It might be strange to say that defense won the day in a 120-116 victory, but we do live in a very strange time, don’t we? That’s exactly what took place on Sunday as the Houston Rockets managed to take down the East’s best Milwaukee Bucks by playing strong ‘D’ late in the going. And, of course, they got a lot of help from their stars, too.
Chiefly it was Russell Westbrook’s 31 that led the way, only outdone by Giannis Antetokounmpo on the evening. The MVP candidate came up just two assists short of a triple-double (he also had 36 points and 18 rebounds). Had Milwaukee won, they would have clinched top record in the East, but that will have to wait for now, as the Rockets forced them into 22 total turnovers to show that defense is still important despite the fact that players are simply better at scoring points than they used to be. The game has changed, and it’s that simple. In other action on Sunday, the Boston Celtics were able to hold off the Portland Trail Blazers to win 128-124, utilizing 34 points from Jayson Tatum and 30 from Jaylen Brown.