If you haven’t been paying attention to the Houston Rockets in recent days, Terrence Jones is pretty good at basketball.
The former Kentucky Wildcats forward was already playing out of his mind before Saturday night’s tip-off against the Milwaukee Bucks, but it went to a whole different level in this game. Jones scored a career-high 36 points (on 14-for-20 shooting) in the game, and for good measure, he added 11 rebounds and 2 blocks to lead the Rockets to a 114-104 victory. Coming into the night, Jones was averaging a modest 11.0 points and 7.6 rebounds per game, but his efficiency has been noteworthy all season (PER around 18), and he is taking off in a big way right now.
Of course, Jones didn’t grab this 10-point win by himself, and Houston’s “big two” got into the act. Dwight Howard had a “Dwight Howard” game, scoring 20 points on 11 shots and grabbing 14 rebounds, while James Harden put up 22 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 5 big-time steals. As a team, it wasn’t the most picturesque offensive effort for Houston (25-for-37 from the free throw line, for example), but the big guns certainly came to play.
On the Milwaukee side, this is a deflating loss for an already-deflated team. The Bucks actually shot 50% from the field and nearly 48% from beyond the arc in the game, but they shot themselves in the foot to tune of 19 turnovers, and they simply couldn’t stop Jones and Howard up front.
This is a simple example of two teams going in very different directions, but on the Houston side, we may have witnessed the full-fledged breakout game from Terrence Jones.