers to Houston. He pushed for the trade so he could team up with James Harden the Rockets high scorer. Paul said that a winning streak is great, but you need to be playing the right way, and that is what the team is doing at this time, while at the same time trying to get even better.
Paul Leads Rockets 25-0 Run
Paul starred in the win on Wednesday over the Hornets scoring 31 points, his season high, hauling down seven rebounds, and handing out 11 assists. He accounted for 19 points during a 25-0 run by Houston that broke open the game during the first half. His 13 points and three assists were the highlight of the run.
Harden, the scoring leader in the NBA, was sitting for the entire 25-point run by the Rockets. Paul hit 3 of his 4 attempts from beyond the three point arc during the run including one beating the first quarter buzzer.
After the game, Harden said just seeing Paul have confidence to shoot that buzzer-beater and how aggressive he has played since returning is a great thing to watch.
Harden finished the night with 21 points while handing out 8 assists, which for him was considered an off night.
Harden Impressed with Paul’s Play
Harden added that not just for teammates and fans, but everyone who watches basketball enjoys seeing Paul do his thing on the court and hopefully he continues that and builds up his confidence in his shot.
Paul during the Rockets winning streak is averaging 17.1 points and 9.4 assists per game. Of recent he has increased his scoring with four 20-point or more performances over the past five games.
Paul becomes very dominant when Harden rests during games. Houston has a rating of plus 37.7 points per 100 possessions during times when Paul is playing and Harden is sitting during the current Houston winning streak. Those are minutes when typically the opponents have their second unit on the floor and players like Paul can take advantage of that slight difference in levels of talent.
Paul said that with that unit on the floor, the Rockets pick up the pace and it usually includes PJ Tucker, who specializes in being a stopper on defense, Eric Gordon a high scorer off the bench and Nene, a veteran backup center.
Houston owns the best record in the NBA at 22-4 and has won by 10 points or more in nine of the 11 games since the return of Paul from his injury. During the current winning streak, Houston is beating opponents by an average margin of 17 points.
Paul says he enters every game he plays believing his team will win and at this time the team has the right tempo, right pace and right energy giving them the ability to beat any opponent they face and a run of 11 straight wins is evidence of that.